SBS programming grid 2019

Yesterday at their 2019 Upfronts SBS outlined their drama highlights, planning across their platforms (pictured above).

Meanwhile, here is more info on the titles for shows coming to the primary channel:

New International Drama

TX: January 2019 on SBS
International Emmy® Award-winning Anna Friel stars in a heartfelt story from BAFTA award-winning writer Tony Marchant. Butterfly is about the relationship between separated parents, Vicky and Stephen, and their division in opinion over how to support their gender variant child, Max. From a young age, their now 11-year- old son has identified as a girl and presented signs of gender dysphoria. What unfolds for all the family members involved is the greatest challenge and test of love and understanding imaginable.

TX: February 2019 on SBS
Inspired by the insider interviews in Misha Glenny’s bestselling book, James Norton and David Strathairn star in a drama that exposes the global network of organised crime. McMafia unravels a complex web of connections that joins up money launderers in Dubai, cyber criminals in India, Russian oligarchs in London, and Bedouin smugglers in the Negev desert.

The New Pope
TX: 2019 on SBS
Oscar winners Sharon Stone, John Malkovich, and Jude Law team up in this sequel to Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope.

TX: 2019 on SBS
Alessandra Nivola, F. Murray Abraham, and Sophie Okonedo star in the timely story of a photojournalist who travels to China with the hopes of finding out the identity of the mysterious man was who was photographed standing defiantly in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square twenty years ago.

The Name of the Rose
TX: 2019 on SBS
Based on Umberto Eco’s bestselling novel which also inspired a BAFTA winning film adaptation, The Name of the Rose is set in a gloomy medieval monastery where a friar must investigate a series of grisly murders. An international cast including John Tuturro, Rupert Everett, and James Cosmo will star in this latest adaptation of a timeless story.

Australian Drama

The Family Law Season 3
TX: January 2019 on SBS
The Family Law is back for one final spin! Based on Benjamin Law’s hit memoir of the same name, the third and final season dives deep into the heart-bruising vulnerability required to put yourself on the line, own up to your needs, and go after the people you want to love, whether you’re in your teen years or in the middle of your life. It’s about the cost of denial and secrets, and the soul-corroding effects of keeping everything inside. The Family Law Season 3 is a Matchbox Pictures Production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Financed with support from Screen Queensland.

Hungry Ghosts
TX: 2019 on SBS
Hungry Ghosts is a new four part Australian drama series that explores elements of the ‘supernatural thriller’ genre – Japanese and Korean ghost films. But its also authentically embedded in the lives of three generations of Vietnamese Australian families dealing with the aftermath of war. Set in contemporary Melbourne during the month of the Hungry Ghost festival when the Vietnamese community venerate their dead, Hungry Ghosts will be a suspenseful, character driven ghost story with heart, humour, and scares.

The Hunt
TX: 2019 on SBS
The Hunt delves into one of the biggest issues of the social media era – cyberbullying. The new drama series intimately imagines the lives of four teenagers, their friends, their families, their teachers, their communities during the lead up, revelation, and aftermath of a nude photo sharing scandal. Produced with funding from Screen Australia, and using teenagers and non-actors to tell the story, it is the kind of provocative local drama that only SBS would make. The Hunt is a Closer Productions production for SBS. Major production investment from SBS with Screen Australia in association with South Australian Film Corporation.

International Drama

The Good Fight Season 3
TX: April 2019 on SBS
Michael Sheen joins Christine Baranski, Audra Macdonald, Rose Leslie and Cush Jumbo in Season 3 of this high stakes legal drama. Always topical, Season 3 of The Good Fight will tackle several on-the-pulse issues like immigration policy and racial tensions under the Trump Administration, #MeToo, Fake News, and the potential impending impeachment of the President.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3
TX: 2019 on SBS
Based of Margaret Atwood’s award winning novel, the third season of US dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale will be fast-tracked to SBS and SBS On Demand. Last season’s heart racing finale saw Offred (Elisabeth Moss) part ways with her newborn child in an act of unimaginable sacrifice.


SBS continues its journey into history and legend with the return of Knightfall for its second season. Star Wars’ Mark Hamill joins the cast as Talus, a Knights Templar veteran of the Crusades who is set to train new recruits to the Order. Following the completion of Season 5 Part 2, Vikings will be back in 2019 for a whole new Season 6 as the fate of Kattegat and Ragnar’s sons continues to hang in the balance. Both Counterpart and The Son are set to return with thrilling second seasons in 2019.

