Andrew Denton (Photo credit: Stewart Spence).
The return of Andrew Denton, new reality series The Rich House and Dance Boss and local crime drama Australian Gangster are among the shows which the Seven Network is banking on to make 2018 its 12th straight year at the top of the primetime ratings.
Unveiling its slate today, the network also confirmed the long-mooted miniseries on Olivia Newton-John and that it has rescued The Doctor Blake Mysteries after the ABC axed the drama after five seasons.
Seven also unveiled true-crime series Undercurrent, factual show Emergency Call, a feature-length documentary on rock legend Jimmy Barnes and reality shows The First Wives Club and Back with the Ex.
Spruiking the slate at an event in Melbourne which was live streamed to Sydney, Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner acknowledged 2017 wasn’t “our best win” in a year which he described as the toughest in recent history.
In the back half of the year “we came up short,” he said, vowing to turn that around in 2018.
Denton appeared on stage to announce he will host a talk show entitled Interview, the first from his new production company Legacy Media. He did not reveal the guests but said he expects the interviews to go “unexpected places and off the rails.”
He explained he decided not to offer the show to the ABC, for whom he made Enough Rope, because he thinks the public broadcaster should develop new talent and he did not deny an opportunity to someone else.
In an amusing anecdote he recalled he first met SWM chairman Kerry Stokes when he hosted a Tonight show for the network in the Nineties. Stokes was a guest on the show and Denton playfully handcuffed him to a chair. In the ad break he offered to set Stokes free but he was happy to remain cuffed for the rest of the show and stayed on for drinks with the crew until 2 am. It was then that Denton realised Stokes is no ordinary media baron.
Delta Goodrem stars in FremantleMedia Australia’s Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You, which charts her rise to stardom after winning a TV talent contest at age 15.
December Media’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries will see Craig McLachlan’s Blake and Nadine Garner’s Jean face haunted houses, flying saucers, deadly dentists, long lost daughters and more.
Gregor Jordan and Roadshow Rough Diamond’s Australian Gangster will portray the collision between the Western Suburbs underworld and Sydney’s glamorous social elite, with murder, mayhem, fun and the pursuit of a happy family life.
The Rich House is an original format from Seven Studios, a modern-day twist on Big Brother in which 12 strangers move into a mansion to face a series of challenges. The losers will be banished to a dungeon dormitory.
So is Dance Boss, a dance competition in which 10 workplace crews put forward their five best amateur dancers to compete for $100,000 cash.
CJZ’s Undercurrent will follow an unfolding investigation into the jailing in 2010 of Hobart woman Sue Neill-Fraser for murdering her partner Bob Chappell. She maintains her innocence and her band of supporters refuse to accept she is a killer.
A Lineup Industries format, produced by Seven Studios, Emergency Call will take viewers behind the scenes at call centres which respond to 000 calls and the call takers who are the first responders to an emergency situation.
CJZ’s Jimmy Barnes: Working Class Boy is an adaptation of both the book and the stage show, a story of defiance, struggle and survival as the rocker recounts the events that shaped his life.
Co-developed by Seven Studios and Eureka Productions and produced by the latter, The First Wives Club will follow the emotional and romantic transformation of women searching for their second chance at love, coached by dating expert Matthew Hussey.
Another Seven Studios format, Back With the Ex will reunite four singles with an ex they’ve never been able to forget and given the chance to find out if they were the right one for them after all. These couples will relight the spark on a honeymoon and then face reality when they move in to each other’s homes. In the finale, the couples will take an overseas trip to decide if it’s happily ever after… or if they’ll walk away forever.
As previous announced, Matchbox Pictures and Eureka Productions’ Australian Spartan will see teams of three put through the world’s most demanding physical obstacle course.
In The Mentor, entrepreneur Mark Bouris will help small businesses, which employ 60 per cent of the workforce, to achieve financial and personal success.
In The Real Full Monty, an Australian adaptation of a UK show, eight Aussie male celebrities will dare to bare all to raise funds for testicular and prostate cancer.
Seven also flagged that two shows that are premiering later this year, Seven Studios’ reality show Instant Hotel and game show The Wall, will return next year.
The line-up also includes new seasons of My Kitchen Rules, House Rules, Murder Uncovered, Little Big Shots, Wanted, 800 Words, First Dates and Yummy Mummies.
Launching next month 7plus will offer an extended content library, exclusive original commissions and features allowing binge-stacking of viewers favourite shows.