The 10 Best Shows on Free-to-air TV in January 2020

Free to Air Catch Up Services

The Top 10 Shows on Free to Air TV in Australia

With so many options available to us these days for our TV entertainment, it’s easy to miss some of the great shows that free to air TV has to offer. It seems like every day there’s some new show demanding we set aside an evening to binge-watch it, those big must-watch lists we make on the many different streaming services that only seem to get longer and longer. But sometimes, it’s great to just kick back and watch what’s on.

Of course, even the world of free to air TV has changed a lot in recent years, and you’ve got a lot more choice in front of you as soon as you turn on the TV. All five free to air networks have added multiple extra channels to supplement their main services, meaning there’s more to watch on TV now than there’s ever been – and if you miss something, all five networks have on-demand catch-up services available for free so you can get up to date in time for the next episode. And it’s those shows that everyone tunes into that make it worth being there to watch as they go to air – then jumping onto Facebook or Twitter to see everyone reacting to a show in real time. That’s something streaming simply can’t replicate.

And be sure to grab the Freeview FV app for your mobile phone or tablet from your device’s app store. This free app is run by the five networks and gives you access to live-stream the many free to air TV channels on the go, as well as a comprehensive program guide which you can use to set reminders for when your favourite shows go to air!

The Best Shows Available on Free to Air TV

To get you started, here are ten shows which you don’t need a streaming service subscription to watch – they’re all airing on free-to-air TV and available on the networks’ catch-up services if you need to get up to date with the current episode. Unlike streaming services, checking these shows out won’t cost you a cent – they’re all beamed into your home for you to enjoy in their regular time slots or stream for free via catch-up.

  • The Masked Singer (Network 10)
  • The Real Dirty Dancing (Seven)
  • Secret Bridesmaid’s Business (Seven)
  • The Block (Nine)
  • Love Island Australia (Nine)
  • Grand Hotel (Nine)
  • The Name of the Rose (SBS)
  • The Bachelorette (Network 10)
  • Total Control (ABC)
  • Utopia (ABC)

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1. The Masked Singer (Ten & TenPlay)

Based on the hit South Korean music gameshow series, The Masked Singer Australia made its debut to high viewer ratings for Network Ten. It follows the same premise where celebrities perform wearing a costume and are unmasked if they lose. The Australian version of the show is hosted by Osher Gunsberg and features celebrity judges that include Lindsay Lohan, singer Dannii Minogue, comedian Dave Hughes, and radio presenter Jackie O.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: You’ll want to tune in for every reveal
  • Details: 1 season
  • Genre: Reality




2. The Bachelorette (Ten & TenPlay)

The series revolves around a single bachelorette and a pool of romantic interests, which could include a potential husband. This season, Australia’s new bachelorette is Angie Kent, who’s first introduced in the 2015 run of Gogglebox Australia alongside her then housemate Yvie Jones. She also appeared in a season of another reality show, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. Following Matt Agnew’s success in finding love in The Bachelor, Angie’s on the lookout for her one true love this new season

  • Kelly’s Rundown: An entertaining switcheroo on the beloved classic reality show
  • Details: 4 seasons, 46 episodes
  • Genre: Reality competition




3. Love Island Australia (Nine & 9Now)

The hottest show is back! Hosted by Sophie Monk, 10 beautiful Aussie singles play the ultimate game of love in this new season of Love Island Australia. After they find their match, they must stay together while surviving temptations as new singles enter the villa.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: It’s showtime!
  • Details: 9 seasons, 110 episodes
  • Genre: Talent show




4. The Real Dirty Dancing (Seven & 7Plus)

The Real Dirty Dancing is a reality show that searches for celebrities to perform as the characters of Baby and Johnny in a one-off live theatre show of the movie, Dirty Dancing. They will then reenact the film’s final dance to the classic, I’ve Had the Time of My Life, which would include the memorable lift. The contestants will also revisit key locations and moments from the movie and learn the iconic dance routines under the guidance of professional choreographers.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: A nostalgic reality show take on the beloved classic movie
  • Details: 1 season
  • Genre: Dancing, entertainment




5. The Block (Nine & 9Now)

The Block

The Block, Australia’s most successful reality program, is back with its 15th season, which will see five ambitious couples will renovate and transform the neglected Oslo Hotel in St Kilda into five top-end, three-storey homes, restoring it to its former glory as one of Australia’s premier residential addresses. They’re all competing for the chance to walk away with $100,000 in prize money and any profit made when their apartments go under the hammer at a live public auction later this year.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: Get ready for renovations of colossal proportions
  • Details: 15 seasons, 611 episodes
  • Genre: Game show, Reality TV




6. The Name of the Rose (SBS & SBS On Demand)

SBS’ new drama show The Name of the Roses is an Italian-German historical period drama television miniseries created and directed by Giacomo Battiato. It is based on the international bestseller novel of the same name by Umberto Eco.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: A moving take on the original book of the same name
  • Details: 1 season, 8 episodes
  • Genre: Historical period; Drama




7. Utopia (ABC & iView)


Utopia is a Logie Award-winning Australian TV comedy series that follows the working lives of a team in the fictional Nation Building Authority, a newly created government organisation. The Authority is responsible for overseeing major infrastructure projects, from announcement to unveiling. The series explores the collision between bureaucracy and grand ambitions.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: Take a good laugh at the funny side of public service
  • Details: 3 seasons, 24 episodes
  • Genre: Comedy




8. Secret Bridesmaid’s Business (Seven & 7Plus)

Secret Bridesmaids’ Business is a six-part Australian television miniseries, which follows Olivia’s seemingly perfect wedding that turned deadly after one of her bridesmaids unknowingly invites a malevolent stranger into their lives. This then triggers a deadly chain reaction that blows open a hidden world of secrets.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: Surprisingly addicting new thriller drama
  • Details: 1 season, 6 episodes
  • Genre: Drama




9. Total Control (ABC & iView)

In Total Control, Rachel Anderson is the embattled but cunning Prime Minister of Australia. Alex is a charismatic, indigenous up-and-coming politician who finds herself the centre of media attention following a shocking event. Rachel wants to use Alex to boost her popularity and further her own agenda. Alex is wise to the Prime Minister’s betrayal and sets out for revenge that may break the whole political establishment.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: New political drama to sink your teeth into
  • Details: 1 season, 6 episodes
  • Genre: Drama




10. Grand Hotel (Nine & 9Now)

Eva Longoria executive produces this bold, provocative drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Grand Hotel follows the story of charismatic Santiago Mendoza, the owner of the hotel, and his glamorous second wife, Gigi, alongside their adult children who are enjoying the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior. The show is based on the Spanish series.

  • Kelly’s Rundown: A rather delightful modern-day take on latin soap operas
  • Details: 1 season, 13 episodes
  • Genre: Drama; Mystery




Catch the Latest and Hottest Shows on Free to Air TV!

There’s lots more to watch of free to air TV this month as well, and you won’t need to miss a second of your new favourite shows thanks to the networks’ free on-demand catch-up services – be sure to sign up for an account with them if you’re asked to, as it opens up access to many more shows to stream and lets you keep track of what you’ve seen. Whether your favourite TV is drama, sport or reality, you’ll find more to love than ever before across the many and varied channels on Australia’s free to air TV!

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