2021 Upfronts: SBS

  • New local dramas: Copping it Black, The Unusual Suspects, New Gold Mountain,
  • SBS on Demand local dramas: Iggy & Ace, The Tailings
  • SBS Food: 200-episode series, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw
  • New Docos: What Does Australia Think About?, See What You Made Me Do
  • New international drama: Shadowplay, Romulus, Bloodlands

SBS has announced its biggest local drama slate ever with three new series Copping it Black, The Unusual Suspects (pictured top), New Gold Mountain, plus two digital dramas for SBS on Demand, Iggy & Ace and The Tailings.

Celia Pacquola, Jay Laga’aia, Rob Collins and Jess Hill become new faces at the network with  documentaries highlighting literacy, domestic abuse, anxiety and personal identity. There are returning seasons of Who Do You Think You Are?, Australia in Colour, Every Family Has A Secret.

For SBS Food will screen a 200-episode series, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, will air across weeknights.

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor said: “2020 has demonstrated the distinctive and vital role of SBS as a contemporary, multilingual Australian broadcaster – part of the very fabric of our multicultural Australia – in an extraordinary way. We are reaching and engaging with more Australians than ever before, and next year we will continue to support diverse communities, reflect and celebrate contemporary Australia in all its glorious diversity, bring Australians together and connect with audiences in a way that others can’t.”

SBS Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “2021 is set to be a bumper year across the network, with a record number of local dramas, documentaries and acquired programs that will surprise, challenge and inspire audiences. We scour the globe, and the country, for unique stories in languages, genres and formats that will connect Australians with the world around them and with each other. Now, more than ever, we want to continue championing the issues and communities not often seen or heard.”

SBS will also add three more languages to SBS on Demand with Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese to be introduced, and will also be significantly increasing the subtitled content available providing greater access to Australian stories. SBS will also introduce virtual channel experiences in Arabic and Simplified Chinese in 2021.

SBS

Drama:

Copping It Black
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
Detective Toni Alma is assigned to investigate a suspicious car accident in Perdar Theendar, the Indigenous community she left as a child and has had little to do with over the years. As the clues lead back to her own family, Toni must navigate her way between past and present, the complexities of the Indigenous art world and her own self-doubt, to find a killer who is way too close to home. The series is directed by Erica Glynn and Steven McGregor. A Bunya and CAAMA production for SBS. Development and major production investment from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department in association with SBS. Developed with assistance from Screen Territory. APC is the global partner on the show.

New Gold Mountain 
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
Bendigo Goldfields, 1855. The charismatic headman of the Chinese mining camp suddenly finds himself struggling to maintain the fragile harmony between Chinese and European diggers and authorities when a murdered European woman is discovered to have links with the Chinese community. Mulan and Dead Lucky’s Yoson An stars alongside Vikings’ Alyssa Sutherland, Christopher James Baker from True Detective, acclaimed actor Dan Spielman (The Code), and local breakout talent Mabel Li (The Tailings). The series is directed by Corrie Chen and produced by Kylie du Fresne. A Goalpost Television production for SBS. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Film Victoria with Screen NSW. all3media International is the global partner on the show.

The Unusual Suspects
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1 hour
When a $16 million necklace is taken in an elaborate heist, women from vastly different walks of life come together to ensure justice is served. Set in Sydney’s glamorous Eastern Suburbs, the fun yet gripping four-part heist caper series stars Aina Dumlao (Sanzaru, Ballers, MacGyver), AACTA award-winner Miranda Otto (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Lord of the Rings) and Michelle Vergara Moore (Condor, The Time of Our Lives). A tale of female friendship and empowerment, this drama comedy also marks the first major representation of Filipino- Australians on our screens. The series is directed by Natalie Bailey and Melvin Montalban. An Aquarius Films production for SBS. Major production funding from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screen NSW and Cutting Edge. APC is the global partner on the show.

