Seven focuses on local content and announces youth-focused off-platform distribution

Seven concentrated on its local programming slate for the next 20 months at its newfronts event last night, confirming the speculated biopic about Shane Warne and what is set an unnamed relationship show being filmed “under a veil of secrecy” set to be the controversial reality program of the year.swm-newfronts-2017-tim-worner-1

Other announcements at the event included a pledge to move to a new programmatic trading platform in the first quarter of 2017 and Platform 7, a youth-focussed content play that would distribute shows to the channels millennials are using.

Speaking to a room of media buyers, Tim Worner, Seven West Media CEO, pushed the robustness of TV audience measurement.


“TV has come under great scrutiny and we actually believe all media should, television is still the most robustly measured and audited medium in the country,” he said.swm-newfronts-2017-tim-worner-2

“TV doesn’t use diaries asking people what they listened to a few days ago, it’s not measured by the number of drive-bys past a billboard, we don’t mark our own scorecard. Nothing is more accurately measured than television viewing.

“We believe we should be recognised far more for that fact and other media should immediately be subject to the same scrutiny.

“What is still not measured properly is effectiveness, effectiveness that we see everyday. Next month the whole industry will see the results of Think TV’s research on that very topic.swm-newfronts-2017-tim-worner-3

The presentation saw Seven confirm 2017 seasons for Jessica Mauboy’s The Secret Daughter, Rebecca Gibney’s Wanted and Erik Thomson’s 800 Words while reality juggernaut My Kitchen Rules – which now broadcasts in 160 countries – will be back alongside House Rules and First Dates and Seven Year Switch.

Joining the local programming will be new shows: Million Dollar Cold Case – with the audience offered $1m if they can help solve old crimes; Yummy Mummies – Real Housewives with heavily pregnant women; renovation show The Aussie Property Flippers; Murder Uncovered and the new unnamed reality program.

The new program looks set to be a show focused on parents’ disapproval of their children’s partners ahead of their wedding day.

Worner was tight-lipped on the new program, saying only: “That show is in production right now and it’s so secret we don’t want to release the title yet because if the participants find out the name of the show, the potential is there to blow the outcome of the thing.”

Seven also announced new drama projects including mini-series looking at the lives of Olivia Newton-John; Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story, new Blue Murder: Killer Cop, starring Richard Roxburgh as Roger Rogerson; and Warnie which is still currently in the casting process for the title role.swm-newfronts-2017-kurt-burnette

Media buyers in the room noted how Seven had steered away from talking about US and overseas content during the presentation, a nod to the fact these franchises no longer command big numbers on terrestrial TV.

In a press release Seven announce it has also secured two new US series: the comedy series Trial and Error and new action drama, Training Day.

Worner boasted of the Seven Network’s success in broadcasting the Rio Olympics”which delivered another 17 days of dominance”.

Kurt Burnette, Seven West Media chief revenue officer, told the room TV was the “catalyst” behind Seven’s Olympic success, and vowed they would use the lessons learned from the multiplatform exercise going forward.


“What it categorically proved that was TV was the catalyst, the catalyst to download the app, the catalyst to drive the conversation on social, TV is the catalyst, working in combination with all the other digital and social platforms.

“Digital records were smashed across the board and when you show TV on the same metric of minutes, it’s crystal clear why TV is the catalyst.”

Seven said the Olympics saw 327m minutes streamed, 77m minutes on social while TV delivered more than 20bn minutes of viewing.

“All these numbers are stronger together, that’s why we don’t look at TV and digital separately anymore. With every program, every client solution, we’re thinking about how it all fits together,” Burnette said.

Burnette described the Rio experience as the “new norm” which will be delivered across all content on Seven not just sport with Seven pushing its Seven – anytime, anywhere positioning.

Seven also spent time looking at the portfolio of major sports events it has secured for 2017-18. These included the AFL, the Melbourne Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, the Australian Open tennis, the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in 2018 and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April 2018.

The evening also saw Seven reveal the company’s millennial digital play called Platform 7.

Burnette said: “Platform 7 or P7 will for the very first time be creating brand new digital-only content targeted towards millennials and the platforms they want to watch it on. Think digital, think social, think Platform 7.”

The platform will seek to tell new stories, with new talent to new audiences through original digital first formats; while also offering clients new ways to integrate their brands into bespoke digital content.

Seven also unveiled its programmatic play, Code 7.


Adam Elliot, Seven’s network director of sales, told the room: “A critical part of our plan has been around how we capture more data. We now have millions of connected Australians plugged into our red fusion data initiative and we’re now building this into our new training platform.

“So where are we at with our automated play? Well, we’re in the final throws of testing Code 7 and we will be rolling it out across all agencies for buying campaigns into Q1 of next year.

“Code 7 will allow us to trade and manage audience delivery and volatility of your campaigns based on your objectives, not ours.”

