SBS has today unveiled its 2018 line-up, revealing a slate of programs across multiple platforms cementing SBS's position as Australia's most distinctive media organisation.
These new programs will entertain, inspire, challenge and, at times, shift the dial on attitudes. The network's 2018 schedule explores diversity in culture, gender, sexuality, age, and lifestyle, with the objective of contributing to a healthier and more united Australian society.
SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid; said: 'SBS is delivering its strongest year yet, with differentiated programs and services that set it apart in an increasingly homogenous and competitive media market.
'Through a defined strategic direction, an innovative approach to scheduling and acceleration of our digital services, and as our nation becomes more culturally complex, we're proud that SBS is engaging more Australians with our important programming across more platforms than ever before."
Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald, said: 'At SBS, we want to play a constructive role in helping Australians understand who we are. We want to encourage Australians to seek out different perspectives, to feel a sense of connection, belonging and empowerment. We want to tell stories that make people think, stories that make people feel, stories that challenge us, stories that inspire us.
'For more than 40 years, promoting diversity has been at the heart of SBS. We want to tell stories with underlying thematics that help Australians understand that this country's greatest asset is the diversity of our people. Our differences make us strong."
In 2018, SBS will bring Australian audiences five new commissioned Australian drama series across the network.
Safe Harbour is a gripping psychological thriller filmed and set in Brisbane, exploring how a single action has a ripple effect building to tsunami proportions. Dead Lucky is a crime drama with a difference starring Rachel Griffiths, revealing the complexities and tensions in crosscultural relationships.
Benjamin Law's coming-of-age series The Family Law returns for a third and final season, as the Asian Australian family navigates the world of adult romance and defines what it means to become a man.
NITV's first foray into scripted drama, Grace Beside Me, is a children's series adapted from the award-winning novel by Sue McPherson, and Homecoming Queens is the first local commission for SBS On Demand – a semi-autobiographical -sad-com' from an all-female creative team following twenty-something best friends as they reinvent themselves after chronic illnesses.
SBS believes sport is a unifying force – where people from all over the world come together to laugh, cry and cheer on common ground. The network will again deliver the world's biggest sporting event in 2018 with the FIFA World Cup live from Russia with 25 premium games completely live, free and in HD with the analysis and coverage SBS is renowned for. The network will deliver nearly 400 hours of football content to every home in Australia next year, including exclusive free to air English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and WLeague coverage.
But it's not just football – SBS maintains its position as Australia's home of Cycling, with over 100 hours of live coverage from the world's biggest annual sporting event, the Tour De France and the refreshed National Basketball League will return. After adding tennis to its slate this year, the US Open will return with the finals in 2018, and SBS proudly announced today that it will also add the spectacle of the French Open to its growing sports catalogue.
SBS is a market leader for brave and innovative documentaries, which aim to tell stories that inform, entertain and challenge perspectives – and, where possible, shift the dial on attitudes. After sparking a national discussion on the homelessness crisis this year, Filthy Rich and Homeless will be back for a second series in 2018, set in a new city. It will raise the bar higher by tackling the policies and potential solutions to a crisis that shows little sign of improving. The most awarded Australian documentary series of all time – Go Back to Where You Came From – will return for a fourth season with a difference. Go Back Live will be one of the most ambitious live television events in Australian broadcasting history. Over three nights, it will use the latest technology to give a snapshot of the global refugee crisis by presenting stories from the front line, as they happen in real time.
Currently, Australia ranks 46th on the Global Gender Gap Index, down 10 places in the last year alone. Is Australia Sexist? will explore an issue dominating global headlines and contribute to a national debate.
In Muslims Like Us, ten Australian Muslims with contrasting world views will move into a house together for eight days. Their passionate debates, honest disagreements, humour and insights will reveal what it is like to be an Australian Muslim today.
