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Eclectic programming this year on SBS

There is excitement in the air at SBS for its 2016 program line up.

SBS goes back to its Charter with multicultural diversity and a boost in local Australian productions at the forefront of its programming. In contrast one could have mistaken 2015 as being monocultural fixated on all things royal and British.

But this year SBS will have 24 new Australian documentaries, including 10 Indigenous productions, two new Australian dramas and five new locally made food shows. 

The Family Law is not another series featuring lawyers. It’s a comedy series about a lively, contemporary Chinese-Australian family. This new Australian drama series, was written by Benjamin Law and adapted from his memoir of the same name. The six-part series gives a comic view of a dysfunctional, Chinese-Australian family, and is set to be another highly successful production and favourite from Melbourne’s Matchbox Pictures (THE PRINCIPLE, THE SLAP). The Family Law launches on 14 January.

SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid, in previewing this years TV program highlights said:

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.

Deep Water is one of SBS’s first cross platform, cross genre events. It’s a four part series, a documentary and has an online prequel series. It is about the gay hate crime epidemic in NSW during the 1980s and 1990s. It is a very bold and impressive commission by SBS.

Not so welcoming is the production by Cordell Jigsaw Hanson: The Years That Shook Australia about Pauline Hanson. Audiences will be reminded that racism is well and truly entrenched in Australia.

The Missing is an eight part British drama series set in France and England.

Tutankhamun stars Sam Neill in a four part series set in the early 20th century starring Neill plays the archaeologist Howard Carter.

The Last Panthers is a European crime drama series about a diamond heist.

First Contact returns for a second series. In this program, six well known Australians comment as they travel through parts of Aboriginal Australia.

Vietnam: The War That Made Australia looks at the people who fought in Vietnam.

Untold Australia a four part series looking at some hidden worlds of multiculturalism in Australia.

The Logan Project is a documentary series about the Queensland town of Logan. With a population of just over 6000 and more than 200 different ethnic groups, the town’s singers and musicians work to turn around the tough times many in the town experience.

Poh Ling Yeow returns with series two of Poh and Co. Adam Liaw returns with Destination Flavour Scandinavia. Matthew Evans builds his own Gourmet Farmer Fat Pig Kitchen. There will be five new locally made food shows.

SBS now has the dedicated Food Network, a 24/7 channel broadcasting cooking programs, food inspired travel and entertainment from across the globe.

The Tour de France returns live, with analysis via the Tour Tracker App. Another tradition continues SBS will broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches.

DNA Nation looks to be fascinating viewing with Ian Thorpe, Ernie Dingo and Julia Zemiro, going on a journey of genetic time travel across 12 countries to discover their DNA.

NITV favourite The Marngrook Footy Show returns. A new entertainment sport series League Nation Live hosted by Broncos captain Justin Hodges. The 32 week series covers the NRL code.

SBS On Demand has over 600 free movies spanning all genres and more than 350 documentaries. SBS On Demand is available on 25 platforms. It’s now available on Stan. Support for Apple TV and Google Chromecast is in the pipeline.

SBS has been broadcasting Eurovision since the 1980’s. Australia will compete in this near cult event for the second time. Eurovision will be held in Stockholm this year with hosts Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.

SBS will continue to broadcast If You Are The One. Up to 50 million people worldwide watch each episode of this Chinese dating program.

Sadly, SBS did not provide details of other LOTE (language other than English) programs for this year.

SBS programming this year will see an eclectic array of programming with much to look forward to. What is missing is the best of local and international feature films and one-off documentaries that surprisingly don’t get a mention. In particular, one would hope that there was a place on SBS with its four free-to-air channels and online services for outstanding and cutting edge local films and documentaries. In doing so, it would be truly fulfilling its Charter to “make use of Australia’s diverse creative resources”.

For more information of dates and times to air of SBS TV programs visit sbs.com.au/schedule

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