Slow Summer
TX: Summer 2018 into 2019 on SBS
Every Sunday in January 2019, SBS is slowing down with four marathon slow TV events, three hours each in primetime on SBS and streaming live on SBS On Demand. SBS’s Slow Summer includes two new Australian commissions, a rail journey, The Indian Pacific: Australia’s Longest Train Journey, and a boat journey, The Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness, both produced by Mint Pictures, as well as two stunning acquired programs from the UK and New Zealand.

Australian Documentaries

Australia In Colour
TX: March 2019 on SBS
Australia in Colour will reveal the nation’s history as you have never seen it before. Using new, state of the art colourisation processes, this unique four part series will transform archival footage, previously all in black and white, into glorious colour. Narrated by Hugo Weaving, this series takes us from the start of cinema in the 1900s to the heady 1960’s, exploring the stories that helped build and shape our nation. Australia in Colour is A Stranger Than Fiction Films production for SBS. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS.

My Family Secret (working title)
TX: April 2019 on SBS
My Family Secret (working title) is an original series fronted by much loved Australian presenter Noni Hazlehurt. Each week, she helps two Australians uncover their family secrets and in doing so, reveals hidden truths that help re-define who they are. The series will scrutinise the silences of both our family’s and our country’s past. Stigmas are confronted as secrets around suicide, promiscuity, immigation, adoption, criminal activity, infidelity, love, and war are revealed. We’ll uncover secrets left buried offshore when families immigrated to Australia and reveal the inter-generational cover-ups affecting both Indigenous and multi- cultural populations in our country. My Family Secret (working title) explores a diversity of cultural and historical stories with an emotional journey of discovery at its heart. My Family Secret (working title) is an Artemis Media Production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia with SBS.

Medicine or Myth?
TX: May 2019 on SBS
Can you cure a migraine with chili powder? Does potato juice get rid of wrinkles? Will apple cider vinegar make you lose weight? Could sauerkraut cure rosacea? This bold new series follows everyday Australians as they put their diverse and sometimes controversial health cures and remedies to the test. Everyday Australians pitch their home remedies, some of which have been passed down through their cultures and families, to a panel of medical experts. Alongside presenter Jan Fran is a team of experts, comprised of Dr Charlie Teo, Dr Ginni Mansberg, and Dr Ash Haque. Medicine or Myth? is produced by Warner Brothers Australia.

Christians Like Us
TX: 2019 on SBS
Muslims Like Us took a religion under siege in this country and showed us the depth and breadth of belief in Islam in Australia today. Now it’s time for the Christians, and they face a very different battle. Christianity in Australia is in crisis. It has been rocked by sex scandals, mocked by the media, and is in a state of continual internal conflict over issues like divorce and remarriage, abortion, women priests, contraception, and gay marriage. Church attendance has collapsed in the past 20 years, along with the numbers of people identifying as Christian. Who are the Christians in Australia today? From fundamentalist to progressive – what do they believe? How do they practice? Do Christians even agree on what it means to be a Christian? The Christian community represent a huge cross section of diverse society and diverse beliefs, and now they will be brought together under one roof. Christians Like Us is produced by CJZ.

Who Do You Think You Are? returns for its tenth season to reveal the fascinating pasts of eight well known Australians. The next series of Struggle Street will explore issues of disadvantage affecting Australians today, sharing stories of adversity and resilience, providing a voice to communities and individuals often unheard. Secrets Of Our Cities is back for a second season, where Greig Pickhaver continues his mission to discover the secrets of some of Australia’s most iconic cities. After it’s incredible first run, Marry Me, Marry My Family is back to give further insight into interracial relationships and its place within modern Australia. Marry Me, Marry My Family Season 2 is a CJZ production for SBS. Principal production investment from SBS in association with Screen Australia.

Untold Australia docos:

Business As Usual: A one-hour documentary that will provide a sneak peek into the world of Manjits – a thriving but often chaotic family-run event business in Western Sydney The documentary will follow the charismatic Gujral family as they engage with multicultural and multi-faith families during some of the most significant occasions of their lives. SBS have commissioned the project as part of their Untold Australia series and Create NSW have provided production investment. Business As Usual is a Heiress Films production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia with SBS in association with Create NSW.

