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Compelling programs on SBS in 2022

SBS and NITV reveal a first look at new drama co-commission, True Colours, a breakneck mystery that takes viewers deep into the world of a First Nations community as it has never been seen before.

The series starts with the investigation of a car accident but soon turns into an epic hunt for a killer. Thirty per cent of this ground-breaking series is in the First Nations language of Arrernte; an extraordinary first for Australia and thrilling achievement for NITV’s first foray into feature drama.

SBS Director of Indigenous Content, Tanya Denning-Orman, said:

First Nations storytelling will be loud and proud across SBS channels and platforms in 2022, a year that will see us mark a decade of NITV being available free-to-air as part of the SBS network. With NITV at its heart, SBS is bringing more First Nations voices and perspectives to all Australians with programs celebrating culture and Country, sharing knowledges, and acknowledging truths.

Rarriwuy Hick (left) and Luke Arnold (right) star in True Colours (above) on SBS and NITV

Wentworth’s Danielle Cormack will host the ground-breaking documentary series Life on the Outside, tackling recidivism and asking the important question — would you let a formerly incarcerated person stay in your home? An Australian first, the series follows convicted criminals as they’re placed into households for the first 100 days of release.

In 2022, SBS will create moments that get the nation talking, with new perspectives. SBS has revealed its plans for this year, with a compelling and courageous lineup of programming that continues to set SBS apart, exploring stories from across the country, spanning cultures and communities, and connecting Australia in all its diversity.

At a glance here is what is in store:

  • Six new Australian dramas in 2022: feature drama Safe Home, four new Digital Originals and a first look at SBS and NITV’s drama series, True Colours
  • Exclusive rights to commission the Australian version of world-wide sensation, Alone, and Jess Hill returns with documentary on consent with Yes, No, Maybe
  • SBS to launch sixth free-to-air channel, SBS WorldWatch, providing news in more than 35 languages, in May 2022
  • All 64 games of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ live, exclusive and free to all Australians; over 800 hours of cycling content including Tour De France, Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España, the inaugural Tour De France Femmes; and the 50th Koori Knockout on NITV
  • SBS Food to premiere fun new format Dishing It Up, 200 more episodes of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, and new shows with Dan Hong and Guillaume Brahimi
  • Multi-year partnership secured with StudioCanal, the studio who brought us War of the Worlds, Years and Years and ZeroZeroZero
  • Over 10 million registered users on SBS On Demand, with exclusive new shows SAS: Rogue Heroes, Django and the return of The Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta and The Orville
  • Further commitment to diversity on and off screen with the SBS Commissioning Equity & Inclusion Guidelines, for a more inclusive and equitable sector
  • NITV celebrates 10 years available to all Australians free-to-air on SBS
  • SBS Media to provide unrivalled insights into contemporary Australia with expanding thought leadership offering in 2022, in partnership with leading universities

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said:

SBS in 2022 is natively multilingual, digital-first, truly innovative, and trusted by a growing audience. Come to us on any platform and you’ll find stories that give a voice to communities otherwise unheard, perspectives that break down barriers, entertainment and sporting moments that unite us, news that Australians turn to, and programs that are capturing the hearts and minds of people around the world.

Our distinctive content and world-class services are underpinned by the incredibly diverse creative talent that exists in Australia. At SBS, we want to ensure that everyone in our sector can participate with equal opportunity to succeed, and we have expanded our commitment to on-screen and off-screen inclusion through new commissioning guidelines and targets we’re sharing today – the most ambitious, nuanced and comprehensive commitment in our industry. As we grow more diverse as a nation, all Australians will continue to recognise themselves and their communities on SBS.

SBS have secured what some may regard as a type of program better suited to commercial television. It will commission an Australian version of Alone, the series where participants are forced to survive on their own in harsh terrain. Alone is a factual franchise available in SBS On Demand, and Alone Australia will see 10 Australians dropped in remote wilderness, where they’ll be challenged by the merciless forces of nature and hunger as they compete for a life-changing prize.

See What You Made Me Do was one of SBS’s most successful factual programs in 2021, and investigative journalist Jess Hill returns to SBS with Yes, No, Maybe, a bold new documentary series exploring consent in Australia, following an explosive year of this issue in the headlines.

SBS Acting Director of Television and Online Content, Chris Irvine said:

2022 is set to be another enormous year for SBS, packed full of world class content. We are a home for all Australians, and the true diversity of Australia needs to be celebrated and reflected both on our screens and behind the camera. Examining issues central to our Charter, we continue to uncover what it means to be Australian today. This year, impactful and powerful storytelling across SBS screens will continue to inspire, inform and emotionally connect with our audience.

Rachel Perkins, The Australian Wars examines how the settlement wars have shaped Australia today.

