TV Programmers tip best new show from rivals

TV Tonight recently asked Australian TV programmers to look over the Upfront announcements from their rivals and give their verdict.

  1. Which new show are you personally looking forward to seeing?
  2. Which new show has you concerned, and may steal eyeballs?

The only criteria was, the show had to be new and Australian-produced.

NB: Questions were conducted prior to seasons launching.

Angus Ross, Head of Programming, Seven.

  1. Travel Guides (Nine) could be a good show and The Real Housewives of Sydney (Foxtel).
  2. This Time Next Year (Nine) always sounded like a good idea. So I’m curious to see what they do with that.

Beverley McGarvey, Chief Content Officer, TEN.

  1. I’m really interested to see Picnic at Hanging Rock (Foxtel). I remember seeing it when I was very young and having never been to Australia, it scared the life out of me. It was one of my first impressions of Australia because it was on air in the UK when I was growing up. It was such a memorable story, I think it could be really exciting.
  2. Australian Ninja Warrior (Nine). Because it’s big and spectacular with a good production company. I think it will be well done and it’s in an interesting genre. Australians like very fit, running and jumping people. But I like to see good shows on the other channels, it’s good for us all. The rising tide lifts all boats.

Hamish Turner, Programme Director, Nine.

  1. Wake in Fright (TEN). It’s such a classic title (so I’m interested to see) creatively where they take that. You only have to look back to Wentworth, from a much-loved show in Prisoner, and see what they were able to do there. If they bring a new lens to the table in the same way that they did with that then I think it will be a really interesting show.
  2. Seven’s (2017) back-end is still a bit of a mystery, I know they’ve announced Hell’s Kitchen. But no X Factor, no Zumbo, and no Olympics leaves a pretty big hole. They haven’t really revealed their hand. Where you are most nervous is where there is a big strip coming in, because it’s boom or bust. But I think there will be nostalgic intrigue to Russell Coight (TEN). And Blue Murder (Seven). But all three are reincarnations of originals. Nostalgia is the new black.

Ben Nguyen, Programming Director, SBS.

  1. Australian Ninja Warrior (Nine). Having launched the Japanese Ninja Warrior on SBS 2, I love that format. I have to admit that I may have snuck onto the set in France next to the Palais during MIPTV to try it out for myself! That will be a guilty pleasure for me.
  2. Seven Types of Ambiguity (ABC). I mean The Slap is a show that smells SBS to me. When ABC do that and do it really well, we look on with envy.

Rebecca Heap, Head of Programming & Digital, ABC.

  1. I am very excited about Picnic at Hanging Rock (Foxtel). I grew up with that story. It was such a big part of my life growing up. I think it will be extraordinary to see it recreated for a modern audience. I’m sure Brian Walsh and his team will do a beautiful job of it, with the production crew.
  2. Common Sense (TEN / Foxtel) will probably pull an ABC audience. So in that regard I’m watching (out for) that one. And Blue Murder (Seven). Richard Roxburgh is terrific talent, it will clearly appeal to an ABC audience.

Brian Walsh, Executive Director of Television, Foxtel.

  1. Wake In Fright on TEN. It was such a powerful Australian motion picture at its time and I am intrigued to see how it will be reimagined. It’s a bold and brave commission.
  2. I am intrigued by Seven’s Murder Uncovered with Michael Usher. The crime genre is hot right now.


  1. wellinmyopinion

    Great insight, David.
    Enjoyed the quote from Beverley, “I like to see good shows on the other channels, it’s good for us all. The rising tide lifts all boats.”
    Shows that there is some common sense out there for the success of the industry as a whole, not just their own network.

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