Nine: 2013 highlights

Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, a Schapelle Corby telemovie, Return to Eden, Parade’s End, Australia’s Got Talent, Underbelly: Squizzy, The Great Australian Bake Off, Arrow and The Following are some of the highlights Nine has announced today at its Upfronts in Sydney.

As previously reported by TV Tonight, Nine has announced a sequel to Howzat, looking at the rivalry between Sir Frank Packer and Rupert Murdoch plus another new cooking show The Taste (US).

Returning are Big Brother, The Block, Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice,  House Husbands, and more from Hamish & Andy.

Nine hasn’t confirmed a return for The Farmer Wants a Wife nor the fourth mysterious judge for The Voice, rumoured to be Ricky Martin.

Nine will also rejuvenate its Jump-In app in February.

From the creators of Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War comes the biggest drama event of 2013 – Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story. At a tennis party in 1960, Australia’s most powerful man, Sir Frank Packer, first met the young, ambitious Rupert Murdoch. It was an encounter that would forever change their lives, the future of their country, and the face of the world’s media.

Set in the period 1960-75, Power Games is the story of how the epic ambitions of Rupert Murdoch and the Packer family collided as they battled for control of Australia’s newspaper and television industries. And although they played hard, the rivals had a profound appreciation of each other’s talents, vision and drive.

Through 15 years of political intrigue, raw corporate power and high-rolling luxury, these fierce rivals used every means at their disposal to build their empires – and ultimately came to respect and admire each other as titans on the world media stage.

The world’s greatest talent search has found a new home. Australia’s Got Talent will be on Nine in 2013 with new hosts and judges and exciting talent to bring to the Australian audience. The global success of Got Talent has seen the format top the ratings in Britain, where a massive total of 13.8 million people watched the finale, the USA, New Zealand and scores of other territories around the world.

The next global phenomenon is coming to Nine. Shane Jacobson and Anna Gare will host The Great Australian Bake Off, with Dan Lepard and Kerry Vincent joining them as judges in the search to find Australia’s Best Home Baker.

The ultimate kitchen battle is set to erupt when Nine serves up this brand new TV dish in 2013. Ten home baking enthusiasts will be put through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, in the hope of being crowned Australia’s Best Home Baker.

Thirty years after the original mini-series captivated Australia comes the remake of Return To Eden, the story of ultimate revenge – a gripping tale of power, wealth and betrayal.

Stephanie Harper is one of Australia’s richest people, a businesswoman with a troubled past and a dysfunctional family life. When she survives a brutal attack on her outback property she goes into hiding in fear of her life. Presumed dead, her family fortune is up for grabs and her teenage children are bereft. As Stephanie recovers from her horrific injuries she hatches an audacious plan to seek revenge on those who have wronged her. And with a second chance at life, she vows to be a better mother and person too.

From producers Hal and Di McElroy (Sea Patrol), Return To Eden is a lavish six-hour mini-series that will have Australians on the edge of their seats.

Not since Lindy Chamberlain has there been a criminal case that has intrigued Australians as much as Schapelle Corby’s.

On October 8, 2004, Corby, a beauty therapist from the Gold Coast, was caught in Bali with a boogie board bag full of marijuana. Her arrest captivated and intrigued a nation. But what really happened on that fateful day? Why did she do it? And who was behind it all?

Schapelle lifts the lid on what went on behind the headlines. It’s a story packed with amazing characters, bizarre twists and intrigue at the highest level. Inspired by the bestseller Sins of the Father by investigative journalist Eamonn Duff, Schapelle will bring to the screen the captivating story behind Schapelle Corby’s ill-fated trip to Bali.

Schapelle is a must-see telemovie in 2013 from FremantleMedia, producers of the critically acclaimed The King, Killing Time and Devil’s Dust.

GALLIPOLI (NB: airing in 2015)
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in 2015, the Nine Network will begin production in 2013 on the most ambitious television drama in Australian history: Gallipoli.

Three years in the making and screening over eight hours, Gallipoli will be the definitive dramatisation of the battle that shaped the ANZAC legend.

Gallipoli tells the true story of the military campaign through the men and women who found themselves in the most extreme situations imaginable. It is a saga of bravery and cowardice; triumph and disaster; power and impotence.

Gallipoli follows Aussie diggers as they live and die in the trenches; Turkish soldiers defending their homeland; political and military intrigue in London and Australia; intrepid journalists who reported on and changed the outcome of the war; and the wives and families back in Australia. Most of all, it’s a story of the resilience of the human spirit.

Produced by John Edwards (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, Beaconsfield, Paper Giants), Imogen Banks (Puberty Blues, Offspring) and Robert Connolly (produced Balibo and The Boys, directed Underground: The Julian Assange Story and The Slap), directed by Glendyn Ivin (Beaconsfield, Puberty Blues), with scripts by Christopher Lee (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War; Rush, Police Rescue), Gallipoli will be the must-see television event of 2015.

Hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces of 20th century literature, Parade’s End is an epic story of love and betrayal.

The setting moves from the glittering yet shallow world of London high society to the trench-scarred battlefields of France in the First World War. At its heart is the erotically charged triangle between English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch), his beautiful but cruel wife Sylvia (Rebecca Hall) and Valentine Wannop (Australia’s Adelaide Clemens), a young suffragette with whom he falls head over heels in love.

Oscar-winning screen writer Sir Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love, Empire of the Sun) and BAFTA-winning and double Emmy-nominated director Susanna White are bringing this remarkable story to life in an enthralling mini-series.

The ultimate taste sensation has arrived on Nine, with four superstar chefs, 16 cooks hungry to win – and every delicious morsel tasted blind! This program is all about the taste. One bad bite and the chefs could be sending their favourite cooks home.

Famed culinary experts Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey will join no-holds-barred chef Anthony Bourdain and British food star Nigella Lawson as mentors on The Taste.

Each of the four culinary superstars – Bourdain, Lawson, Lefebvre and Malarkey – will coach a team of four pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call as they vie to create the best tasting dish. The groups will face team and individual challenges with a variety of culinary themes through several elimination rounds. At the end of each episode the mentors will have to judge the competitors’ dishes blind, with no knowledge of whose creation they are sampling, what they are eating, how it was prepared or who they could be eliminating.

Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy (Rome) star in The Following, a terrifying new thriller series from Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Scream). When notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (Purefoy) escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree the FBI calls in former agent Ryan Hardy (Bacon), a psychologically scarred veteran who captured Carroll nine years earlier.

After being marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen goes home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills to fight a war on crime in this hard-hitting action series. Reinventing the DC Comics character for a modern-day audience, the Arrow is not a superhero, just a hero, but every bit as dangerous as the criminals he is hunting.

The ratings smash-hit of 2012, The Voice, is back with superstar coaches Seal, Joel Madden and Delta Goodrem in their red chairs again to discover Australia’s next Voice. And who will be the fourth coach of The Voice in 2013?

In 2013, there will be not one but two “Blocktastic” seasons. The Block All-Stars, back in Bondi where it all began 10 years ago, will feature four of The Block’s favourite couples – Phil and Amity (series 1), Mark and Duncan (series 3), Josh and Jenna (series 4) and Dan and Dani (series 5) – competing in an All-Stars version of the home renovation blockbuster.

Hosted by Scott Cam, with Shelley Craft, the four couples get a second chance at the top real estate prize on television when they renovate four heritage-listed Bondi cottages in record time – six weeks.

Then, later in the year, a new full series of The Block premieres with eight couples striving to win in 2013.

The Big Brother juggernaut stormed home on Nine this year, recapturing a whole new generation of Australian viewers. In 2013, Big Brother will be back, hosted by Sonia Kruger, with new housemates, new tricks and new twists, brighter and more entertaining than ever.

In the third series of The Celebrity Apprentice, Mark Bouris returns to the boardroom as celebrities are in for the challenge and out of their comfort zones. In this crazy world anything goes in the name of charity. One by one the celebrities will be fired until one is crowned the celebrity apprentice of 2013.

Following on from their ratings success in 2012, Hamish & Andy will be back on the road, experiencing exotic cultures and no doubt eating weird food in another adventure to an as yet undiscovered part of the globe … well, at least by them.

The next instalment in the Underbelly franchise is Underbelly: Squizzy, set between 1915 and 1927. It tells the epic story of Squizzy Taylor’s relentless quest for power which ultimately created a public persona that made him Australia’s first superstar gangster.

House Husbands is back for a second series in 2013 after capturing viewers’ hearts and TV’s most loveable dads will face their greatest challenges yet. Firass Dirani, Gyton Grantley, Gary Sweet, Rhys Muldoon, Julia Morris and Natalie Saleeba all return.

Australia’s highest rating comedy of 2012, The Big Bang Theory, will also be back in 2013 along with new episodes of Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls, Person of Interest, Anger Management and The Mentalist.

It has been a spectacular year of sport on Nine in 2012 and in 2013 the network will continue its first-class coverage with the NRL, State of Origin, The Ashes, Summer of Cricket, The NRL and AFL Footy Shows, and the Santos Tour Down Under.

Along the East Coast markets, Nine’s news and current affairs schedule continues to go from strength to strength with Today, A Current Affair, Nine News and 60 Minutes leading their timeslots in 2012.

This post updates.


  1. do we know of any cast members for Return To Eden? could work as long as its done tongue-in-cheek & with the right actors, i would love to see Rowena Wallace & Abigail make a comeback in that

  2. Parades’s end is a very strange choice for Nine. It was on BBC2 in the UK. More of a niche less popular channel. Looking forward to The Following but its only a short series as per Kevin Bacons request. Word of mouth on the Arrow is very good. Fingers crossed they are put on and left alone.

