Spellers Max B, Alistair and Asha in a scene from season two of The Great Australian Spelling Bee.
Spellers Max B, Alistair and Asha in a scene from season two of The Great Australian Spelling Bee. Nigel Wright

What's on the small screen this week

VIEWERS young and old alike can delight in the tongue-twisters Australia's young spellers tackle in the new season of The Great Australian Spelling Bee.

Offspring and Love Child continue while SBS premieres a new food show and international soccer stars descend on Melbourne.

Here's a selection of what's on the small screen this week:

Sunday July 17: The Great Australian Spelling Bee, 6.30pm on Channel 10

 

Chrissie Swan and Grant Denyer in a scene from the second season of The Great Australian Spelling Bee.
Chrissie Swan and Grant Denyer in a scene from the second season of The Great Australian Spelling Bee. Nigel Wright

 

Ten's surprise hit family show of last year returns for a second season with new games and special themed nights. Hosts Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan (pictured) also return to put 36 new spellers, aged between eight and 13, through their paces in a series of word-related games and challenges. These top-of-the-class spellers have been chosen from all across Australia, but only 18 can advance to the second round. It is the ultimate showdown between little kids and big words.

Why you should watch: It's impossible not to play along at home with this wholesome family show that celebrates literacy, knowledge and good sportsmanship. There are plenty of laughs too and this year's crop of 36 super spellers are even cheekier than last year, according to Chrissie Swan.

 

Monday July 18: Love Child, 8.40pm on Channel 9

Gracie Gilbert and Sophie Hensser in a scene from Love Child.
Gracie Gilbert and Sophie Hensser in a scene from Love Child. Tony Mott

In Vietnam, Viv finds herself holding her newly orphaned baby nephew. Joan confirms Eva is pregnant as Patty and Jim give in to their lust.  Although Annie is a hit singing for the troops, Chris is furious with club manager Shirley for arranging Annie's trip to a war zone.

Why you should watch: This explosive episode features action scenes set during the Vietnam War and there's set to be heartbreak as Aussie heartthrob Matthew Le Nevez's character Jim is tempted to cheat on Joan.

 

Tuesday July 19: Pensioners Make You Laugh Out Loud, 7.30pm on Channel 7

 

Viral video star Nonna Paola features in Pensioners Make You Laugh Out Loud.
Viral video star Nonna Paola features in Pensioners Make You Laugh Out Loud. Channel 7

 

Comedians and self-confessed video junkies Dave Spikey, Des Clarke and Felicity Ward are on hand to digest the world's funniest clips of old-aged pensioners. Producers also g behind the scenes of some of the viral clips that have taken the internet by storm including Australia's own Italian Nonna Paola. Iain Lee narrates.

Why you should watch: This is the sort of mindless, guilty-pleasure viewing we all indulge in from time to time. If you've had a long day then this will help you relax with some laugh-out-loud moments courtesy of the internet.

 

Wednesday July 20: Offspring, 8.40pm on Channel 10

 

Lachy Hulme and Asher Keddie in a scene from the TV series Offspring.
Lachy Hulme and Asher Keddie in a scene from the TV series Offspring. Channel 10

 

At St Francis, Nina deals with the fallout from a date, while Clegg and Cherie's relationship is put to the test after they suffer a crisis of confidence. To Billie's delight, Mick makes a surprise appearance. Jimmy and Zara's recent decisions are starting to affect their marriage and they must juggle their hectic schedules to make time for each other. Will also makes a surprise revelation.

Why you should watch: The new, sixth series of Offspring has hit its stride after an underwhelming first episode return from a two-year hiatus. TJ Power, as the new Proudman half-sibling Will, and Dan Wyllie are both great new additions to the returning cast.

 

Thursday July 21: Eating History - Italy, 7.30pm on SBS1

 

Historian John Dickie in a scene from the TV series Eating History: Italy.
Historian John Dickie in a scene from the TV series Eating History: Italy. SBS

 

Bestselling author and historian John Dickie goes on a romp through Italy's past to reveal how much of it was shaped by its food. In this first episode, John reveals how grain shortages had emperors shaking in their sandals. He subjects himself to the diet of the gladiators, who survived their long training hours on a diet of grain, washed down with a sports drink of vinegar and ash.

Why you should watch: You're guaranteed to learn something in this mouth-watering mashup of history and food.  If you've ever wondered what the spectators ate while watching battles at the Colosseum or the ancient energy drink Gladiators used to drink before entering the arena, then this is the show for you.

 

 

Friday July 22: Scott & Bailey, 8.30pm on ABC1            

 

Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones in a scene from the TV series Scott & Bailey.
Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones in a scene from the TV series Scott & Bailey. Danielle Baguley

 

Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp return as Rachel Bailey and Janet Scott in this drama series exploring the personal and professional lives of two Manchester detectives. This time around Janet and Rachel investigate the sinister world of the Darknet, a place that offers complete anonymity to its users.

A ruthless game is being played; one man challenges another to murder, leaving a chalk mark at the scene as proof. The images are loaded to a website and the baton is passed to the next killer. As more chalk marks are left, identifying more victims, will Janet and Rachel be able to stop these vicious killers before it's too late?

Why you should watch: Jones and Sharp have established great chemistry over the past four seasons playing these female detectives - one motherly, the other emotionally immature - who have varying levels of success applying their eccentric outlooks on life to their police cases and private lives. Plus, who doesn't love a good murder mystery on a Friday night curled up on the couch with a drink in hand?

 

Saturday July 23: International Champions Cup, 6.30pm on GEM

 

Melbourne Victory player Kosta Barbarouses.
Melbourne Victory player Kosta Barbarouses. JULIAN SMITH

 

Australia's A-League team Melbourne Victory take on Series A champions Juventus in the first of the three-match International Champions Cup Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The series will also see the Tottenham Hotspurs and Atletico de Madrid descending on Melbourne.

Why you should watch: There will be plenty of hype around these international soccer superpowers heading Down Under. Nine will also broadcast three matches live from China between clubs Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.



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