In Our Law from NITV, documentary cameras are granted intimate and candid access to the Indigenous officers and cadets attempting to break the cycle of Indigenous incarceration and repair a deeply troubled Aboriginal-police relationship, while giving voice to the communities being policed.

Off Country follows the lives of seven Indigenous students over a year at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School, grappling with family tragedy, mental health and identity issues.

Tahlia Liddle will host, Larapinta which takes audiences on a historical, cultural and artistic journey of the oldest river in the world.

Single documentaries will be celebrated with another season of the acclaimed Australia Uncovered strand and a new 30-minute factual initiative Curious Australia will put unexpected issues in the spotlight.

Returning for its thirteenth season: Who Do You Think You Are? It will feature Matt Moran, Paula Duncan and Myf Warhurst. They are among the prominent Australians uncovering the secrets of their ancestry this year. Jay Laga’aia will also be back for the second season of Lost for Words and Noni Hazlehurst returns for the third season of Every Family Has a Secret this month.

SBS is delighted to bring six new commissioned drama series to Australian audiences in 2022. From Imogen Banks, the award-winning producer and creator of Offspring, is Safe Home, telling the story of Phoebe, a woman whose life gets turned upside down when she begins working at a women’s legal centre. This cleverly woven thriller takes viewers on a journey of twists and turns that will keep you spinning until the end. Family violence impacts across race, age and class, and this gripping series explores the stories we tell ourselves about this issue and how they influence our ability to see it in the cold light of day.

Joining Safe Home are four new short form dramas from Digital Originals, the successful joint initiative between Screen Australia, SBS, and NITV supporting screen creatives currently under-represented in the sector, exploring contemporary issues in fresh and innovative ways.

The dark comedy, A Beginner’s Guide to Grief will examine death, grief and identity and Night Bloomers is an anthology of horror stories from the Korean diaspora.

In Latecomers, two strangers with cerebral palsy are determined to explore their relationships with sex and each other after watching their carers hook up at a bar. And in Appetite, a food delivery rider dies on the streets of Sydney, and an unlikely trio of fellow riders are entangled in a mystery to uncover the truth.

This year marks the return of the event that stops entire nations, the FIFA World Cup™. An event like no other, the World Cup unites people from all walks of life in celebration of the global game of football. With all 64 matches live and exclusively on SBS, this will be the first ever summer tournament offering the most sociable kick off times, setting the scene for some of the biggest audiences on SBS, and across free-to-air television in 2022.

SBS is Australia’s cycling network and will continue to broadcast the iconic Tour de France after securing the exclusive broadcast rights until 2030. Including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, SBS is home to all three Grand Tours in professional cycling. This year will also see the premiere of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes — the long-awaited women’s Tour de France. The Tour de France Femmes, as well as SBS’s live broadcast of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes signals a turning point for women’s cycling. More highlights in cycling for 2022 include the Women’s and Men’s Australian National Road Series as well as the Women’s and Men’s European Cycling Spring Classics.

NITV have footy fans covered, with the return of their ground-breaking programs Yokayi Footy and Over The Black Dot. These shows offer an Indigenous perspective of the AFL and NRL, including analysis, guest interviews and bold conversation.

There are now over 10 million registered users of SBS’s world-class streaming destination, SBS On Demand, where audiences can watch amazing content cut up with ads, including programs in more than 50 languages, along with multilingual login.

SBS On Demand offers a slate of international dramas sourced from around the world and in 2022 will bring over 1,600 hours of new content each and every month.

In a new multi-year partnership agreement between SBS and StudioCanal, audiences will have access to a guaranteed pipeline of critically acclaimed dramas. From the European powerhouse that brought viewers War of the Worlds, Years and Years and ZeroZeroZero comes a new suite of programming. Set in the Wild West of the 1860s, Django centres around a gunslinger who is haunted by the murder of his family eight years early — he is still looking for the daughter he believes may have survived.

Other dramas include the Australian premiere of SAS Rogue Heroes, which tells the story of how the world’s most famous Special Forces Unit, the SAS, was born. From the creator of Peaky Blinders, SAS Rogue Heroes stars Dominic West, Alfie Allen and Connor Swindells. Joining this slate of programming is Tokyo Vice (from director Michael Mann), Martin Freeman in the BBC hit The Responder, as well as new seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta, War of The Worlds, Das Boot and The Orville.

In 2022, SBS Food remains the destination for premium food programming as Australia’s only free-to-air food channel, celebrating Australia’s rich diversity through food, every day.

SBS is excited to premiere Dishing It Up, a unique format following six families as they attempt to chop, cook and sauté along with their favourite chefs on television. Born from a need to find fast, cheap ways to feed the masses, there’s something special about the dishes that evolved on the streets around the world.

