Channel 7 stars to strip in ratings fight
THE TV ratings fight can be a bare-knuckle brawl, but Channel 7 is set to go The Real Full Monty - commissioning a new special where stars will bare all for charity.
The prostate cancer fundraiser will see cameras follow eight male celebrities as they prepare for the big reveal next year.
While casting continues, a comedian, a politician, a footy player, a singer, a daytime TV star and an actor were teased in a sizzle reel shown to media and buyers at the network's programming launch for 2018 today.
The cheeky project ups the sex appeal to Seven's slate next year, which also includes a Lycra-clad Delta Goodrem in the Olivia Newton-John telemovie, Hopelessly Devoted To You.
While these TV biographies have had mixed success on the local small screen, Seven will be hoping the goodwill for both women and the current interest in Newton-John's brave cancer battle will attract a large audience to her remarkable life story.
Goodrem will also surely help attract a younger viewer to Seven, which has long appealed to an older audience - best served next year with the revival of the long-running ABC drama series, The Doctor Blake Mysteries (in telemovie form) and the return of former Enough Rope host, Andrew Denton to network television.
Pitched by Seven as "Australia's shortest (some would say greatest) interviewer," Denton will attempt to reclaim his title as our Michael Parkinson in Interview With Andrew Denton.
The veteran TV presenter said he decided against reviving his previous chat show on the ABC, where Enough Rope aired 15 years ago, believing "it's their job to bring through new talent."
Just months after undergoing open heart by-pass surgery, Denton joked his name was a "byword for physical fitness" and had expected to host Seven's new adrenalin series, Australian Spartan only to settle for the more sedate role interviewing a different star each week.
Seven will also be hoping to translate the wild success of Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes literary debut into big ratings, after confirming it will air a rockumentary adaptation of his best-selling Harper Collins book, Working Class Boy.
Returning for new seasons will also be My Kitchen Rules and House Rules, as well as the Rebecca Gibney-led drama series Wanted and Jessica Mauboy's The Secret Daughter.
The Apprentice Australia host Mark Bouris will anchor a new show for Seven, making over small business in his role as The Mentor.
Adding to their reality TV offerings, Seven got the biggest audience reaction from Back With The Ex, a dating show which attempts to reunite former flames; and First Wives Clubs (think Real Housewives in search for a second chance at love).
The network will also offer a $100,000 in search of the best workplace 'movers and shakers' in Dance Boss, where 10 businesses will put forward five staffers and amateur dancers for training with a "a world-famous choreographer."
Fans of true crime should also look out for a new Underbelly-style commission, Australian Gangster, as well as a Making Of A Murderer-type investigation into Sue Neil Fraser, the Tasmanian woman still pleading her innocence after being jailed for murdering her husband aboard their luxury yacht.
Seven will also seek to replicate Nine's Australian Ninja Warrior phenomenon with its own adrenaline competition, Australian Spartan.
Seven West Media boss Tim Worner said the industry leader was committed to "delivering compelling content wherever and whenever our audience wants it," promising "more events - live across sports and our entertainment programming."