Documentary:

Australia Uncovered: TX: Late 2021 on SBS 7 x Documentaries

SBS’s new strand of prime-time single documentaries exploring diversity and equality in contemporary Australia:

The Children in the Pictures (1 x 1.5hr): With unprecedented access, The Children in the Pictures goes inside Task Force Argos, the world’s best investigative team dedicated to rescuing children being sexually abused by highly organised dark web networks. A DNX Media and Screen Impact production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Developed and produced with support from Film Victoria.

The Bowraville Murders (1 x 1.5hr): The Bowraville Murders investigates one of Australia’s worst unsolved serial murder cases and the systemic racism that has denied justice for the victims over the last three decades. A Jumping Dog Productions and Mint Pictures production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.

Strong Female Lead (1 x 1 hr): Using archival footage, Strong Female Lead explores the gender politics during the term of Australia’s first and still only female Prime Minister, examining the response and tone of media commentators, the Australian public and within parliament itself. A Northern Pictures production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.

Australia vs Anxiety (1 x 1hr): Celia Pacquola suffers from anxiety. Despite this, she’s not only survived, but thrived, becoming a multi-award winning actor and comedian. She wants to help millions of Australians through their battle with anxiety by telling her story, normalising the condition and showing a way through it. She will meet those suffering from the condition, those on the road to recovery and those who are helping with the journey. A Joined Up Films production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Can Science Prevent Suicide? (1 x 1hr): Can Science Prevent Suicide?, will provide a comprehensive portrait of suicide in Australia today. It will investigate why this is happening and reveal what is being done across the country to try and solve the problem. A Lune Media production for SBS. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Developed and produced with investment from Screen NSW.

Our African Roots: Santilla Chingaipe unearths Australia’s forgotten black African history and reveals the central role people of African ancestry played in events that shaped modern Australia – from the First Fleet to the Eureka Rebellion. A Chemical Media production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Developed and produced with support from Film Victoria. Financed with support from philanthropy via Documentary Australia Foundation.

The Department (1 x 1.5hr): The Department takes us inside the never-before-seen child protection system at work in NSW. With unprecedented access across the department, it will follow caseworkers as they navigate the complexities of keeping children safe in families experiencing domestic violence, addiction, poverty, mental health issues and intergenerational trauma. A Shark Island Productions production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia.

Untold Australia S5
TX: Early 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Untold Australia is a returning strand of observational documentaries that allows a diversity of voices and stories to be explored.

Stutter School: Six brave Australians with stutters embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to confront their fears, overcome their condition, find their voice and transform their lives. A Southern Pictures production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS.

Birdsville Or Bust: One of Australia’s most iconic outback towns, Birdsville, turns into a carnival town twice a year. This original story is told through the eyes of the town’s lone cop, a local Indigenous ranger. A Mint Pictures production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screen Queensland.

Bowled Over: Join a troupe of drag performers in the last place you’d expect, Ipswich, Queensland – a town founded on mining, sawmills and slaughterhouses. A Flickchicks production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screen Queensland.

Lost for Words
TX: Late 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Hosted by Jay Laga’aia, Lost for Words is a heart-warming new series exploring Australia’s staggeringly low adult literacy rates and offering a group of adults – aged from 18 to 70 years old – a life-changing opportunity to overcome the one thing that has always held them back. An Endemol Shine Australia production for SBS.

What Does Australia Think About?
TX: Early 2022 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Building on the success of Is Australia Racist? this new series will uncover what Australia really thinks about disability, ageism and obesity. We’ll commission the largest survey of its kind to reveal where the majority really stand and show a true picture of our national psyche – then we’ll see how that opinion can be tested, hardened and challenged using a series of ground-breaking hidden camera experiments. A Joined Up Films production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest.

See What You Made Me Do
TX: Mid 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia*. Shockingly, that number is growing. This is an epidemic with no signs of slowing. Hosted by Australian journalist Jess Hill and based on her critically acclaimed book of the same name, See What You Made Me Do is a landmark documentary series that will ignite a crucial conversation about domestic abuse. A Northern Pictures production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screen NSW.

