Upfronts 2019: SBS: Diverse dramas, Mastermind at 6pm & “Slow Summer” TV

  • New branding: A World of Difference.
  • Two new local dramas Hungry Ghosts, The Hunt
  • 6pm program strip with Mastermind
  • New faces to network including Noni Hazelhurst and Dr Charlie Teo
  • Kurt Fearnley, Scott Cam, Casey Donovan and Rodger Corser for Who Do You Think You Are?
  • International dramas: Das Boot, The Name of the Rose, Zero Zero Zero, Butterfly, The Good Fight and The Handmaid’s Tale
  • 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, W-League and WNBL
  • Four new slow TV events in January with ‘Slow Summer’
  • 15 new scripted and non-scripted short form productions for SBS On Demand

SBS has today revealed its 2019 program slate at an industry event at The Cutting, Barangaroo, including unveiling its new branding, ‘A World of Difference.’

In attendance were SBS personalities including Jenny Brockie, Janice Petersen, Marc Fennell, Jan Fran, Craig Foster, Lucy Zelic, Adam Liaw, Fiona Choi, Anthony Brandon Wong, Yumi Stynes, Benjamin Law, Joel Creasey & Ernie Dingo.

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor said: “As our sector continues to experience unprecedented change, SBS has embraced the opportunities this presents, and today we are proud to be connecting with more Australians than ever before.

“In a cluttered market, SBS continues to offer a genuine point of difference, championing the benefits of an inclusive society to inspire Australians to better understand and respect each other.

“As we navigate the changing face of modern Australia and the shifting needs of audiences, SBS’s 2019 line-up will continue to exemplify our unique Purpose with distinctive multiplatform content relevant to all Australians.”

Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald, said: “At SBS, we tell stories and show people on screen that you don’t see anywhere else, giving a voice to communities that would otherwise go unheard. We thrive on telling stories that explore complex issues and can have meaningful impact; we look for creative approaches that scare us and concepts that will emotionally connect with audiences.

“We also want to celebrate the ways in which diversity enriches Australia, so even if we’re grappling with a serious issue, we are optimistic in our approach, and are always looking for the light in the dark.”

Today SBS also revealed a sneak peek of its new brand positioning for 2019 – SBS, a world of difference, which builds on past iconic brands including – ‘Bringing the world back home’; ‘The world is an amazing place’ and ‘Six billion stories and counting’.

Director of Marketing, Jane Palfreyman said: “Over the last 40 years, SBS has become a trusted and much loved part of our culture, as the only network to reflect the true make up of Australia. In 2019 SBS’s new brand proposition beautifully sums up our belief that together, our collective differences make for a better society… and better entertainment.

“These differences don’t just make a difference; they make ‘a world of difference’.”

Drama:

Hungry Ghosts is a new four-part Australian drama series produced for SBS by Matchbox Pictures (Safe Harbour; The Family Law) that takes elements of the Japanese and Korean “supernatural thriller” genre to explore the lives of three generations of Vietnamese Australian families dealing with the aftermath of war. It’s about lost loves, buried secrets, and how unresolved trauma can be handed down through generations until a young woman, planning for the future, connects with her past as a way forward.

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 by Closer Productions with major 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.

Family Law returning for final season.

International:

SBS is not only the home of food, but also the world’s best drama, and has built a reputation for scouring the entire globe to bring audiences exclusive international series that broaden their worldview. The network continues this tradition in 2019 with a TV adaption of the multi-million selling novel, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. The new eight-part drama series stars John Turturro as an 8th century Franciscan monk who witnesses a series of murders at a secluded monastery in the Italian Alps.

From the acclaimed team that brought you Gomorrah, Zero Zero Zero follows three different worlds, all participating in a single shipment of cocaine from three different perspectives that will explore what globalisation means – its consequences and contradictions. Shot on four continents, predominantly in English as well as Spanish, French, Wolof, Arabic and Italian, this thrilling new drama stars Gabrielle Byrne and airs exclusively on SBS and SBS On Demand in Australia.