SBS will also dive headfirst into issues and stories impacting individuals and society with new commissioned titles like Marry Me, Marry My Family; the return of the Untold Australia series and the beloved Who Do You Think You Are? which will reveal the fascinating pasts of Charlie Teo, Natalie Imbruglia, John Jarratt and Ernie Dingo amongst others.
The network continues to the push boundaries of storytelling formats and in 2018 will bring Australia's first foray into -slow TV' – a format hugely popular in Europe. The Ghan is an immersive three hour television event that invites viewers on a real time journey on this iconic train ride from Adelaide to Darwin.
SBS will remain the leading Australian destination for premium food programming in 2018, reflecting Australia's multicultural community through the dishes of our home countries, passed down through generations.
Rethink everything you know about Chinese food with Adam Liaw's Destination Flavour China, take a glorious exploration of seafood with Maeve O'Meara in Food Safari Water, follow Sarah Todd as she tries to open a restaurant in bustling Mumbai in My Restaurant in India season 2. Learn how a young refugee became one of Australia's most successful chefs in Luke Nguyen's Food Trail, and kick off the year with Shane Delia's Recipe for Life, which provides all the inspiration for those New Year's resolutions.
SBS brings the world's best drama to all Australians, focusing on big themes and issues that affect Australia and the world today with huge heart, intimacy and human connection. In 2018, Australians will be treated to new seasons of the hugely successful The Handmaid's Tale, which will be fast tracked from the US on SBS and SBS On Demand, legal drama The Good Fight, and the long awaited Knightfall, an epic exploration of the world of the Knights Templar, and more.
The network also loves some glitter and glamour alongside the drama, celebrating 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018 with its special coverage, and showcasing Australian talent to the world in the 63rd annual Eurovision Song Contest, this year coming to you live from Lisbon, Portugal, with exclusive backstage and behind the scenes access from returning hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.
On its one year birthday, youth focused channel SBS VICELAND announced today that SBS and VICE will develop locally produced programs, with the aim to air them across the Australian channel and VICELAND'S 50+ global channels. SBS VICELAND will also bring VICELAND productions from the US, UK, India, France, Belgium, Greece, Latin America and Africa, and fast tracked new seasons of Emmy Award winning programs, including Atlanta and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Turning two years old, dedicated food entertainment channel Food Network will continue its popular themed months and nights, targeting the diverse interests of all Australians. Flamin' Fridays BBQ themed nights hosted by Roger Mooking will run from January, just in time for summer, followed Baking Month coming up in February, Travel Month in April, and – if you're feeling a little guilty – Healthy Food Month throughout May. The channel will also expand on its growing suite of original local content, starting the year with Bondi Harvest, hosted by Guy Turland, which offers healthy life hacks from the best beach in the world.
NITV is the home of Indigenous storytelling, and it's going from strength to strength in its tenth year, sharing First Nations culture and incredible stories with all Australians.
In 2018 the channel will deliver a mix of entertainment, documentary, sport and news with titles including Wik vs QLD, commemorating the 21st anniversary of the landmark case; Westwind – Djalu's Legacy, which pairs a Yolngu warrior Djalu Gurruwiwi with global pop star Gotye; Black Divaz which follows the inaugural Miss First Nation Indigenous drag queen pageant in time for Mardi Gras; and Digging Deep which locates the descendants of 11 Indigenous Light Horsemen on ANZAC Day.
SBS is one of Australia's most trusted new sources, and continues this legacy in 2018 with a new look SBS World News, the increasingly popular forum program Insight, international current affairs program Dateline and business program Small Business Secrets. Younger demo-focused nightly program The Feed will continue to break new ground and Where Are You Really From, hosted by comedian Michael Hing will explore Australia's multicultural communities living in regional Australia.
In 2018, SBS On Demand will continue to prove it's far more than a catch up service, offering Australians exclusive content from around the world and curated collections to suit any taste. With 80 per cent of the drama catalogue culturally and linguistically diverse, SBS On Demand will screen incredible new programs from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, the UK and US – and many more. Australians will be able to get more of what they love and want, available anytime, anywhere in 2018.