SBS is airing its new documentary series First Australians commercial-free.
The landmark series will air without ads for the entire run of its series. So far two episodes have aired.
A spokesperson for SBS confirmed to TV Tonight that the unusual move reflected the original commissioned contract for the series, locked in over six years ago -before SBS had advertisements. With so much research, interviews and photographs to gather, the series took an extraordinary length of time to complete.
Due to the original agreement and the nature of the material, SBS has chosen to air the series commercial-free.
First Australians is based on a similar concept used to document US history, made by the PBS network. It next airs 8:35pm Sunday night on SBS.
Six years in the making, First Australians, premiering on SBS on Sunday 12 October at 8.35pm, is the most ambitious television project to be undertaken on Indigenous Australia. Produced by Australia’s leading Aboriginal filmmakers, the series chronicles the birth of a country and the collision of two worlds. It is an epic story that comes alive through the struggles of individuals, both black and white.
Beautifully filmed, the series blends landscape, art, interviews and first-hand accounts with a vast archival collection to present the birth of contemporary Australia as never seen before, from the perspective of its first people — the first Australians.
The story begins in 1788 in Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishmen (Governor Phillip) and a warrior (Bennelong) and ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo’s legal challenge to the foundation of Australia. First Australians chronicles the collision of two worlds and the genesis of a new nation.
First Australians will continue to air on Sunday and Tuesday evenings through to Sunday, 2nd November.