Seven has revealed its plans for next year, with celebrity vet Chris Brown hosting three shows on the free-to-air network.
Seven boss James Warburton set the benchmark for the next 12 months before more than 1000 media buyers, clients and reporters – including about 40 presenters on stage at the aptly titled Massive Upfront 2024 at SXSW in Sydney.
“We eat, sleep and breathe content that connects with heartland
Australia more than anyone else. We are the leaders in content. That’s why we have been the most watched network for 15 of the past 17 years, including the past three years in a row,” he said on Wednesday.
Indeed, they’ve been No.1 in news, No.1 with the most watched winter and summer sports, and No.1 with the most watched entertainment shows, with 17 million Australians tuning in every month.
They even reached 12 billion minutes streaming, so far, this year on 7+.
After digesting a “game-changer” key announcement that the network is taking sport to a new level when the AFL and cricket debut in full on 7+ – the first time Australia’s biggest and most popular sports will be available to stream without a subscription fee – attention turned to Brown.
Wearing a smart, cream-coloured suit and open-necked shirt, Brown, 45, introduced his signature show and a major franchise for the network, Dream Home.
By all accounts, it will be nothing like its rival on Nine, The Block.
After moving over from Ten following a successful decade hosting Bondi Vet, The Living Room and co-hosting I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! with Julia Morris, Brown’s work-life balance is about to get squeezed as it was confirmed he will be hosting a new animal adventure series, Once In A Lifetime.
He’s also co-hosting Dancing with the Stars with Gold Logie winner Sonia Kruger.
‘Dr Chris Brown is at the door’
In a highlights package, Brown knocks on the doors of six households, introduces himself, and let’s them know their real estate options are about to get better in Dream Home – a Block rival.
“What if we could speed things up. Bring real people together and turn a basic house into their very own dream home,” he told the audience.
“These will be the greatest home transformations Australia has ever seen.”
In an earlier interview with MediaWeek, Warbuton said the network had had “a long, successful run with House Rules” which they “subsequently rested”.
“Our feelings were that the house reveals were never inspirational and not up to expectations in terms of what people might want to do in their own homes.
“Dream Home is about a family being able to live in a home they could only ever dream of, yet probably never afford. It’s a very emotive dream – versus a reality show which is more around building and bitchiness.
“Chris Brown will be fantastic as host, and it’s a very import show for us to get right.”
The couples will battle it out room by room with three judges set to score each new space. The winning couple will not only receive the home of their dreams, but also a big prize.
Once In A Lifetime
Brown will no doubt relish the opportunity to work with some of “the country’s most intriguing and entertaining personalities” in this new series.
Who they are is yet to be announced but they’ll work alongside him as a veterinary assistant.
“To be able to bring my world of animals to life in an original, adventurous and breathtaking way truly excites me,” Brown said, according to TV Blackbox.
“This is a journey into the unknown packed with heart and humour in equal measure as these unlikely duos take on the challenge of helping the world’s most iconic animals – all while hopefully not putting themselves on the menu,” Seven says.
Seven’s other new shows include Stranded On Honeymoon Island, Made in Bondi and First Dates.
Dancing With The Stars
After Daryl Somers controversially announced ahead of the Seven Upfront that he was no longer co-hosting the show with Kruger, there was only one big-name, expensive recruit to fill his shoes.
You guessed it. Mr Showbiz himself, Chris Brown.
Seven said the series increased its audience by 10 per cent year-on-year, and reached almost seven million people.
His hosting gig was slipped in among a raft of return shows next year including The Chase Australia, Home and Away, Better Homes
and Gardens, The Voice and Farmer Wants A Wife.
Kyle Sandilands, Marcia Hines (replacing US singer Harry Connick Jnr) and Amy Shark make up the Australian Idol judging panel, while Warburton says Logies host Sam Pang can have the gig again if he wants it.
Can Nine reclaim the crown?
The 20th anniversary milestone of renovation show, The Block, coverage of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, and reality TV show Married at First Sight were front and centre at the Nine Network’s Upfront showcase on September 6.
Streaming live from the Hordern Pavilion, CEO Mike Sneesby kicked off the presentation confirming Nine as Australia’s “new home” of the next five Olympic and Paralympic Games up until Brisbane in 2032.
Former A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw will return with a yet-unnamed show, while resident Today medical expert and former COVID-era federal health department spokesperson Nick Coatsworth also gets a new show, Do You Want To Live Forever?, where he guides six Australians “on a powerful journey to stop the clock and turn back time”.
There will also be eight original scripted dramas and reality TV series.
How will Brown’s Dream Home stack up against The Block?
Will there be a battle to win over – or steal – audience share?
In May this year, The Block‘s creator Julian Cress told The New Daily he wasn’t too worried about a bit of competition.
He said over the years, other networks have put forward new renovation shows, but The Block, which will be based at Phillip Island, two hours southeast of Melbourne, has remained.
“It doesn’t seem like they are coming at us with anything new.
“But good luck to them. I wish them well,” Cress said.
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