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Plenty of Glitz but no Risk as Seven plays it safe in 2015

NewsKevin Perry
There Back!  Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson return with new drama on Seven in 2015. image - Seven Network

There Back!  Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson return with new drama on Seven in 2015.
image - Seven Network

It was an Upfront’s launch that seemed to have everything you could imagine. Smoke, Bright lights, Singing, a champion Olympian, The Aussie Outback, a Helicopter indoors. Just one thing was missing from this amazing spectacle, New Ideas.

In 2015 the Seven Network isn’t taking a lot of risks doubling down on trusted formats and spinoffs from things that have worked in the past. The hit of 2014 HOUSE RULES will return next year with two series putting it head to head against Nine’s The Block which will also do two series in 2015.

Juggernaut MY KITCHEN RULES will kick of 2015 for Seven, to be followed later in the year by spinoff series RESTAURANT REVOLUTION. This "new" multi-night reality franchise based upon previous Seven format MY RESTAURANT RULES will see contestants charged with locating, renovating and running their own restaurants. Lets hope they don’t bring back Dicko to host this version.

Seven has not committed to any new ‘shiny floor’ shows in 2015, with THE X FACTOR and DANCING WITH THE STARS both confirmed to be returning despite mixed ratings success in 2014.

Seven appears to be taking few risks in the field of drama either by returning Packed to the Rafters power couple Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson to our screens, although this time in separate series. Gibney to star in WINTER, a new crime series based upon this year’s telemovie The Killing Field. While Thomson is to star in 800 WORDS, a new series that is clearly targeting the same audience that once tuned into Rafters in their millions.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, Seven will debut the epic drama documentary series AUSTRALIA: THE STORY OF US. And in a special series from Sunday Night, we tell the true stories of the ten ANZACs who received our highest military honour, the Victoria Cross, in GALLIPOLI: THE POWER OF TEN, presented by Ben Roberts-Smith VC.

At the event today Seven’s Director of Network Programming, Angus Ross, said: “We’re number one again now for eight years in a row and, as we promised, we’ve reshaped our audience younger. In fact, we’re younger than ever. At the same time, we’ve retained the consistency of audience delivery people have come to expect.

“We’ve invested in the content Australian viewers love: live sport, live news and public affairs, and Australian-made programming. Combining these strategies with the pick of US programming, we’re confident we will continue to deliver Australia’s largest audiences.”

While still unconfirmed,  2014 flops Bringing Sexy Back, The Amazing Race and The Big Adventure were not mentioned at the event and are unlikely to return in 2015.

 

MEDIA RELEASE
NEW ON SEVEN IN 2015:

 

Domestic Programming

 

800 WORDS

Erik Thomson plays George, a man who used to skate through life but who is now stumbling. When his wife dies suddenly, George makes a rash decision to move his two teenage kids away from the big smoke of Sydney to a picturesque town in New Zealand. All he wants to do is make a fresh start but it seems that everyone – his kids, the townspeople, the universe – have other ideas. This is a Seven and South Pacific Pictures production created by James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons) and Maxine Fleming.

 

AUSTRALIA: THE STORY OF US

More than 40,000 years in the making, AUSTRALIA: THE STORY OF US is an extraordinary narrative about the people, places and events that have shaped the continent from the first inhabitants to the present day. This ground breaking drama-documentary series weaves together stories of the nation’s origins and offers fresh insights into how Australians came to create the homeland they inhabit today. Alongside astounding CGI and cinematic sequences, the series features interviews with important thinkers, notable celebrities and iconic national figures who take us inside the stories that have influenced Australian history.

 

CATCHING MILAT

A psychological thriller and procedural drama, CATCHING MILAT is a dramatized version of the investigation into the 1990s backpacker murders leading to the arrest and conviction of serial killer Ivan Milat. After the bodies of backpackers are discovered in Belanglo State Forest, New South Wales’ Police unit Task Force Air begins its search for a murderer. Ultimately the bodies of seven backpackers are found. With the help of forensic evidence and tip-offs from the public, thousands of leads are investigated before Milat is finally arrested in 1994. CATCHING MILAT is the story of the men who brought him to justice. The mini-series is based on the book Sins of the Brother by Mark Whittaker and Les Kennedy and produced by Shine Australia for Seven.

