Lucy Lawless, star of CJZ’s ‘My Life Is Murder’.
The newly-rebranded Network 10 on Wednesday night unveiled 13 new Australian shows for 2019 including romantic comedy Five Bedrooms, thriller The Secrets She Keeps and four entertainment series spun-off from shows which screened during Pilot Week.
Created by Michael Lucas and Christine Bartlett (The Wrong Girl, Offspring, Party Tricks) and produced by Hoodlum Entertainment, Five Bedrooms will follow five very different people who meet on the singles’ table at a wedding and decide to buy a house together.
Lingo Pictures’ The Secrets She Keeps is a psychological thriller based on the novel by Australian author Michael Robotham, a dark tale of two women from different walks of life who have one thing in common – explosive secrets that could destroy their lives.
Jonathan Gavin (Sisters, Offspring) and Sarah Walker (Wonderland, Home and Away, Neighbours) will script the six-part series. The protagonists are Meg, who has a handsome husband, two gorgeous children and a third bundle of joy on the way, and Agatha, a young pregnant woman with an estranged mother and a much younger ex-boyfriend who admires and envies Meg from afar.
The novel has been published in more than a dozen countries including the US and Canada, the UK, Germany, Spain and China, which suggests the series potentially will have international appeal.
The slate includes CJZ’s previously announced drama My Life Is Murder and comedy Mr Black. Lucy Lawless stars as Alexa Crowe, a brilliant, insightful, and completely-without-filter investigator who solves the most baffling crimes as well as coping with the frustrations of everyday life in My Life is Murder, scripted by Jane Allen, Peter Gawler and CJZ head of drama development Claire Tonkin.
Stephen Curry plays a curmudgeonly former sports journalist in Mr Black, who moves in with his daughter and her boyfriend. Created by Adam Zwar and co-written with Amanda Brotchie, the show features Nadine Garner as Mr. Black’s estranged wife Rowena, Sophie Wright as their daughter Angela and Nick Russell as her sensitive, new-age boyfriend Fin. The 8-part series is directed by Brotchie and Clayton Jacobson.
The Pilot Week shows which have been commissioned are:
Luna Media’s Taboo, based on a Belgian format in which each week a different comedian spends five days and nights with members of a disadvantaged group in society and uses the experience to perform a stand-up routine about them while they sit in the front row.
Big Yellow Taxi Productions and Kinne Productions’ Kinne Tonight, which sees comedian Troy Kinne ditch the stress of modern life in a fast-paced half-hour of laughter.
Screentime’s Trial By Kyle, which follows radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands as he aims to settle disputes with the help of former The Bachelor Australia star and criminal lawyer Anna Heinrich.
Roving Enterprises’ Bring Back Saturday Night, which sees Rove McManus continue his quest to reunite the country’s greatest acts, bands and TV stars in a fresh spin on the Saturday night variety hour.
The network said there is no decision yet on a renewal of Screentime’s Playing for Keeps, which it says is performing well. There was no mention of a second series of CJZ’s Street Smart or more of Working Dog Productions’ Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures.
The slate includes the previously announced Dancing with the Stars from Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia and BBC Studios, Endemol Shine Australia’s home renovation show Changing Rooms, ITV Studios Australia’s Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway and another edition of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!.
There will be second seasons of Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia’s Bachelor In Paradise and ESA’s Ambulance Australia and the return of ESA’s Gogglebox (which will have two runs in 2019), Essential Media’s Body Hack 3.0, Working Dog Productions’ Have You Been Paying Attention?, Screentime’s Hughesy, We Have A Problem and Ronde Media and Blink TV’s Show Me The Movie!.
The 11th season of ESA’s MasterChef Australia will see Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston joined by three new mentors, MasterChef Australia Poh Ling Yeow, Billie McKay and Matt Sinclair, plus Nigella Lawson.
The line-up for the second half includes the return of ESA’s Australian Survivor Champions Vs Contenders and The Bachelor Australia.
Network 10 chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “We are ready to deliver a slate of new and returning hit shows that build on the success we’ve had this year and get to consumers wherever they are, whenever they want to watch.
“This year we successfully launched a number of new brands with excellent growth potential including Bachelor In Paradise and Ambulance Australia and we saw great growth with shows like Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Bachelor Australia and Australian Survivor recording their biggest audiences to date.
“We’ve had record-breaking catch-up numbers on 10 Play, with all of our major shows recording their highest video views ever. Next year we will strengthen our position as leaders in escapist entertainment and we’ll have differentiated flagship content targeting people under-50, 50 weeks a year, starting right now across all our platforms.”
Among the new US offerings will be CBS’s Murphy Brown starring Candice Bergen, The Conners with John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert, and The Gilded Age from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.