SBS reveals 2013-14 programming line-up

30 October, 2013 by Emily Blatchford

Tony Iffland introduces the SBS slate for 2013-2014. 


SBS revealed its 2013-2014 programming slate at an industry showcase held in The Rocks, Sydney, this afternoon. 

Introduced by SBS Director of TV, Tony Iffland, the slate spanned a number of genres and included a variety of programs; from returning series such as Once Upon a Time, to new content like documentary series Australia’s Secret Heroes, to the free-to-air premiere of international blockbuster drama The Walking Dead. 

“2014 is really about more – so it’s about more food, more documentaries, more sport, more drama than ever before,” Iffland said. “On SBS 1 and 2, we are seeing a 33 per cent increase in Australian commissioned content. We’re very proud of that. It shows how we at SBS have rearranged our resources, used our scarce funds and really invested that in content.”

SBS was particularly thrilled to announce they will exclusively cover the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“It’s the biggest sporting event in the world and of course it’s the FIFA world cup in Brazil,” Iffland said. “And what fun we are going to have turning our network into a celebration of the world cup and all things Brazilian. SBS has the exclusive broadcast rights across all platforms. That’s TV, that’s online, that’s mobile, that’s tablet and that’s radio. The only place you’ll see the World Cup is with SBS.”

He also expressed enthusiasm for NITV, which, a year after joining the SBS stable, has continued to strengthen, “bringing to all Australia the richness of our indigenous culture – a channel for and by indigenous people,” he said.

On another positive note for the network, SBS 2 has managed to increase its target audience of viewers aged 16-39 by 74 per cent since its “wildly successful” relaunch earlier this year.

For a list of factual highlights distributed to press on the day, please see below.

Factual Highlights

New for 2014:

 Living with the Enemy (Shine Australia) is a bold, new provocative six-part series which explores the faultlines of social cohesion, as two people who have diametrically opposed views on a cultural divide are immersed in each other’s lives.

 Australia’s Secret Heroes (Joined Up) a three-part series charting the journey of a secretive WWII Special Forces unit, and follows the grandchildren of veterans as they attempt to follow in their footsteps through their gruelling jungle training regime.

 Acclaimed author and journalist Peter Fitzsimons will host a new three-part documentary series, The Great Australian Race Riot (Essential Media and Entertainment) that will reveal our turbulent history of racism, riots and reconciliation.

 Well-known SBS name, Matthew Evans of Gourmet Farmer will be taken out of his comfort zone as he embarks on a voyage of discovery to reveal the complex truth behind Australia’s seafood in the three-part series What’s The Catch? (Essential Media and Entertainment).

Returning for 2014:

 The second series of Once Upon A Time, Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl (Northern Pictures), premieres on SBS on 7 January 2014. It is the inside story of the challenges the Lebanese community has faced in Australia and how they have fought to overcome them. (4 x 1hr)

 The Once Upon a Time series will continue with the announcement of Once Upon a Time in Carlton (Northern Pictures), which will delve into the Italian community in Carlton, Melbourne with Mick Gatto a key character in the series. (3x 1hr)

 Celebrated genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? (Artemis International and Serendipity Productions) returns for its sixth Australian series, exploring the family history of high profile Australians including Andrew Denton, Jacki Weaver, Rebecca Gibney, Richard Roxburgh and Lisa McCune. (8x 1hr)

All of these new factual commissions receive funding from Screen Australia.

Drama & Entertainment Highlights

 One of the most anticipated drama series this year, Rectify, stars Australia’s own Aden Young and Adelaide Clemens. This heartbreaking and breath-taking drama tells the story of a death row inmate who is thrust into a world he no longer knows when his conviction is vacated.

SBS’s strong documentary Sunday nights will expand in 2014, creating event TV with the introduction of key factual and drama series throughout the year, the first of which is World War II season featuring three new dramas;

 Generation War, a German World War II miniseries, about 5 friends set in Berlin, 1941.
 Spies of Warsaw, an adaptation of Alan Furst’s celebrated spy novel starring David Tenant (Doctor Who) and Janet Montgomery (Entourage).
 Restless, about a young woman who names her mother as having worked as a spy for the British Secret Service.

