SBS Upfronts 2018

SBS reveals 5 new Aussie dramas, 29 factual shows, and 1 iconic Australian train

SBS has revealed its 2018 line-up, announcing shows that explore diversity in culture, gender, sexuality, age, and lifestyle, with the objective of contributing to a healthier and more united Australian society.

In 2018, SBS will bring Australian audiences five new original Australian drama series across the SBS network of channels, joining the line-up of captivating and eye-opening factual shows, documentaries, and the best of international dramas.

Here’s just some of the great new shows you’ll be watching on the SBS main channel throughout 2018:


Safe Harbour
March 2018
Award winning actors Joel Jackson, Ewen Leslie, and The Vampire Diaries/The Originals star Phoebe Tonkin star as part of a group of friends who set sail on a yacht, enjoying a sun and surf holiday from Darwin to Indonesia. They spot an overcrowded fishing boat filled with distressed asylum seekers on the horizon and after a heated discussion and vote, the Captain makes the call to tow the boat back to Australia. A violent storm forces them to change course back to Indonesia and they wake the next morning to find the asylum boat gone. It’s not until five years later when one of the friends steps in a taxi driven by one of the refugees that they learn the truth – someone on the yacht cut the rope between the two boats, leaving the asylum seekers in the storm. Also staring Nicole Chamoun, Leeanna Walsman, Hazem Shammas.

Dead Lucky
Coming in 2018
Internationally acclaimed actress Rachel Griffiths plays Detective Sergeant Grace Gibbs, obsessed with catching the armed robber who murdered her junior officer. Her new trainee, Constable Charlie Fung (Yoson An), blames Grace for the death of his best friend. Meanwhile, a share house of international students think they have found paradise. A couple of greedy convenience store owners resort to deadly measures to defend their business. While on the outskirts of the city, a violent fugitive is hiding. Over one week, the paths of these characters collide, leaving two people dead and one missing.

The Family Law – Final Season
Coming in 2018
Benjamin Law’s coming-of-age series The Family Law returns for a third and final season, as the Asian Australian family navigate the world of adult romance and define what it means to become a man.


February 2018
From the creative minds of Don Handfield and Richard Rayner, Knightfall chronicles the mysterious but true accounts of the Knights Templar, the elite warriors of the Crusades. It delves into the great secrets protected by the Templars and tells the story of faith, loyalty and brotherhood that help sustain these warriors on the battlefield, and the dark events that would forever sear the infamous date of Friday the 13th into the world’s psyche.

January 2018 on SBS
Mars is an epic and gripping new series that is destined to spark imaginations worldwide. Set in both the present day and future, the series tells the incredible story of the first manned mission to Mars in 2033, making life on the red planet an exciting and real prospect. Executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.


The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
Coming in 2018
Based of Margaret Atwood’s award winning novel, the second season of US dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale will be fast-tracked to SBS and SBS On Demand. Last season’s heart racing final saw a pregnant Offred (Elisabeth Moss) escorted out of the Waterford house by the guardians. The series received five wins at the 2017 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series.

The Good Fight, Vikings, The Missing, The Bridge, and Cardinal
Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald joins Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, and Rose Leslie in the second season of critically acclaimed legal drama The Good Fight. Everyone’s favourite Nordic warriors return in 2018 with season 5 and 6 of the hugely popular Vikings. To appease the inner detective in all of us, a new missing person’s case with a curious twist will be explored in season 2 of The Missing, Nordic Noir crime-drama The Bridge will return for a fourth and final season, and the gruff Canadian detective returns to right past wrongs in season 2 of Cardinal.


Muslims Like Us
February 2018
Ten Australian Muslims with contrasting world views move into a house together for eight days. Their passionate debates, honest disagreements, humour and insights reveal what it’s like to be an Australian Muslim today.

Marry Me, Marry My Family
January 2018
A third of all weddings in Australia involve a blend of different religions, traditions and cultures. This SBS original series follows diverse sets of couples as they try to bridge the gap between their cultures and balance their families’ expectations with their own dreams. Marry Me, Marry My Family is produced by CJZ with production funding from Screen Australia.

The Ghan
January 2018
The Ghan is Australia’s first foray into the ‘slow TV’ movement - an immersive style of television, originating from Europe, which invites the viewer on a real time journey. This innovative program takes viewers aboard Australia’s most iconic passenger train trip from Adelaide to Darwin. Three hours, no commercials, no interruptions, just the tracks beneath and stunning scenery through the heart of Australia while exploring the foundations of modern multicultural Australia.

