Channel Nine is strongly backing a new reboot of Big Brother to grab viewers in 2012, the network has announced.
A new version of the reality show – hosted by Sonia Kruger who was just announced as Kerri-Anne Kennerley's replacement – has been devised, which will also see a new house, new twists and obviously new housemates.
Originally screening on Channel 10 for eight seasons before being cancelled in 2008, Big Brother is often regarded as Australia's 'mother of all reality shows'. A new version has been rumoured for years. The new show – Big Brother: Secrets – is expected to air around August after Nine’s coverage of the London Olympics comes to a finish.
A local version of US series The Voice (based on Dutch program The Voice of Holland) is set to make it onto Nine next year, which will see the best undiscovered artists coached by ARIA/Logie-award winner Delta Goodrem, Grammy-Award winner Seal, country music star Keith Urban and Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden.
Nine, which didn’t pull any surprises at the launch yesterday, is touting the show as “the musical and social media phenomenon of 2012”.
A new Underbelly series is also in the works, following the success of Razor which pulled 2.8 million viewers when it launched in August.
It remains unclear what the series will be about. Executive producer Des Monaghan, of production company Screentime, told IF a few months ago that there were four new Underbelly projects in the pipeline.
“I can’t go into detail but we’re working on four different Underbelly projects, but which one will be next is still up in the air,” he said.
Screentime has also been commissioned by Nine to do a new Australian family drama to battle Seven's Packed To The Rafters, entitled Tricky Business. Currently in production, the series looks at the lengths people go to to get themselves out of trouble. It will star Shane Bourne (City Homicide), Gigi Edgley (Rescue Special Ops), Debra Byrne (The Secret Life Of Us), Lincoln Lewis (Tomorrow, When The War Began), Kip Gamblin (All Saints, Home and Away), Antony Starr (Rush) and Sophie Hensser (Underbelly).
Telemovies are also returning to Nine with two currently scheduled to air in 2012: Beaconsfield and The Great Mint Swindle.
The latter is a tale about the most famous gold heist in our nation’s history – a major crime that remains unsolved to this day. Produced by Cordell Jigsaw Productions, which last week won Documentary Producers of the Year at the SPAA Independent Producer Awards, and Zinc Finger Films, the telemovie stars Grant Bowler, Todd Lasance, Josh Quong Tart, Bourne and John Batchelor.
Beaconsfield, by Southern Star’s John Edwards, is based on the 2006 mining disaster in Tasmania. Written by Julie McCrossin, the telemovie will star Shane Jacobson (Kenny), Lachy Hulme (Offspring), Simon Lyndon (Spirited), Michala Banas (Winners & Losers) and Sacha Horler (Small Time Gangster, Crownies).
Miniseries Howzat! The Kerry Packer Story, from the makers of Paper Giants, follows the birth of World Series Cricket and how the face of cricket changed on Australian televison due to Kerry Packer. The two-part miniseries was commissioned back in April.
A new series, Excess Baggage, was also announced. Hosted by Kate Ceberano, it will focus on eight celebrities – eight ordinary Australians – and one life-changing decision. Their physical and emotional baggage is holding them back, and they’re ready to reclaim their lives. Travelling far across this country, and deep inside themselves they will discover the secrets to shedding life’s 'Excess Baggage'. The celebs are: Kevin Federline, Christine Anu, Kate DeAraugo, Gaby Millgate, Darryn Lyons, Brant Webb, Ajay Rochester and Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico.
On top of this, The Block will return to the screen (with a new elimination round and new challenges), as will The Celebrity Apprentice Australia, The Farmer Wants A Wife, Hamish & Andy, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Millionaire Hotseat.