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Nine reveals 2019 content plans, including the return of SeaChange

The return of ABC drama SeaChange, Lego Masters, Bad Mothers, and a new Hamish and Andy series were among the content highlights at Nine’s 2019 upfronts on Wednesday evening.

Nine announced actors Sigrid Thornton and John Howard will be returning as Laura Gibson and Bob Jelly for the new series of SeaChange, more than two decades after the show first aired.

Seachange to return to Australian screens

The program originally ran on the ABC for three years between 1998 and 2000, and will now be produced by ITV and Every Cloud Productions. Created by Deb Cox, SeaChange follows the life of a corporate lawyer who leaves the city with her children to move to a small seaside town. The new series will see Gibson return to the seaside.

Andy Ryan, Nine’s co-head of drama, said the program was “perfect family entertainment”.

“Two decades after SeaChange changed the face of Australian drama, Pearl Bay is still a hotbed of romance, mateship and community spirit,” Ryan said.

Jo Rooney, Nine’s co-head of drama, said the perils that protagonist Laura faces are more relevant than ever. “SeaChange is one of Australia’s most successful and best-loved dramas, and we’re excited to rekindle that magic for a new generation of viewers,” she added.

At the upfronts, actress Thornton said the show “changed the face” of Australian television.

“It’s the story of a woman who uprooted her family and moved to the small town of Pearl Bay. It struck a chord that will resonate 20 years later,” she said.

The network has also announced more original drama with Bad Mothers, which follows five women juggling love, family, careers, infidelity and murder, starring Jessica Tovey, Mandy McElhinney and Melissa George among others.

Other programs include Lego Masters, a new format which sees eight pairs participate in a Lego building competition, which will be hosted by Hamish Blake. However Blake and co-creator Andy Lee’s program, True Story with Hamish & Andy, will not return in 2019. Nine has said that does not mean the show will be gone forever.

Instead, the pair will launch Hamish and Andy’s ‘Perfect’ Holiday.

The new programs will sit alongside a consistent slate for Nine, which includes new seasons of Married at First Sight, The Block, The Voice, Australian Ninja Warrior, Family Food Fight, Doctor Doctor, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, This Time Next Year and Love Island Australia.

This year Love Island Australia, which delivered strong broadcast video on demand results for Nine, will also run on the main channel as opposed to 9GO. And after years of angry viewers, Nine’s Ninja Warrior is promising a winner this season, delivering $100,000 to whoever can go the furthest the fastest. Should the competitor also climb Mount Midoriyama, the prize will grow to $300,000.

Lizzie Young, Nine’s group content strategy director, said the show turned every traditional metric on its head.

“A lot of you were concerned about risk with this show, but as the numbers demonstrated, it worked,” Young said.

“It wasn’t risky in terms of content, it was right on for that audience. We believe Love Island will be our next breakout success and I’m pleased to announce we are moving it from 9Go to Channel Nine in prime time next year. This will mean reach and engagement for this difficult-to-find-audience across all platforms.”

Earlier on in the evening, Nine CEO Hugh Marks, told the audience of agencies and brands, the 2018 content slate would set Nine up brilliantly for next year.

“It’s a year we’ve taken some pretty big steps to be able to enhance the opportunities we can bring to you as marketers,” Marks said.

“We’ve made big decisions, we are not afraid to continue making big decisions, to make what we can offer you bigger, better and more effective, to set us all up for the future.

“When it coming to launching new shows, Nine’s record of the last 24 months far surpasses our opposition’s. You can rely on us. Of course, you can always do better and that will remain another focus for this year.”

In addition to reality programming and drama, Nine’s director of sport, Tom Malone, has revealed Nine’s full sport slate, including the Australian Open, the NRL, The Ashes, The World Cup of Golf, Suncorp Super Netball and the National Basketball League.

This evening, Nine announced Lleyton Hewitt would be joining the commentary lineup for the tennis, while Jonathon Thurston and Billy Slater will join the NRL lineup. Nine did not divulge what will replace the Footy Show.

“The headline for sport on Nine in 2019 is that we are the home of big event, exclusive free-to-air sport,” Malone said in a briefing.

“Between the men’s open of the Australian Final, the three State of Origins, the NRL Grand Final, you are looking at five of the six biggest shows of the year.”

He added, Nine was the “protagonist” in the biggest shake up in sports rights in 40 years.

“Why? Because you demanded it,” he said.

“You wanted performance and consistency. The Australian Open is the greatest aggregator of eyeballs on consecutive nights on Australian television bar none.”