Australia’s Health Revolution with Michael Mosley
TX: Late 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Dr Michael Mosley and Australian diabetes warrior Ray Kelly – a sports scientist and pioneer of his own diabetes remission program – join forces to improve our nation’s health. Putting his own body on the line, Mosley attempts, along with 10 Australians, to take back control and radically transform their health. An Artemis Media production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Returning:

Who Do You Think You Are S12
TX: Mid 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 8 x 1hr
Well-known Australians including Celia Pacquola and Uncle Jack Charles, play detective as they go in search of their family history, revealing secrets from the past. Taking us to all corners of Australia and the globe are eight stories of individuals seeking to find the definitive answer to where they came from. Along the way, secrets are uncovered and histories are revealed, as each person discovers just who their ancestors were. A Warner Bros. Australia production for SBS.

Every Family Has A Secret S3
TX: Late 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
SBS’s acclaimed series will continue to follow everyday Australians as they seek out the secrets within their families. Presented by Noni Hazlehurst, this season will reveal more dark pasts and hidden scandals that have impacted generations. An Artemis Media production for SBS. Developed with the assistance of Screenwest and Lotterywest.

International Drama:

Shadowplay
TX: Early 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 8 x 1hr
Written and directed by Måns Mårlind (The Bridge, Midnight Sun), Shadowplay is a gritty drama starring Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, True Detective) as Max McLaughlin, a Brooklyn cop tasked with setting up a police force in the chaos of post-World War II Berlin. His mission is to take down “Engelmacher” Gladow, the Al Capone of post-war Berlin, played by German star Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Homeland). But Max has an ulterior motive: he is also on the trail of his brother Moritz (Logan Marshall-Green) who may be behind gruesome acts of revenge against former Nazis. Max’s divided loyalties set him on a collision course with his superior, Tom Franklin (Michael C. Hall, Dexter). German actress Nina Hoss (Homeland) plays a former university linguistics teacher who’s joined the police force in the hopes of rebuilding Berlin.

Bloodlands
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
From executive producer Jed Mercurio (Bodyguard, Line of Duty), Bloodlands is a gripping, four- part thriller set in Northern Ireland. When an expensive car containing a suicide note – but no body – is pulled from the sea, veteran police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt, The Missing, Cold Feet) instantly sees the connection to an infamous cold case that holds enormous personal significance for him. Bloodlands follows Tom’s obsessive campaign to identify and unmask the semi-mythical figure behind these events – a figure code-named Goliath. It’s a case that comes from Tom’s – and his country’s – dark past.

Romulus
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 10 x 1hr
Directed by Matteo Rovere and filmed entirely in archaic Latin, Romulus is a dramatic retelling of the events that led to the foundation of Rome. In the eighth century BC, along the banks of the Tiber, a primitive and brutal world exists, where a man’s fate is decided by the merciless power of nature and the gods. Romulus is the story of this world as seen through the eyes of three people who decide not to follow the fates expected of them – laying the foundations for one of history’s greatest Empires.

Vikings S6B
TX: January 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 10 x 1hr
The final instalment of this epic saga begins as Ubbe learns the truth about Kjetill. Meanwhile, back in Norway, the battle against the Rus has had grave consequences. Reinforcements are on the horizon, and Bjorn has an idea that may yet turn the tide.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine S8
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: not yet confirmed
A new ground-breaking season of the beloved comedy is set to acknowledge the global pandemic and frontline workers, whilst also focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement in an environment when everyone’s knowledge and feelings about police have been profoundly challenged.

The Handmaid’s Tale S4
TX: 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 10 x 1hr
Emmy® Award winner Elisabeth Moss reprises her role as June in the award-winning drama as we return to a Gilead in the throes of a costly yet fierce resistance. The dramatic season three finale left viewers on a triumphant climax – full of heart-racing moments and defiant last stands. But how much further can June go in her fight against the evils of Gilead? In this next instalment, the team in Canada deal with the aftermath of the mission, while Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) grapples with her arrest. McKenna Grace (Gifted, The Haunting of Hill House) is set to join the cast as Mrs Keyes, a young whip-smart wife in the republic of Gilead.

