Wentworth

Must-see ... Prisoner is updated for a new millenium in Wentworth.

Better Man (SBS)

The premise A four-part mini-series from writer-director Khoa Do and producer Jason Stephens, which tells the true story of Van Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian man who was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore and executed in 2005.

Star power David Wenham, Bryan Brown and Claudia Karvan are attached to the project.

Verdict It will deliver to SBS what it craves most: critical acclaim. It has a strong writing, production and acting pedigree.

Paper Giants: Magazine Wars (ABC)

The premise The story of two women, Nene King and Dulcie Boling, who became rivals and started a circulation war between Woman's Day and New Idea that rewrote the rules of journalism in Australia.

Star power Rachel Griffiths, Mandy McElhinney and Rob Carlton.

Verdict Australia has declared a spectacular appetite for dramas set in the media world. FollowingPaper Giants: The Story of Cleo and Howzat! Kerry Packer's War, this is a sure-fire winner.

The Real Housewives of Australia (Arena)

The premise Zillionaire wives (or as close to that as reality TV can muster) rub shoulders, argue, shop and go to parties. Cue soft-scripted intrigue. Foxtel has commissioned 10 one-hour episodes of this series, a local chapter of the well-established international franchise.

Star power None yet, but there is already a swirl of names in discussion, including Sydney's society queen Skye Leckie, Eileen Bond, former model Michelle Walsh, swimwear baroness Eve Miskin and Gold Coast queen Jackie Cross.

Verdict You know you're going to watch.

Return to Eden (Nine)

The premise A plain mining heiress is swept off her feet and then swept into the jaws of a crocodile by a sneaky gigolo. She claws herself to safety, undergoes plastic surgery and then, as the world thinks she's dead, makes plans to ruin him and ''return to Eden''.

Star power No casting has been announced, but it's a remake of the iconic 1980s mini-series starring Rebecca Gilling, and because of the titanic success of the original, buzz is already very strong for this.

Verdict Gonna. Be. Awesome. Crocodiles and all.

The Time of Our Lives (ABC)

The premise A large-scale drama about three generations of a family living in Melbourne. The ABC has commissioned 13 one-hour episodes of the series from The Secret Life of Us co-creator Amanda Higgs and writer Judi McCrossin.

Star power Claudia Karvan, Justine Clarke, Shane Jacobson, William McInnes, Stephen Curry and Thomas Fisher.

Verdict Backed by the ABC's resurgent drama portfolio, this is a solid premise, an impressive production pedigree and an outstanding cast. Cannot fail.

Wentworth (SoHo)

The premise An update of the quintessential Australian television drama Prisoner (1979-86). We follow suburban mum Bea Smith as she is thrown into jail and transforms herself to survive.

Star power Danielle Cormack, Nicole da Silva, Kris McQuade, Catherine McClements and Aaron Jeffery.

Verdict Inspired by a cult classic, it has a lot to live up to, but early impressions show a grittier story suited perfectly to the new millennium. A must-see.