The full lineup:

SeaChange

There’s a big change coming to Nine. Two legends of Australian television, Sigrid Thornton and John Howard, are reprising their roles as Laura Gibson and Bob Jelly in the beloved drama series, SeaChange. Twenty years on, Laura (Thornton) returns to the beachside paradise of Pearl Bay. However, it seems that this time around Pearl Bay needs Laura just as much as she needs it. Original creator and head writer, Deb Cox, returns as Executive Producer alongside Sigrid Thornton, Fiona Eager and David Mott. SeaChange will commence production in 2019. Sigrid Thornton said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Pearl Bay. Time has passed and the world has changed, so as we revisit this rich and strange place I trust we’ll all delight in the chance to explore how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. I can hardly wait.” Andy Ryan, Nine’s co-Head of Drama, said: “Two decades after SeaChange changed the face of Australian drama, Pearl Bay is still a hotbed of romance, mateship and community spirit. With plenty of fresh faces the new challenges, SeaChange is perfect family entertainment.” Jo Rooney, Nine’s co-Head of Drama, said: “SeaChange is one of Australia’s most successful and best-loved dramas, and we’re excited to rekindle that magic for a new generation of viewers. The perils faced by Laura and the townsfolk of Pearl Bay are more topical than ever, and we can’t wait to see how they respond.” SeaChange is produced by ITV and Every Cloud Productions for Nine.

Bad Mothers

Bad Mothers, follows five very modern women juggling the big issues of love, family, careers, infidelity … and murder. When their lives collide following a series of shocking events, the Bad Mothers will learn that life can get a whole lot more complicated, more outrageous – and a whole lot more fun – than they ever imagined. Bad Mothers boasts a stellar cast including Mandy McElhinney (Love Child, Hyde & Seek), Daniel MacPherson (The Bill, City Homicide), Don Hany (East West 101, Devil’s Playground), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Doctor Doctor, Our Girl), Jessica Tovey (Wolf Creek, Wonderland), Tess Haubrich (Wolf Creek, Pine Gap) and Melissa George (Grey’s Anatomy, The Slap). Bad Mothers has principal funding from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria, with support from Create NSW. Bad Mothers, created by Filthy Productions, is a Jungle Entertainment production for Nine.

Jessica Tovey

Lego Masters

Next year Nine will unveil a brand-new format, Lego Masters, where your only limitation is your imagination. Mind-blowing, brick-building brilliance will be on display, delivering family entertainment loaded with fun, action, drama and humour. Lego Masters, hosted by Hamish Blake, will pit eight pairs of brickheads against each other in a quest to impress with their creativity, design and flair, driven by their unparalleled passion for the possibilities that will start with a single LEGO brick. Lego Masters is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.

Hamish and Andy’s ‘Perfect’ Holiday

Next year Hamish and Andy return to what they love best, travelling. Audiences fell in love with their gap year seasons and their caravan specials. 3 Now the boys will embark on another action packed adventure, but this time with a slight twist, in Hamish and Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday. Hamish and Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday is produced by Radio Karate for Nine.

Murder, Lies and Alibis

Nine’s new cutting-edge documentary crime series, Murder, Lies and Alibis, will dissect some of the most infamous criminal cases from here and around the world in a tenacious, gripping and confronting format. It’s true crime like you’ve never seen before. A team of highly experienced investigators will re-examine cold cases police couldn’t solve – discovering fresh leads, unearthing chilling footage and audio, as well as securing crucial interviews with witnesses going on the record for the very first time. Each episode is uniquely recounted through the eyes of the key players, such as victims, survivors, their families and friends, and in some cases, the persons of interest themselves. Murder, Lies and Alibis is led by Nine’s Creative Director for News and Current Affairs, Mark Llewellyn, and produced by Nine.

Dynasties with David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough will present a five-part landmark series called Dynasties Each episode follows different animal families – lions, hunting dogs, chimpanzees, tigers and emperor penguins – at the most critical period in their lives. Each is a ruler, a leader of their family, their troop, their pride – each determined to hold on to power and protect their family, their territory and their dynasty.