War of the Worlds S2
TX: Late 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 8 x 1hr
This reimagining of the HG Wells classic returns for a second season as the survivors team up following an apocalyptic extra-terrestrial strike. Starring Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People).

International Documentaries:

The Last Journey of the Vikings
TX: January 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
Epic in scale and charting a sweeping story that has its origins in the sixth century and ends with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, this landmark, high-end drama-documentary tells the story of why Vikings chose to leave Denmark and travel across Europe. It starts by exploring the impact of climate change in Scandinavia and how this, along with land rights and a transition from rowing to sailing ships, gave rise to these infamous pirates in search of a better life. The episodes then trace Viking adventures and advancements from Scandinavia through to France, where they attacked monasteries and villages before swapping brutality for diplomacy. With the help of dramatic re-creations and CGI, leading academics examine their actions and explain how cultural integration and the influence of Christianity allowed them to play a huge part in transforming Europe into what it is today.

Rise of the Nazis
TX: January 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
In 1930, Germany was a liberal democracy. Just four years later, democracy was dead, Germany’s leader is a dictator and its government is in the hands of murderers. This series tells the story of how this happened. Leading historians and experts get inside the heads of some of the key players, whose political plotting, miscalculations and personal ambitions helped to destroy democracy and deliver control to Hitler.

Kevin McCloud’s Rough Guide to the Future
TX: January 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Jon Richardson, Phil Wang, and Alice Levine have concerns about what lies in store for humankind. Optimist Kevin McCloud sends the three around the world to look at some of the biggest issues of our time and the tech that could offer solutions.

The Architecture the Railways Built
TX: January 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 10 x 1hr
A brand-new series that explores the stunning architecture that lines the railway network. Transport historian and architecture enthusiast Tim Dunn celebrates the radical design and often challenging construction of many station buildings across the UK and Europe, from grand edifices in major cities to tiny rural stations serving small communities.

The Story of the Songs
TX: January 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 10 x 1hr
A brand new 10-part music documentary series focusing on global music legends from Aretha Franklin to Celine Dion. Each hour-long episode will dive into how iconic musicians and bands, including Madonna and Metallica, brought three of their most emblematic songs to life and how they inspired entire generations.

Michael Mosley: What’s My Diagnosis?
TX: February 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
From acclaimed producers Dragonfly (One Born Every Minute, Ambulance, Life and Birth) and presented by Michael Mosley, this compelling series brings together 12 doctors from 12 disciplines to solve complex medical mysteries. There are two cases per episode with a feel- good approach to some tough life situations. The patients, after years of frustration, finally find some answers to their medical conditions.

Be Water
TX: February 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 1 x 104mins
In 1971, before his superstardom, Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong to get the opportunities to be a lead actor that eluded him in America. In the two years before his untimely death, Lee completed four films, which changed the history of film and made him a household name. Through rare archival footage, memories of family and friends, and his own words, the story of that time and Lee’s prior experiences are told with an intimacy and immediacy that have infrequently been used in earlier tellings of this legend. Director Bao Nguyen elegantly weaves Lee’s personal struggle for visibility and reminds us that though it was for a short time, Lee’s star burned so brightly we still see it today.

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime
TX: February 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 6 x 1hr
From his days as part of the ground-breaking, provocative UK comedy troupe Monty Python to his more recent career in television as an unflappable globetrotter, Michael Palin has always projected a mix of insatiable curiosity and deft humour. This series sees Palin and a raft of famous fans looking back on some of his travelogues, including Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle and Sahara, providing a glimpse into the challenges of making the programs, and the mischievous sense of adventure that made them unique television events.

