SBS Upfronts 2018: Go Back Live, Dead Lucky, Safe Harbour.

  • Go Back to Where You Came From goes Live
  • SBS dramas: Safe Harbour & Dead Lucky
  • 3rd & final season of The Family Law
  • 40th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Eurovision events
  • Docos: Is Australia Sexist? Muslims Like Us, Filthy Rich & Homeless
  • FIFA World Cup
  • Food: Adam Liaw, Maeve O’Meara, Shane Delia, Luke Nguyen, Sarah Todd
  • Marry Me Marry My Family, Who Do You Think You Are?
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, The Good Fight return
  • The Ghan “slow TV” announcement

Go Back to Where You Came From is returning for a fourth season, to boldly screen Live to air in 2018.

The ground-breaking format was one of a number of new announcements revealed today at SBS Upfronts in The Rocks.

New dramas include thriller Safe Harbour and crime drama Dead Lucky while comedy series The Family Law returns for its third and final season.

There are new docos, more food, sport and events including FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 40th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras & Eurovision in Portugal.

And a 3 hour “slow TV” title The Ghan.

SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid; said: “SBS is delivering its strongest year yet, with differentiated programs and services that set it apart in an increasingly homogenous and competitive media market.

“Through a defined strategic direction, an innovative approach to scheduling and acceleration of our digital services, and as our nation becomes more culturally complex, we’re proud that SBS is engaging more Australians with our important programming across more platforms than ever before.”

Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald, said: “At SBS, we want to play a constructive role in helping Australians understand who we are. We want to encourage Australians to seek out different perspectives, to feel a sense of connection, belonging and empowerment. We want to tell stories that make people think, stories that make people feel, stories that challenge us, stories that inspire us.

“For more than 40 years, promoting diversity has been at the heart of SBS. We want to tell stories with underlying thematics that help Australians understand that this country’s greatest asset is the diversity of our people. Our differences make us strong.”

In 2018, SBS will bring Australian audiences five new commissioned Australian drama series across the network.

Absent from the list were: Look Me in the Eye, The Chef’s Line, Undressed, Struggle Street, Eurovision Asia Song Contest, and Once Upon a Time in Carlton.


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.

Benjamin Law’s coming – of – age series The Family Law returns for a third and final season, as the Asian Australian family navigates the world of adult romance and define s what it means to become a man.

SBS believes sport is a unifying force – where people from all over the world come together to laugh, cry and cheer on common ground. The network will again deliver the world’s biggest sporting event in 2018 with the FIFA World Cup live from Russia with 25 premium games completely live, free and in HD with the analysis and coverage SBS is renowned for. The network will deliver nearly 400 hours of football content to every home in Australia next year, including exclusive free to air English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and W – League coverage.

But it’s not just football – SBS maintains its position as Australia’s home of Cycling, with over 100 hours of live coverage from the world’s biggest annual sporting event, the Tour De France and the refreshed National Basketball League will return. After adding tennis to its slate this year, the US Open will return with the finals in 2018, and SBS proudly announced today that it will also add the spectacle of the French Open to its growing sports catalogue.

SBS is a market leader for brave and innovative documentaries, which aim to tell stories that inform, entertain and challenge perspectives – and, where possible, shift the dial on attitudes.

After sparking a national discussion on the homelessness crisis this year, Filthy Rich and Homeless will be back for a second series in 2018, set in a new city. It will raise the bar higher by tackling the policies and potential solutions to a crisis that shows little sign of improving.

The most awarded Australian documentary series of all time – Go Back to Where You Came From – will return for a fourth season with a difference. 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.

Currently, Australia ranks 46th on the Global Gender Gap Index, down 10 places in the last year alone. Is Australia Sexist? will explore an issue dominating global headlines and contribute to a national debate.

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.

SBS will also dive headfirst into issues and stories impacting individuals and society with new commissioned titles like Marry Me, Marry My Family, and the return of the Untold Australia series and the beloved Who Do You Think You Are? which will reveal the fascinating pasts of Charlie Teo, Natalie Imbruglia, John Jarratt and Ernie Dingo amongst others.

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.

SBS will remain the leading Australian destination for premium food programming in 2018, reflecting Australia’s multicultural community through the dishes of our home countries, passed down through generations.

Rethink everything you know about Chinese food with Adam Liaw’s Destination Flavour China, take a glorious exploration of seafood with Maeve O’Meara in Food Safari Water, follow Sarah Todd as she tries to open a restaurant in bustling Mumbai in My Restaurant in India season 2. Learn how a young refugee became one of Australia’s most successful chefs in Luke Nguyen’s Food Trail, and kick off the year with Shane Delia’s Recipe for Life, which provides all the inspiration for those New Year’s resolutions.

SBS brings the world’s best drama to all Australians, focusing on big themes and issues that affect Australia and the world today with huge heart, intimacy and human connection. In 2018, Australians will be treated to new seasons of the hugely successful The Handmaid’s Tale, which will be fast tracked from the US on SBS and SBS On Demand, legal drama The Good Fight, and the long awaited Knightfall, an epic exploration of the world of the Knights Templar, and more.

The network also loves some glitter and glamour alongside the drama, celebrating 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018 with its special coverage, and showcasing Australian talent to the world in the 63rd annual Eurovision Song Contest, this year coming to you live from Lisbon, Portugal, with exclusive backstage and behind the scene access from returning hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.

SBS is one of Australia’s most trusted new sources, and continues this legacy in 2018 with a new look SBS World News, the increasingly popular forum program Insight, international current affairs program Dateline and business program Small Business Secrets. 

In 2018, SBS On Demand will continue to prove it’s far more than a catch up service, offering Australians exclusive content from around the world and curated collections to suit any taste. With 80 per cent of the drama catalogue culturally and linguistically diverse, SBS On Demand will screen incredible new program s from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, the UK and US – and many more. Australians will be able to get more of what they love and want, available anytime, anywhere in 2018.


  1. To think SBS used to pride itself with screening every game of the World Cup. Many games were sold off instead to Optus so as to screen English Premier League on SBS instead. Again SBS looking to avoid it’s Charter so as to be anglo cultural chasing ad dollars. Where does the SBS Charter mention chasing ad dollars?

  2. The distance from Adelaide to Darwin is 3,000km. So doing it in real time in 3hrs the train would be doing 1000km/h. Not exactly slow TV. It could be 10×3 hours, which would make The Handmaid’s Tale seem well paced. Do they stop the train between episodes and during the ad breaks?

    I’m looking forward to The Good Fight, which after a few wobbly episodes was very well written. And presumably Bosch which has been renewed but doesn’t rate a mention. And sport. Yes SBS does set itself apart in a homogeneous TV market — where else can you watch US sitcoms and dramas and sport?

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