SBS: 2013 Highlights

Better Man, Who Do You Think You Are?, Housos, Upon a Time in Punchbowl and an NITV channel are all coming to SBS.

SBS will launch National Indigenous Television channel NITV as a stand-alone channel in December.

NITV will have dedicated channel spectrum in addition to SBS ONE, SBS TWO and SBS HD.

Director of TV and Online Content Tony Iffland confirmed the channel launch at today’s 2013 Programming Highlights at a media event in Sydney. This follows government funding for SBS to manage the channel, earlier this year.

Amongst the highlights for 2013 are upcoming drama Better Man starring Bryan Brown, David Wenham, Claudia Karvan and newcomer Remy Hii as convicted drug trafficker Van Nguyen.

Knockabout comedy Housos has also been renewed.

In Factual there is a new season of Who Do You Think You Are? with Don Hany (pictured), Asher Keddie, Adam Hills, Rove McManus, Michael Caton, and Lex Marinos and two more unnamed subjects.

In Documentary Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl looks at the social history of the Lebanese community, complemented by an online doco Cronulla Riots: The Day that Shocked the Nation. Dirty Business – How Mining Made Australia will be a controversial look at our mining industry.

International titles include offbeat drama Lilyhammer, anarchic comedy series Bullet in the Face.

Insight, Dateline, RocKwiz, Eurovision, World News Australia, Living Black and Mad Men will all return.

Tony Iffland, SBS’s Director of TV and Online Content, today unveils a line-up of distinctive, creative and daring content for 2012/13 on SBS.

Iffland says: “Quality content is at the heart of SBS and we must remain diverse and relevant – in every sense of the word – reflecting stories that appeal to the whole of the nation with content that is fresh, relevant and credible. We aim to be creatively ambitious with everything we make and purchase, and continue to push boundaries. I’m delighted to share with you what’s to come on SBS.”

Drama Highlights
SBS will launch new drama in 2013 including the recently announced new commission – Better Man a four part mini-series written and directed by Khoa Do.

Leading Australian actors David Wenham, Bryan Brown and Claudia Karvan will star in the true story of the remarkable life and death of Van Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian man who was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore and executed for his crime in 2005. His hanging was the first execution of an Australian in Southeast Asia since 1993. Nguyen was only 25 years old.

SBS will also introduce up-and-coming actor Remy Hii playing Van Nguyen.

Underpinning the best of home grown content will be some top acquired drama series including Lilyhammer staring Steven Van Zandt (The Sopranos) as the fish out of water New York gangster turned-informant in the latest Scandinavian crime drama.

Mad Men also returns in 2013 to SBS for series four of the Emmy award-winning drama.

“SBS is back in the game of commissioned drama. I’m delighted to bring quality Australian drama that supports and nurtures local new talent both on and off screen, underpinned with the best in acquired drama to Australian audiences,” Iffland continues.

Factual Highlights
SBS welcomes back some strong and recognisable brands and strands including the next instalment in the Once Upon a Time series – this time in Punchbowl, which will screen in April 2013. Following on from the success of Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta, which told the story of the how the Vietnamese community overcame the odds and found their place in Australia, the four part series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl tells the story of Australia’s Lebanese community and the challenges they have faced and overcome. This will also be a cross platform initiative for SBS with an online documentary – Cronulla Riots – The Day that Shocked the Nation – also commissioned to run alongside the series.

Following on from the success of landmark documentary series’ First Australians and Immigration Nation, SBS will tell the next chapter in the story that helped shaped Australia with Dirty Business – How Mining Made Australia.

This three part history series, to be broadcast on SBS in January 2013, looks at how mining has influenced the nation, from the first gold rush to the latest political debate. Mining has sparked mass migration yet ignited race riots; toppled prime ministers yet laid the foundation for modern democracy.

This series shows how mining is a battleground that has both forged and divided the nation.

Celebrated genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? returns for series five. Don Hany, Asher Keddie, Adam Hills, Rove McManus, Michael Caton, and Lex Marinos take a journey into their family history in this fascinating chronicle of the social, ethnic and cultural evolution of Australia’s national identity. Two extra episodes have been commissioned for this series which are still in pre-production. Cast will be announced at a later date.

Committed to commissioning single documentaries, SBS has several on the slate for 2013. From Australia’s most renowned science director, Sonya Pemberton (and recent Emmy award winner for SBS documentary Immortal), Jabbed is a special feature length documentary that examines the growing trend of vaccine hesitancy around the world, exploring the reasons for complacency and concerns, and highlighting the impact of delaying or refusing immunisation.

The Network is a beautiful documentary – unique, uplifting and heartbreaking. It is the story of Afghanistan’s first independent television network – TOLO TV – and the Australian family behind it. It is directed and produced by Australian Oscar Award winning producer, Eva Orner.

