The US non-ratings season is nearly over, which means all your favourite TV shows will soon be returning to television screens. However, whether you'll actually get to watch them depends on the entertainment services you subscribe to. With that in mind, here are five of the most popular shows in Australia — as voted by our readers — along with the only places you can (legally) access them.
During last year's Lifehacker Awards, we asked you to vote for your favourite TV Shows of 2014. In no particular order, the top five included Game Of Thrones, Silicon Valley, House of Cards, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who. Unfortunately, the majority of these programs will not be available on free-to-air television. If you refuse to pirate, here's where you'll need to go to watch them during their maiden run.
Game Of Thrones: April 12, Foxtel
In 2014, Game Of Thrones was Foxtel's most popular download on its new BoxSets service. It therefore comes as no surprise that it will be holding onto its cash cow for this year. In a blow to non-Foxtel owners, the Australian Pay TV juggernaut has extended its exclusivity deal with HBO. In other words, Foxtel is the only place where you can legally access the show during its initial run. Boo!
Silicon Valley: April 12, Foxel
Mike Judge's latest comedy has swiftly become a cult favourite among computer geeks and technology fans; which explains its high placing in our Lifehacker poll. The second season is set to premiere on HBO this April. It will shortly follow on Foxtel's Comedy Channel.
House Of Cards: February 27, Netflix
This one is interesting. For the past two years, Netflix's popular political drama has aired on Foxtel's Showcase channel. This year, Netflix is finally launching in Australia — and House Of Cards is coming with it. The show will be made available to US Netflix users on February 27. However, the local version of the service won't be launching until sometime in March.
The Walking Dead: February 8, Foxtel
The second half of The Walking Dead Season Five will screen on Foxtel's FX channel in early February; within an hour of its US debut. Like Game Of Thrones, non-Foxtel owners will just have to wait until the show appears on iTunes or Blu-ray. (Unless they pirate, of course.)
Doctor Who: Mid-year, ABC
As the only free-to-air program in our top five, Doctor Who is easily the most obtainable show on the list. Season 9 (or 34 if you prefer) of the long-running sci-fi series will kick off on ABC 1 sometime mid-year. You will also be able to access the show via ABC iView.
Lifehacker's weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.