The Secret Life of Lighthouses
TX: March 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Presenter Rob Bell takes us on a voyage around Britain and Ireland to reveal the hidden secrets that make offshore lighthouses such extraordinary feats of engineering. Each episode is led by an iconic lighthouse with its feet in a different sea, as Rob takes a tour of the unique challenges that were to be overcome around our coastline. In some of the worst storms of recent years, Rob sees for himself how these stoic monoliths were built in some of the most inhospitable environments on Earth.

World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys S2
TX: March 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 7 x 1hr
Scotland, Africa, Mexico, France, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Finland are all explored by train in the second season of this audience favourite. Narrated by the unmistakable voice of actor Bill Nighy, come on a journey around the world by train.

Good with Wood
TX: March 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 6 x 1hr
Presented by Mel Giedroyc, this series sees a group of woodworkers challenged to craft beautiful and ambitious builds to exacting briefs. Over a series of competitive rounds taking place in a stunning woodland setting, they will have their skills tested to the limits.

The Great Plague
TX: April 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Between 1665 and 1666, The Great Plague claimed the lives of one in four London residents, leading to a death toll of 200,000. In this timeline driven, presenter-led three-part series, we explore the story of the plague in the UK, using new evidence which fundamentally transforms our understanding of how the disease spread. Through heart-breaking human stories, brand new science and experimental history, this series sheds new light on the infamous epidemic. Medic Dr Xand van Tulleken, archaeologist Raksha Dave, and journalist John Sergeant unpack the story of the plague, day by day, week by week and month by month. Xand is our guide to the outbreak in London, while Raksha undertakes the experiments and John explores the remedies.

Historic House Rescue
TX: April 2021 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Medieval masterpieces are brought back from the brink of ruin and returned to their former glory in this fascinating restoration series. From the painstaking planning to the carefully engineered build and impeccable expert craftsmanship, each structure receives its own beautifully considered reconstruction. At the same time, scientific and archival research reveals each house’s remarkable history.

A World of Calm
TX: December 2021 on SBS
Number of episodes: 10 x 30 mins
Breathtaking visuals combine with evocative narration which takes the viewer on a journey to incredible places around the world. Featuring an incredible array of A-list Hollywood talent with Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Mahershala Ali, Nicole Kidman, Keanu Reeves, Zoe Kravitz, Lucy Lui, Cillian Murphy and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. A timely antidote to modern life, the half hour episodes take audiences on an immersive visual journey into another world. Each relaxing tale brought to life by a different iconic voice is designed to transform how you feel. Get ready to be transported to tranquillity through scientifically engineered narratives, enchanting music and astounding footage all of which promises to naturally calm the body and soothe the mind.

Entertainment:

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021
TX: 6 March 2021 on SBS
The 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade is set to dazzle screens across Australia for another year on SBS, via a special broadcast, live for the very first time from the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, 6 March.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021
TX: May 2021 on SBS
After the unprecedented cancellation in 2020, the Eurovision Song Contest is back in Rotterdam! Featuring Australian representative Montaigne and hosted by music buff Myf Warhurst and comedian Joel Creasey, the Eurovision Song Contest is set to make up for lost time in the most celebratory way!

Mastermind S3
TX: Early 2021 on SBS
The iconic Mastermind is returning for a third season. A new batch of contestants must stand the test of time as they answer a set of questions based on their specialty topic. Produced by BBC Studios Australia.

Celebrity Mastermind S2
TX: Mid 2021 on SBS
Celebrity Mastermind is set to return in 2021. 16 of Australia’s most well-loved celebrities will battle it out, answering questions based on their speciality subjects, to win the title. Who will be Australia’s celebrity Mastermind? Produced by BBC Studios Australia.

News / Current Affairs:

SBS’s flagship news programs, SBS World News, Insight, Dateline, and The Feed return in 2021, exploring a gamut of current and often unheard issues that affect the world we live in.

