Chopper, Hi-5 and game shows top Nine’s 2017 programming slate

A new Underbelly series about Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, the return of kids’ show Hi-5 and a “bold” relationship experiment show are among the local highlights of Nine Entertainment Co’s TV programming for next year.

Ben Mingay and Rachael Taylor star in House of Bond

Ben Mingay and Rachael Taylor star in House of Bond

While the network had a horror start to 2016 allowing Seven to wrap up the ratings year in August, it has recovered in recent weeks thanks mainly to The Block, winning five ratings weeks in a row.

New shows unveiled at the ‘Upfront & Personal’ event include Chopper, a return of the Underbelly series looking at the life of gangster Mark ‘Chopper’ Read and food show Family Food Fight, to replace The Hotplate.

Playing on the trend for dating shows started by Seven’s controversial Seven Year Switch is The Last Resort: Love Me Or Leave Me taking five long-term couples whose relationships are in trouble to a tropical island for a month of relationship counselling.

AFL Footy Show host Rebecca Maddern has been named as the host of upcoming action gameshow Australian Ninja Warrior, a localised version of the US smash show.

The network also confirmed the House of Bond mini-series about Alan Bond will air next year after first being flagged in last year’s Upfronts, along with another show first named this time last year, This Time Next Year, starring Karl Stefanovic.

Karl Stefanovic fronts This Time Next Year, first announced this time last year

Today host Karl Stefanovic fronts This Time Next Year, first announced this time last year

Sophie Monk and Nick Cody will host Accidental Heroes, in a vein similar to Seven’s Laugh Out Lout candid video series; and in the true crime genre is Murder Call, a show looking at six “extraordinary” murder cases from Australia that begin with unusual calls.

Hamish & Andy will return to the network in an unspecified new format next year, as well.

Hamish & Andy return to Nine after a hiatus

Hamish & Andy return to Nine after a hiatus

Entertainment presenter Richard Wilkins fronts The A-List, an eight parts series aping Inside the Actor’s Studio.

Notable by their absence are Daryl Somers’ game show You’re Back in the Room, and local drama Hyde & Seek, which has struggled in the ratings.

Nine managing director, Amanda Laing, also introduced a new slate of children’s programming to be hosted on digital channel 9Go called GoKids, which will also be a “digital destination”.

International shows include Richard Attenborough show Planet Earth II which debuted in the UK at the weekend, a series based on the Lethal Weapon films, Chicago Justice and Chicago Medical, as well as Big Bang Theory and Britain’s Got Talent.

Married at First Sight tops the list of returning shows, with 10 couples set to take part in the next series, and while 20 to 1 returns, hosts Fitzy and Wippa have been replaced with Footy Show regular Erin Molan and radio host Dave Thornton.

Other returning shows include Love Child, Here Come the Habibs, The Voice including a return of judge and pop singer Seal, Doctor Doctor, The Block and House Husbands.

On the sporting front Nine kicks off the new season of national netball coverage on 9Gem with two games in prime time on Saturday nights between February and June, while it will also broadcast the Socceroos World Cup qualifiers.


That complements the international cricket, NRL and League of Origin, which return to the network next year.


New show synopses:


Ninja Warrior is one of the most popular shows on the planet – a worldwide phenomenon – and it’s coming to Australia.

Hosted by Rebecca Maddern, Australian Ninja Warrior will be the ultimate television event to hit our screens in 2017.

From 3000 hopefuls only 250 of the very best have been given the opportunity to take on the biggest and most challenging outdoor sports course in the world.

Set on the mythical Ninja Island, Australian Ninja Warrior will be the ultimate test of strength, stamina and mental toughness.

Who will be the first Australian Ninja Warrior? Produced by Endemol Shine Australia.



Big characters, bold recipes and beautiful food: Family Food Fight is a fresh, exciting and relatable take on food.