Go Back Live
Coming in 2018
The most awarded Australian documentary series of all time Go Back to Where You Came From returns. Season four, named Go Back Live, will be one of the most ambitious live television events in Australian broadcasting history and will dig deeper into the asylum seeker and refugee debate with a sense of palpable urgency. Over three nights, SBS will use the latest technology to give a snapshot of the global refugee crisis by presenting stories from the front line, as they happen in real time.

Filthy Rich and Homeless
Coming in 2018
In 2018, Filthy Rich and Homeless will return for a second series, this time set in a new city and will raise the bar higher by tackling the policies and potential solutions to a crisis that shows little sign of improving.

Is Australia Sexist?
Coming in 2018
Following on from Is Australia Racist, Is Australia Sexist will explore an issue dominating global headlines. This will be crucial viewing that will contribute to the national debate. Is Australia Sexist?

Untold Australia
Coming in 2018
The Untold Australia series continues in 2018, highlighting the oft-unheard multicultural stories from rural rabbis to Lebanese beauty pageants.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Coming in 2018
The show returns to reveal the fascinating pasts of Charlie Teo, Natalie Imbruglia, John Jarratt, and Ernie Dingo to name a few.

Coming in 2018
Documentary special Vitamina will explore the science and history of the $100 billion a year supplements industry.


Origins: The Journey of Humankind
Coming in 2018
This time-travelling adventure series journeys back in time and delves deep across the entire sweep of human history, pinpointing pivotal moments and innovations that have fueled our evolutionary ascension.

Coming in 2018
An insightful new series that provides a definitive history of Britain’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

Home Planet Season
Coming in 2018
A slate of exciting documentaries including Man Made Planet, Space Volcanos, and Engineering Space take us on an inter-stellar tour of the solar system, and Earth’s place in it.

Great Railway Journey’s, Simon Reeve in Russia, Users Guide to Cheating Death
Users Guide to Cheating Death lets us know which products, diets and regiments can make you live longer. Simon Reeve in Russia sees the British adventurer journey to Russia and explores what the country is like, 100 years after its historical revolution. Michael Portillo returns to discover the world’s sights and stories, one stop at a time in a new season of Great Railway Journeys.


Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
March 2018
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. SBS will celebrate this important global milestone by supercharging it’s coverage to reflect 40 years of protest and parties, in a colourful, action packed show broadcast from the glitter filled streets of Sydney into lounge rooms across Australia.

Eurovision 2018
May 2018
Olà, Portugal! Following the success of three top 10 finishes, Australia will take the stage in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest for a fourth time. SBS will once again bring the nation full coverage of the world’s biggest song competition, with exclusive backstage and behind the scene access from returning hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.


Destination Flavour China
Coming in 2018
Adam Liaw takes us on a journey of discovery and introduces us to the ancient and breathtakingly diverse culinary traditions of China. Travelling by train, Adam sees a side of China rarely revealed to outsiders. From the fiery cuisine and snow-dusted mountaintops in Sichuan, to Hainan Island’s tropical flavours and palm-lined beaches, Adam bears witness to the rapid change that’s shaking up the food culture of China.

Shane Delia’s Recipe for Life
January 2018
Follow the busy life of celebrity chef and family man, Shane Delia, as he oversees his acclaimed restaurant Maha, beds down his fledgling high-end kebab chain Biggie Smalls, and launches a new food truck, all while catering for some of Melbourne’s most high-profile events. Shane continues his role as ambassador for the Sons of the West men’s health program and is keen to take his passion for nutrition into schools – all while raising two kids in a healthy and loving environment with the love of his life, wife Maha.

Food Safari Water
Coming in 2018
Maeve O’Meara is making waves in 2018 with Food Safari Water, a glorious exploration of seafood across the many cuisines and cultures of the world on our doorstep. From ancient Greece, Egypt and medieval days to modern times, seafood from salt and fresh water is increasingly sought out for taste and health reasons. We introduce some of Australia’s top chefs who have become masters of getting the most out of seafood – whether raw or cooked – plus some home cooks from across many cuisines.

Peter Kuruvita’s Costal Kitchen, Luke Nguyen’s Food Trail, My Restaurant in India
Peter Kuruvita, Sarah Todd, and Luke Nguyen will all return to SBS in 2018. Having recently explored the fresh local produce surrounding his home in Noosa, chef and restaurateur Peter Kuruvita decides it’s time to discover some of Western Australia’s most loved food destinations in season two of Peter Kuruvita’s Costal Kitchen. Model, mother and master chef Sarah Todd returns to India for season 2 of My Restaurant in India, this time, setting up shop in the magnetic mega-city of Mumbai. In Luke Nguyen’s Food Trail, we learn how a young refugee became one of Australia’s most successful chefs and restaurateurs. Born in Vietnam, raised in Cabramatta and now living between Saigon, Sydney and Hong Kong, Luke takes us on a culinary tour of his home towns.


