Nine upfronts reveal 2021 programming

Nine has held its annual upfronts event today and has detalied its plans for the next 15 months.
Sill to come in 2020 are

THE BLOCK

Australia’s longest running reality program, The Block, is currently on air in its 16th season.

In this smash-hit realty-renovation program, five couples are converting five run-down houses into five opulent homes in the upmarket bayside suburb of Brighton.

In a new twist, this year’s series is taking viewers on a five-decade time warp from the dawn of the 20th century to the post-war boom of the 1950s. Five period homes from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, all in decrepit condition, are being transformed by these couples on a huge block of land in one of the most sought after locales in Melbourne.

Celebrating 20 years on Australian television, Scott Cam is back as host. The finale will test the Melbourne property market live on television in very unusual circumstances and no doubt be a contender for the biggest night of the year.

NRL

The 2020 NRL Finals are almost upon us, kicking off in two weeks after what has been the most extraordinary rugby league season in memory, and bringing sports fans four weeks of scintillating action from the toughest football competition in the world.

Sunday, October 25 marks the new date for the NRL Grand Final. As the Sydney Roosters aim to become the first “three-peat premiers” in almost 40 years, the seven other teams in the finals race will be all out to derail their dream.

Following the Grand Final, three consecutive Wednesdays on November 4, 11 and 18 herald this year’s revamped State of Origin series, as the most watched program in Australia returns for a fortnight of incomparable fury. For the first time, after massive success in Melbourne and Perth in recent years, the great contest goes to Adelaide, for game one, before continuing in Sydney and Brisbane with games two and three.

It’ll be state against state, mate against mate as the New South Wales Blues look to extend their winning run against the Queensland Maroons in what is undisputedly the most intense rivalry in Australian sporting history.

Alongside the men, the women of rugby league will return to do battle this season in the third annual NRLW Premiership, as teams search for an answer to stop the Broncos, who have been unstoppable in winning the first two titles.

All the football action on Nine will be presented by the best rugby league experts and commentators in the business, including “The Voice of Rugby League”, Ray WarrenPhil GouldAndrew Johns, a rugby league Immortal, Billy SlaterBrad FittlerJohnathan ThurstonPaul VautinRuan SimsDarren LockyerWally Lewis, also an Immortal, Peter SterlingAllana FergusonSam Thaiday and Paul Gallen.

SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL

The fourth season of Australia’s premier netball competition, Suncorp Super Netball, began on Saturday, August 1, with three live games per week on Nine and 9Now. The Sunshine State has set the stage for the reigning champs, the NSW Swifts, to defend their title.

The netball season will culminate in the Grand Final on Sunday, October 18, at 1.00pm AEDT at Nissan Arena in Brisbane, available to watch live and free on Nine and 9Now.

9NOW EXCLUSIVES

In the last quarter of 2020 we will continue to stream new and exclusive content on the 9Now platform. Love Island USA drops new episodes daily, direct from the Vegas strip. Joining it will be two exclusive new titles, The Bone Collector and For Life, all hitting 9Now in the coming month.

Already on the platform are classic titles like Desperate Housewives and 24, which will be joined in 2021 by an enormous range of content including HouseChicago PDFire and all-new Chicago Med.

Plus, Love Island UK returns in 2021, bigger and better than ever. 9Now will also continue to expand its unscripted reality TV library with hundreds of hours of new content, including fast-tracked episodes of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City90 Day FiancéSay Yes to the Dress Australia and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

9Now is a live and streaming video on demand platform. Yes, it has all the fantastic shows you see on Nine. But now it also has its own investment, ensuring it continues to grow in both live streaming and VOD. Our strategy is to continue to drive an increase in daily active users with the best mix of content that appeals to the demographics that matter.

SUMMER OF TENNIS

Then it’s the time of the year which sees the return of our Summer of Tennis.

We start the new year with the ATP Cup live from Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, followed by the Adelaide International.

After that, it’s the big one: the happy (and safe) Australian Open, one of the world’s four Grand Slam tournaments.

The 2021 Australian Open is going to be a blockbuster, with audiences craving just what this exhilarating event delivers every year – big names, thrilling matches and great stories.

Returning in 2021 are

MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT

Fall in love again when Australia’s most talked about social experiment, Married at First Sight, returns for its eighth season, bringing a powerful combination of love, passion and emotion to our TV screens next year.