New programming:


Richard Roxburgh reprises his heralded portrayal of Australia’s most notorious former detective Roger Rogerson in BLUE MURDER: KILLER COP, leading an all-star cast including Toni Collette, Matt Nable, Dan Wyllie, Emma Booth, Justin Smith, Damian Walshe-Howling, Steve Le Marquand, Aaron Pedersen, Aaron Jeffery – and reprising their original roles, Tony Martin and Peter Phelps. A floating body, a drug deal gone wrong, and two former detectives the perpetrators. Life imprisonment is the end of Roger Rogerson’s story. The last Blue Murder ended with his expulsion in disgrace from the NSW Police Force. In this instalment, Rogerson struggles to make a living in a world that’s rapidly changing, caught between the pressures of criminals, police and a love that might save him. Written by Peter Schreck, directed by Michael Jenkins, produced by Michael Jenkins and Carol Hughes, and executive produced by John Edwards, Richard Roxburgh and Julie McGauran, Blue Murder: Killer Cop is an Endemol Shine Australia production for Seven, made with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen NSW.


Starring Josh Lawson as Paul Hogan, Ryan Corr as John ‘Strop’ Cornell and Justine Clarke as Noelene Hogan, Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story charts the meteoric rise of working-class Australian icon Paul Hogan whose easy, wise-cracking persona took him from the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the heights of a Golden Globe win, Oscar-nominated adulation, unprecedented box-office success and international superstardom, meanwhile forging powerful and enduring relationships along the way. Written by Keith Thompson and Marieke Hardy, directed by Kevin Carlin, produced by Brett Popplewell and executive produced by Jo Porter and Julie McGauran, Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Seven, made with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen Queensland.


Celebrating how a nice girl can finish first, the story of Olivia Newton-John charts her trailblazing personal, musical and uniquely female journey through one of the world’s toughest industries. Selling over 100 million records to become the number one recording artist in the world and starring in one of the most loved film musicals of all time, Olivia is a true Australian hero and survivor who’s lived her life in the goldfish bowl of public attention, learning along the way to harness the power of her fame and defining her greatest success by what she has been able to give back. Directed by Shawn Seet, produced by Margot McDonald and executive produced by Jo Porter and Julie McGauran, Olivia Newtown-John is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Seven, made with the assistance of Screen Australia and Film Victoria.


Shane Warne is a walking tabloid headline. Women, parties, women, high-life and women. He loved being married but couldn’t help himself. And as he rolled from scandal to scandal he was also, through all this, the greatest cricketer of his generation. WARNIE explores the paradox that is the most admired, criticised and publicised Australian sportsman of the century. Written by Matt Ford, produced by Kerrie Mainwaring and executive produced by Rory Callaghan and Julie McGauran, WARNIE is a Screentime, a Banijay Group company, production for Seven, made with the assistance of Screen Australia and Film Victoria.


Groundbreaking. Powerful. Gripping. Heart stopping. Murder Uncovered is a breakthrough investigative news series that will blow wide open some of the worst, most infamous cases of unsolved killings and crimes in Australian criminal history. Each episode will revisit a different case that enraged and engaged the country, featuring new evidence, major breakthroughs and fresh leads that will have you questioning everything. Featuring award-winning journalist Michael Usher, chilling new details will be uncovered from never-before-given interviews with eyewitnesses to the crimes, the detectives who investigated, the victims, the prime suspects, and in some cases even the murderers – in their own words. From the team that made the critically-acclaimed Anita Cobby documentary and In Cold Blood… The Chris Lane Story, MURDER UNCOVERED will dramatically revitalise the crime genre. Just when you thought you knew it all…


Million Dollar Cold Case is cracking open the files of unsolved murders that have frustrated police and devastated grieving families for years. Police are determined to catch the killers, and have offered one million dollar rewards to help solve these horrific crimes. MILLION DOLLAR COLD CASE takes the viewer inside each investigation as cold case detectives track down the murderer. They have a message for the killers – you will be caught. Someone, somewhere knows who did it.


In this brand new series from Seven Productions, these stunning young mums have model good looks, glamorous lives and are never seen without their high heels and designer wear – but their best accessory is their baby bump. As the Italian family from Adelaide get ready to celebrate the arrival of their new princess, things become very competitive when they try to outdo the Melbourne yummy mummies with the most lavish baby showers, extravagant push presents and luxurious babymoons. When these yummy mummies get together, nothing, and no subject, is off limits. But their glamorous, perfect lives are about to change and they have no idea what’s in store because… the babies are coming!


In this brand new series from Seven Productions, we follow Aussie couples who have found a way to get rich quick. They buy homes, they renovate, they sell – all in just a few short weeks. But with big reward comes big risk. Will it be flip or flop? And what are the secrets to their success?


A serialised murder-mystery comedy, this documentary-style single-camera series goes into the heart of a quirky, small Southern town to follow the arrest and murder trial of a beloved, if idiosyncratic, poetry professor Larry Henderson (John Lithgow, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dexter) and Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto, Gotham), the young Northeastern lawyer hired to defend him. Following the trial over the entire first season, this funny character-driven mystery is packed with physical comedic moments in tandem with the suspense of watching the case unfold. Larry, the accused, is vocal about maintaining his innocence, but as the cards stack, fall and shuffle, and the secrets come out… did he or didn’t he?


A gritty, intense drama from Jerry Bruckheimer, Training Day is a reimagining of the groundbreaking film of the same name, beginning 15 years later and exploring a modern-day Los Angeles in all its guts and glory. The LAPD’s Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell) is one of the good guys. An idealistic, rookie cop bumped up to detective in an elite and elusive unit that goes after the worst of the worst. He’s been tasked to expose the corruption of veteran cop Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton, ‘Big Love’), a charming but crooked, morally ambiguous detective. As the bullets fly and we enter the undercover world with these partners who don’t trust each other, who’s training who?


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