  3. Secret Squirrel

    @Trix – agree that Devil’s Dust possibly helped illuminate some things for some people. Not sure that a telemovie about Corby will provide the same service given the extensive coverage it was given. Yes, it will prob rate well, but that is not a measure of good TV (unless you consider TT and ACA to be good TV).

  4. I’ll admit I’m interested in Parade’s End. Plus Gallipoli (although 2 years away) . One or two of the Australian mini-series are potentially interesting. Also Arrow and Person of Interest even if I can only watch it late at night. I don’t mind.

    The one thing I’m really curious about but I guess they don’t necessarily know themselves is Sherlock. Will it be in 2013 or 2014? A potentially crazy idea is they could play Sherlock then advertise Parade’s End during it; plus play it after the series ends during the same timeslot or same day (at 9.30pm maybe, if not 8.30pm) the week(s) later. So it potentially attracts the same audience and capitalise on it. Although there are other ways of doing it.

  5. I agree with a lot of sentiment here. There is very little Aussie drama and lots of reality. I know mini series gain more drama points, however as others have stated not a lot of new material grabs me. Most if rhe wxisting stuff didnt appeal. I will wait for new Mentalist after a summer of more repeats and shall see if House husbands appeals for a second season. Looks like I will have to see what 2,7,10 and the multi’s have to offer.

  6. Fitzy & Whippa have been spotted in the channel nine corridors a lot lately. I really hope they havent been signed up as “talent” Hamish & Andy are bad enough.

  7. Return to Eden??? i doubt a remake will help that show……i have tears in my eyes thinking about it…..i wonder if she will get her face , eaten by a crocodile and resurface after surgery as a top model again!!!!!…….im sorry i can’t stop laughing!!!!

  8. “the Nine Network will begin production in 2013 on the most ambitious television drama in Australian history: Gallipoli.”
    As Nine are in such a financially parlous state I think I’ll wait to see if this is as “ambitious” as they say it will be. The rather low budget feel of Nine’s recent dramatic output (Underbelly for example) makes me think that it won’t be.

  9. @Lizzie May & @SecretSquirrel, in what must be a first I have to completely disagree with you. Some of Australia’s best dramatic TV has come from real life stories and the Corby telemovie will be no different – it’ll rate its socks off.

    I thought Devil’s Dust was compelling, shining the light on what was shameful behaviour by Hardie’s (which can only be a good thing as far as exposing that kind of behaviour to the wider public) and was made with the imprimatur of Banton’s wife.

  10. Way too many reality shows for my taste.

    Parade’s End looks interesting, and perhaps the Schapelle Corby movie.

    But do we really need another film about Gallipoli? A highly dramatic movie made on the topic some years ago, and I doubt there’s anything new to add to this rather bleak and depressing event in history.

  11. Secret Squirrel

    Methinks some people are easily excited.

    @Lizzie May – agree about Fremantle. They seem to have a predilection for feeding off other people’s misery. A little too parasitic for my tastes.

  12. I’m looking forward to Arrow, although I can’t see nine treating it well. They did show the whole first season of Smallville when it premiered 11 years ago, but unfortunately, as we all know, the tv landscape has changed so much since then.

  13. Far too many cooking / reality shows for my liking. Where are the long form dramas? The comedy shows?

    Anything other than singing and cooking would be desirable in my view.

  14. Bit misleading to say “Highlights”. The only decent thing is The Following which looks awesome. But again, don’t trust Nine one bit to fast track it or show on time. Another Nine-free year for me

  15. lots of reality, which is what they should be doing. but 9 in 2012’s biggest problem was their post 8:30 lineups. there were so many nights where they had a great rating early evening, but ended up losing the night because there was a mentalist or CSI rerun at 8:30, where 7 does well. doesn’t look like they have adressed that problem at all. a few telemovies won’t get them very far.

  16. I wonder if Big Brother will be on earlier in the year? I don’t think they’ll be airing the full season of The Block at the same time as Big Brother.

    I reckon they might bring Big Brother forward to April, airing just after The Block All Stars & The Voice…

    • The Block: All Stars is shorter, possibly 6 weeks. BB won’t be earlier. Look for The Voice in April.

      Lizzie: Corby family has always been close to Nine as per ACA and 60 Minutes, and went to court against Seven.

  17. Looking forward to Power Games. But Shapelle, does Fremantle have no shame? Similarly to Better Man, Devils Dust – making money out of other’s misery. Appalling.

  18. Will definitely be watching a second season of Big Brother, but hopefully this time it will be less Anglo-Saxon 20-30 year olds and more variety. Can’t wait to see Arrow, and its great that The Mentalist and Person of Interest will continue to be on the schedule. I loved The Block this year, but as Dan and Dani are on the All-Stars version I think I’ll give it a miss.

  19. Lots of mini-series and tele-movies in that list. Interesting approach, you cant win a year off the back of these (though they do not hurt). For me, nothing really sticks out as a headline grabber. More or less just more of the same.

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