Programmer’s Wrap 2024: Nine

Travel Guides, Lego Masters, The Hundred get a French touch in Nine's big Olympic year, plus MAFS & The Block's 20th season in 2024.


2024 represents a very big year for Nine, with the Paris Summer Olympics set to screen from late July, followed by the Paralympics in late August.

On the ground in Paris will be Nine personalities including Ally Langdon, James Bracey, Dylan Alcott, Sarah Abo, Karl Stefanovic, Brooke Boney, Alex Cullen, Todd Woodbridge, Leila McKinnon, Eddie McGuire, Roz Kelly and Tony Jones and top commentators Ian Thorpe, Giaan Rooney, Steve Hooker, Phil Liggett, Cadel Evans, Kerri Pottharst, Ellie Cole, Andrew Gaze, James Tomkins, Mitch Tomlinson and more.

It comes as no suprise there will be Olympic-themed specials in the run up to Paris including for Lego Masters, The Hundred with Andy Lee, Travel Guides and four documentary specials including Beyond the Dream.

The year is also bookended by dominant reality shows The Block, post-Olympics, and kicks off with S11 of Married at First Sight.

Nine’s Director 9Now & Programming, Hamish Turner says, “MAFS is defined by its participants. We’ve got a vast array who all bring different agendas to the table. Every year you start with a marriage and then it either descends into chaos or they find love. Or it starts with chaos, and they find love eventually.

“There’s characters you love, characters you’ll love to hate, but it won’t be short on drama. But there will be love, so it shows a diverse range of human emotions.”

A ratings blockbuster by any measure, last year Nine indicated the 2024 edition would be “less screechy, shouty”.

“I don’t think we’re shying away from noise,” Turner observes. “We know that dinner parties and commitment ceremonies provide a melting pot of emotions where things will bubble to the top. It’s probably less-shouty for shouty’s sake. It’s really built around those big moments where it’s required, or the environment really brings that to the surface. I don’t think we were going out looking to make it ‘less noisy’, if that’s the interpretation.

“When you’re looking to cast a show, it’s about finding the right blend of people. Sometimes you can tip over the edge when it comes to the casting and you have too many of the similar types. So it’s really about having that diverse range of characters, which delivers the storylines and the narrative.”

Also returning in Q1 is IVF observational series Big Miracles narrated by Lisa McCune, and The Hundred with Andy Lee with Lee, Mike Goldstein, Sophie Monk plus Tom Gleeson, Kate Langbroek, Dave Hughes and Luke McGregor.

“We’ve been really happy with The Hundred‘s numbers. It’s got a loyal following and delivers really strong demos. We’ll be doing a Paris special this year for the Olympics… Valentine’s Day returns and I think we’re doing a Pride episode as well to celebrate that week.”

Under Investigation with Liz Hayes returns with 8 new cases including “Death of a Model,” “I Am the Law,” “Spy Nation” and “The Snake and the Shotgun.”

Geoff Dyer, Director of Network Scheduling, adds, “There’s the return of new RBT, Emergency and the next series of Space Invaders coming to Saturday nights, which I think is under the radar a bit of performers because there’s not a lot of reporting that goes on over the weekend. The numbers on Saturdays on Free to Air TV, outside of sport, are a bit skinnier but Space Invaders does a fantastic job for us and gives us some really good share across that Saturday night.”

A major new entry into the weekday schedule is Tipping Point Australia hosted by tennis champ / commentator, and Postcards presenter, Todd Woodbridge.

After several years of success with the UK original in the afternoons, Nine has made some changes for the format to work as a 5pm game show, including with a studio audience and tempting offers such as cash and holidays.

“He’s that kind of classic boy next door, he’s very likeable, has great rapport”

“Todd does an amazing job of having fun with that, and he’s really stepped into the role. He’s that kind of classic boy next door, he’s very likeable, has great rapport with the characters and really is authentic. I think he loves the role but also giving away money where he can.

“As you know, the aim of those shows is really to drive as big an audience into your news franchise as possible, so that end game is as sticky and as ‘must-watch’ as possible, and really ensuring that the show is building to that,” says Turner.