 

GALLIPOLI: THE POWER OF TEN

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, Sunday Night will bring you the true stories of the ten ANZACs who received our highest military honour, the Victoria Cross, presented by Ben Roberts-Smith VC. Like the carpenter who single-handedly took wounded soldiers out of the firing line; the cricketer who used his skills with the ball to catch live bombs for 50 hours straight; and the lovesick young soldier told the only way to get a mother’s blessing to marry her daughter was to come back with a VC. This is the story of Gallipoli and the ten ANZACs who became heroes amongst heroes. For the first time we’ll bring their stories to life.

 

MESMERISED 

World-renowned hypnotist Peter Powers unleashes his army of hypnotised subjects in this all-new outrageous entertainment series. Whether on the street, crashing a public event or just having fun playing tricks on hypnotised celebrities, Peter and his subjects put an unsuspecting Australian public through absolute mayhem. Prepare to be mesmerised!

 

MY IRELAND WITH COLIN

My Kitchen Rules judge and renowned chef, Colin Fassnidge, invites us to join him on a motorcycle tour of his beloved Ireland. Setting out to re-discover the Ireland he left 15 years ago, Colin finds laughter, good humour and enthusiasm wherever he goes and meets the small organic producers who are revitalising Irish cuisine and challenging every food convention.

 

RESTAURANT REVOLUTION Ever dreamed of opening up your own restaurant? RESTAURANT REVOLUTION will give regular people the opportunity to road test their restaurant dream and make it a reality. Seven revolutionised this reality genre with My Restaurant Rules and this new incarnation will combine two of the country’s biggest loves – food and renovation – into one hit show.

 

WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN THAILAND

With over 600,000 Australians travelling to the Land of Smiles each year, Thailand has fast become one of Australia’s most popular and intriguing tourist destinations. Known for its tropical beaches, non-stop entertainment, exotic culture and infamous full moon parties – Thailand is a place where anything and everything can happen. Gaining unprecedented access to the busiest emergency rooms, cosmetic surgery centres, and party hot-spots during Thailand’s peak tourist season, WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN THAILAND will offer a front-row seat alongside a wide range of Aussie holidaymakers and expats who travel to and live in this unpredictable paradise.

 

WINTER 

Following the huge success of The Killing Field comes WINTER, a new crime drama series based on the Rebecca Gibney character, Detective Sergeant Eve Winter. Peter O’Brien reprises his role as Detective Inspector Lachlan McKenzie, Eve’s former boss and love interest. Together, they must solve the chilling murder of young 23-year old mother at a hauntingly beautiful fishing town south of Sydney. This major landmark series is full of twists and turns as a detective under the gun works to put together the pieces of an intricate and mysterious crime.

  

International 

AQUARIUS

AQUARIUS stars David Duchovny (The X Files; Californication) as Sam Hodiak, a seasoned homicide detective whose investigations dovetail with the activities of real-life cult leader Charles Manson in the years before he masterminded the most notorious killings of a generation, the Tate-LaBianca murders. A small-time but charismatic leader with big plans, Manson has begun to build up his “family”, recruiting vulnerable young men and women to join his cause. Teaming up with a young cop who will help him infiltrate Manson’s circle, Hodiak is forced to see things through the questioning eyes of someone who came of age amongst the current anti-establishment counterculture. Edgy, addictive and visually stunning, the Age of Aquarius is here.

 

BATTLE CREEK

From Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and House creator David Shore comes new buddy cop dramedy BATTLE CREEK. A handsome, happy-go-lucky FBI agent (Josh Duhamel, Las Vegas) is unwillingly partnered with a small town homicide detective (Dean Winters, 30 Rock) to clean up the streets of Battle Creek, Michigan. As they solve crimes together, their polar opposite methods only slightly outweigh their disdain for each other.

 

HEROES REBORN 

On January 31, 2007, Heroes launched in Australia to over 2.1 million viewers. This universal tale of ordinary people who discover superhuman abilities captivated audiences. Since then, the Heroes universe has only deepened and evolved, spawning an online extension of the series, interactive websites, graphic novels and original web content. Revitalised, re-energised and reborn, the Heroes saga continues as new and returning characters collide in the epic and never-ending battle between the powers of good and the forces of evil.