2018 FIFA World Cup
June 2018
In a true celebration of multiculturalism and unity, SBS remains the home of football with Lucy Zelic and Craig Foster covering all the action from the ground in Russia. SBS will offer 25 premium games live, free and in HD, including semi-finals and finals, and all Socceroos* matches.
*Socceroos qualifier on Wednesday 15 November

Live coverage of the Premier League continues in 2018 with one live match each week across SBS and SBS HD, along with weekly highlights on The World Game, Mondays at 11pm. SBS has been the proud broadcast partner of the UEFA Champions League since its inception in 1992, and in 2018 will continue to show one live match on Wednesdays, followed by a weekly highlights show on Thursday nights that covers all the matches from every round.

SBS continues to bring Australians all the action from the biggest races on the international cycling calendar. The Tour de France returns with all stages live on TV and online, as well as grand tour La Vuelta a España, cycling classic Paris-Roubaix and others from the European season.

SBS adds a second tennis Grand Slam to its slate of premium international sport, securing the exclusive free-to-air rights to the French Open for the first time. Live from Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France, SBS will follow the action every day throughout the 2018 tournament, beginning in late May, as the world’s best male and female tennis players battle it out on clay courts. From the Quarter Finals stage through to the men’s and women’s Final, SBS will air the most thrilling tennis matches of the 2018 US Open. Played on hard courts in Queens, New York, the US Open is the final of the four annual tennis Grand Slams, wrapping up the year for the major tournaments.

SBS’s live coverage of Australia’s refreshed and booming domestic basketball league continues next year throughout the 2017/2018 season. SBS broadcasts two live games from each round in HD, with live streaming and catch up on SBS On Demand.


Where Are You Really From?
Coming in 2018
Hosted by The Feed’s Michael Hing in his unique comedic style, Where Are You Really From? uncovers the diverse multicultural communities living in regional Australia.

SBS’s flagship news programs, SBS World News, Insight, and Dateline return in 2018, exploring a gamut of current and often unheard issues that affect the world we live in.



SBS VICELAND funds new Aussie shows and brings back your faves in 2018

In 2018, SBS and VICE will develop new Aussie shows for SBS VICELAND. You’ll also be able to enjoy new and returning shows like Atlanta, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Feed, and The Girlfriend Experience.

It’s been one year since SBS VICELAND made its debut on Australian TV, making it a challenge to switch the channel to watch anything else. Marking its one year anniversary, SBS VICELAND today announced that SBS and VICE will develop Australian produced original programs to air across the local channel, and VICELAND’S 50+ global channels.

Through 2018, SBS VICELAND will also bring new and returning VICELAND productions from the across the world, with shows coming from the US, UK, India, France, Belgium, Greece, Latin America, and Africa. You can also expect new seasons of Emmy Award winning programs, including Atlanta and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Here’s what to watch out for in 2018:

Atlanta Season 2

Emmy and Golden Globe winning series Atlantawill be fast-tracked to SBS VICELAND for a highly anticipated second season. Created, co-written and produced by lauded musician and actor Donald Glover (also known by stage name Childish Gambino), the series follows the lives of Earn Marks (played by Glover), a young Princeton dropout with a two-year-old daughter, and his rapper cousin Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles (Brian Tyree Henry) as they attempt to break into Atlanta’s music industry and improve their lives and that of their families.

The Girlfriend Experience

Christine Reade is a second year student at Chicago-Burnham Law School and new intern at a prestigious firm. Working hard to establish herself, her focus quickly shifts when a law school friend introduces her to the world of transactional relationships. Known as GFEs, they are women who provide “The Girlfriend Experience” — emotional and sexual relationships at a very high price. Juggling two very different lives, Christine quickly finds herself entangled in an ever-broadening web of intrigue and betrayal.

The Wrestlers

SBS VICELAND explores the enduring global popularity of the world’s oldest combat sport — Wrestling. From the US to Mexico, Japan and beyond, the series explores how these rehearsed, violent soap-operas have continued to thrive and bring so many people together.


Sex and relationship columnist Karley Sciortine goes on a series of adventures where she demystifies modern sexuality and challenges outdated ideas about sexuality, gender, identity and love.


It’s a series for anyone who has ever viewed an apartment where the kitchen was a hotplate on a dresser, and the shower was a sink at the end of the bed. It’s the bad and the very ugly of the rental market.