“We brought in some elements at the at the end, so there’s a jeopardy element where Todd will offer up an amount in order to place in another disk.”

“With people getting home and starting to enter Free to Air TV you don’t want to show that you can’t enter at 5:45 or 5:50 and not understand what’s going on and enjoy the show. So we iterated it slightly to address that,” Dyer explains.

Lego Masters returns for its sixth season with Hamish Blake and Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught, adopting something of an Olympic theme with Aussies champions versus the World.


Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars, in which the outspoken international chef is joined by Janine Allis (Celebrity Apprentice Australia, Shark Tank), has 14 contestants mentored on their food and drink business ideas. Up for grabs is a $250,000 prize.

“It’s kind of Shark Tank on steroids”

“It’s kind of Shark Tank on steroids… then it’s obviously putting their ideas and them under pressure with, Gordon and Janine. There’s some great moments between those two,” says Turner.

“We’ll be looking to launch Food Stars around Q2, obviously thinking strategically where we schedule that, given there are some other food franchises in the market.

“I think it’ll run more than once a week, but I don’t think it’ll be a mega strip, four times a week. It’s not a long running show so we make these decisions based on the content, not on the requirement of the schedule.”


RPA and Paramedics are both expected around mid year.

Also returning is a second season of The Summit, an original format excitingly picked up by CBS. A second season has been shot in New Zealand with host Jai Courtney -and this season will include “some familiar faces.”

“Some real cliffhanger moments”

“This was a paper format developed by ESA and Nine and you absolutely learn a lot from the first series. We have iterated it, taking those bits we thought worked really well and found different ways to bring that drama and jeopardy to the table. There’s some clear format points that are different with Season Two, and some real cliffhanger moments,” Turner explains.

“In series one, the contestants had no idea about the mechanics of the show. But if they think they know the way S2 will work they’ll be pleasantly -or unpleasantly- surprised,” Dyer adds.

Hit series Travel Guides will be back for a seventh season with new cast members Karly and Bri (Beauty and the Geek) replacing the Twins. Expect reviews of Australian and International destinations, including an Olympic themed episode.

Travel Guides is one of those shows that really talks to the Free to Air audience. You don’t have to make a huge commitment, you have an hour full of laughs or cringe and you get a little bit of education along the way. It’s kind of the comedic Getaway, I guess,” Turner suggests.

Tracey Grimshaw returns to screens around mid year alongside Dr. Nick Coatsworth for factual series Do You Want To Live Forever?

“It’s about what you can do to increase your longevity, if you so desire. Because there is an absolute moment in time when your body starts to age, and effectively, you’ve reached the tipping point of going into a slow and steady death….. We know that the science is there, and will emerge over the next couple of decades. So these are real questions, because there’s significant cultural and social impacts that come off the back of these things.”

“We’d obviously want to work with her on more opportunities”

Will Tracy Grimshaw be seen in any other Nine projects this year? Turner isn’t ruling it out.

“I would think that would hopefully be the first of possibly more, but there’s nothing to announce. We’re not working on anything else with her at this point in time. But I think, given the relationship and her position as an amazing journalist and personality and talent that we’d obviously want to work with her on more opportunities.”

An interview vehicle, he suggests would be,”Something that we’ll be looking to work with her on.”

In July Nine will feature two dedicated Olympic channels on Nine and 9GEM with sport content 24 hours a day. 9Now will also stream 40 individual channels live and on-demand,  as well as extensive curation of VOD highlights and full replays. A state-of-the-art studio will be located in the centre of Paris at the Trocadero, with the Eiffel Tower backdrop.  Then from August 28 Nine will offer the most extensive coverage of a Paralympic Games ever across Nine, 9GEM and 9Now.

Out of the Olympics Nine’s key entertainment pillar is a 20th season of The Block, located on Phillip Island -tentatively titled as The Block: Island or The Block: Seachange.

While the property footprint was home to 9 holiday villas, Nine is not looking to upsize the cast.