International Emmy Award-winning Anna Friel stars in the heartfelt Butterfly, about the acrimonious relationship between separated parents and their division in opinion over how to support their gender variant child. Academy Award nominated Sharon Stone, John Malkovic, and Jude Law team up in the sequel to Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope in The New Pope; Mark Hamill joins the cast of the second season of Knightfall; the critically acclaimed legal drama The Good Fight welcomes Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Michael Sheen to the upcoming third season fast tracked from the US; the epic Vikings saga continues; and the immensely popular award-winning and highly anticipated The Handmaid’s Tale returns.

Entertainment

SBS also loves a celebration and will present a distinctive entertainment line-up featuring the exclusive broadcast of the 41st Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The network will also host its own party with Eurovision – Australia Decides in February, giving audiences the opportunity to choose the Australian contestant to compete at the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest, which will come to you live from Israel in 2019, with exclusive backstage and behind the scenes access from returning hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.

SBS’s entertainment offering will extend to the highly competitive 6pm 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 true global smash. Each night, four contestants will take the iconic Mastermind chair to answer questions on their own specialist subject and compete for the prestigious title of Australia’s Mastermind.

Documentary

SBS is a leader in original documentaries that inform, entertain and capture the national conversation around issues central to its Charter; exploring ideas that no other network could or would pursue. Next year, SBS will explore the complex multicultural history of everyday Australians with new commissioned series including My Family Secret (working title), hosted by Noni Hazelhurst, Australia in Colour which features archival footage brought to life in glorious colour showing this country’s true multicultural face, and Medicine or Myth in which Dr Charlie Teo leads an expert panel as they put family remedies to the test.

The network will also have more returning commissioned documentary series than ever before, building on successful titles and bringing consistency to the schedule. In 2019, SBS will delve further into key themes such as religion, social disadvantage and cross cultural relationships with new seasons of Who Do You Think You Are?, Secrets of Our Cities, Marry Me Marry My Family, Struggle Street, Untold Australia, and the follow up to Muslims Like Us – Christians Like Us.

While most other free-to-air TV serves up wall-to-wall reality, SBS will continue to keep it real with the world’s best international documentaries at 7:30pm every night, with programs including Dr Michael Mosley’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, the return of the 7 Up series – one of the boldest documentary experiments of all time, a special local version of Michael Portillo’s successful, Railway Journeys series with Great Australian Railway Journeys, and the epic BBC series Civilisations, which was shot in six continents, 31 countries and celebrates everything there is to say about human ingenuity and creativity.

SBS has always been committed to innovation in storytelling and its ground-breaking foray into slow TV with The Ghan was a ratings smash in 2018. Next year, the network presents Slow Summer – featuring one nail-biting slow TV event each week in January, including two new Australian productions – an east/west train journey on The Indian Pacific and a boat ride through The Kimberley.

Food

SBS also has an unrivalled 30 year heritage of exploring culture through cuisine and newly evolved SBS Food builds on this offering with a fresh, premium serving to audiences. The dedicated food channel is less reality and more real food, and features more famous Australian and global food personalities including SBS’s home grown favourites like Adam Liaw, Poh Ling Yeow, Shane Delia, Peter Kuruvita, Luke Nguyen, Maeve O’Meara, Kylie Kwong, as well as much loved international chefs like Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein.

Wednesday nights remain dedicated to the best original food programming in the country on SBS main channel, with a commissioned content slate like no other, including the return of one of SBS’s most beloved food brands, Gourmet Farmer with Matthew Evans, and celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott’s Australian explorations in Ainsley’s Market Menu. SBS will also unite its audiences’ love of trains with one of the network’s most loved chefs, Luke Nguyen in the ultimate SBS series, Luke on a Train. Follow Nguyen as he returns to Vietnam for a culinary train trip from north to south of the country on the Reunification Railway.

