Upfronts 2019: SBS Food, NITV.

Should a 35 year old show be part of an Upfronts list?

NITV has Fraggle Rock on its 2019 Upfronts list. The Jim Henson puppet series ran from 1983 – 1987 and screened in Australia.

So why is it back, and why is it on NITV?

A spokesperson told TV Tonight this would be a remastered version.

Fraggle Rock is a cult classic that will complement NITV’s Friday family spot where families can watch shows together,” they said.

“The slot that has been an incredibly successful part of the channel’s schedule. The series is about interconnected societies and uses fantasy creatures as an allegory to deal with serious issues such as prejudice, spirituality, personal identity, the environment, and social conflict, which is a perfect fit for NITV.”

Who knew?

Meanwhile there are some excellent inclusions, more recent and more on charter such as  more of Little J & Big Cuz, award-winning film Sweet Country, a documentary on Gurrumul and the excellent film Jasper Jones.

SBS Food

Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance
TX: December 2018 on SBS Food
Australia’s leading food editor and best-selling cookbook author, Donna Hay, is set to premiere on free-to-air with her vibrant series Basic To Brilliance and Basic to Brilliance: Kids. One of the world’s leading food creatives shows viewers how to master a repertoire of simple recipes – and transform them in to something brilliant.

Lee Chan World Food Tour
TX: January 2019 on SBS Food
Combining her passions for food and travel, well-known TV presenter and reality TV star Lee Chan is eating her way around the world. With her taste buds leading the way, Lee travels to every corner of the globe cooking up local favourites, modern delicacies, and delicious desserts. From the markets of Asia, to the wilds of Africa, Lee’s energetic zest for life will see her feasting on a menu of culture and cuisine.

The Travelling Chef
TX: February 2019 on SBS Food
Get ready to tuck in as chef Brett McGregor travels the world in search of new flavours and experiences. Each location brings us people to meet, treasured recipes to learn, and exciting ingredients to taste. He’ll bring in expert local knowledge to source the tastiest elements of a special dish.

United Plates of America
TX: February 2019 on SBS Food
In this in-depth documentary series, host Gary Takle travels to the big cities of the USA to discover the underlying food culture that exists in every town. He embraces the migrants who have come to live there, while tasting their food and experiencing their culture. He discovers their journey through food and hears their stories to better understand what it is that unites us all.

Outback Gourmet
TX: March 2019 on SBS Food
Justine Schofield of Everyday Gourmet heads to the Northern Territory in search of the best NT foodie adventures.

Food Lab with Ben Milbourne
TX: March 2019 on SBS Food
Food Lab by Ben Milbourne will take viewers on a culinary journey through the world of science.

Asia Unplated with Diana Chan
TX: April 2019 on SBS Food
Malaysian born Australian Chef Diana Chan invites audiences into her home to learn new recipes and family traditions from her chef friends from all regions of Asia.

The Chocolate Queen
TX: June 2019 on SBS Food
Kirsten Tibballs, one of the best pastry chefs in the world, is finally unveiling her secrets. In this series, Kirsten will show viewers an array of incredibly clever and innovative tricks, tips, and cheats to bring the wow factor into their home baking.


Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy
TX: December 2018 on NITV
Djalu Gurruwiwi is an aging elder in a line 60,000 years long. He is running out of time to pass on the Yidaki Songlines entrusted to him for the future of his people. His sons and community, struggling to come to terms with the consequences of colonisation, are in danger of being lost. When Djalu breaks with tradition to try and save them, world famous musician Gotye becomes an unexpected family member, helping to heal Djalu’s sons and amplifying their songs to the world. Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy is a Jonnie and Kate Films and Madman Production Company Production with principal funding investment from Screen Australia in association with NITV. Financed with support from Film Victoria and Screen Territory.

Jasper Jones
TX: January 2019 on NITV
Adapted from Craig Silvey’s best-selling Australian novel and featuring a stellar cast including Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Aaron McGrath, Jasper Jones is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14 living in a small town in Western Australia. This touching film is compelling as a whodunit, touching as a coming-of-age story, but most importantly, insightful as a picture of race relations.

