• The Handmaids Tale returns to SBS in 2019. (SBS)
Your guide to the year ahead on SBS Australia.
By
SBS Guide

20 Nov 2018 - 12:49 PM  UPDATED 21 Nov 2018 - 2:59 PM

SBS continues as the destination for compelling and provocative storytelling with two new Australian commissions, brand new international drama series, and all of your returning favourites.

Highlights of the year ahead include:

 

NEW LOCAL DRAMA

Hungry Ghosts

Hungry Ghosts is a new four part Australian drama series that explores elements of the ‘supernatural thriller’ genre - Japanese and Korean ghost films. But its also authentically embedded in the lives of three generations of Vietnamese Australian families dealing with the aftermath of war. Set in contemporary Melbourne during the month of the Hungry Ghost festival when the Vietnamese community venerate their dead, Hungry Ghosts will be a suspenseful, character driven ghost story with heart, humour, and scares.

The Family Law (Season 3) - Returns in January

The Family Law is back for one final spin! Based on Benjamin Law’s hit memoir of the same name, the third and final season dives deep into the heart-bruising vulnerability required to put yourself on the line, own up to your needs, and go after the people you want to love, whether you’re in your teen years or in the middle of your life. It’s about the cost of denial and secrets, and the soul-corroding effects of keeping everything inside.

The Hunt

The Hunt delves into one of the biggest issues of the social media era - cyberbullying. The new drama series intimately imagines the lives of four teenagers, their friends, their families, their teachers, their communities during the lead up, revelation, and aftermath of a nude photo sharing scandal. Produced with funding from Screen Australia, and using teenagers and non-actors to tell the story, it is the kind of provocative local drama that only SBS would make. 

 

NEW INTERNATIONAL DRAMA

Butterfly - Debuts in January

International Emmy® Award-winning Anna Friel stars in a heartfelt story from BAFTA award-winning writer Tony Marchant. Butterfly is about the relationship between separated parents, Vicky and Stephen, and their division in opinion over how to support their gender variant child, Max. From a young age, their now 11-year-old son has identified as a girl and presented signs of gender dysphoria. What unfolds for all the family members involved is the greatest challenge and test of love and understanding imaginable.

 

McMafia - Debuts in February

Inspired by the insider interviews in Misha Glenny’s bestselling book, James Norton and David Strathairn star in a drama that exposes the global network of organised crime. McMafia unravels a complex web of connections that joins up money launderers in Dubai, cyber criminals in India, Russian oligarchs in London, and Bedouin smugglers in the Negev desert.

The New Pope

Oscar winners Sharon Stone, John Malkovich, and Jude Law team up in this sequel to Paolo Sorrentino's The Young Pope.

Chimerica

Alessandra Nivola, F. Murray Abraham, and Sophie Okonedo star in the timely story of a photojournalist who travels to China with the hopes of finding out the identity of the mysterious man was who was photographed standing defiantly in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square twenty years ago.

The Name of the Rose

Based on Umberto Eco’s bestselling novel which also inspired a BAFTA winning film adaptation, The Name of the Rose is set in a gloomy medieval monastery where a friar must investigate a series of grisly murders. An international cast including John Tuturro, Rupert Everett, and James Cosmo will star in this latest adaptation of a timeless story.

 

RETURNING INTERNATIONAL DRAMAS

The Good Fight - Returns in April

Michael Sheen joins Christine Baranski, Audra Macdonald, Rose Leslie and Cush Jumbo in Season 3 of this high stakes legal drama. Always topical, Season 3 of The Good Fight will tackle several on-the-pulse issues like immigration policy and racial tensions under the Trump Administration, #MeToo, Fake News, and the potential impending impeachment of the President.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale

Based of Margaret Atwood’s award winning novel, the third season of US dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale will be fast-tracked to SBS and SBS On Demand. Last season’s heart racing finale saw Offred (Elisabeth Moss) part ways with her newborn child in an act of unimaginable sacrifice.

Counterpart

With season 2, J.K. Simmons continues as U.N. bureaucrat Howard Silk, a man who discovers he has a doppelgänger in a parallel dimension who opens up a world of spies and double-crosses. Silk has no one he can trust - even those most close to him.

Vikings

Following the completion of Season 5 Part 2, Vikings will be back in 2019 for a whole new Season 6 as the fate of Kattegat and Ragnar’s sons continues to hang in the balance.

The Son

This sweeping family saga continues into its second season with Pierce Brosnan as Texas rancher Eli McCullough, who survived a frontier Comanche attack in 1849, leading his family's empire in difficult times throughout the 20th century.

Knightfall

Star Wars’ Mark Hamill joins the cast as Talus, a Knights Templar veteran of the Crusades who is set to train new recruits to the Order.

 

More on SBS in 2019:
NITV in 2019: Award-winning Australian films and your favourite series return
Coming up on NITV: Jasper Jones, Sweet Country and our Logie-award winning children's series, Little J & Big Cuz returns for Season 2.
SBS delivers 'A world of difference' with documentaries and factual shows in 2019
These are the stories that impact on and reflect the lives of Australians. This is your guide to the great shows you can expect to see throughout 2019.
You'll continue to press play at SBS On Demand in 2019
With UFO conspiracies, submarine thrillers, international spy networks, and more murder mysteries than one viewer could hope to solve, SBS On Demand continues to be your home for TV's best dramas.
Your sneak peek at SBS VICELAND in 2019
Because your new year's resolution will be: Watch more great TV, we'll have you covered.
SBS in 2019: Home to new Australian dramas, the best international series, and returning favourites
Your guide to the year ahead on SBS Australia.