New Amsterdam

New to Nine in 2019 is the US medical drama, New Amsterdam. Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, it follows the brilliant and charming Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold), the institution’s new medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. Dr Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and under-appreciated hospital – the only one in the world capable of treating ebola patients, dangerous prisoners and the President of the United States under one roof – and return it to the glory that put it on the map. 4 ABBA: LET THE MUSIC SPEAK It’s been 35 years since Sweden’s legendary disco group ABBA released their last single. In April 2018, after repeatedly stating that they would never reunite again, the four members of the group – Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad announced that they have recorded two new songs, revealing the first track titled “I Still Have Faith in You”. In 2019 comes a groundbreaking documentary on Nine that will explore the huge success that was ABBA, the incredible history of the band, why the famous four broke up and why they have decided to get back together to make music once again. ABBA: Let the Music Speak is produced by the BBC.

Returning Series

Married at First Sight

Australia’s most controversial and groundbreaking social experiment, Married at First Sight, will return for an explosive sixth series in 2019, with the promise of more love and drama than ever. Relationship psychologist John Aiken, neuropsychotherapist Trisha Stratford and dating expert and psychologist Mel Schilling will pair 20 brave singles from across Australia, using a mix of neuroscience and psychology, with the aim to create 10 perfect matches. Our experts will put these relationships through the ultimate pressure test to determine whether science can really predict true love. You’ll bear witness to spectacular weddings, romantic honeymoons, provocative dinner parties and captivating commitment ceremonies which will again lure you into this addictive reality TV juggernaut. Married at First Sight is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.

The Married at First Sight Judges

The Block

The Block Strikes Gold! Every year Australia’s number one reality show gets bigger and better. Sixteen years since the record-breaking first instalment in 2003, The Block has cemented itself as a television phenomenon that remains as popular as ever. Now The Block goes way back to the legendary days of the goldrush for the oldest Block ever. In 2019, contestants will take on The Olso in St Kilda – a Victorian gem built from goldrush cash in 1859. She went from five massive, stately homes to an $18 a night hotel nightmare. A giant challenge awaits the new Blockheads. 5 Scott Cam returns with co-host Shelley Craft, judges Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer, foreman Keith Schleiger and his right-hand man, Dan Reilly. The Block is a Nine production in conjunction with Cavalier Television.

The Voice 

The Voice Australia will be back for an enormous eighth series as superstar coaches Kelly Rowland, Boy George and Delta Goodrem return to the famous red chairs, to be joined by one more international superstar coach to be announced soon, as they discover the next wave of Australia’s most talented artists. This follows a highly successful seventh season which saw millions tuning in to hear the amazingly unique sounds of Sam Perry as he took out the title of The Voice Australia, along with $100,000 in prizemoney and a recording contract. Which artists will make the coaches turn their chairs? And can 2018 winning coach Kelly Rowland defend her title? The Voice Australia is produced by ITV Studios for Nine.

Australian Ninja Warrior

Australian Ninja Warrior has captivated the nation and the smash-hit program will be returning for a ground breaking third season. In 2019, the worldwide phenomenon is set to invade Australia’s sporting capital with an all new supersized course at its new home in Spotswood alongside the Scienceworks museum in Melbourne. The stakes have never been higher. In 2019, the competitor that goes the furthest and fastest will be declared the winner of Australian Ninja Warrior and will receive a prize of $100,000. Climb Mount Midoriyama and the prize jackpots to $300,000 and be crowned Australia’s First Ninja Warrior Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham and Freddie Flintoff will be back to take viewers through every jump, leap, heart-stopping victory and heart-wrenching fall. Fan-favourite Ninjas will return to compete alongside fresh faces inspired by those who have braved the course before them. Australian Ninja Warrior is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.

Family Food Fight

Still to come this year is Family Food Fight with an all-new look. Eight food-loving families from across the country will go head-to-head in the kitchen in the quest to find Australia’s No. 1 food family for 2018. The series will put the families through their culinary paces as they vie for the $100,000 prize money. The stakes are high in season two, where only the best cooking will be rewarded. The pressure is on from the get-go to deliver, or risk elimination. Family Food Fight is an Endemol Shine Australia original format developed with Nine.

Love Island Australia

We got a text! The show that got everyone talking, Love Island Australia returns in 2019 moving from 9Go! to Nine. Hosted by Sophie Monk, 10 new sexy, single islanders will play the ultimate game of love and lust in a series that has broken Australian viewing records and caused a tabloid sensation. Temperatures soar as we follow heated arguments, fiery dramas and steamy hook-ups while they try to win the hearts of the public for a cash prize. Love Island Australia is produced by ITV Studios Australia for Nine.

