10 ViacomCBS upfronts carry reality focus with ‘Hunted’, ‘The Bridge’

Daniel Monaghan, Beverley McGarvey, Jarrod Villani and Rod Prosser

Reality is set to be reworked across 10 ViacomCBS in 2022, with international formats headlining today’s upfronts.

Endemol Shine Australia will adapt UK programs Hunted and Would I Lie To You? Australia as part of next year’s Network 10 slate, as well as reality series The Bridge for Paramount+.

Warner Bros. will also produce a local version of Showtime docuseries Couples Therapy for the ViacomCBS streamer.

The free-to-air premiere schedule is rounded out by a relaunch of First Dates Australia, which joins returning formats I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Australian Survivor, MasterChef Australia, The Masked Singer Australia, The Project, Gogglebox Australia and Have You Been Paying Attention?

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand senior vice president for content and programming Daniel Monaghan said the “strong, consistent” line-up was designed to maintain the company’s trajectory.

“Over the past 18 months we’ve grown our viewing share and once again proven ourselves to be leaders in escapist entertainment across all platforms,” he said.

“Our linear free-to-air channels boast the youngest audience of any commercial network, with 30 per cent of our viewers under 39. Not only that, but we also have the most female audience – an astonishing 61 per cent – of any commercial network in Australia.”

Based on the Channel 4 reality show, Hunted Australia will follow ordinary Australians as they go on the run to avoid a team of expert hunters. If the fugitives can outsmart and outrun the pros, they stand to win an incredible prize.

In fellow UK adaptation Would I Lie To You? Australia, Chrissie Swan will direct two teams – captained by Chris Taylor and Frank Woodley – as they try to hoodwink each other with tall and twisted tales, leaving the viewer to separate the truth from the fiction.

Over on Paramount+, The Bridge is set to take audiences to the Tasmanian wilderness, where 12 contestants must work together to build a 300-metre-long bridge in just 20 days.

Based on the format from C4 and HBO Max, the adventure series requires the players to work as a team, despite only one of them being able to claim the $250,000 prize.

Examining how people work together is also part of Couples Therapy Australia, which goes behind the closed doors of a therapist’s office into the secret world of other people’s relationships. In weekly therapy sessions, couples will hash out their real-life issues and share their extraordinary breakthroughs for the first time outside the therapy room.

The new arrivals join previously announced Paramount+ titles, such as Northern Pictures’ comedy Spreadsheet, and the third season of Hoodlum Entertainment’s Five Bedrooms, as well as Macario de Souza’s coming-of-age feature 6 Festivals and mini-series Last King of The Cross, both of which are from Helium.

The streamer will also have a role 10 ViacomCBS’s expanded sports coverage, with The Football Association (The FA) announcing a media rights agreement which will see the Emirates FA Cup matches broadcast live across Network 10 and Paramount+.