In 2021, Married at First Sight welcomes Alessandra Rampolla, a certified clinical sexologist with over 20 years’ experience, who will bring her expertise in sexology and join experts John Aiken and Mel Schilling to pair 20 brave singles from across Australia with the goal of creating 10 perfect matches.

Alessandra began her career as a clinical sexologist counselling individuals and couples. She was educated in the United States, has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, and holds a number of other degrees and certifications.

Over the past 20 years, Alessandra has brought her expertise in sexology to television, starring in various programs around the world, and hosted her own radio show. She is also a bestselling author and lives in San Juan in Puerto Rico.

“I am thrilled to be joining John and Mel in Australia’s biggest social experiment,” says Alessandra. “With my particular expertise, I hope to contribute to the complex mix of components that ensure marriages not only work but thrive in the long haul. One of my strongest core beliefs is that sexual expression and compatibility are vital in building, nourishing and maintaining healthy romantic relationships, and it is my pleasure to help guide our participants in balancing this important factor in their brave quest for love.”

Season eight of Married at First Sight will see couples being put to the ultimate test by our three experts to determine whether science really can predict true love and a long-lasting relationship.

Viewers will be captivated by the weddings, honeymoons, provocative dinner parties and confronting commitment ceremonies, which will again lure you into this addictive reality TV juggernaut.

Married at First Sight is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.

LOVE ISLAND AUSTRALIA

Love Island Australia coming live from the Gold Coast in 2021. What could possibly go wrong?

The past two seasons of Love Island Australia have been a breakout hit with People 16-39 for their unique blend of humour, romance and drama. Season three will see a new group of Australia’s sexiest singles who have given up on finding love the modern way – by being an influencer and sliding into another influencer’s DMs – to embrace the love quest in the traditional way: in a villa on the Gold Coast filled with cameras and really hot people.

Love Island Australia is produced by ITV Studios Australia.

LEGO MASTERS

LEGO Masters is back, after bursting onto our screens in 2019 and captivating the imagination of the nation. One of the freshest and most creative formats of the past decade, LEGO Masters pits Australia’s best LEGO builders against each other as they make awe-inspiring models and masterpieces that must be seen to be believed.

Eight couples, brimming with creativity and flair, battle it out in a series of dazzling challenges in the quest to be crowned the LEGO MASTERS and win $100,000.

The feelgood family-friendly format is a ratings phenomenon. More than 2.2 million viewers tuned into this year’s finale, making it the most watched entertainment program on Australian television in 2020.

LEGO Masters returns in 2021 with host Hamish Blake, resident judge Ryan “Brickman” McNaught, and eight pairs of impassioned designers competing in wondrous challenges. Limited only by their imaginations, next year’s contestants will bring a whole new wave of creativity as they strive to construct works of art that will blow your mind.

LEGO Masters is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.

AUSTRALIAN NINJA WARRIOR

Australian Ninja Warrior is returning to Nine for an exhilarating fifth season.

In 2020, audiences were captivated as, for the first time ever, they witnessed Ninja versus Ninja on the almighty Power Tower. To top off a very successful season, the daunting Mount Midoriyama was finally conquered by Ben Polson, who was crowned Australia’s first Ninja Warrior and took home an astonishing $400,000 in prizemoney.

With Mount Midoriyama now defeated, the best Ninjas from all over Australia are more motivated than ever to emulate Ben and claim another title, so get ready for Australian Ninja Warrior next year, the most competitive season yet.

Nothing in Ninja land is guaranteed and it will be no different in 2021. Australian Ninja Warrior will be completely transformed as our Ninjas tackle more obstacles that defy gravity in show-stopping television of Olympic proportions.

Australian Ninja Warrior is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Nine.

TRAVEL GUIDES

Travel Guides returns for more amazing and adventurous destinations experienced first-hand by your favourite guides and critics.

These everyday, ordinary Aussies bring a funny and fresh perspective to holiday reviews as they go to the same location for a week-long holiday. However, they won’t all have the same experience.

Each Travel Guide group will leave the audience in stitches with candid insights as they rate their holidays out of five stars.

Narrated by popular Aussie comedian Denise Scott, Travel Guides is produced by Nine.

DOCTOR DOCTOR

Australia’s favourite bad boy, Dr Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser), and his dysfunctional family will face their biggest challenges ever when Doctor Doctor returns to Nine in 2021.