Doctor Doctor

Australia’s favourite bad boy, Dr Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser), and his marvellously dysfunctional family return for a fourth series of Nine’s sensational drama series, Doctor Doctor. After serving out his probation in rural Whyhope and saving the family farm, life is about to go totally, disastrously wrong for Hugh. And this time, his friends and family won’t be making it any easier for him. Doctor Doctor showcases an outstanding ensemble cast including Nicole da Silva (Charlie), Ryan Johnson (Matt), Tina Bursill (Meryl), Hayley McElhinney (Penny), Matt Castley (Ajax), Chloe Bayliss (Hayley), Charles Wu (Ken) and Belinda Bromilow. Doctor Doctor is produced by Easy Tiger Productions for Nine.

Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation

Australia’s favourite hour of inter-generational laughs is back in 2019. Led by host Shaun Micallef, the weekly TV showgram Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation is a riotous, hour-long biffo between three of our most alphabetically delinquent generations – Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z. Each week our three regular captains – Andy Lee, Robyn Butler and Laurence Boxhall – team up with a trio of celebrity guests to put their lives and credibility in danger while answering questions and playing games that, like a rickety footbridge over an all-ages concert, span the generations. On Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, everyone’s favourite memories and moments from the worlds of film and TV, music, news and current affairs, fads, advertising, sport and more are brought back to life … not as a zombie in unspeakable torment, but as a helpful ghost offering a guided tour of recent history. It’s a celebration of the generations and what defines them, in a bid to discover which really is the greatest generation of all time (for this week at least). Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation is produced by ITV Studios for Nine.

Travel Guides

It’s the biggest season of Travel Guides yet: more episodes, more frequent flyer miles and more incredible holidays than ever before. Your favourite travellers like the Fren family, Kevin and Janetta and twin cowgirls Stack and Mel return, and they’ll be joined by some diverse new holidaymakers exploring new destinations at home and abroad, including Europe, India and South America. Each week five very different groups of ordinary Aussies become travel critics, going on the same week-long holiday – sampling the food, the accommodation, and taking in the sights. Their hilarious adventures will surprise you as they deliver no-holds-barred reviews and rate their stay out of five stars. But one person’s idea of paradise can be another’s idea of hell. Narrated by popular Aussie comedian Denise Scott, the Logie-nominated Travel Guides is produced by Nine.

This Time Next Year

This Time Next Year, one of the most ambitious and inspirational shows on television, is back for a highly anticipated second series in 2019. A new group of everyday Australians will try to achieve monumental personal goals over the most challenging and rewarding year of their lives. 8 In each episode hosted by Karl Stefanovic, these ordinary people with extraordinary stories will make an ambitious pledge to change their lives by “this time next year”. Get ready for triumph and heartbreak as the result of each pledge is revealed instantly in this unique time travel-style format. More than a year in the making, This Time Next Year is produced by Nine.

20 To One

Hang on tight as comedian Nick Cody joins Erin Molan at the helm of Australia’s favourite countdown, 20 to One, back for a fresh series in 2019. The biggest ever lineup of local celebs and international A-listers assembled for the program includes Charlie Sheen, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Carr, Sharon Osbourne, Mel B and Jane Fonda, adding their candid, hysterical and often provocative take on everyone and everything. Erin and Nick are ready to tackle outrageous countdowns such as reality TV shockers, epic celebrity fails, viral mega hits, superstar families, all-star commercials, plus plenty more. 20 to One is produced by Nine.

Paramedics

Paramedics, the compelling documentary series offering unprecedented insight into the daily lives of emergency service heroes, will be back for a second series next year. This program, produced with the help of Ambulance Victoria, features unrivalled access to paramedics, with vision captured from up to 60 cameras rigged in ambulances, helicopters and on motorbikes. Narrated by acclaimed actor and philanthropist Samuel Johnson OAM, each episode tells the story through the eyes of the dedicated paramedics and their patients Paramedics is produced by WTFN Entertainment for Nine.

RBT

In its 12th season, this compelling Australian series on random breath-testing operations goes behind the lines of the South Australian Police Force for the first time. From major roadside operations and mobile breath testing to high-speed pursuits and drivers under the influence, RBT, narrated by Andrew Daddo, will again capture all the drama and danger that police face every day in their relentless campaign against drink and drug-driving. 9 RBT is produced by Screentime for Nine.