Sport

After a hugely successful 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, SBS will continue to unite communities through sport in 2019, as the exclusive free-to-air broadcaster of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France™ from 7 June. Australians can follow The Matildas in their pursuit of football’s biggest prize with every Matildas match, and the complete finals series, live and in HD as well as daily highlights and analysis shows from the SBS team at home and on the ground in France.

SBS’s commitment to women’s sport doesn’t stop there, with coverage of the Australian domestic football competition the W-League, and the WNBL Women’s National Basketball League, highlighting our home grown female athletes at the elite level.

SBS will also continue to deliver the best in international sports you won’t see anywhere else, including the beloved Tour de France, Premier League, International Figure Skating and Gymnastics, Dakar Rally racing, and the glorious French Open, live and exclusive to free-to-air.

SBS VICELAND

SBS VICELAND, the channel for young people, by young people, will continue SBS’s proud tradition as the Australian home of cult series and will next year bring audiences fast tracked titles including exclusive free-to-air new seasons of Wellington Paranormal, The Orville, You’re The Worst, and Brooklyn 99. The channel will also offer a string of new true crime documentaries covering everything from suburban crime to murder in the professional wrestling industry, while delivering more thought-provoking locally produced documentaries from The Feed team.

NITV

NITV is Australia’s home of Indigenous storytelling and had an impressive 2018, including its first ever TV Week Logie win with Little J and Big Cuz. Next year is set to be another huge one for the channel, with returning seasons of favourites including Going Places with Ernie Dingo, Kriol Kitchen, On Country Kitchen and of course, another series of the award winning Little J and Big Cuz.

NITV is also renowned for its documentaries that explore First Nations culture and share incredible stories with all Australians. She Who Must Be Loved tells the epic life story of Alfreda Glynn, a 78 year-old Aboriginal woman, stills photographer, co-founder of the Central Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), and Imparja TV, and Gurrumul explores the life of one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia.

SBS On Demand

Following the success of SBS On Demand’s first drama commission, Homecoming Queens, comes new comedy Robbie Hood. The six-part online series produced by Ludo Studio and Since1788 with major investment from Screen Australia follows Robbie, a teenage troublemaker with a heart of gold living in a remote Aboriginal community, and is the heart-warming story of three friends who are fixing injustices they see. While they have the best of intentions, it doesn’t always go quite to plan.

SBS On Demand is Australia’s most distinctive streaming service and a curator of high quality content from right around the globe that audiences trust. In 2019, the platform will premiere new shows from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Thailand and many other countries – programs that Australians would never see otherwise.

Highlights include the star studded TV series adaptation of the epic WW2 submarine classic Das Boot; science fiction drama series Project Blue Book; and the return of critically acclaimed Icelandic series Trapped with an even more complex murder case to solve.

Earlier this year SBS announced partnerships with six of Australia’s screen agencies – Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen Queensland, Screenwest, South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Tasmania – to develop and commission 15 original short form programs, both scripted and unscripted, for SBS On Demand, with a particular focus on creative teams from communities currently under-represented in the Australian screen sector. Building on SBS’s successful Diversity Talent Escalator scheme, the initiative will foster new and emerging Australian talent and bring more truly distinctive Australian stories to audiences.

9 Comments:

  1. Thank you for all this..Happy about the slow TV events…I enjoyed the train one…..Looking forward to Eurovision, as usual…
    Love The Family Law and will be happy to see Noni back on FTA…..and the one with Dr Teo should be interesting…He is always good value…
    Also some good sport coming up….All in all…I am happy with what I read.

  2. Glass Portcullis

    Why am I just hearing about “The Name of the Rose” now?? The film’s in a tie with “Leon” for telling me “I wanna do that [be in film, behind the camera] when I get older.” The casts aren’t a patch on one another — but I’m excited to see it.

    David was there anything about the acquisition of Deutschland ’86?

  3. I will have to decide what to watch Pointless or Mastermind. Or record one. Maybe pointless could run the whole hour. Thanks David for the info.

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