SBS VICELAND

Patriot Brains,
Vice Investigates,

Returning:

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown,
Taskmaster.
Wellington Paranormal.
The Casketeers

Sport

In 2021, SBS will bring Australians together with some of the best events in international sport. After securing the broadcast rights for a further ten years until 2030, the power and beauty of the Tour de France will be back. Other highlights next year include the UCI Road World Championships, the International Champion’s Cup, the US Open Finals, full coverage of the National Basketball League (NBL), alongside matches from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) leagues, the ISU Figure Skating, FIG Gymnastics, and the Dakar Rally. Catch all the action with highlight segments and recaps of some of the best sporting moments over the year.

SBS Food

The Cook Up with Adam Liaw,
A Girl’s Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Wild Cooking

Returning:

A Middle East Feast with Shane Delia,
Plat du Tour with Guillaume Brahimi
Cook Like an Italian with Silvia Colloca,
Asia Unplated with Diana Chan,
Australia’s Food Bowl with Stefano de Pieri

SBS World Movies

Last year, SBS World Movies joined the network’s portfolio of free-to-air channels. Broadcasting more than 700 films each year, the free, 24/7 channel celebrates the very best of world cinema and in 2021, the channel will deliver a consistent line-up of movie weekends and seasons including Oscar Winners, Lunar New Year, Music in the Movies, French Season and Pioneers of Cinema.

NITV

Incarceration Nation
Incarceration Nation will put the justice system on trial and question the cost this system is having on the culture, values and wellbeing of Indigenous people in Australia.

Strait to The Plate,
Strait to The Plate hosted by Aaron Fa’Aoso, will unearth the stories, culture and secrets behind the unique cuisine of the Torres Strait.

The Fight Together,
The Fight Together follows NRL star Dean Widders’ journey to invent a new pre-game ceremony in response to the Maori Haka, to celebrate Aboriginal cultures and counter racism in rugby league.

The First Inventors
The First Inventors, a co-commission currently in development with Network 10, will see presenter Rob Collins meet and collaborate with First Nations authorities whose frontline fieldwork is giving exciting new insights into ancient Indigenous innovations and discoveries.

Returning:

Little J & Big Cuz,
Going Places with Ernie Dingo,
The Point,
Living Black

The Tailings
TX: 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 6 x 10mins
When a man is found face down in the lake outside a remote tight-knit mining town, an inquest finds that the death was an accident – a verdict many people in town are happy to accept. However, the man’s daughter and a new school teacher start an investigation of their own, revealing more than they could ever have imagined. Filmed in Tasmania, The Tailings stars emerging actors Mabel Li and Tegan Stimson and is directed by Stevie Cruz-Martin and produced by Liz Doran. A Good Lark production in association with 2Jons and Roar Film for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Tasmania. Financed with support from Topic.

Iggy & Ace
TX: 2021 on SBS on Demand
Number of Episodes: 6 x 10mins
Iggy and Ace are two young, gay alcoholics who live, work and play together, inseparable by design. When Ace starts to suffer debilitating panic attacks, he turns up at a gay chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous determined to get sober. Iggy & Ace was written by AB Morrison, produced by Hannah Ngo, and directed by Monica Zannetti. A Lazy Susan Pictures production for SBS. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Developed with assistance from Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Are You Addicted to Technology?
TX: Early 2021 on SBS On Demand
Interactive Documentary
Are You Addicted to Technology? is a world first interactive On Demand mobile experience that will take the viewer on a personalised journey to question the relationship they have with their mobile devices. Guiding the journey is Dr Huu Kim Le, a former gaming addict turned clinical psychiatrist who provides a personalised response to viewer’s answers and measures how they compare to a national survey of Australians. A Closer Productions and Joined Up Films production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest, and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Ravi & Emma, An Interactive Web Documentary in Southern Dialect Auslan
TX: May 2021 on SBS Online
Interactive Web Documentary
A love story told in Australian Sign Language. When Emma Anderson falls in love with Ravi Vasavan, she is quickly put to the test. Ravi, who was born deaf, decides to take Emma to a birthday party where she is the only hearing guest. Theirs is a love story told in three acts, where the audience member can change perspectives at any time and interact with the story by signing 14 Southern Dialect Auslan signs. These interactions are made possible using artificial intelligence and gesture recognition technology through the on-board camera.

