What to expect from SBS in 2013? 'Better Man', 'Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl' and 'Dirty Business – How Mining Made Australia' are some of the highlights.
By
staff

25 Oct 2012 - 3:08 PM  UPDATED 3 Sep 2013 - 6:03 PM

SBS Director of TV and Online Content Tony Iffland has unveiled the network's 2013 line-up, saying its new programs are creatively ambitious and will push boundaries.

“Quality content is at the heart of SBS and we must remain diverse and relevant – in every sense of the word – reflecting stories that appeal to whole of the nation with content that is fresh, relevant and credible," Mr Iffland said.

DRAMA HIGHLIGHTS

One of the new dramas that is hitting SBS ONE next year is Better Man -- a four-part mini-series based on the true story of Van Nguyen; a Vietnamese Australian man who was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore and executed in 2005.

His hanging was the first execution of an Australian in Southeast Asia since 1993. Nguyen was 25 years' old.

At the time, the Australian government was criticised for not doing enough for Nguyen, despite state and federal pleas for clemency.

The case divided Australian opinions on the death penalty.

Leading Australian actors David Wenham, Bryan Brown and Claudia Karvan will star in the production. SBS will also introduce up-and-coming actor Remy Hii as Van Nguyen.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid says 'Better Man' is an example of the sort of compelling content that SBS can create with sustainable funding.

“Whilst our unprecedented Federal Budget funding boost is largely addressing the challenges we've faced in a changing media landscape, it has also enabled us to get back into the business of drama programming, which our audiences know, when we do it, we do it well,” Mr Ebeid said.

'Better Man' is the first drama commissioned by SBS in three years, as well as Mr Iffland's first commission.

Mad Men also returns in 2013 to SBS for series four of the Emmy award-winning drama.

FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS

SBS will welcome back some strong and recognisable brands and strands including the next instalment in the 'Once Upon a Time' series – this time in Punchbowl, which will screen in April 2013.

Following on from the success of 'Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta', which told the story of the how the Vietnamese community overcame the odds and found their place in Australia, the four-part series 'Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl' tells the story of Australia's Lebanese community and the challenges they have faced and overcome.

Following on from the success of landmark documentary series 'First Australians' and 'Immigration Nation', SBS will tell the next chapter in the story that helped shaped Australia with 'Dirty Business – How Mining Made Australia'.

This three-part history series, to be broadcast on SBS in January 2013, looks at how mining has influenced the nation, from the first gold rush to the latest political debate.

Mining has sparked mass migration yet ignited race riots; toppled prime ministers yet laid the foundation for modern democracy. This series shows how mining is a battleground that has both forged and divided the nation.

Celebrated genealogy series 'Who Do You Think You Are?' returns for series five.

From Australia's most renowned science director, Sonya Pemberton (and recent Emmy award winner for SBS documentary Immortal), 'Jabbed' is a special feature-length documentary that examines the growing trend of vaccine hesitancy around the world, exploring the reasons for complacency and concerns, and highlighting the impact of delaying or refusing immunisation.

'The Network' is the story of Afghanistan's first independent television network – TOLO TV – and the Australian family behind it. It is directed and produced by Oscar-winning Australian producer, Eva Orner.

This will also be a cross-platform initiative for SBS with an online documentary - Cronulla Riots – The Day that Shocked the Nation - also commissioned to run alongside the series.

ENTERTAINMENT AND COMEDY

SBS has recently acquired 'Bullet in the Face' - a viciously funny action, wildly violent, bloody and unabashedly politically incorrect comedy series from Canada starring Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts.

The residents of fictional housing estate Sunnyvale are back for series two of 'Housos', which is currently in production in Sydney's western suburbs. It stars Paul Fenech (who also writes and directs), Elle Dawe and Jason 'Jabba' Davis. They are joined by Angry Anderson, former Gladiator 'Thunder' Derek Boyer and footy legend Atelea Vea.

2013 will also mark the 30th anniversary of Eurovision on SBS.

NITV

'Move it Mob style' is produced by National Indigenous Televsion (NITV), which earlier this year became part of SBS. Move it Mob style is aimed at Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, and it incorporates dance, music, healthy and fitness.

FOOD

The SBS food stable continues to go from strength-to-strength with household names returning to screens in 2013 including Food Safari and Gourmet Farmer, as well as specials featuring Luke Nguyen.

SBS is delighted to welcome chef Shane Delia to the network with his new show 'Shane Delia's Spice Journey'. 32-year-old Shane is the owner of the award-winning Maha restaurant in Melbourne.

News and current affairs flagships World News Australia, Living Black, Dateline and Insight will return to screens next year, along with sports action including the 100th edition of the Tour de France race, the FIFA Confederations Cup and UEFA Champions League.