When the Knight family and the entire township of Whyhope are plunged into crisis all eyes turn to Hugh to save them. Will Whyhope’s philandering medico be their Messiah, or is this a recipe for an even bigger disaster? And will Hugh finally find true love with the woman of his dreams?
Doctor Doctor boasts an outstanding ensemble cast including Tina Bursill (Meryl), Hayley McElhinney (Penny), Nicole da Silva (Charlie), Ryan Johnson (Matt), Matt Castley (Ajax), Chloe Bayliss (Hayley), Charles Wu (Ken) and Belinda Bromilow (Betty).

Joining the cast and causing the hearts of Whyhope to flutter even faster is a standout crop of homegrown talent including Zoë Ventoura (Love Child, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly Files: Chopper)Lincoln Younes (Grand Hotel, Love Child, Dead Lucky)Darren McMullen (Seachange, House Husbands)John Waters  (Halifax: Retribution, Mystery Road, The Commons, Offspring) and Chantelle Jamieson (Crownies, House Husbands, Underbelly Files).

Doctor Doctor is produced by Easy Tiger Productions for Nine with the assistance of Screen NSW and Screen Australia. International sales by Fremantle International.

THE BLOCK 2021

The Block will return in 2021 for an astonishing 17th season.

Come along for the ride as another set of buildings are transformed into someone’s great Australian dream.

While we can’t say too much just yet, we can confirm that next year’s series will take place in the ultimate family-friendly setting of a picturesque suburban cul de sac.

THE MASTERS

The Masters, one of the world’s greatest golf tournaments, returns to Nine in 2020, running from Thursday, November 12 until Monday, November 16.

The 2019 championship was a triumph for the legendary Tiger Woods, who broke his 11-year drought in major tournaments to win his fifth green jacket at famed Augusta.

Woods is returning this year to attempt to equal Jack Nicklaus’s record of six Masters victories.  He will have a number of talented Aussies breathing down his neck, including Jason Day, Adam Scott, the Masters winner in 2013, and Marc Leishman – not to mention the current world number one, America’s Dustin Johnson.

Also returning to Nine are all your favourite regulars, including Taronga: Who’s Who in the ZooParamedicsRBTEmergencyMillionaire Hot SeatFooty ClassifiedSports Sunday, Sunday Footy Show and 100% Footy. Plus big-event television, including Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight (2020 and 2021), the Aria Awards (2020 and 2021) and the 2021 TV Week Logie Awards.

Now let’s take a look at what’s new on Nine in 2021.

UNDER INVESTIGATION

Underpinning our television schedule is our premium news service. 9News60 Minutes, A Current Affair and Today are the programs that millions of Australians turn to daily to be reliably and credibly informed about the issues affecting their day-to-day lives.

In 2021, we welcome a brand-new program to our stable of news and current affairs programs. From the producers of 60 Minutes comes Under Investigation.

Under Investigation with Liz Hayes will be a one-hour, studio-based program that takes a single story and invites the audience to get right inside it.

Each episode of Under Investigation will feature a renowned team of “story insiders”. They will seek to solve crimes, uncover new evidence and hear from people who have never spoken publicly, while harnessing their knowledge and skill with exciting and innovative storytelling techniques.

Gary Jubelin, who was acclaimed as Australia’s top homicide detective, will join 60 Minutes as a special contributor in 2021.

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE AUSTRALIA

After a six-year wait, Celebrity Apprentice Australia is back on Nine in 2021 with the biggest shake-up the series has ever seen.

The highly respected British billionaire and business magnate, Lord Alan Sugar, synonymous with The Apprentice after appearing in 15 seasons of the smash-hit UK series, will be coming Down Under to serve as CEO for the candidates vying to become the next Celebrity Apprentice. Known for his no-nonsense approach to business, sparks will fly and egos are sure to be bruised as Lord Sugar clashes with the celebrities in the boardroom.

In each episode two teams of celebrities will take on an epic task, using their business savvy, creativity and charm – while reaching into their little black book of contacts – to win cash for their chosen charities.

The first three celebrities to throw their hat in the ring are personal trainer, author and TV personality Michelle Bridges, one half of Nova FM’s Fitzy & Wippa radio show; host Michael “Wippa” Wipfli; plus Olympic gymnast Olivia Vivian, who is also the most successful woman in Australian Ninja Warrior history.