Secret Life of Death: A one-hour documentary that will open a window into the hidden world of two family-owned funeral homes in Sydney. It follows two young women – one who works with the living, and another who works with the dead. SBS have commissioned the project as part of their Untold Australia series and Create NSW have also invested in the project. Secret Life of Death is a Mint Pictures Production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Create NSW.

Trans Mission: A one-hour documentary that will follow transgender truck driver Holly Conroy in her bid to stage a Mardi Gras in Australia’s No. 1 Christian town: Wagga Wagga. Holly will attempt to win over priests, pastors, and politicians as she seeks acceptance for the trans community, all while she continues the process of her gender affirmation surgery.. SBS has commissioned the project as part of its Untold Australia series and Create NSW has also invested in the project. Trans Mission is a Mint Pictures production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Create NSW.

Young, Dateable and Disabled (working title): Straight-talking relationship counsellor Liz Dore is on a mission to help six young people with neurological diversity and intellectual disabilities find love. For people with disabilities, love, and relationships can be seen as taboo, but for Liz’s six clients, it’s a deeply held personal goal. Against the odds, these unique and diverse individuals are determined to learn as much as they can to find a romantic partner. SBS have commissioned the project as part of their Untold Australia series and Create NSW have also invested in the project. Young, Dateable and Disabled (working title) is a Southern Pictures Production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Create NSW.

International Documentaries

Trust Me I’m A Doctor Season 8
TX: February 2019 on SBS
Michael Mosley goes behind the headlines once again to give the definitive answers to health questions. With his trusty team in tow, he will work to debunk myths and find the truth.

World From Above
TX: Early to Mid 2019 on SBS
SBS will welcome another sensory experience with the World From Above collection. Each series will present a bird’s eye view of the world’s most spectacular vistas, beginning with the blue chip series Equator From The Air. Other titles include Morocco From Above, China From Above, Algeria From Above, Aerial Asia, and Mediterranean From Above, with some of these titles narrated by Adam Liaw.

Great Australian Railway Journeys
TX: July 2019 on SBS
Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook to the Chief Cities of the World, Michael Portillo will embark on six new railway journeys across the spectacular Australia. Known for its natural wonders and vast open spaces, Michael will explore the continent’s monumental landscapes by riding some of the longest passenger trains and the steepest railways in the world. Along the way, Michael will explore Australian culture and its dazzling cities, from the iconic harbour-front metropolis of Sydney, to Melbourne’s world-renowned sporting heritage. Going back in time, Michael will investigate the gold, silver, coal, and wool on which this nation was built, and will discover how Britain established a penal colony on lands inhabited by Indigenous Australians for tens of thousands of years.

Inside Facebook, coming in February, takes a deep dive into the famed social media behemoth and asks the difficult questions about the influence Facebook has over life and politics in the 21st century. Secret Life of the Cruise Ship, also coming in February, goes behind the scenes on a mega cruise ship, and finds out how the thousands of passengers are fed, entertained, and kept amused, and how the staff cope with life at sea. In March, John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky will tell the untold story of John Lennon’s iconic Imagine album. Director Michael Epstein gives access to the extensive Lennon video, audio, and photo archive, including much previously unseen material. In July, Chasing the Moon will reimagine the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort. Woodstock is set to premiere in August to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic three-day concert.

TX: December 2018 on SBS
The title is a reference to Civilisation, the series written and presented by Kenneth Clark almost fifty years ago, which offered one man’s personal view of western European civilisation, from the end of the Dark Ages onwards. It was partly conceived by David Attenborough to demonstrate the potential of colour television. The new series ranges more widely, featuring African, Asian, American, as well as European cultures to explore how human creativity began and developed, how civilisations around the world influenced one another and how artists have depicted the human form and the natural world. Civilisations will be led by experts David Olusoga, Mary Beard, and Simon Schama.

63 Up
TX: June 2019 on SBS
Michael Apted’s ambitious and critically acclaimed film study returns to probe the role that class plays in determining our life path. 63 Up reunites a group of people who have been filmed every seven years throughout their lives from the age of seven. As children from different social backgrounds growing up in the sixties, 7 Up revealed how class impacted their hopes and dreams. The following programs charted everything from success and failure, marriage and childbirth, to poverty and illness. Now at the age of 63, the group are once more brought together and assess whether their lives have been ruled by circumstance or self- determination.