Entertainment and Comedy Highlights
SBS has recently acquired Bullet in the Face – a viciously funny action, wildly violent, bloody and unabashedly politically incorrect comedy series from Canada starring Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts.

The residents of fictional housing estate Sunnyvale are back for series two of Housos currently in production in Sydney’s western suburbs. It stars Paul Fenech (who also writes and directs), Elle Dawe and Jason ‘Jabba’ Davis. They are joined by Angry Anderson, former Gladiator ‘Thunder’ Derek Boyer and footy legend Atelea Vea.

2013 will mark the 30th anniversary of Eurovision on SBS and Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will bring the fun, glamour and madness direct from 2013’s host city Malmö, Sweden.

Food highlights
The SBS food stable continues to grow from strength to strength with household names returning to screens in 2013 including Food Safari and Gourmet Farmer, as well as some specials with Luke Nguyen.

SBS is delighted to welcome chef, Shane Delia, to the network with his new show Shane Delia’s Spice Journey. 32-year-old Shane is the owner of the award winning Maha restaurant in Melbourne.

In his brand new series Shane journeys on a gastronomic pilgrimage that will trace the development of Middle Eastern cuisine, seeking out its authentic origins and flavours.

Sport Highlights
SBS remains the home of football and cycling in Australia.

The historic 100th edition of the world’s biggest bike race, the Tour de France will be exclusively live and in HD on SBS from 29 June. SBS will also continue its coverage of key international and national cycling events throughout the year including the Cycling Australia National Road Championships, the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta a Espana.

Football will also form a big part of the schedule in the lead up to the World Cup in 2014, with FIFA Confederations Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup Final.

NITV Highlights
NITV has recently joined the SBS family and will launch free to air for all Australians in December this year. Aimed at young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous youth, Move it Mob Style incorporates dance, music, health, fitness and culture.

NITV News is a live half-hour weekday news service. Hosted by presenter/reporter Natalie Ahmat alongside sports presenter Kris Flanders, the entirely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team of journalists and editors delivers the latest news from the oldest culture.

In a new art series from NITV, controversial and world famous artist Richard Bell travels Australia exploring Indigenous artists and communities making an impact on the Australian and international art scene. Colour Theory looks at new and developing community collectives producing work that is challenging and redefining the definition of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander art.

Also continuing in 2013 are leading news and current affairs programs World News Australia, Dateline, Insight and Living Black.

15 Responses

  1. The documentary line up looks excellent. Australia really doesn’t produce enough home grown documentaries in my opinion, but SBS consistently produces amazing series like First Australians.

  2. If Tony Iffland is serious about restoring SBS’ drama and comedy leadership he needs to appoint a Head of Drama to provide the producing community with some guidance and leadership. They have been in a holding pattern in these areas for the past few years due to their budgetary restrictions, but that has lead to a great deal of frustration and disappointment with the current team. SBS needs to make a fresh start.

  3. I thought S2 of Boardwalk Empire was going to be on SBS in the second half of the year after what-ever requisite time from it’s showing on Foxtel had expired. Hopefully the new output deal only relates to new content which should quarantine at least the first three seasons.

  4. @Paul007: this week Foxtel signed a new long-term output deal with HBO, which rules out HBO from selling programs to free-to-air networks. So from next year SBS will not be able to show further seasons of Boardwalk Empire, for the duration of the Foxtel contract, which could go for a few years.

  5. Next year’s Who Do You Think You Are are all entertainers- so far no sports person listed, and no indigenous person. Kill two birds with one stone and profile Rugby Union’s Ella brothers.

  6. I am happy to see Who Do You Think You Are return. The celebrities appearing in it this time seem great. I am also happy to see Housos returning next year too.

    Sad to see no mention of Letters and Numbers too.

    I like the sounds of the drama Better Man, and Shane Delia’s lifestyle show too.

  7. I watch more sbs and sbs2 than anything..mostly for the movies,but save for a good lineup for Who Do You Think You Are,only Better Man stands out here.Bullet In The Face ought to be ok too.If you’re gonna do comedy,let Canadians do it for you.They are way way funnier.

    1. Again these are only highlights. You can’t run a full year on these shows alone so we can expect to see many more, presumably such as Man vs Wild, South Park and Shameless.

      I did ask about Go Back 3. They do want another but are still mulling how it should work for S3.

  8. Disappointing that they aren’t overhauling SBS2 or releasing the youth-skewed SBS3 which had been rumored.
    There has actually been an influx of really good programming on SBS1 lately including Breaking Amish, Living with the Amish, the doco on the IBM computer “Watson” who trialed on Jeopardy (thanks to David for highlighting that one last week) as well as the rebuilding history show where old buildings are relocated and restored to their former glory.
    Thanks to the new SBS OnDemand LG Smart TV app, I managed to get hold of the ones I missed on the PVR.
    I don’t foresee NITV rating well, I expect to see similar results or less than SBS2.

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