 SBS’s compelling Danish drama slate continues with the return of The Bridge, and Borgen. Borgen Season 2 premieres on November 13, 9.30pm SBS ONE.

 Popular drama Vikings also returns to SBS with season two in March, followed by the recently renewed second season of Masters of Sex later next year.

Australia’s much loved music quiz show, RocKwiz, will be back in 2014 with a new expanded season of 14 episodes, as the delightful Julia Zemiro, Brian Nankervis, human scoreboard Dugald and the talented RocKwiz Orkestra bring the Gershwin Room at the legendary Esplanade hotel in St Kilda to life in Australia’s original music trivia show.

Food Highlights

SBS’s popular Thursday night food programming is set to get bigger and better with more series from some of Australia’s leading chefs.

 Gourmet Farmer Afloat (Essential Media and Entertainment) features Matthew Evans, Ross O’Meara and Nick Haddows as they trace the path followed by the first Australians to chart Tasmanian shores, exploring the foods and culture of yesteryear. (6 x 1hr)

 Luke Nguyen returns with his new series Luke Nguyen’s France (Red Creative Media) which leads him on a quest to discover the culinary wonderland that shaped his ancestral home. (10 x 30min)

 Embarking on a breathtaking journey through the vibant and tempting world of Mexican cuisine is Peter Kuruvita in his new series, Mexican Fiesta with Peter Kuruvita (The Precinct Studios). (10 x 30min)

 Shane Delia is back for the second stage of his odyssey through the Middle East in Shane Delia’s Spice Journey Turkey (Essential Media and Entertainment). (10 x 30min)

SBS 2 Highlights

SBS 2 will continue to delight younger audiences with smart, provocative and funny content with cult appeal, including brand new commissioned series.

 One of the cornerstones of SBS 2, news and culture show The Feed returns with even more in 2014, extending its nightly episodes from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

 The laughs will be coming thick and fast with SBS 2’s first comedy commission. Yet to be named stand up show hosted by Chas Licciardello, features some of Australia’s funniest stand-up comedians, including Dan Illic, Joel Creasey and Matt Okine, doing what they do best in front of a studio audience. (10 x 30min)

 International blockbuster drama also comes to SBS 2 with the free-to-air premiere of The Walking Dead (slow-tracked from season one) and TCA award winning supernatural drama Orphan Black.

 SBS 2 remains the destination for leading domestic sport with the Hyundai A-League and the ANZ Championship netball live plus new live entertainment football show Thursday FC.

Sport Highlights

2014 will be one of the biggest years in sport for SBS with more live major events than ever before.

 The world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, is live and exclusive on SBS in 2014. All 64 games will be live from Brazil, with over 700 hours of coverage and exclusive broadcast rights across all platforms including TV, online, mobile, tablet and radio. Les Murray and Craig Foster will once again spearhead SBS’s coverage, which will include daily updates, news, match analysis and a nightly program following the Socceroos on the road to World Cup glory.

 Live football action will continue on SBS next year with live coverage of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the FA Cup.

 SBS remains the home of cycling in Australia with the live and exclusive broadcast of the world’s largest cycling race the Tour de France as well as coverage of the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

NITV Highlights

A year on from joining the SBS stable, NITV in 2014 is building on their programming triumphs with both acquired and locally produced programming – news and current affairs, sport, children’s shows, comedy, feature films, lifestyle and food and beyond.

New for 2014:

 Hosted by Rhoda Roberts, In The Frame (NITV) will take audiences on a journey exploring the lives of Indigenous personalities and heroes as they talk openly and candidly about their photos, their past and their futures. (12 x 26min)

 Kriol Kitchen (Wawili Pitjas) sees sisters Mitch and Ali Torres draw in their combined acting experiences and local inside knowledge to go on a journey of food, culture and family history. (10x 26min)

 NITV tells Indigenous stories from around the world with Hard Rock Medical. Starring Australia’s own Mark Coles Smith, this original indigenous Canadian drama has two episodes filmed in Australia and follows a diverse group of students as they navigate through a four-year adventure in the most unusual medical school in the world.