“No, it will be what is expected of The Block. There will be five couples,” confirms Turner,”…we’ve never gone beyond five, from memory, in terms of the core cast.”

Also coming post-Olympics is Australia’s Most Identical Twins  hosted by Scott Cam and Dr Jana Pittman and local crime drama series Human Error featuring Leeanna Walsman, Rahel Romahn, Stephen Peacocke, Matt Day, Rob Collins, Steve Bisley. The Melbourne-made drama centres around a homicide team pursuing a seemingly straightforward murder investigation that explodes into a huge criminal conspiracy.

A second drama series announced at Nine Upfronts, Blood on the Tracks, will now screen in 2025.

“As a business, we’ve never been making more drama”

“As a business, we’ve never been making more drama than we have with Stan: Scrublands, Prosper, Bump Season 4 over summer. Nine as an entity, I don’t think anyone can question our commitment to Australian stories.

Axed are 2023 reality titles My Mum Your Dad and Rush.

Currently under discussion is a third season of Parental Guidance.

“We’re working through it at the moment just in terms of the iteration of that show… it’s kind of work in progress.”

Nine is also looking to bring back Love Island Australia but yet to be confirmed.

“We were very happy with Love Island,” Turner explains. “It delivered some strong numbers both live and from a VOD perspective.”


L to R: Nine’s Hamish Turner, Geoff Dyer.

Scheduling of six Jeopardy Australia episodes, hosted by Stephen Fry, is yet to be finalised.

There will be more of Australian Crime Stories: The Investigators, and there are two new property series coming in 2024.

Listening Melbourne is looking into the high stakes world of Melbourne real estate. We’re filming at the moment. We have a number of very interesting and diverse ages, and we follow them as they go through all the normal processes of attempting to sell houses. Some with great, some with not so great, clients…..,” teases Geoff Dyer.

“There is almost a Domestic Blitz element to it”

Budget Battlers is hosted by Jess & Norm from a previous series of The Block, tapping into the cost of living that we’re seeing at the moment. How can you increase the value of your house for quite a small budget of $10,000 or less?

“They generally do it for a deserving person that has been nominated. So there is almost a Domestic Blitz element to it.”

Nine’s schedule is also underpinned by Nine News, 60 Minutes (with Dimity Clancey and Adam Hegarty joining in 2024), A Current Affair and the Today show.

“We’re really happy with where Today‘s at in terms of the dynamic between Sarah and Karl and I think everybody has been effusive in their praise for Sarah and what she brought to the table,” Turner insists.

Footy panel shows The Sunday Footy Show, Footy Classified and 100% Footy all return, complementing a big year for Wide World of Sports including the Australian Swimming Trials in June, NRL, NRLW and two State of Origin codes.

“We’re very excited to have partnered with the NRL to bring forward a third Women’s State of Origin and become the exclusive home of Women’s State of Origin,” says Dyer. “Obviously, there’s no ducking from one of the major Free to Air storylines of 2023 being the rise and rise of Women’s sport around the world.

“We’ve been a long term supporter of of NRLW and we were very happy to be able to get that series to a third game and become that exclusive arm.”

Still to come: 10, ABC, SBS.

7 Responses

  1. Agree with others other than the Olympics and Travel Guides I won’t have any reason to watch 9 this year, 7s 2024 seemed like a lot more options of potential things to watch.

  2. Apart from Beyond the Dream, the Paris Games, and Rugby, nothing interesting here. Most of the lineup is the same old rubbish these days e.g. Travel Guides, Parental Guidance, The Block, just to name a few. The new shows like Food Stars won’t appeal to me at all because of Gordon who has a bitter personality where he shouts for no reason.

  3. Another year of steady as she goes in the scheduling department. Same old same old. Will be interesting to see if Human Error does well enough to be turned into a series. Olympics promo opps should help.

    1. Nine pulled Human Error last year, probably because they didn’t need the points in 2023. They will also get points for docos, mostly True Crime/police/customs, and will buy some Australian films. The 1990s are available on Nine Now and 7plus for those who want it. I’m working my way through The West Wing, a thousand sports betting ads at a time.

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