SBS Offers New Aussie Docos And Comedy In 2016

17 November 2015 | 4:32 pm | Staff Writer

Featuring The Family Law and Deep Water

SBS has today unveiled a year of programming, including 24 new Aussie documentaries, including ten Indigenous productions, two new Aussie dramas, and five new foodie shows, plus old favourites like the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, hosted by Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said, "In 2016 Australian audiences can expect engaging programs that explore and celebrate the people and stories of modern multicultural Australia in a way that no other media company can and importantly, they can come to SBS for a genuine point of difference.

"Our distinctiveness is why audiences trust us, value us and it's why they are passionate about our programs and services. In the year ahead SBS will be available on a record number of platforms and devices as we bring Australians brave and unique programs that help all of us to understand what it means to be Australian today."

The announcement of Eurovision's return to the SBS schedule isn't exactly surprising, but a key element of the reveal is  that Australia will once again compete in the annual competition, being granted a semi-final spot in the 2016 tournament despite our 2015 appearance a) supposedly being a one-off deal and b) not being the most popular of decisions with continental Eurovision fans to begin with. But hey — we'll take another crack.

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On the broader viewing landscape, four-part drama Deep Water leads the announcement, featuring cross-platform collabs including a feature doco and online prequel series, about the gay hate crime epidemic in Sydney in the '80s and '90s.

Comedy drama series The Family Law premieres in February, as adapted by Benjamin Law from 2010 his memoir about growing up on the Sunshine Coast as part of a Chinese-Australian family.

The Missing featuring James Nesbitt, starts in January, a story of a man on the hunt for his lost son, while later in the year Tutankhamun with Sam Neill tells the story of Howard Carter discovering the lost tomb, and The Last Panthers features an original Bowie track on the opening credits, a thriller about the high stakes of a diamond heist.

Other dramas will return to SBS: Bosch, The Bridge, The Returned, Masters Of Sex and Vikings.

On the comedy front Top Knot Detective is a mockumentary about a Japanese '90s crime show, which (never) aired on SBS. Wizards Of Oz follows Jack, a wizard over all the fighting, who moves into Footscray.

For foodies, the big announcement here is the launch of Australia's first free 24/7 food channel, Food Network. On SBS celeb chef Heston Blumenthal brings us Inside Heston's World, Adam Liaw travels to Scandinavia, Matthew Evans builds his own restaurant, and Maeve O'Meara goes on Food Safari Fire, while Poh Ling Yeow's Poh & Co returns.

On the doco front, First Contact returns, while other Aussie productions interrogate Pauline Hanson, the Vietnam War, multicultural Australia, Logan's aspiring singers and musos, and the DNA of Zemiro, Ernie Dingo and Ian Thorpe. Who Do You Think You Are? and Shaun Micallef's Stairway To Heaven return. These will be backed up by docos from around the world.

SBS's current affair coverage (SBS World News, Dateline, Insight, The Feed) will be bolstered by new primetime news show The Point With Stan Gran, and continuing live news coverage from Natalie Ahmat.

SBS will also continue their sporting coverage, with the Tour de France, and the FIFA World Cup on the cards, as well as weekly entertainment sport series The Marngrook Footy Show and League Nation Live.

On the movie front, SBS will run an Oscars season at the beginning of the year, before celebrating Asian cinema for Lunar New Year, the works of Frenchman Luc Besson in March, and wartime films in April. More to be announced in the coming months.

For more information, head to the SBS website.