International:

Shrill S3
TX: Mid 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 8 x 30mins
Based on the memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West, this single camera comedy follows Annie, a young woman who wants to change her life – but not her body. Annie is trying to make it as a journalist while juggling bad boyfriends, sick parents, and a perfectionist boss, while the world around her deems her not good enough because of her weight. She starts to realise that she’s as good as anyone else, and acts on it. This third season sees Annie face a new swing of issues.

Why Women Kill S2
TX: 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 10 x 1hr
In anthology fashion, Why Women Kill’s next instalment follows a new group of characters with an ensemble cast including Allison Tolman (Fargo) and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz). This season of the dark comedy features new storylines set in 1949 that will explore what it means to be beautiful, the hidden truth behind the facades people present to the world, the effects of being ignored and overlooked by society, and finally, the lengths one woman will go in order to finally belong. 

No Man’s Land
TX: January 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 8 x 1hr
A fast-paced and thrilling drama about ordinary people, in an extraordinary place, and how far they would go to save the ones they love. No Man’s Land is an engaging, international thriller, with family at its core. Antoine, a young French man, abruptly abandons his ordinary life in search of his long gone, presumed to be dead sister, only to find himself plunged into one of the most dangerous places in the world, Syria. While unravelling the mystery, dark secrets rise up to the surface and threaten to ruin his family.

La Unidad
TX: January 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 6 x 1hr
In the dark of night, officers from the Spanish, Moroccan, and French police forces carry out a synchronised anti-jihadist strike, but retaliation looms. In Madrid, Marcos has moved out of the apartment he shared with his partner Carla and their daughter. Carla is the head of the counter- terrorist squad – Marcos is now her first officer. Used to following Carla’s orders on the job, Marcos can’t grasp why he and Carla are history. Despite the secret she’s keeping from Marcos, Carla just needs to get things done. Like detecting the terrorists’ hidden agenda before more lives are sacrificed.

We Got This
TX: January 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 6 x 45mins
Grieving from the recent death of his father, the sudden collapse of his career, and the arrival of an insurmountable tax bill, George English, an American living in Sweden, stumbles onto an unlikely solution – a 50 million Swedish Crown reward for solving the 30-year-old murder of the former prime minister Olof Palme. Together with his closest friend, they follow the case into a web of conspiracy., keeping his wife and daughter in the dark while following the cover-up and the inconsistencies in the original investigation, George quickly realises that every step he takes towards the truth, the more dangerous his operation becomes.

Creamerie
TX: April 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 8 x 30mins
A post-apocalyptic black comedy that aims to serve as an antidote-accompaniment to dramas like The Handmaid’s Tale. Eight years ago, a pandemic wiped out 90 per cent of the world’s male population and all male children. In less than a decade, Earth has become a planet ruled by women. Has society become a Matriarchal Utopia? Well, not quite. Creamerie explores the limits of ethics, power, psychology, and wits when three Kiwi-Asian women come across a hapless injured man on their dairy farm. Stars Yoson An (Mulan, Dead Lucky).

Thin Ice
TX: April 2021 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 8 x 45mins
Off the coast of Greenland, a Swedish oil research vessel is attacked and the crew are kidnapped. The ship is found adrift as the Arctic Council meet to sign a treaty. Suspicions arise that Russia may be responsible for the attack. Liv, a Swedish Intelligence Officer, travels to the small village of Tasiilaq to investigate and discovers rising tensions amongst local officials. The town’s phone and internet connection have been cut, the population is slowly vanishing, and witnesses are being killed – all seemingly to prevent the treaty meeting from concluding. With humanity at stake, there is no time to delay the fight against climate change. It’s an uphill battle as the Council realise these sinister events could escalate into a new cold war.

