Pick of the Upfronts

Which are the shows with promise from Seven, Nine, TEN & SBS?

Seven, Nine, TEN & SBS recently wrapped up their 2018 slate of titles (one show has already bitten the dust).

ABC will announce key titles in the new year.

Scouring over the lists I’ve selected a few highlights from the new titles.

In no particular order they are:


Safe Harbour is a gripping psychological thriller filmed and set in Brisbane, exploring how a single action has a ripple effect building to tsunami proportions. 

Dead Lucky is a crime drama with a difference starring Rachel Griffiths, revealing the complexities and tensions in cross – cultural relationships.

Go Back Live will be one of the most ambitious live television events in Australian broadcasting history. Over three nights, it will use the latest technology to give a snapshot of the global refugee crisis by presenting stories from the front line, as they happen in real time.

In Muslims Like Us, ten Australian Muslims with contrasting world views will move into a house together for eight days. Their passionate debates, honest disagreements, humour and insights will reveal what it is like to be an Australian Muslim today.

The network continues to the push boundaries of storytelling formats and in 2018 will bring Australia’s first foray into ‘slow TV’ – a format hugely popular in Europe. The Ghan is an immersive three hour television event that invites viewers on a real time journey on this iconic train ride from Adelaide to Darwin.


Pilot week
In mid-2018, Network Ten will introduce a special “pilot week”. For the first time on
Australian television, several pilots of domestic shows across a number of content genres
will go to air in one week. This exciting initiative represents a substantial investment in new
local production. Full details of “pilot week” will be announced in 2018.

Bachelor In Paradise
Set in a romantic tropical overseas destination overseas, this exciting new event series features former fan favourites and stand – out characters from previous seasons of The Bachelor Australia and The Bachelorette Australia – including Keira McGuire, Laurina Fleure, Tara Pavlovic, Apollo Jackson, Michael Turnbull and Davey Lloyd – returning for another chance at romance and love. With Osher Gunsberg presiding , Bachelor In Paradise will be one of the most talked about new shows of 2018 as it follows the contestants as they build new relationships, fall in love or face heartbreak, again. Bachelor In Paradise is produced by Warner Bros International Television Production Australia.

Playing For Keeps
From the production company behind The Secret Daughter and Underbelly, Playing For Keeps is an exciting new series about the women behind the men we barrack for on the footy field. As the series unfolds there will be affairs, business opportunities, fashion footnotes, faux pas, mounting credit card bills, groupies, harassment, racism, sexism, the ever – present paparazzi and an absurd amount of fun. It’s a world we’ve read about. Now we’re allowed inside. Playing For Keeps is produced by Screentime


Interview with Andrew Denton
In 2018, Andrew Denton will make his long-awaited return to Seven in a show based mostly on chairs. Australia’s shortest (some would say greatest) interviewer will sit opposite a range of fascinating people and try to find out what makes them tick. The formula will be simple. Two people, two chairs, one conversation, no gimmicks. Even its title will be simple. Interview. The only complex bit will be the people Andrew talks to – every possible kind of human being and a few impossible ones as well. Topical when it needs to be, timeless whenever it can, INTERVIEW aims to be about light, not heat. In a time when everything seems to be splitting apart, INTERVIEW will seek out what binds us.  There will be talking. There will be listening. There will be laughing, and hopefully the occasional, compelling silence. And if that doesn’t work, there’ll be a bathroom renovation. Possibly some blindfolded dating. And as a last resort, some kind of mystery food challenge (Surprise! It’s an eggplant!). INTERVIEW. Every week, amazing humans. INTERVIEW with ANDREW DENTON will be produced by Legacy Media for Channel Seven.

Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You
Delta Goodrem has amassed a multitude of achievements throughout her career to date, and now she will play a role very close to her heart, as she stars as Australian icon Olivia Newton-John in OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU – a two-part celebration which charts the Aussie sweetheart’s brilliant career and astonishing personal life Aged just 15, Olivia won a local television talent contest which propelled her to London on her first recording contract. She went on to become Australia’s most successful singer, selling an astounding 100 million albums internationally. The miniseries follows Olivia’s path to stardom from singing duets with best friend Pat Carroll, to her breakout single ‘I Honestly Love You’ reaching Number 1 in the US and international acclaim in her life-changing role of Sandy in the 1978 global smash-hit movie, Grease. Continued highs in Olivia’s music career and personal life are confronted by a sudden profusion of life challenges, with a cancer diagnosis the biggest trial of her character and determination. For more than five decades, Olivia has been “the one that we want”. This moving and uplifting tribute to her life, her loves, her family, her fight and her iconic songs, films and fashion will see Australians of all generations fall in love with Livvy all over again. OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU is produced by FremantleMedia with the assistance of Screen Australia and Film Victoria for Channel Seven.

Australian Gangster
A wild tale of gangster ambition. The Instagram generation westie underworld collides with Sydney’s glamorous social elite. A world of spray tans, steroids, tatts, laundered drug money and Lamborghinis. All of this and the pursuit of a happy family life. It’s very funny, even amidst all the murders and mayhem. It’s just the kind of crazy story that Gregor Jordan (Two Hands, Ned Kelly) is the perfect person to tell. New local crime drama, AUSTRALIAN GANGSTER, is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production for Channel Seven, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW.

The Real Full Monty
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1997 mega hit film The Full Monty. The film touched the hearts of audiences worldwide as eight ordinary men faced their fears and stripped off for a cause close to their hearts.  Now, in the special television event, THE REAL FULL MONTY, a group of eight Australian male celebrities will strip down in a large-scale performance to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancer. In this feel-good documentary we’ll go on the journey with these eight brave celebs – from the awkwardness of the first rehearsal, to the final triumphant show where they rip their G-strings off in front of a packed audience! Who will dare to bare all for a worthy cause? 


Bite Club
Nine’s new crime thriller, Bite Club, boasts a killer star cast: Todd Lasance (Spartacus: War of the Damned, The Vampire Diaries, Underbelly Files: Chopper), Ash Ricardo (Offspring, Party Tricks), Damian Walshe-Howling (Underbelly, Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, Janet King), Deborah Mailman (Redfern Now, Offspring), Robert Mammone (Underbelly, Fat Tony & Co, Janet King), Pia Miller (Home and Away, Marny Kennedy (Janet King), Darcie Irwin-Simpson (Love Child) and Dominic Monaghan (Lost, The Lord of The Rings, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wild Things). After surviving a shark attack two detectives join forces to hunt the ultimate predator, the serial killer who is also hunting them. Bite Club is currently in production in Sydney, produced by Playmaker for Nine with major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW.

Love Island (9GO!)
Taking the hottest international reality show format right now and unleashing it on 9GO! and 9Now, the multi-million-dollar stripped format commission, Love Island Australia, will see sexy young Aussie singles on the lookout for romance, jetting off to a summer paradise to find love in the sun in Spain. Not only must they must choose their partner wisely and stay the course as sexy new singles enter the island, but they also must win the hearts of the public, convincing them – and themselves – that their newfound love is real. Throughout weeks of dates, challenges, eliminations and sexy new singles, all in front of our eyes, viewers will get to decide who they want to stay, who they want to boot, and ultimately who they want to crown the hottest couple on Love Island Australia. The winning couple are handed a pot of money to start their new lives together, but there’s a catch: one is given the chance to share the money or walk away with it all for them self. Were they after love or money all along?

And a special mention to Sando, Pine Gap, Harrow (all ABC) and Romper Stomper (Stan).

3 Responses

  1. Re Interview…I like Andrew Denton but….
    ..Jane Hutcheon sits down with sports stars, celebrities, philosophers, politicians & public figures for an in-depth conversation with leading newsmakers from Australia or overseas. #OnePlusOne ….
    Same formula …and she does it…very well!

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