Nine bets big on new reality brands
‘Lego Masters’ Hamish Blake and Ryan McNaught.
With ITV Studios Australia’s The Voice moving to the Seven Network next year, that has freed up a chunk of money and gaps in the schedule for the Nine Network, which is investing in new reality brands.
At its virtual Upfront today the broadcaster revealed it’s bringing back Warner Bros. Television’s Celebrity Apprentice Australia after six years and it has commissioned Endemol Shine Australia’s Beauty and the Geek, a format which ran for six seasons on the Seven Network until 2014.
Among the other new shows, in-house concept Beach House Escape will follow 10 talented individuals as they compete to give an old home on the beachfront a complete makeover; the production company is yet to be determined.
Based on a Discovery US format, Celebrity IOU Australia will see A-listers work to a tight deadline to transform living spaces, production company to be appointed. The US version screens on Nine on Mondays after The Block.
The schedule also includes renewals for Endemol Shine Australia’s Married at First Sight, Lego Masters and Australian Ninja Warrior and the 17th season of The Block, which will be set in a suburban cul-de-sac.
“By not doing The Voice that gives us more options for the schedule and we can try to build new brands,” program director Hamish Turner told IF today.
British billionaire Lord Alan Sugar, who was a regular in 17 seasons of The Apprentice UK, will serve as the CEO for the candidates vying to become the next Celebrity Apprentice.
In each episode two teams of celebrities will take on an epic task while reaching into their black books of contacts to win cash for their chosen charities.
The first three celebrities to throw their hat in the ring are personal trainer, author and TV personality Michelle Bridges; one half of Nova FM’s Fitzy & Wippa radio show Michael “Wippa” Wipfli; and Olympic gymnast Olivia Vivian, who is also the most successful woman in Australian Ninja Warrior history.
Along with two Australian businessmen mentors who are yet to be announced, Sugar will eliminate the celebrities one by one with the dreaded words “You’re fired.”
Turner says: “We always loved the brand and Warner Bros has a vision for it that we really like. It’s pitched as Survivor in the city.”
Sophie Monk will host Beauty and the Geek as a fresh group of beauties and geeks from all over the country test their brains and their charisma. Nine says the show will “deliver laughs, tears and everything in between as two groups of people from completely different worlds are set to collide.”
Unlike Seven, which screened one episode a week, Nine will strip the show; casting begins soon. “It’s a dating show which doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Turner says.
Season eight of Married at First Sight will see clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla join experts John Aiken and Mel Schilling to pair 20 singles from across Australia with the goal of creating 10 perfect matches. Zoom casting is being used to recruit the participants.
“With my particular expertise, I hope to contribute to the complex mix of components that ensure marriages not only work but thrive in the long haul,” Rampolla says.
“One of my strongest core beliefs is that sexual expression and compatibility are vital in building, nourishing and maintaining healthy romantic relationships.”
‘Love Island Australia.’
Lego Masters returns with host Hamish Blake, resident judge Ryan “Brickman” McNaught and eight new pairs of designers competing in fresh challenges.
In this year’s Australian Ninja Warrior the daunting Mt Midoryiama was finally conquered by Ben Polson, who was crowned Australia’s first Ninja Warrior and won $400,000 in prize money.
In season five, the best Ninjas from all over Australia are said to be more motivated than ever to claim the next title as they take on gravity-defying obstacles.
The pandemic forced ITV Studios Australia to scrap plans to shoot Love Island Australia this year and the UK version was also postponed.
Both brands are returning next year, with season three due to be filmed in a villa on the Gold Coast.
Also postponed from this year, Eureka Productions’ The Parent Jury will see parenting expert Jo Frost dare mums and dads who believe their parenting style is the best to put themselves to the acid test. Opinionated mothers and fathers with diverse parenting styles will take turns judging each other.