Still to Come in 2020:

The Sister
TX: 2 December 2020 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 4 x 1hr
A mesmerising new drama from Neil Cross, writer of international hit series Luther and Spooks, and based on his novel, Burial. Thought-provoking and distinctive, The Sister is a chilling and suspenseful story of murder – and perhaps ghosts – that exposes the quiet terror of a man trying to escape his past. Well-meaning but directionless Nathan (Russell Tovey) has a terrible secret. He’s prayed for years that it would stay buried and has worked hard to make recompense. Almost a decade into his new and devoted married life, Nathan is rocked to the core when an unwelcome face from his past turns up on his doorstep with shocking news, triggering a series of catastrophic decisions.

Blood of The Clans
TX: December 2020 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Neil Oliver presents a drama-documentary series telling the tale of Scotland’s 17th-century civil war. When the Scottish Parliament, led by the chief of Clan Campbell, declares war on Charles I, clans loyal to the King rise up in rebellion. At the heart of this epic struggle lies an ancient feud between the Campbells and the MacDonalds, and all hell is unleashed as the royalist clans use the war to wreak bloody vengeance on their rivals in an epic conflict that threatens the stability of the newly emerging British state.

Inside Monaco: Playground of The Rich & Famous
TX: December 2020 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Fred Sirieix narrates a documentary giving an insight into the tiny principality on the French Riviera, with access to the royal palace as well as the super-rich and those who serve them. During the series, Prince Albert II will be offering a unique insight into life in one of the wealthiest places in the world.

Planet of Treasures
TX: December 2020 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 6 x 1hr
Human beings may have roamed the Earth for over 315,000 years – a mere blip in geological terms, but one with far-reaching consequences: wherever people have ventured, they’ve left behind permanent traces of their presence. In fact, we’ve changed the Earth itself. Distinguished Cambridge historian Sir Christopher Clark takes us on the ultimate world tour of man-made masterpieces, cultural achievements, and miracles of nature from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to over a thousand sites of incredible treasures listed by the UNESCO world heritage organisation today. A whistle-stop tour across space and through time to some of the most astonishing testaments of human ingenuity and nature’s gems. This is a glossy and gripping series tracing the rise of human civilisation and its astonishing impact on our planet.

Monogamish S1 & S2
TX: December 2020 on SBS On Demand
Number of Episodes: 8 x 30mins, 8 x 30mins
Have you ever wondered what comes after ‘after’ – as in ‘happily ever after’? Newsflash – life is not a fairy tale and one of the best-known fairy tales is the one about the prince and the princess. That one usually ends with them getting together and lingers on this murky stock phrase that is planted in every brain in the western hemisphere. Until you wake up one day and figure out that usually, it does not work that way. As do Nele and Gianni. Both around 40 (which is the new 30). Married for 10 years. Sure, they love each other, but their love life seems to have died a slow, sexless death. When Nele starts flirting with a stranger on a dating site and that turns out to be none other than Gianni, they plant their butts on a therapist’s couch and start spicing up their sex life – at least, that’s the plan. Better leave your preconceptions at the bedroom door, because this darkly funny series is not at all afraid to break a few taboos.

2022

First Wars
TX: Early 2022 on SBS
Number of Episodes: 3 x 1hr
Presented by Rachel Perkins, this polemic documentary series reveals the extraordinary story of Australia’s First Wars. It will unearth the 100-year history of the frontier conflict that has often been buried, whitewashed, or ignored. By challenging our past, the series asks Australians who we are, and who we want to become as a nation. A Blackfella Films production for SBS. Major production investment from SBS in association with Screen Australia.

3 Comments:

  1. It would have been nice if there were some Slow Television productions or programming announced. I’m hoping it was just COVID that affected production of these programs temporarily. They rated very well and received a lot of attention and discussion.

  2. I like the sound of some of those – but it would be nice if SBS could list who the writers are for these new dramas, instead of just the cast, the director and the producer.

  3. It’s good to see that the SBS is keeping up the good work of providing some diversity for their free streaming service.
    Dare I say that some people would actually pay to see some of the content they show.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.