Australian Crime Stories

Australian Crime Stories examines some of the nation’s most captivating, controversial and mystifying crimes. We peel back the layers to reveal the secret desires, mysterious appetites and hidden hatreds, the seven deadly sins at the heart of all true crime. Australian Crime Stories will take the audience out of their comfort zone, leading them on a trail that outrages, shocks, informs and, above all, entertains. This program goes behind the headlines to uncover new evidence. It will examine the accounts of the cops, crims and witnesses that were there to present compelling stories of good and bad, cops and robbers, heroes and villains. Australian Crime Stories is created and written by Adam Shand and Bryan Cockerill.

World of Dance

Nine will be home to the hit US series, World of Dance, global superstar Jennifer Lopez, alongside celebrity dance experts Ne-Yo and Derek Hough, will judge, guide and mentor the world’s top dancing talent and troupes of all ages. Hosted by Jenna Dewan, competitors will showcase their skills, ranging from ballroom, Latin, contemporary and hip-hop, bringing their passion of dance to battle it out with the best of the best for the life changing 1 million dollar prize, on the stage of World of Dance.

Millionaire Hot Seat

Since it premiered on April 20, 2009, Millionaire Hot Seat has become Australia’s longest running quiz show – and remains the only program on Australian television where it is possible to win $1 million. The new, supercharged one-hour version, hosted by Eddie McGuire, starts with contestants going head-to-head in a rapid-fire battle of Fastest Finger First. All six contestants will face the same 15 questions, with the fastest and most accurate winning a cash prize at the halfway mark of the program. When the winner of Fastest Finger First makes it to the Hot Seat, he or she will have the option of keeping the cash prize or swapping it for one of three Lifelines: • 50/50 – Two incorrect answers will be removed. • Switch – The question will be substituted for a new one. • Ask-a-Friend – The contestant can ask a friend in the audience for help.

Talking Married

To coincide with the new series of Married at First Sight, fans will get an extra fix and the inside scoop when Talking Married returns to 9Life for a second series. Hosted by Nine presenter and journalist Jayne Azzopardi and 9Honey’s lifestyle presenter and columnist Shelly Horton, this weekly half-hour chat show will bring viewers all the behind-the-scenes gossip, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen clips from Australia’s most talked about reality show. Talking Married is a television production from Australia’s leading women’s lifestyle network, 9Honey.

Getaway

Getaway, Australia’s longest running and most popular holiday and travel television program, will continue to take you around the globe in 2019, uncovering the most beautiful locations and tasting the most delicious food. And you won’t even need to leave your living room.

Events

Hay Mate

On Saturday, October 27, the Nine Network will continue its support of Aussie farmers by joining forces with the legendary Glenn Wheatley to broadcast the Buy a Bale: Hay Mate drought relief concert when it rolls into Tamworth with artists including John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite, Guy Sebastian, The Veronicas, Jon Stevens, Andrew Farriss (INXS), Adam Harvey, Tim Wheatley, Aleyce Simmonds and Nat Conway on board, and with Nine’s Richard Wilkins, Sonia Kruger and David Campbell hosting this very special event. John Farnham will lead this cast of Aussie entertainers, with funds raised going to Rural Aid. “Farmers are the backbone of this country,” Farnham says. “I understand what they are going through. They are doing it tough through this drought. It’s a shame we did not do something sooner. But we are acting now!”

ARIA Awards

The ARIA Awards make a triumphant return to the Nine Network on Tuesday, November 28, 2018, LIVE from The Star in Sydney. Hosted by multiple Grammy and Aria Award-winning superstar Keith Urban, the prestigious ARIAs are the flagship event on the Australian music calendar. Representing the pinnacle of 11 music success, the year’s best and most popular acts are recognised in front of their peers and fans. John Farnham, Crowded House and INXS were among the original winners in 1987, and since then the ARIAs have been a star-studded affair, attracting top acts from around the world. This year, the 32nd ARIA Awards will be no different as international superstars take the stage and another Australian music legend is inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The ARIA Awards are produced by ZigZag TV for Nine.

61st TV Week Logie Awards

In 2019, the TV Week Logie Awards return to the Gold Coast after a successful first year at their new location. Channel Nine will broadcast the Logies LIVE from The Star on the Gold Coast to celebrate TV’s night of nights, with awards to honour individuals and programs for their outstanding achievement to Australian television.

Carols By Candelight

Join Sonia Kruger and David Campbell as they present everyone’s favourite Christmas Eve tradition, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight. This year marks the 81st annual Carols concert, where some of Australia’s most loved stars will perform a selection of Christmas favourites. Entertainers will give family, friends and loved ones the opportunity to share in the spirit of Christmas when the Carols are broadcast live from Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Monday, December 24, at 8.00pm on Nine.

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