In this competitive cooking series, diverse and multi-generational Australian families will go head-to-head in high-pressure cooking challenges to not only win the experience of a lifetime but also take home the title of ‘Australia’s Greatest Food Family.

Inspired by real home cooking and family food traditions, Family Food Fight will serve up extraordinary feasts unlike anything we’ve seen before. Produced by Endemol Shine Australia.



The funnymen of radio and television are set to return to Nine in a brand new series. Hamish & Andy, who previously fronted four hugely successful Gap Year series for Nine, as well as two Caravan of Courage specials, will star in an all-new format, set to be one of the most exciting programs in recent years.

Full details about the bold new concept will follow in 2017. Produced by Radio Karate.



Karl Stefanovic will bring viewers the inspirational new series, This Time Next Year, which will see everyday Aussies achieving monumental personal goals over the most challenging and rewarding year of their lives.

This ground-breaking format will follow the journeys of people wanting to make their ambitions a reality over the course of a year, delivering instantaneous transformations in “time-travel” style. Once each pledge is made the participant will reappear just moments later, completely transformed 12 months on.

Produced by Nine.



A beautiful tropical island is the backdrop to a real-life soap opera as five long-term couples take part in a bold social experiment in an attempt to save their troubled relationships.

The couples have all reached rock bottom – struck by problems of infidelity, trust and intimacy. At the end of the month, after an intensive relationship bootcamp with Australia’s leading relationship experts, will our couples call it quits or commit to each other forever?

Produced by Nine.



House of Bond tells the outrageous rags-to-riches-to-rags tale of controversial business tycoon Alan Bond (Ben Mingay) and how he fought his way from the back alleys of Fremantle to become the richest man in Australia and one of our greatest sporting heroes.

The mini-series co-stars Rachael Taylor (Red Dog) as Diana Bliss, Adrienne Pickering (Rake) as Eileen Bond, and Sam Neill (House of Hancock) as Roland ‘Tiny’ Rowland; with Samantha Jade, Gyton Grantley, Marcus Graham, Anne Looby, Johnny Ruffo, Roy Billing, Paul Gleeson and Jack Campbell also featuring.

House of Bond is produced by CJZ for the Nine, directed by Mark Joffe and written by Sarah Smith, with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen NSW.



The groundbreaking Underbelly phenomenon is back with the untold, uncut story of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, Australia’s most notorious gangster, who cut a swathe through the criminal underworld in the 1970s, ´80s and ´90s.

Underbelly Files: Chopper will be produced by Screentime, the makers of Underbelly, for  Nine.



In this hilarious new series, six groups of ordinary Australians – families, couples and friends – take on the job of travel critics. Our travel guides experience the same week-long international and domestic holidays, and review the same accommodation, cuisine and local sights. But one person’s idea of paradise can be another’s idea of hell.

Produced by Nine.



Murder Calls is a crime documentary series investigating extraordinary murder cases from Australia. In each murder case the investigators get a phone call which leads to a key clue…a clue that exposes the murderer. The series features true-life accounts of heart-wrenching stories and the unrelenting determination of detectives to solve the case.

Produced by Screentime.



Join Sophie Monk and comedian Nick Cody in this hilarious new series as they bring you the weirdest families, wildest animals and some of the greatest fails ever to be caught on camera.

Produced by Nine.



The A List is an exciting, new, eight-part entertainment program hosted by Nine Entertainment editor, Richard Wilkins. This series will feature in-depth interviews with the world’s most topical and talked-about artists, actors and A-list superstars. In a format similar to Inside the Actors Studio, The A List will be enthralling, amusing and highly entertaining.

Produced by Nine.



In partnership with Nine, the globally successful Hi-5 franchise makes a grand return to Australian free-to-air television with a brand new series, set and cast – reinvigorated by the original creative team of Australian producers and writers. Casting auditions commence tomorrow, with the new series set to premiere next year.

Produced by Hi-5 Australia Pty Ltd for Nine.


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