This year closes out with the stateside (and Canadian) premieres of two Aussie dramas, along with several titles from Down Under being added to a streaming service.
For updates about shows from Australia and New Zealand added to US linear TV and streaming channels throughout the month, see the Down Under TV Viewing Guide.
Programs and dates are subject to change without prior notice.
Videos below may contain content that is not suitable for everyone.
The Commons (AU)
Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar) stars in this character-driven thriller as Eadie, a brilliant, 38-year-old neuropsychologist who longs to have a child with her vector biologist husband, Lloyd (David Lyons, Sea Patrol), but whose multiple unsuccessful IVF treatments have put her dreams of motherhood on hold.
Meanwhile, within the dystopian near-future in which the series is set, the world around Eadie is in chaos, as global warming and parasitic diseases have made the divide between rich and poor even greater.
Created by Shelley Birse (The Code), the eight-episode thriller costars Rupert Penry-Jones (Silk), Ryan Corr (The Secrets She Keeps), Simone McAullay (Broadchurch), John Waters (Offspring), Fayssal Bazzi (Stateless), and Andrea Demetriades (Janet King).
The Commons premieres in the US with its first episode (of eight) on Thursday, December 3, exclusively on Sundance Now and its digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon Channels. New episodes will debut on Thursdays. (The series will launch on Sundance Now in Canada on the same date.)
Total Control (AU)
This critically-acclaimed political drama won three of the top prizes at the 2019 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, including Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama for Deborah Mailman (Jack Irish, Mystery Road, Offspring), and Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama for Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under, Brothers and Sisters, Dead Lucky).
The story centers on Alexandra “Alex” Irving (Deborah Mailman), a charismatic Indigenous woman who finds herself the center of media attention following her admirable actions in a high-risk situation. Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths), the embattled but cunning Prime Minister of Australia, recruits Alex as a senator to boost her own popularity and to further her own agenda. Naive to Rachel’s true motives, Alex takes the opportunity in order to make a difference, but when Rachel betrays her, Alex sets out for revenge.
The series features Harry Richardson (Poldark), Celia Ireland (Wentworth), David Roberts (Bad Mothers), and Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road).
Total Control premieres in the US with its first episode (of six) on Thursday, December 17, exclusively on Sundance Now and its digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon Channels. New episodes will debut on Thursdays. (The series will launch on Sundance Now in Canada on the same date.)
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS BEING ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
Nothing Trivial: Series 1 & 2 (NZ)
From the creators of Outrageous Fortune comes this terrific Kiwi romantic comedy-drama series about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness — topics that typically aren’t fodder for pub quizzes but serve here as the show’s themes. Set in the convivial and competitive world of pub trivia, it revolves around five late 30/early 40-year-olds who have two things in common: they make up the Sex on a Stick quiz team, and they are unhappy or unlucky in love.
Starring Shane Cortese (The Brokenwood Mysteries), Tandi Wright (800 Words), Nicole Whippy (Shortland Street), Blair Strang (Go Girls), and Debby Newby-Ward (Shortland Street), Nothing Trivial: Series 1 begins streaming Monday, December 7, followed by Series 2 on Monday, December 21, on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon Channels.
Growing Up Gracefully (AU)
Sister comedy duo Hannah and Eliza Reilly and celebrated Australian producer Julian Morrow (The Chaser, The Letdown) team up for this humorous reality series, which explores what it means to be a woman in the 21st century — weighing in on broad and universal themes such as courtship, sex, career, and spirituality.
After discovering the 1950s teen advice book Growing Up Gracefully, Hannah and Eliza — two misguided 20-somethings growing up in a generation raised by the internet — ask, “How do we learn to become fully functioning adults?” As they take on the six key milestones of adulthood, reckless party girl Hannah road tests the stuffy ladies’ etiquette of the past, while dorky homebody Eliza is forced to follow the newfangled women’s advice of today.
Very Small Business (AU)
Nominated for Australian Film Institute and Logie Awards, this comedy series centers on the unlikely relationship between Don Angel (Wayne Hope, The InBESTigators, The Librarians), the dodgy, debt-ridden owner of the one-man publishing empire called Worldwide Business Group, and Ray Leonard (Kim Gyngell, Top of the Lake, Jack Irish), a down-and-out former feature writer for The Australian whom Don has hired as the journalist and sole employee of his now two-man operation.
In this action-packed TV movie, undercover cop John Lawless (Kevin Smith, Hercules, Xena: The Warrior Princess) is wrongly accused of murder, so he enlists the help of friends from both sides of the law to prove his innocence and bring the real culprits to justice.
Costarring Angela Dotchin (Shortland Street), Joel Tobeck (One Lane Bridge), Susan Brady (Without a Paddle), and Elizabeth Hawthorne (800 Words), Lawless begins streaming Monday, December 21, on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon Channels.
For details about the December premieres of shows from the UK, Canada, and Ireland, visit The British TV Place. For those about the debuts of original-language, English-subtitled programs from Europe, visit The Euro TV Place.
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