The More Things Change…

… the more we get new episodes of SeaChange. Wait, what?

The return of ABC drama SeaChange, Lego Masters, Bad Mothers, and a new Hamish and Andy series were among the content highlights at Nine’s 2019 upfronts on Wednesday evening.

Nine announced actors Sigrid Thornton and John Howard will be returning as Laura Gibson and Bob Jelly for the new series of SeaChange, more than two decades after the show first aired.

What was the last time Nine announced they were reviving a much-loved ABC comedy series – that reboot of The Games they let quietly die? And that was a show people actually wanted back because there wasn’t anything else like it on our screens.

But SeaChange never really left: there isn’t a lightweight commercial drama on Australian television this century that doesn’t rip it off on one level or another. “A big city white collar professional moves to a quirky country town”? Shit, they’re going to have their work cut out persuading viewers it’s not a spin-off of Doctor Doctor.

Aside from that news – which, let’s be real here, relies entirely on every single person interested in seeing more SeaChange forgetting just how hard and fast that series went from “must-see TV” to “embarrassing train wreck” – the other big shock announcement was the return of Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation for 2019. Didn’t that fizzle out in the ratings? Presumably keeping Micallef around will make having him revive his own SeaChange character that much easier.

Otherwise, as Nine isn’t exactly known as the home of comedy these days the news out of the upfronts was of limited interest here. No new True Story with Hamish & Andy for 2019 is kind of disappointing – what, they’ve exhausted Australia’s supply of bullshit artists already? – and Hamish is off pulling host duties on the gimmicky Lego Masters (sponsored content in which people build hopefully cool stuff with Lego), but the duo will be back with this:

Hamish and Andy’s ‘Perfect’ Holiday

Next year Hamish and Andy return to what they love best, travelling. Audiences fell in love with their gap year seasons and their caravan specials. 3 Now the boys will embark on another action packed adventure, but this time with a slight twist, in Hamish and Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday. Hamish and Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday is produced by Radio Karate for Nine.

Which sounds… somewhat less interesting, but 100% on brand for a 2019 line-up that seems even more focused than usual on reviving and maintaining creatively bankrupt franchises. And Nine’s the network that’s doing reasonably well these days: if you can’t take a few risks when the books are looking good, when can you?

Guess we’ll have to wait for Ten to announce their 2019 line-up to find out,

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