SBS VICELAND will showcase world class women’s sport with the broadcast of W-League and Matildas matches live, free and in HD to all Australians and will give is a glimpse into the world of competitive gaming with Arena Esports.

Returning to SBS VICELAND in 2018

SBS’s award-winning news and current affairs program The Feed returns to SBS VICELAND, bringing young Australians a unique mix of news, satire, live interviews and in-depth investigative reporting every night at 7.30pm.

PopAsia is Australia’s number one stop for Asian pop. Hosted by Andy Trieu, the show features the hottest hits from across Asia including the very best K-Pop, J-Pop and C-pop every Sunday morning.

Worldwide cultural phenomenon If You Are the One returns to SBS VICELAND in 2018. Critically acclaimed news comedy program Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and cult comedy South Park will be fast-tracked to SBS VICELAND in 2018. Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia and Hate Thy Neighbour will return for a second season, alongside a plethora of the world’s best cult, arthouse and foreign films.

SBS On Demand 2018

With a new Australian original comedy made for SBS On Demand and the best of premium dramas from across the world, SBS On Demand continues as the home for compelling television.

SBS On Demand has already built a strong reputation as the Australian home of the most-talked about premium dramas. The past year alone saw the debut of the Emmy Award winning The Handmaid’s Tale, as well as dramas buzzed about globally including Cardinal, The Bureau, Before We Die, Six, and Below The Surface. Rest assured, 2018 will continue to deliver outstanding shows. And yes, The Handmaid’s Tale will be back on SBS On Demand for season 2.


Homecoming Queens – New Australian Commission


From the brilliant minds of co-writers and co-creators Michelle Law and Chloë Reeson comes the semi-autobiographical dramedy Homecoming Queens. After chronic illnesses overturn their expectations of life and youth, twenty-something best friends Michelle and Chloë reinvent themselves, changing their friendship and their futures. Law stars in the series as Michelle, while Liv Hewson (Top of the Lake: China Girl) plays Chloë. The SBS On Demand original online series will be available as a 60 minute special and 7 x 8 minute episodes in 2018. Coming soon in 2018

Starring SBS On Demand favourite Jakob Oftebro (Lilyhammer, The Bridge, 1864: Denmark’s War, Young & Promising), Monster is a Scandi-noir which will chill viewers to the bone. In a small town in northern Norway, a young girl goes missing and her boyfriend turns up dead. Police inspector Hedda Hersoug (Ingvild Holthe Bygdnes) is forced to work with hotshot detective Joel Dreyer (Oftebro) to hunt down a serial killer. With the investigation falling apart, and both detectives butting heads, they resort to extreme measures to stay on the case and keep their personal secrets from coming to light. January 2018 on SBS On Demand

Chance (Season 2)
Actor Hugh Laurie is joined by Paul Schneider for the second season of Chance, which premieres exclusively on SBS On Demand in Australia. In the second season, San Francisco-residing forensic neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Eldon Chance (Laurie), is blackmailed by Detective Hynes (Brian Goodman) to investigate a tech multimillionaire Ryan Winter (Schneider), whom Hynes believes to be a serial killer. Upon analysing Winter, Chance comes to a horrifying realisation that the two of them are more similar than he thought. January 2018 on SBS On Demand

Set in the near future, the drama follows Florian Bassot, an ordinary man who accidentally drowns when out boating with his family. Five years later, he awakens to find that scientists have transferred his mind into the body of another man. Florian has to hide his identity, inhabiting the body of Sylvain Bernard (Arieh Worthalter), who just happens to be one of the highest-ranking officers of B.A.T.I., the anti-transfers taskforce. Desperate to reconnect with his family, Florian is forced to live the life of a fugitive in a world he no longer recognises or understands. Transfer won Best French Series and Best Actor at the Séries Mania Festival. February 2018 on SBS On Demand

Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves
This powerful Swedish drama explores love in the shadow of AIDS. Benjamin is a Jehovah’s Witness, eagerly spreading the word of God from door to door. Nothing can shake his faith, until he knocks on Paul’s door. Written by renowned Swedish author Jonas Gardell after his bestselling series of books with the same title, the series won the Audience Award at the Séries Mania Festival. February 2018 on SBS On Demand

Berlin Station follows CIA agent Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage), who has just arrived at the CIA station in Berlin, Germany. Miller has a clandestine mission: to uncover the source of a leak who has supplied information to a whistle-blower. Ride Upon the Storm, a Danish drama created by Adam Price and starring Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards), follows a family of priests and how faith and religion affect their familial relationships. Acclaimed Swedish crime drama Modus sees actress Kim Cattrall join the cast for a second season.

