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TV BOXIES | Most Popular Australian Drama Finalists

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The TV Boxies are here in less than one month, and it’s time vote in 21 categories for your favourite star or program!

In this article, we’re looking into the final nominees selected by you in the Most Popular Australian Drama category.

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MOST POPULAR AUSTRALIAN DRAMA FINALISTS

HOME AND AWAY (Seven)

As one of Australia’s longest-running television shows, let alone drama programs, Home and Away is a staple to Seven’s year-long lineup of content. The show that birthed future global stars such as Chris Hemsworth, Heath Ledger and Isla Fisher is still bringing sizzling hot storylines that rock Summer Bay every week.

Despite decades on television, viewers still tune in today to watch how the residents of the Bay are dealing with life’s latest controversies, scandals, threats and disasters. With a large ensemble at the core of its success, the Soap is no surprise to clock up a nomination in the TV Boxies’ Most Popular Australian Drama category.

In the near-equivalent category at the TV Week Logie Awards, Home and Away has been nominated for Most Popular Drama every year since 2004 (16-straight years), winning the award seven times, and as recently as 2016.

Home and Away (image – Seven)

RFDS: ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE (Seven)

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New to Australian screens in 2021, RFDS was a hit with viewers throughout its eight-episode run. Starring Justine Clarke, Stephen Peacocke and Emma Hamilton, the series follows the lives of workers for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Determined to escape her past and start a new life, Dr Eliza Harrod (Hamilton) arrives in the Australian outback from the UK. Only days into her new role at the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Eliza finds herself at the forefront of a catastrophic emergency retrieval while Flight Nurse Pete Emerson (Peacocke) faces an unthinkable tragedy.

On the series, Anthony Morris of Screen Hub said, “if Australia wants to be a player when it comes to international drama, this is exactly the kind of series we need to be making”.

With a hunger for engaging drama programming on free-to-air during the pandemic period, RFDS delivered the goods and will be strong competition against its fellow nominees.

The cast of RFDS (image - Channel 7)
The cast of RFDS (image – Channel 7)

DOCTOR DOCTOR (Nine)

With five seasons screening since 2016, Doctor Doctor came to an end in June earlier this year. With a cast led by three-time Gold Logie nominee Rodger Corser, the show looks into the life of heart surgeon Dr Hugh Knight, who is forced to work for a year as a country GP in his former home town of Whyhope.

It was the first Australian drama series to be renewed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Nine’s co-head of drama, Andy Ryan, said, “with its stellar cast and beautiful rural setting, viewers of all ages have fallen in love with the misadventures of Dr Hugh Knight and his marvellously dysfunctional family”.

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During the finale, Hugh abandons plans to leave Whyhope with his girlfriend Sharna (Chantelle Jamieson), in order to stay in his home town and be with his true love, Penny (Hayley McElhinney).

The series has also received international praise, achieving success in countries such as New Zealand, the U.S., the UK, and Sweden. It has also been nominated for the Most Popular Drama Logie since the first season.

Doctor Doctor (image - Nine)
Doctor Doctor (image – Nine)

WENTWORTH: THE FINAL SENTENCE (Foxtel)

With 100 episodes under the belt and nine years on television, Wentworth finally concluded in 2021 after much critical praise and success internationally. With a talented nearly all-female cast, the final season saw newcomers Kate Box, Jane Hall and Marta Dusseldorp join Season One veterans Robbie Magasiva, Kate Atkinson and Katrina Milosevic.

With fan-favourite villains like Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) returning to the prison during the final season – titled as The Final Sentence, the show ended with a bomb explosion that tore down half the compound, and put all the lives of Wentworth’s heroes in danger.

As one of Foxtel’s most successful shows, and the longest-running hour drama series in history, Wentworth has often been used as the key example of just how good Australia’s television industry can be, leaving a legacy behind when it concluded earlier this month.

The series has been nominated at the TV Week Logie Awards 24 times in various categories. In 2018, it won in both of the Most Popular Drama and Most Outstanding Drama categories, making it the first show to achieve such a feat.

Wentworth S9 (image - Foxtel)
Wentworth (image – Foxtel)

THE NEWSREADER (ABC)

Another first-time player for 2021, The Newsreader debuted as a six-part series set in a ruthless 1986 newsroom. Anna Torv plays newsreader Helen opposite the ambitious reporter Dale, played by Sam Reid.

The series is described as a terrific ensemble piece by The Sydney Morning Herald’s Karl Quinn, who also said the show was, “the most fun I’ve had watching telly in a long time”.

The Newsreader was a hit in the ratings when timeshifted, achieving over a million viewers almost every episode. It’s no surprise the show has received a nod in the TV Boxies after it concluded in September.

ABC's The Newsreader (image - ABC)
ABC’s The Newsreader (image – ABC)

That’s your five finalists for the Most Popular Australian Drama category at the TV Boxies, be sure to cast your vote along with a vote for all of the other categories below. And be sure to watch the live Awards presentation on November 28.

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Matthew Simmonds
Matthew Simmonds
Matthew Simmonds is a journalist and blogger, with a keen interest in the world of Reality TV. He loves exploring both what’s happening in front of the camera but also how the magic comes together behind the scenes. If not glued to the TV bingeing one of the newest obsessions or a timeless series, you’ll find Matthew endlessly scrolling through Twitter (and he may even tweet a time or two). Matthew graduated from a Bachelor Degree in Communication, majoring in Journalism, at the Queensland University of Technology in 2022.
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