Nine revives ‘SeaChange,’ commissions ‘Lego Masters’ and more Hamish and Andy

William McInnes and Sigrid Thornton in the ABC’s ‘SeaChange’ (Photo: ABC).

Eighteen years since SeaChange ended its 39-episodes run on the ABC, Sigrid Thornton and John Howard will be back on screen in 2019 in a contemporary version of the show created by Andrew Knight and Deborah Cox.

The Nine Network has commissioned eight one hour episodes as a co-production between ITV Studios Australia and Every Cloud Productions. Shooting starts next year with Every Cloud’s Cox and Fiona Eagger as executive producers alongside Thornton and ITV’s David Mott. ITV owns the format to the show which was produced by Artist Services for the ABC.

Twenty years on, Laura Gibson (Thornton) returns to the beachside paradise of Pearl Bay and this time it seems Pearl Bay needs Laura just as much as she needs it. Howard reprises his role as Bob Jelly, who was the mayor in the original. No other cast has been announced.

Mott tells IF: “I took this reboot to the market when it was obvious other reboots such as Roseanne came back strongly. I then decided to secure Sigrid and then John Howard and take it to market. There was a story done months ago, which perked up Nine.”

Thornton said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Pearl Bay. Time has passed and the world has changed, so as we revisit this rich and strange place I trust we’ll all delight in the chance to explore how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.”

Nine’s co-head of drama Andy Ryan added, “Two decades after SeaChange changed the face of Australian drama, Pearl Bay is still a hotbed of romance, mateship and community spirit. With plenty of fresh faces and new challenges, it is perfect family entertainment.”

The drama slate for 2019 includes the previously announced Bad Mothers, the saga of five very different women juggling love, family, careers, infidelity and murder, created by Filthy Productions and produced by Jungle Entertainment; and a fourth season of Easy Tiger Productions’ Doctor Doctor.

Melissa George has replaced Jessica Marais, who withdrew for health reasons, as a regular in Bad Mothers. Tess Haubrich, Don Hany and Daniel MacPherson have joined the cast alongside the regulars Mandy McElhinney, Shalom Brune-Franklin and Jessica Tovey.

There was no mention at Nine’s Upfronts on Wednesday afternoon of a renewal of Playmaker Media’s Bite Club; a Nine spokesperson told IF its future was undecided.

‘Lego Masters.’

Among other local shows unveiled at the Upfronts, Endemol Shine Australia will produce a local version of the UK format Lego Masters. Hosted by Hamish Blake, the show will pit eight pairs against each other in a quest to impress with their creativity, design and flair, starting with a single Lego brick.

Radio Karate will produce Hamish and Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday, another action—packed adventure with a slight twist yet to be revealed.

Nine’s new documentary crime series Murder, Lies and Alibis will dissect some of the most infamous criminal cases from Oz and around the world as a team of investigators re-examines cold cases the police couldn’t solve. They discover fresh leads, unearth chilling footage and audio and secure interviews with witnesses who go on the record for the first time.

David Attenborough returns with Dynasties, a five-part landmark series in which he follows different animal families – lions, hunting dogs, chimpanzees, tigers and emperor penguins – at the most critical period in their lives.

Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, NBC’s medical drama New Amsterdam follows the brilliant and charming Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold), the new medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care.

NBC’s dance competition series World of Dance sees Jennifer Lopez alongside dance experts Ne-Yo and Derek Hough judge, guide and mentor top dancing talent and troupes of all ages.

The BBC’s documentary ABBA: Let the Music Speak chronicles the band’s history, why they broke up and why they decided to get back together.