The upfronts were held at The Rocks in Sydney this morning. The SBS upfronts always contain an element of surprise because, unlike the commercial networks, SBS does not reveal publicly the event date in advance.
Overall, a good line up for SBS next year. While the Mardi Gras, Eurovision, FIFA World Cup and Tour de France are the main selling points, one would hope that more people will watch the locally made dramas like Dead Lucky and Safe Harbour.

This is the first season starring Riley Keough as Christine. It has been available on Stan since last year.


2018 Show Reel

Speech from Michael Ebeid - SBS CEO & Managing Director

SBS Mid year upfronts


Child Genius

Presided over by quizmaster, Dr Susan Carland, this brand new six-part series to find Australia’s brightest child in a unique competition documentary format, follows the lives of some of Australia’s brightest children and their families. These gifted children all have very high IQs and showcase phenomenal cognitive abilities in maths, general knowledge, memory and language.

Presented in association with Australian Mensa, the series features participants and their families from all over Australia, and provides unique insight into the joys – and challenges – of parenting a gifted child.

How ‘Mad’ Are You?

New two-part SBS documentary series How ‘Mad’ Are You? will break down stigma around mental illness in a way never seen before on Australian television.

Over a week, a diverse group of ten Australians will spend the week together; five have a history of mental illness and five do not.

Under the watchful eye of three medical experts, the group will take part in a series of specially designed tests and experiments, while the experts work out who’s been diagnosed with a mental illness and who has not.

The ten participants are living proof that a history of mental illness doesn’t have to define you.

Go Back To Where You Came From Live

Go Back To Where You Came From Live is one of the most ambitious live television events in broadcasting history. Featuring seven opinionated Aussies who will discover what life is like in the most dangerous places on earth. Over three consecutive nights, Go Back Live will present a snapshot of the global refugee crisis by following refugee stories as they unfold in real time.

This is the fourth instalment of the Go Back franchise. When it first aired in 2011, there were few more contentious issues in Australian society than the treatment of asylum seekers and particularly ‘boat people’. Sending ordinary Aussies on a reverse refugee journey across the seas to find out first-hand what it was really like was like nothing we had ever seen on Australian TV before. The show sparked discussion for media commentators, for parliament and policy makers, and importantly with families on the couch, colleagues around the watercooler or friends at the pub.

On The Ropes

An internationally renowned, award-winning cast leads new four-part SBS commissioned drama On The Ropes, including Keisha Castle-Hughes (Game of Thrones, Whale Rider), local breakout talent Nicole Chamoun (Safe Harbour, Romper Stomper), Logies Hall Of Famer Jack Thompson and acclaimed Israeli actor Igal Naor (Homeland, Riviera).

On The Ropes follows aspiring Iraqi-Australian boxing trainer Amirah Al-Amir (Chamoun) who has idolised her world champion father Sami (Naor) her entire life. While working in the family gym in Sydney’s west alongside her two brothers, Amirah negotiates a professional debut match for her hardnosed fighter Jess

O’Connor (Castle-Hughes) with Sami’s long-time promoter Strick (Thompson). Furious that she has done this behind his back, her father threatens to cut her off. Desperate to chase her dream of transforming women’s boxing, will Amirah choose her fighter or her family?


Butterfly follows the story of an 11-year-old boy, Max, who makes the huge decision that he wants to live life as a girl. He has always dressed as one at home, but now he doesn’t want to hide who he is.

This is a powerful family drama about this life changing decision in a boy so young – how do you decide what is best for your child as you try to support and protect him?

His mum, Vicky, played by Anna Friel and father, Stephen, no longer live together, which puts additional pressure on Max who yearns for an idyllic home life.


Going Places with Ernie Dingo

Going Places with Ernie Dingo is a 14-part travel series which sees Ernie visit some of Australia’s most stunning locations while paying tribute to the traditional land owners and others who make these destinations such amazing places to see.

Along the way, Ernie meets locals who have found their connection to the place they now live. Through his warmth and genuine curiosity in people and places, Ernie discovers little known facts and hidden secrets from the people who know these amazing locations best.

SBS On Demand Exclusive

The Day

In-language contemporary Dutch drama, The Day tells the story of a day-long hostage situation in a quiet Flemish town.

While the police do their utmost to end the event without bloodshed, it soon becomes clear that something is not right.

Told across eight thrilling episodes, viewers will see the story from alternating perspectives each episode; through the eyes of the police negotiators and Special Forces who respond to the crisis, and through the eyes of the criminals and their victims.

So they’ve renamed “The Ropes”.

I think “On The Ropes” is a better title.

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