Erik Thomson will play a guy who moves to New Zealand with his teenage kids after his wife dies and Rebecca Gibney will return as a homicide cop in new dramas for the Seven Network.
Among the other highlights of Seven’s upfront presentation today are Restaurant Revolution, a spin-off of My Restaurant Rules; Mesmerised, an entertainment series from Endemol Australia fronted by hypnotist Peter Powers; and My Ireland with Colin, which follows My Kitchen Rules judge Collin Fassnidge as he rediscovers the country he left 15 years ago on a motorycycle.
The line-up also includes the previously announced Shine Australia miniseries Catching Milat, which dramatises the investigation that led to the arrest of serial killer Ivan Milat.
The factual slate includes Essential Media & Entertainment’s Australia: The Story of Us, which uses CGI and dramatic re-enactments to chronicle the history of the Australian people, places and events from the first footprints to the present day (first unveiled last year); and Sunday Night’s Gallipoli: The Power of Ten, which will profile the ten ANZACs who were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Thomson will star in 800 Words, a co-production between Seven Productions and South Pacific Pictures created by James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons) and Maxine Fleming. He’ll play George, who decides to uproot himself and his two teenage kids and move to a picturesque town in New Zealand for a fresh start after his wife dies suddenly. TVNZ has licensed the show and SPP’s parent All3Media has the international sales rights.
Gibney returns as Detective Sergeant Eve Winter in Seven Productions’ Winter, a sequel to The Killing Field created by Sarah Smith and Michaeley O’Brien. Peter O’Brien also reprises his role as Detective Inspector Lachlan McKenzie, Eve’s former boss and love interest. Together, they must solve the chilling murder of a 23-year-old mother at a fishing town south of Sydney.
Restaurant Revolution will give people the opportunity to road test their restaurant dream and make it a reality, combining the country’s obsessions with food and renovation.
The follow-up to What Really Happens in Bali, Eyeworks Australia’s What Really Happens in Thailand will follow the adventures of Australian holidaymakers in emergency rooms, cosmetic surgery centres and party hot-spots.
Among the crop of new US series are State of Affairs, starring Katherine Heigl as the right hand person to the US President; How to Get Away with Murder, a legal drama featuring Viola Davis as a criminal law professor and defence attorney; Aquarius, which casts David Duchovny as a tough, no-nonsense homicide detective on the trail of a serial killer; Houdini, a two-part miniseries starring Adrien Brody as the legendary escape artist; Red Band Society, a coming-of-age dramedy set in a Los Angeles hospital; international conspiracy action drama Odyssey; and the Heroes sequel Heroes Reborn.
Returning local shows include My Kitchen Rules, House Rules (two series), The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, Winners & Losers, Anh Does Italy, Better Homes and Garden, Border Security, The Force and Highway Patrol.
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.”