We're going to be watching A LOT of TV next year.
SBS Staff

17 Nov 2015 - 12:08 PM  UPDATED 18 Nov 2015 - 10:08 AM
  • 24 new Australian documentary commissions, including 10 Indigenous productions, two new Australian dramas and five new locally made food shows
  • Landmark event television set to surprise, inspire and get the nation talking
  • SBS secures Australia’s place on the world’s biggest stage
  • New weekly NRL show & a new primetime news program with Stan Grant for NITV
  • SBS On Demand delivers more free content and more platforms than any other broadcaster

SBS has today unveiled a line up of distinctive multiplatform content for 2016, bringing stories of modern Australia to life across a premium slate of flagship television events, drama, food, documentary, sport, news and current affairs.

Australia’s most unique media organisation will deliver innovative and exciting programming set to entertain, inspire and at times challenge audiences, by exploring issues that determine social cohesion, and celebrating the differences and diversity of the people who bind this country together.

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.”

Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “Across all of our channels – SBS, SBS 2, Food Network, NITV and SBS On Demand – 2016 is set to be a bumper year of content that gives Australians a richer, deeper understanding of the world. SBS will inspire Australians to seek different perspectives, to feel a sense of connection, belonging and empowerment, and explore how our differences make us great.”

In 2016, SBS will bring the nation together with landmark events, take Australia to the world stage, expand our horizons through powerful documentaries, be home to some of the world’s most distinctive drama, and entice and inspire with more food programs from home and afar.

Launching in early 2016, SBS will deliver the first truly cross-genre and cross-platform network event with Deep Water - a four-part drama series, a feature documentary and an online prequel series, presenting the full account of the gay hate crime epidemic that bloodied Sydney’s coastline during the 1980s and 1990s, and remains unsolved today.

The world’s biggest singing competition is back in all its glittery goodness. Live from Stockholm, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will return as hosts of the 61st annual Eurovision Song Contest. SBS is also excited to announce that, following the huge success of Australia’s first ever competitive entry in 2015, it has once again secured an opportunity for an Australian artist to officially compete on the world’s biggest stage.

Next year in Stockholm, Australia will be competing from the semi-finals, fighting it out with 41 other nations and SBS will announce in the New Year who the lucky artist will be.

From the global stage to the very heart of Australia, SBS’s Logie Award winning documentary series First Contact will return for a second instalment. Host Ray Martin will take six well-known Australians with strong opinions on a unique journey into Aboriginal Australia, in another cross-network event with NITV.

In 2016, drama on SBS will be bigger and better than ever before, with comedy drama series The Family Law leading the way in February. Funny, frank and fearless, The Family Law is created by critically acclaimed writer Benjamin Law and adapted from his memoir of the same name.

The series will give Australian audiences a vivid glimpse inside the gloriously dysfunctional world of a hilarious and heartwarming Chinese-Australian family. 

It joins new drama series The Missing, Tutankhamun starring Sam Neill, The Last Panthers, and returning franchises Bosch, The Bridge, The Returned, Masters of Sex and Vikings.

SBS will continue to take audiences on an exploration of the world’s cultures through food in 2016, with some big stars to feature and favourites to return. There’s no star bigger in the food world than Heston Blumenthal and SBS is giving Australians a fly-on-the-wall insight into the mammoth challenge Heston undertook as he transported his entire Fat Duck restaurant from the UK to Australia, in the three-part observational documentary Inside Heston’s World.

The deliciously epic series lays bare the blood, sweat and tears of the restaurant industry and the private world of one of its greatest mavericks.

SBS will also welcome back some familiar foodie faces including Poh Ling Yeow who returns for a whole new set of adventures in series two of Poh & Co. Maeve O’Meara will burn up screens in Food Safari Fire, Adam Liaw returns with his beautiful new series Destination Flavour Scandinavia, and former chef turned farmer and food critic, Matthew Evans, goes full circle – from reviewing restaurants to building his own in Gourmet Farmer: Fat Pig Kitchen.

Because more food is never enough, today also marks the launch of Australia’s first free 24/7 television channel dedicated to the world of food: Food Network.  From 1pm AEDT, all Australians will have access to food inspired travel, entertainment and cooking programs handpicked from across the globe, as the channel dishes up everyday food inspiration all day, every day. 

SBS’s unique ability to provoke debate, inspire change and explore what determines social cohesion will continue in 2016 with landmark documentaries inspired by the bigger picture.

Twenty years after Pauline Hanson gave her maiden speech, Hanson: The Years that Shook the Nation will explore how the extreme views of one of Australia’s most divisive politicians have influenced race and racism in politics today. Meanwhile, DNA Nation joins some much-loved Australians including Olympian, Ian Thorpe, Ernie Dingo and Julia Zemiro, as they take a journey of genetic time travel across 12 countries to discover their DNA and unlock their past to answer the big questions about the human family and our place in it.

Other new documentaries in 2016 include Vietnam: The War That Made Australia which charts the course of the men who lived, fought and died in the most hostile warzone of the modern era, and four-part series Untold Australia which will explore hidden worlds of multiculturalism across the country. Next year also sees the return of Who Do You Think You Are? with series eight of the landmark series coming to SBS, as well as Shaun Micallef’s Stairway to Heaven, as he continues his mission to unravel extreme belief systems.

SBS’s reputation for providing Australians with news and current affairs with a unique multicultural focus continues in 2016 with SBS World News, leading forum for debate Insight, and international current affairs program Dateline. SBS will also premiere a new in-house news production.

The Logan Project an inspiring documentary series charting the journey of the Queensland town’s aspiring singers and musicians as they work together to create a new, positive narrative for their city, and a place that has had a reputation for doing it tough.

It will also be another big year for sport on SBS. The Tour de France returns with every stage broadcast live on TV and analysed by cutting edge digital technology through the Tour Tracker App, and SBS will continue bringing the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches to all Australians for free. 

News and current affairs will be at the heart of NITV’s schedule in 2016, with a fresh new look, and with news content online first, with breaking live NITV News on-air updates and mini-bulletins, hosted by Natalie Ahmat, leading to new primetime, agenda-driven show, The Point with Stan Grant, from February.

Each weeknight, renowned journalist Stan Grant will deliver a unique First Nations voice and investigate Indigenous cultural, political and social events of importance to all Australians.

NITV favourite The Marngrook Footy Show returns in 2016 and is joined by a new and exciting weekly entertainment sport series, League Nation Live. Hosted by newly retired Broncos captain Justin Hodges, Deadly Award and Logie nominee actor Aaron Fa’Aoso, new faces and league fanatics Hannah Hollis and Jodan Perry and community ambassador Nathan Appo, the 32-week series will capture the best of Australia’s favourite football code, the NRL, with big league personalities and the latest and greatest in entertainment, up close and personal in the studio.

On SBS 2, mass cult hit If You Are The One continues in 2016 and in a network first, two Australian specials of the Chinese dating show are currently being filmed and will be broadcast as a part of SBS’s Lunar New Year celebrations in February.

That loving feeling continues with Unreal, the critically-acclaimed satire and vicious behind-the-scenes drama series about the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition, providing an eye-opening look at what happens in the outrageous world of unscripted television.

Audiences will also be able to discover an incredible world of content on digital channel SBS On Demand. The service now has well over 600 free movies spanning all genres as well as more than 350 documentaries, and those numbers will continue to grow in 2016 with all programs from Food Network available to catch up on SBS On Demand. In 2016 SBS is also introducing support for Apple TV and Google Chromecast making the service available on 25 platforms - still more than any other Australian broadcaster.

For more information on these programs and many more coming to SBS in 2016, click here.