Seven in 2021: Familiar formats delivered differently, with Australian Idol, The Voice, Big Brother and Farmer Wants a Wife

Seven is promising a big content spine for 2021 and 2022 featuring new, existing and reimagined formats including Australian Idol, Farmer Wants a Wife, Big Brother, The Voice and Australia’s Got Talent.

While there weren’t many surprises in the titles on the list, Seven says the difference will be in the way it delivers each show, with shorter, snappier runs and new, more engaging formats.

James Warburton, Seven West Media managing director and CEO, said the network will have ‘five of the biggest entertainment brands in the world’ on its 2021 slate and that nobody should bet against Seven.

“Our new content-led strategy of outsourcing proven international formats has delivered this year with an incredible resurgence led by the phenomenal performance of Big Brother and Farmer Wants A Wife,” said Warburton.

“Coupled with the return of a sensational AFL season, we’ve led every demographic since June. We’re in front in 25-54s and lead 16-39s by a massive 5.4 share points. That’s a solid transformation, despite the obvious challenges this year.”

Missing from the lineup in 2021 is My Kitchen Rules and House Rules, both rested for 2021, and Plate of Origin which won’t be returning. The former two are older formats for Seven and didn’t perform as well in 2020 as they have done previously, despite a refresh, while the latter was a disappointment for the network and struggled without the Olympics to bounce off.

The one big surprise from Seven’s event was the Australian Idol announcement. The show, which formerly aired on Ten, will be back in 2022 on the network, with director of programming Angus Ross saying Seven was excited to bring it back.

“Idol is the granddaddy of them all! The biggest show in the world comes to Seven in 2022, and we know Australians are going to love it. We can’t wait to bring Idol back to Australian audiences in 2022, putting our prime time content line-up even further ahead of the competition,” said Ross.

“We’re home to the biggest franchises in television at Seven, and Idol is the biggest of them all. Bring on 2022!”

Disruption is the name of the game for Seven in 2021, with Warburton promising an ‘unrivalled’ experience for audiences.

Now isn’t the time to bet against Seven says Warburton

“We have shown only glimpses of our best from this year and that’s got us to less than half a point from being the most watched network in the country. With our multiple global tentpoles in play, our first-class Olympics coverage and winning news and sport schedules, get set to see what we’re really capable of.”

Also coming in 2021 is Holey Moley, which was delayed this year thanks to COVID-19 travel restrictions. But a new course, built in Queensland, promises the show will go ahead next year and given its success in the US, Seven is pretty confident about how it will perform here. Seven will be airing the show against Nine’s strong early-year slate, including Married At First Sight.

There’s another season of SAS Australia, which has launched strongly this week, and more The All New Full Monty. Favourites including Home and Away and The Chase will return, and Seven is hoping COVID-19 won’t impact the slate next year like it did this year, where the network was hit harder than its competitors due to the formats it had to film.

In sport, Seven has said it still ‘loves the cricket’, despite the drama surrounding its broadcast rights, and promises it is still committed to the sport. AFL is hoping to be bigger than the shortened season in 2020 and next year will see the network broadcast its first year inside a new Supercars deal.

Plus, there’s the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, delayed until 2021 and followed quickly by the 2022 Bejing Winter Olympics. They’ll still be ‘the greatest games of all time’ says the network, despite the delays and possible travel restrictions.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “The IOC is delighted to announce an extension to our agreement with Seven in Australia. We have a partnership that dates back to the Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956 and Australian sports fans will be able to count on Seven’s sports broadcast expertise and passion for at least another edition of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022. In addition, as the IOC redistributes over 90 percent of its revenues, the financial support of our long-term commercial partners benefits the athletes, including the Australian Olympic Team for Beijing 2022, and the entire Olympic Movement. This solidarity is more important now than ever.”

Kurt Burnette, Seven West Media chief revenue officer, said: “2020 has been a year like no other. We’ve all faced challenges like never before, with our content for the year impacted and our partners forced to pivot strategies to capture the attention of audiences in different and agile ways.

Seven is ready for 2021 with a strong content spine and Tokyo 2020 says Burnette

“But these challenges have presented us with opportunities to innovate and grow together and deliver great outcomes for our partners. For 2021 and 2022 Seven has strategically created and will deliver the most disruptive content line-up in a decade. Offering brands across Seven, 7plus and new ways to reach and target new audiences. Along with the most consistent and dominant content spine of Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Chase, 7NEWS and Home and Away. We’re excited about what we’re able to offer to ensure that working together, we can make 2021 and beyond a success as we all embark on the road to recovery.”


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