Eurovision: Australia Decides
TX: February 2019 on SBS
Hosted by radio host and music buff Myf Warhurst, and comedian Joel Creasey, Eurovision – Australia Decides will showcase the best of Australian music and bring the nation closer to the Eurovision action. It’s up to the Australian public and a Jury to decide Australia’s act to take the stage at the 64th Eurovision Song Contest to compete for Eurovision glory. Produced by Blink TV for SBS.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
TX: March 2019 on SBS
2019 marks the 41st anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. SBS will celebrate this important global milestone by supercharging it’s coverage to reflect 41 years of protest and parties in a colourful, action packed show broadcast from the glitter filled streets of Sydney into lounge rooms across Australia. Produced by Blink TV for SBS.

Eurovision 2019
TX: May 2019 on SBS
Australia will take the stage in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for a fifth time. SBS will once again bring the nation full coverage of the world’s biggest song competition, with exclusive backstage and behind the scene access from returning hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey. Produced by Blink TV for SBS.

TX: May 2019 on SBS
SBS’s entertainment offering will extend to the highly competitive 6.00pm slot in 2019 with an all new Australian version of the iconic BBC game show, Mastermind, to play five nights a week. Famous for its challenging questions and intimidating setting, Mastermind is a highly addictive global smash. Each night, four contestants will take the iconic Mastermind chair to answer questions on their own specialist subject. They’ll then advance to a general knowledge round, competing for the prestigious title of Australia’s Mastermind. Mastermind is a BBC format, produced by BBC Studios Australia, led by Director of Production Kylie Washington.

Australian-Made Food

Luke On A Train
TX: November 2019 on SBS
Its Luke. There’s a train. It’s Luke on a Train. In this new ten part SBS Original, Luke Nguyen returns to Vietnam for a culinary train trip from the north to the south of the country on the Reunification Express.

Gourmet Farmer Season 5
TX: 2019 on SBS
One of SBS’s most beloved shows returns for a fifth season. Shot over an entire year in southern Tasmania, this season follows Matthew Evans’ life on his farm through the four seasons as he attempts to rehabilitate his property in order to set up a truly sustainable farm. This is real life, real food, real people – and real emotion.

Ainsley’s Market Menu
TX: 2019 on SBS
Joining us in Australia is celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott in an SBS Original, Ainsley’s Market Menu. This will be a fun-filled adventure through our diverse and delicious farmers markets, with Ainsley setting up a market stall in each location, where he will cook and sell his take on Australian produce.

International Food

Alex Polizzi: Chef for Hire
TX: January 2019 on SBS
Alex Polizzi takes on the difficult challenge of finding Head Chefs for restaurants that desperately need to fill a vacancy. Nine candidates will be put through a rigorous interview process, but only one can get the job.

Rome Unpacked
TX: January 2019 on SBS
Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli’s latest Italian adventure brings them to Rome in search of the greatest food and art they can find off the beaten track.


FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019
TX: JUNE 2019 on SBS
Following the immense coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM, SBS will cover the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019TM. Watch as the Matildas take on the world in France.


Live coverage of the Premier League continues in 2019 with one live match each week across SBS and SBS HD, along with weekly highlights on The World Game, Mondays at 11pm.

SBS continues to bring Australians all the action from the biggest races on the international cycling calendar. The Tour de France returns with all stages live on TV and online, as well as the UCI Road Cycling World Championships, the La Vuelta a España grand tour, cycling classic Paris-Roubaix, and others from the European season.

SBS secures the exclusive free-to-air rights to the French Open for the second time. Live from Stade Roland- Garros in Paris, France, SBS will follow the action every day throughout the 2019 tournament as the world’s best male and female tennis players battle it out on clay courts.

SBS’s live coverage of Australia’s domestic women’s basketball league continues next year throughout the 2018/2019 season, with SBS broadcasting Saturday afternoon games and streaming on SBS On Demand


  1. From what I can see of the chart it will be a while yet before the SBS show The Little Drummer Girl, a drama I would have thought would have fitted better at the beginning of the year when fans already knowing the show is completed in the UK will be eager to see it.

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