 

HOUDINI 

The two-part mini-series HOUDINI follows the epic tales of Harry Houdini as he emerges as America’s first bona fide world-renowned superstar. From humble beginnings at circus sideshows to sold-out concert halls, Eastern European immigrant Erich Weiss rose to become a household name, Houdini, across the globe. Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist) stars as The Great Harry Houdini as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Rasputin. A thrilling ride through Harry’s psyche, HOUDINI delves deep behind the curtain into his life through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion.

 

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

Forget competitive…law school is downright deadly in the new legal drama from TV powerhouse Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy; Scandal). Starring Academy-Award nominee Viola Davis, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER is US television’s most addictive new thriller, watched by over 20.3 million people and breaking DVR records on debut. Sexy and suspenseful, expect plenty of twists when the ambitious students of criminal law professor and defence attorney Annalise Keating (Davis) find themselves involved in a murder mystery and cover up that will rock the entire community.

 

KATHERINE MILLS: MIND GAMES 

In a bold new entertainment series, mind magician Katherine Mills blends her skills in mentalism with her love of magic to perform spectacular acts of mind control that don’t seem possible. From examining the bond between parents and children and the relationship between twins; to the connection between staff in a supermarket and the interaction between friends out to dinner,

Katherine takes the everyday world around us and makes it extraordinary. Whether in supermarkets, restaurants, art galleries or in our homes she shows us how outside forces are often at work even when we think we are displaying free will.

 

MARRY ME 

Jake (Ken Marino, Party Down) and Annie (Casey Wilson, Happy Endings, Gone Girl) are finally engaged after six years of dating, but her high-strung, larger-than-life personality and Jake’s laid-back approach to life will severely test the theory of “opposites attract”. They’ll soon understand that getting engaged was the easy part. From David Caspe (Happy Endings), comes America’s number one Tuesday night comedy.

 

ODYSSEY

In this Traffic-like action drama, an international conspiracy explodes when three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide – a female soldier, a corporate lawyer and a political activist. The only way they’ll ever save their country, their families and themselves is by joining forces and exposing the people behind the cover up. From director Peter Horton (Grey’s Anatomy) comes a thrilling story about global politics, military secrets and three strangers who only have one thing in common…the truth.

 

RED BAND SOCIETY

From Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and starring Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (The Help), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and a charismatic cast of fresh faces, RED BAND SOCIETY is a provocative, unconventional and unique coming-of-age dramedy about a group of rule-bending friends and the adults who mentor them through the ups and downs of adolescence in Los Angeles’ Ocean Park Hospital. Exploring everything from strong friendships and first loves, to humorous mishaps and heartbreaks, the series is a story of life, with an edgy comedic tone all its own.

 

STATE OF AFFAIRS

Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) returns to network television as the President’s right-hand woman in STATE OF AFFAIRS. Each day the president is faced with dozens of life-and-death decisions, and to prioritise the biggest international crises facing the country is top CIA analyst, Charleston Tucker (Heigl). Aside from the political minefields she has to walk, Charlie has a close personal relationship with President Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard, Desperate Housewives) because she was once engaged to her son before a tragic terrorist attack took his life. Charlie sometimes engages in boundary-pushing behaviour to avoid facing her grief. But when the clock strikes 2am, she is all about her job — protecting her nation, serving her president and trying to get to the bottom of her fiancé’s murder.

 

THE WHISPERS

We love to play games with our children. But what happens when someone else starts to play with them too? Someone we don’t know. Can’t see. Can’t hear. From Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, comes new supernatural drama, THE WHISPERS, in which someone – or something – is manipulating the ones we love most to accomplish the unthinkable. Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) and Barry Sloane (Revenge) star. 

 

RETURNING HIT SHOWS IN 2015:

ANH DOES ITALY

Australia’s most loved comedian, Anh Do, travels to the land of love, music, fashion, history, art, culture and gastronomy to experience first-hand Italy’s motto: La Vita è Bella, the Beautiful Life. From the German-speaking slap-dancers of Tyrol in the Alps to the pasta nonnas of Bari in the South, Anh tastes the best Italy has to offer.

 

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS

Australia’s number one lifestyle program celebrates 21 years in 2015, continuing to offer viewers inspirational ideas for the home, garden and kitchen.

 

DANCING WITH THE STARS

Currently delighting audiences with its red-hot line-up of celebrities, Australia’s favourite dancing show DANCING WITH THE STARS returns next year for its 15th series.

 

HOME AND AWAY

Now in its 27th year, HOME AND AWAY continues its domination of the 7pm timeslot.

