Seven battles choirs and gladiators in 08

The Seven Network has revealed more details of six new shows for next year, three being new announcements.

After following the ABC’s hit Strictly Dancing, Seven now pursues the success of Choir of Hard Knocks and announces Battle of the Choirs, based on an overseas format. It is likely to be produced by Granada.

Note: NBC is launching Clash of the Choirs later this month in which celebrities return to hometowns, form new choirs and have sing-offs. The 4 NBC specials, based on Scandinavia’s Sing Along includes more viewer phone voting.

Seven also announces two new animal factual shows, The Zoo, which “goes behind the scenes at some of Australia’s finest zoos to reveal the real lives of animals and the people who care for them” and Outback Wildlife Rescue with “wildlife vets, animal carers, a crocodile management team.”

Meanwhile joining Rebecca Gibney in the new drama-comedy Packed to the Rafters is Erik Thomson as parents of grown-up kids who come home to roost. Seven also titles its Dubbo Hospital series Bush Doctors and reaffirms Gladiators for its 08 slate.

Press Release:

Channel Seven today confirmed a new breed of Australian-made series that will premiere in 2008 – adding to its already winning line-up of Aussie drama, entertainment, reality and documentary series.

Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson will lead the charge with Seven’s new family drama PACKED TO THE RAFTERS – co-starring Michael Caton, and a group of rising stars who will become household names by year’s end. PACKED TO THE RAFTERS joins Seven’s established and successful Aussie dramas CITY HOMICIDE, ALL SAINTS and HOME AND AWAY, which will celebrate its 21st year in 2008.

BATTLE OF THE CHOIRS will complement Seven’s established hits DANCING WITH THE STARS and IT TAKES TWO. Already a ratings juggernaut overseas, this new series will make unlikely stars out of Australia’s top choirs.

THE ZOO and OUTBACK WILDLIFE RESCUE will join RSPCA ANIMAL RESCUE – further developing the genre that was a ratings smash on Seven in 2007.

From the makers of BORDER SECURITY and THE FORCE, comes BUSH DOCTORS, an observational documentary series which lifts the lid on the challenges presented to doctors and nurses in rural Australia.

The new generation of GLADIATORS will take to a spectacular 21st century arena in 2008 – it’s the ultimate sports entertainment and not for the faint hearted! Seven’s Director Of Programming and Production Tim Worner said today: “There is no better time to launch a show on Seven than right now. We’ve generated incredible momentum in 2007 and our aim in 2008 is to keep it rolling.

“We see our victory this year as just the start of something and we’re now setting about making it something special. These are only the shows we’re prepared to announce now and there will be more Australian productions in 2008.

“It’s especially thrilling to give the green light to Packed To The Rafters. It’s a wonderful premise with some great scripts. Australian drama is woven into the fabric of Seven and we aim to continue to deliver really good Australian stories really well told.”

Meet Dave and Julie Rafter (Erik Thomson and Rebecca Gibney) – just your average Australians with three grown-up children. On the eve of their twenty-fifth wedding-anniversary it seems they’re at last about to have the house to themselves. Offspring Rachel, Ben and Nathan (played by newcomers Jessica Marais, Hugh Sheridan and Angus McLaren) have all developed into well-rounded and out-going, if exceptionally different and complex, individuals, with a raft of their own conflicts and dilemmas. But home can seem a very welcome refuge when unforeseen problems loom.

Sit back, turn up the volume on your TV and get ready to be engulfed by the vocal power of more than 30 voices and follow some touching personal stories, as we embark on the search for Australia’s Favourite Choir. In the same way DANCING WITH THE STARS has unlocked the country’s love of ballroom dancing, BATTLE OF THE CHOIRS is set to unlock our love of choral singing.

THE ZOO goes behind the scenes at some of Australia’s finest zoos to reveal the real lives of animals and the people who care for them. The series explores the drama, the joy, the danger, the compassion, the heart-break and the sheer exhilaration of life inside these zoos.

OUTBACK WILDLIFE RESCUE features the real life drama of animal rescue, set against the vast and rugged beauty of the Australian Outback. The cast includes wildlife vets, animal carers, a crocodile management team and an extraordinary range of creatures found nowhere else on Earth.

Based at NSW’s Dubbo Base Hospital, BUSH DOCTORS lifts the lid on the challenges presented to doctors and nurses in the bush. The cameras go into the community, following both staff and patients who work and live in an unforgiving environment.

Watch all the high-energy action as a new generation of physically-elite Gladiators takes to the arena in 2008, displaying their incredible brute strength, speed, agility and stamina. Cheer on your favourite Gladiator as they go head-to-head with brave challengers in a variety of classic battles, including favourites such as Hang Tough, Pyramid, Powerball and the Gauntlet.

Photo: Stock image.

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  1. Ok… I thought that it was really, really bad! I hope that it doesn’t last and I reckon that lots of other viewers would agree. It recks the whole night of T.V. Boring = Battle Of The Chiors!

  2. I was really dissappointed with the standard….look,I am a very experienced music teacher and have conducted choirs….years ago the SYO.I KNOW they can do better.Who writes the arrangements? For God’s sake…..4 part harmony please.Embarrassing,but I will say,that it’s great to see people having a good time.Look,I’ll offer my services for free if they do another series and write the arrangements myself.

  3. “Packed to the Rafters” sounds a bit like “Hey Dad” with a wife and grown up children… I hope this works for Rebecca sake only, other than that a major yawn!

  4. I was just yawning while reading what 7 has install next year.. Battle of the Choirs major yawn, i’d rather watch paint dry, “The Zoo: yawn and deeply immersed in deep sleep.

  5. Yawn! Boring as usual for Seven. Battle of the Choirs? Eww. More dull reality shows. Yawn again.

    The only potential there is Packed to the Rafters which could be ok I guess.

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