• Jude Law and John Malkovich, photographed by Gianni Fiorito. (SBS)
Starring Jude Law and John Malkovich, Paolo Sorrentino's The New Pope premieres exclusively at SBS On Demand from Thursday 16 January.
By
Staff writers

27 Nov 2019 - 9:12 AM  UPDATED 27 Nov 2019 - 9:16 AM

With over 8000 hours of free, curated content already available to stream on the platform, SBS On Demand’s summer programming will introduce over ten new series to Australian audiences in January. From dark comedies to political espionages to mystery thrillers, celebrate the new year with something different.

Double episodes of The New Pope will drop weekly on SBS On Demand from Thursday 16 January. Created and directed by Oscar® winner Paolo Sorrentino with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises, The New Pope is a continuation of The Young Pope, which premiered on SBS in April 2017.

The cast features two-time Academy Award® nominees Jude Law and John Malkovich. Returning cast from The Young Pope include Silvio Orlando, Javier Cámara, Cécile de France, Ludivine Sagnier and Maurizio Lombardi. New cast for the series are Henry Goodman, Ulrich Thomsen, Mark Ivanir, Yuliya Snigir and Massimo Ghini. Sharon Stone and Marilyn Manson guest star.

Pius XIII (Jude Law)  is in a coma. And after an unpredictable and mysterious turn of events, the Secretary of State Voiello succeeds in the enterprise of having Sir John Brannox (John Malkovich), a moderate English aristocrat, charming and sophisticated, placed on the papal throne adopting the name John Paul III. The new pope seems perfect, but he conceals secrets and a certain fragility. And he immediately understands that it will not be easy to replace the charismatic Pius XIII: hanging between life and death, Lenny Belardo has become a Saint and thousands of faithful are now idolizing him, fueling the contrast between fundamentalisms. Meanwhile, the Church is under attack from several scandals that risk devastating the hierarchies irreversibly and from external threats striking the symbols of Christianity. As always, however, in the Vatican nothing is what it seems. Good and evil proceed arm in arm towards history. And to reach the showdown we must wait for the events to take their course… 

 

The New Pope is an SBS On Demand exclusive. The series will premiere on SBS at a later date in 2020.

Alongside The New Pope, SBS On Demand also launches a host of additional premium drama titles across January.

The complete first season of Norwegian crime drama Twin will premiere on Wednesday 1 January. Erik and Adam (both played by Game Of Thrones’ Kristofer Hivju) are identical twin brothers, living completely different lives. When Erik seeks out his brother for the first time in fifteen years, a quarrel ends with Erik and Adam’s wife, Ingrid, accidentally killing Adam. To avoid getting arrested for murder and save his brother's family, Erik takes over Adam’s identity.

Season one of docu-drama Valley of the Boom will drop on Tuesday 7 January. The 90s, a time of unprecedented tech advances, the game-changing birth of Silicon Valley and, eventually, the 2001 dot-com bust. Now hear the stories of those who were there. Featuring Emmy Award winning actor Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale), Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) and Lamorne Morris (New Girl), this hybrid drama/documentary series takes you back to the time before Google and Facebook. To the time of startups and the infamous Netscape vs Microsoft “Browser Wars”. This is the insanely true story of how the web was won.

In an SBS On Demand exclusive, season one of Danish crime drama Face to Face will drop on Thursday 9 January. Police officer Bjørn Rasmussen (Ulrich Thomsen, The New Pope), is sent to a forensic pathology unit to pick up the case of a young woman who has died from apparent suicide. When he arrives, he is horrified to find out that the victim is his own daughter. Refusing to accept her death as suicide, and after finding evidence pointing towards murder, a furious and grief-stricken Bjorn sets off to discover the truth.

On Thursday 23January, season one of Chinese historical suspense drama The Longest Day in Chang’an will premiere on the platform. Based on the novel of the same name by Ma Boyong, the series is set during the height of the Tang Dynasty. A mysterious army infiltrates the city during the Lantern Festival. Imprisoned former detective Zhang Xiaojing (Lei Jiayin) and intelligence chief Li Bi (Jackson Yee), have 24 hours to stop a terrorist attack on the empire’s capital.

The entire second season of hit comedy series Shrill returns on Saturday 25 January. Fast-tracked from the US, Shrill is from executive producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks and based on the memoir from Lindy West. Shrill stars Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live, Girls) as Annie, an overweight young woman who wants to change her life – but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss.

These dramas join Canadian science fiction dramas Continuum (seasons one-four, 3 Jan) and Dark Matter(seasons one-three, 17 Jan) on SBS On Demand this January, as well as season four of Letterkenny(8 Jan), season one of true crime documentary The Devil You Know (30 Jan) and season four of Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games (31 Jan).

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