 

HOUSE RULES

HOUSE RULES is back with all new teams vying for one of the biggest prizes on national television: a mortgage-free home. With Johanna Griggs at the helm, an entire home is completely transformed and revealed every week. The Seven-owned franchise averaged over 2.3 million (Metro + Regional) this year with viewers up 25 per cent year-on-year. In 2015 there will be two series broadcast with plenty of surprises in store.

 

MILLION DOLLAR MINUTE

Hosted by Simon Reeve, Million Dollar Minute has Australians gripped as three contestants face off in an unrivalled test of brainpower and bravery to win one million dollars.

MY KITCHEN RULES

The MKR winner announcement was the number one TV event in 2014 with 3.8 million viewers tuning in. Home-made by Seven, it is the most popular dish on a very strong Seven production menu. Hosted by Pete Evans and Manu Feildel, fans will feast on more instant restaurant rounds than ever before in 2015.

 

MY FRANCE WITH MANU

My Kitchen Rules host and renowned chef, Manu Feildel, returns to take us on another journey through his home country. This time he travels down the Rhône Valley, from the French Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. On the way, Manu shares the food, wine and culture of his France.

 

THE X FACTOR

The blockbuster TV music franchise created by Simon Cowell continues to excite audiences around Australia. Responsible for discovering star acts like Samantha Jade, Reece Mastin, Dami Im and most recently Marlisa Punzalan , THE X FACTOR will return for a sixth series in 2015.

 

WINNERS AND LOSERS 

Australia’s favourite friends will be back in 2015 in what promises to be the most compelling season yet.

Seven’s commitment to factual programming continues with the return of BORDER SECURITY, THE FORCE and HIGHWAY PATROL 

And returning with new seasons will be Seven’s international favourites including DOWNTON ABBEY, REVENGE, MR SELFRIDGE, PARENTHOOD, GREY’S ANATOMY, BONES, CASTLE, CRIMINAL MINDS, SUITS and SCANDAL. The Network’s current fast tracked shows THE BLACKLIST, RESURRECTION, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and THE AMAZING RACE will also continue in the new year.

 

 

 

7TWO

The Network’s initiatives of more lifestyle programming, more adventure programming and more movies have continued to drive the channel younger this year.

 

7mate

With a targeted mix of home-grown and overseas content, 7mate is continuing to grow its core male audience and is still the dominant multi-channel for men under 40. Its commitment to home-made content will continue in 2015 with Pauly Fenech and his Logie Award-winning comedy team serving up themed specials in the spirit of multi-channel ratings hit Bogan Hunters. Melbourne comedian Troy Kinne returns with a new series and Outback Truckers fans can look forward to a second season. This, combined with record audiences for overseas offerings such as Tattoo Nightmares, Family Guy and Hardcore Pawn, will see 7mate continue to reach the elusive younger male audience.

 

 

 

NEWS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Seven is committed to news and public affairs. The network is creating a world-first integrated news centre for Seven and The West Australian in Perth. This signposts Seven’s future in news and public affairs as it expands its presence across and beyond television into new forms of content delivery.

 

SPORT

In 2015 history will be made. The Australian Open will kick off the biggest summer in sport and for the first time viewers will not only get to choose between matches on Seven and 7TWO, they will have the option of watching any one of seven matches during the day and three at night via Hybrid Broadband TV (HbbTV) on smart TVs, mobile and tablet devices. Seven is focused on delivering the biggest sports events to all Australians. Seven will broadcast the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeong Chang in 2018, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020. There is also an option which, if exercised, extends the rights to include the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in 2022 and the XXXIII Olympic Games in 2024. 

Seven’s agreement for all-encompassing coverage of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 builds on this long-term commitment to the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games, and joins the National Football League, including the Super Bowl; the US Masters and Wimbledon as major international sports franchises for Seven.

Seven also has all-encompassing agreements for coverage of the Australian Football League Premiership Season, Finals Series, the Grand Final and Brownlow Medal, the Bathurst 12 Hour Endurance Race, all major horse racing events including the Magic Millions, the Sydney Easter Carnival, the Melbourne Spring Carnival and the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, all major Australian golf tournaments, including the Open and the Masters, all major iron man and triathlon events, and all major tennis tournaments in Australia including The Australian Open and The Davis Cup.

 

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