Fraggle Rock
TX: Early 2019 on NITV
Fraggle Rock entertains while also encouraging an understanding and embracing of diversity. The fun-loving group of furry subterranean creatures who make up the Fraggle Gang, Red, Gobo, Wembley, Boober, Mokey, and Uncle Traveling Matt have adventures throughout the series that capture the hearts of both children and adults alike. Fraggle Rock was created as a way to show the world how to live in peace. Within the show are three different communities – the home of Doc, an inventor, and his dog Sprocket, the world of the upbeat Fraggles, who share the caves of Fraggle Rock beneath Doc’s house with their small neighbours, the Doozers, and the Gorgs, gigantic creatures who inhabit Gorg’s Garden. Through these different communities, Fraggle Rock shows viewers how we can all work together towards common goals.

She Who Must Be Loved
TX: July 2019 on NITV
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, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, radical, pacifist, grumpy old woman, who in equal measure loves the limelight and total privacy. Part bio-pic, part social history, it details the life of a woman born beneath a tree north of Alice Springs in 1939, her childhood living under the Aboriginal Protection policies, and the impact, both good and bad, that they had on her life. She Who Must Be Loved is a Since 1788 Productions production for NITV. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with NITV. Financed with support from Adelaide Film Festival Fund.

TX: July 2019 on NITV
Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land. Living a traditional Yolgnu life, his breakthrough album Gurrumul brought him to a crossroads as audiences and artists around the world began to embrace his music. Gurrumul is a portrait of an artist on the brink of global reverence, and the struggles he and those closest to him faced in balancing that which mattered most to him and keeping the show on the road.

Sweet Country
TX: December 2019 on NITV
Based on a true story, Sweet Country follows an Indigenous farm hand Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris) and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey Furber) who become embroiled in a white pastoralist’s (Ewen Leslie) quest to punish an Indigenous boy (played by twins Tremayne and Trevon Doolan) for an alleged crime. Despite the efforts of Sam’s employer Fred Smith (Sam Neill), the local head of police Fletcher (Bryan Brown) cannot be dissuaded from his dogged pursuit of justice, which sees the film unfold against the beauty and brutality of Australia’s outback.


In 2019, travel program Going Places with Ernie Dingo will return to NITV and SBS. The new season will make viewers feel like they’re along for the ride with Ernie as he travels the length and breadth of Australia, visiting stunning places and meeting traditional owners and locals who share their passion and their story for living where they live.

Celebrating country, culture, mouth-watering home-style recipes and family, Kriol Kitchen returns for a fourth season. Mitch and Ali Torres visit six tourism destinations in Western Australia, from saltwater, to the river, and desert. This season will also welcome a bonus episode with Adam Liaw joining the hosts for a cultural exchange of Kriol style cooking. Kriol Kitchen Season Four is a Waili Pitjas Enterprises production with funding from NITV, Kimberley Regional Service Providers, and Marra Worra Worra.

Logie award winning Indigenous animation series, Little J & Big Cuz returns to NITV in 2019. Little J and his Big Cuz – they’re the Indigenous Australian kids living with their Nanna and Old Dog. All their friends are nearby, and school is just a stroll away along a bush track. In this season, they’re finding out more about their world and themselves – in the backyard, the classroom or on Country. Little J & Big Cuz Season 2 is a Ned Lander Media, Media World, and Blue Rocket production for NITV and ABC Children’s Content. Principal production investment from NITV in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen Australia, the Tasmanian Government through Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria, the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Australia’s Children’s Television Foundation.


  1. Glass Portcullis

    I think the 3yo will be excited for Fraggle Rock.

    I could be wrong, but David didn’t you mention Little J and Big Cuz returning somewhere in one of the ABC upfront articles??

  2. I figured, before reading the article, that it would be remastered, hence the publicity, but it would be of negligible benefit anyway with our crappy low bitrate still-SD transmissions.

    Likewise, TEN still mentions non-remastered sitcom repeats as part of their Upfronts, including Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond etc. Interestingly, the entirety of ELR is available in HD (and in 16:9), and yet they continue to play the old SD masters ad infinitum (occasionally in ever-infuriating zoomed-in 4:3).

  3. So many interesting shows, and yet I’m just excited for Fraggle Rock! The ‘Listen to Convincing Jones’ ep has a few lessons in fake news. I still remember the song.

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