Lord Sugar, along with his two advisers, incredibly successful business people in their own right, will eliminate the celebrities one by one with those dreaded words – “You’re fired!” –  until one is ultimately crowned the Celebrity Apprentice, following in the footsteps of past winners Julia Morris, Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Stephanie Rice and Sophie Monk.

This season promises plenty of never-before-seen twists and tasks to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia is produced by Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia for the Nine Network, based on the format created by Mark Burnett and distributed by MGM.

BEAUTY AND THE GEEK

Nine will discover if opposites really do attract as the unconventional reality competition Beauty and the Geek joins the schedule in 2021.

Hosted by the original beautiful geek, Sophie Monk, this big-hearted program will showcase the power of love on the inside as a fresh group of beauties and geeks from all over the country test their brains and their charisma.

The new Beauty and the Geek promises to deliver laughs, tears and everything in between as two groups of people from completely different worlds are set to collide.

From the producers of ratings phenomenon Married at First SightBeauty and the Geek finds a new home on Nine with a rejuvenated and reimagined format as it explores the old saying that you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

THE PARENT JURY

Global parenting expert Jo Frost unleashes an experiment that challenges parenting like never before in The Parent Jury. In this controversial new series, she dares mums and dads who believe their parenting style is the best to put themselves to the test.

Opinionated mothers and fathers with diverse parenting techniques will take turns judging each other’s style. From helicopter parents to tiger parents, free-range parents and social media parents to extreme authoritarians, they will all show how they raise their families while trying to influence everyone else that their way is the best.

The Parent Jury is produced by Eureka for Nine.

BEACH HOUSE ESCAPE

With 2020 upending the way we live, Beach House Escape will help people to realise their lifelong dream of escaping the city.

Beach House Escape is set in an idyllic seaside town where an old home right on the beachfront is ready for a complete makeover to turn it into Australia’s best beach house.

Ten talented individuals who’ve always romanticised about a better life will compete to fulfil this dream.

CELEBRITY IOU AUSTRALIA

Major star power is on display as some of Australia’s biggest names express their gratitude to individuals who have played a pivotal role in their lives with beautiful, surprise home renovations in Celebrity IOU Australia.

This heartwarming series follows the A-listers as they work to a tight deadline, transforming living spaces to unlock each property’s full potential. Celebrity IOU Australia is also a touching reminder that home truly is where the heart is, and no matter how successful you might be in life, you should never forget where you come from.

AMAZING GRACE

Amazing Grace, Nine’s new drama series about life’s most surprising and precious moments, features a stellar cast including Kate Jenkinson (Doctor Doctor, Wentworth, Offspring)Sigrid Thornton (Seachange, Wentworth)Catherine Van Davies (Hungry Ghosts, The Letdown, True Story with Hamish & Andy), Alexandra Jensen (Frayed, My Life is Murder, The Letdown) and Kat Hoyos (Here Come the Habibs!).

Amazing Grace is centred on midwife Grace (Kate Jenkinson) and her passionate colleagues at an unconventional birth centre attached to a major city hospital. A fierce advocate for her pregnant mothers-to-be, Grace’s dubious work/life balance is about to get even more chaotic when a new arrival at the birth centre changes her life forever.

Produced by Playmaker Media for Nine, the creative team for Amazing Grace includes writers Jonathan Gavin (Offspring), Ainslie Clouston (Playing For Keeps), writer and executive producer Sarah Smith (Love Child), set-up director and co-executive producer Shawn Seet (Love Child, Reckoning, Hungry Ghosts), producer Diane Haddon (The Commons, Reckoning, The Code) and executive producers David Maher and David Taylor (Love ChildBloomThe Commons), plus Nine’s Head of Drama Andy Ryan.

With major production funding from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW, Amazing Grace commences filming soon in Sydney with further cast to be announced.

MEGA ZOO

This enthralling factual series features exclusive behind-the-scenes access to one of the planet’s largest and oldest network of zoos.

Across three vastly different sites, 800 dedicated staff look after more than 5000 extraordinary animals – from spectacular Melbourne Zoo to the magnificent savannah of Werribee Open Range Zoo and the stunning mountain range home of Australia’s most iconic wildlife, Healesville Sanctuary.

Mega Zoo captures the daily rollercoaster of drama, action, emotion and humour as seen through the eyes of a passionate group of recurring characters.

Mega Zoo is produced by WTFN for Nine.