The Streets with Dan Hong will see the acclaimed chef uncovering the best food from the streets and putting his spin on it. Guillaume Brahimi will also return to France this year for Guillaume in Paris, an immersive series exploring the very best in Parisian cuisine, arrondissement by arrondissement. Adam Liaw will return for another 200-episode series of The Cook Up, airing every weeknight at 7pm on SBS Food. Silvia Colloca will also return for a third season of Cook Like an Italian.

SBS will further expand its multiplatform multilingual services in 2022, with the launch of new free-to-air television channel, SBS WorldWatch, from 23 May. Featuring news bulletins from leading international broadcasters in more than 35 languages, it will also be the free-to-air television home SBS’s new Arabic and Mandarin language news programs – SBS عربي News and SBS 中文 News — produced locally, and which premiered on SBS On Demand back in February.

Across the network, news and current affairs will cover the headlines and beyond in 2022. NITV’s The Point and Living Black will all return alongside SBS’s Tuesday night current affairs line-up including Insight, Dateline and The Feed. These series will explore global issues and events, deliver original investigations, and connect audiences with important stories from across Australia.

Eurovision Song Contest will be in May. NITV is also thrilled to be broadcasting the National Indigenous Music Awards again, an amazing celebration of First Nations artists. Returning this year with more laughter, celebrities, and made-up words like doorbrace, sonop and ratsfog is game show Celebrity Letters & Numbers. Join host Michael Hing, wordsmith David Astle and expert Lily Serna as they put our celebrity guests’ linguistic and numerical skills to the test. Beloved quiz show Mastermind is also back.

On NITV, Going Places with Ernie Dingo will return to NITV this year, introducing a new suite of iconic destinations. From the Kakadu National Park to the Great Barrier Reef, Ernie is no stranger to exploring the beauty that our country has to offer. After four seasons, Ernie will be hitting the road with some friends — actor Aaron Fa’aoso, journalist Rae Johnston, Network 10 television presenter Narelda Jacobs, and entrepreneur and presenter Bianca Hunt. NITV will also launch a new series called Skip Ad, a half-hour program looking at what’s going viral across social media.

SBS VICELAND continues to bring comedy and entertainment alongside factual and news programming. In 2022, audience favourite Richard Ayoade will return with Question Team, alongside season 4 of Wellington Paranormal, season 2 of Patriot Brains and season 8 of The Curse of Oak Island.

As part of its commitment to leading the way to a more inclusive and equitable future for the Australian screen sector, SBS shared the SBS Commissioning Equity and Inclusion Guidelines. Reflecting SBS’s unique place in the media landscape as Australia’s multicultural and Indigenous broadcaster, and its role in championing ongoing industry change to be more representative and inclusive, the guidelines outline genre-specific targets for roles both on and off screen, for SBS-commissioned content and internal productions across its scripted and unscripted programming.

Designed in consultation with industry stakeholders to remove barriers for people representing communities and experiences often under-represented in the screen sector, they are part of wide-ranging investments in inclusion to make sure everyone has a career pathway, that there is a more level playing field for creatives on and off screen, and that all Australians can see themselves reflected on SBS. They also outline an additional commitment to accountability through new reporting each year, over a three-year period.

In 2022, SBS will also launch its next Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – an Elevate RAP, the highest status available from Reconciliation Australia – which will see SBS champion initiatives to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and create societal change.

SBS Media will continue to connect brands to audiences in meaningful and powerful ways, and deliver on a difference in the Australian media market that isn’t offered elsewhere.

SBS Director of Media Sales, Adam Sadler, added:

In 2022, we’ll continue to provide marketers and agencies with independent research and data to better understand the real Australia — increasingly diverse, and multilingual — and the future of our media sector. Partnering with leading Australian universities, for our fourth year we’ll deliver more thought leadership studies that support brands to connect with contemporary Australia, including Australia’s first study into the power of in-language advertising examining the impact on consumers when it comes to cut through and brand recall. With more than five million Australians speaking a language other than English at home, no brand can afford to ignore this significant audience.

I’m also excited to announce two new services within SBS Media this year in Cultural Connect and Cultural Consultancy, two dedicated multicultural communications teams that will work with marketers and agencies alike, providing bespoke and independent research, data and insights that SBS is uniquely positioned to offer.

After the launch of the Beyond 3% initiative with NITV a year ago, we’re looking forward to building on the momentum from the 12 months which saw an incredible response. We called out to the sector to recognise the value and shared benefit of investing in First Nations media platforms – which, despite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people making up 3.3% of the population, media dedicated to these audiences attracts less than 0.3% of industry spend – and we will continue to work with our partners on closing the investment gap.

Previews of content coming to SBS in 2022 are available at SBS On Demand.

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