The Frontline television series presents a satirical take on the current-affairs format, through the setting of a fictional television station and its flagship show, Frontline. The fictional program is situated as competing directly with Nine's A Current Affair and Seven's Real Life (known as Today Tonight from 1995 onwards). The series further satirises the internal machinations of the producers, the self-obsessed host, and the ambitious, cynical reporters, all of whom resort to any sort of underhanded trick to get ratings and maintain their status. The reporters and host also ingratiate themselves with the all-powerful network bosses, while the real work is, in fact, done by their long-suffering production staff.
Throughout the series, other television shows aired by the 'station' are also referenced: notably the 6pm news program, the three-hour news-review show Sunday Forum, the sketch show The Komedy Bunch, the game show Jackpot, the teen soap opera Sunshine Cove (which later changes its name to Rainbow Island), the football show Ball-to-Ball, and other programs such as Late-Night OZ, Cartoon Crazies, and Vacation. Several real-life television celebrities also made guest appearances, including gardener Don Burke, fisherman/AFL commentator Rex Hunt, AFL commentator Sam Newman, music guru Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, and Media Watch host Stuart Littlemore.