The premieres of two highly-anticipated new dramas and the return of two hugely popular series are just some of what’s in store for stateside fans of Down Under TV in December.

The Brokenwood Mysteries Season 5
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 5: Nic Sampson as DC Sam Breen, Neill Rea as DSS Mike Shepherd, and Fern Sutherland as Kristin Sims — Photo courtesy of Acorn TV

For updates about shows from Australia and New Zealand added to US channels and streaming services throughout the month, see the Down Under TV Viewing Guide.


The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 5 (New Zealand)

One of the most entertaining series from Down Under returns to North America with four new cleverly-crafted whodunit stories.

The first feature-length episode is “Scared to Death,” in which the country music-loving Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea, Go Girls), his methodical partner Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland, The Almighty Johnsons), and their put-upon sidekick Detective Constable Sam Breen (Nic Sampson, Step Dave) investigate the death of a carnival rides owner, who seemingly died of fright on his very own Ghost Train.

In “Bride Not to Be,” the detective trio must unravel the mystery of how a bride-to-be ended up dead in the Brokenwood River after her bachelorette party. “Tontine” finds Mike looking more closely at a cyclist’s heart attack death after medical examiner Dr. Gina Kadinsky (Cristina Serban Ionda, Filthy Rich) reveals the victim’s toxicology report showed something suspicious. And in “The Dark Angel,” Mike & co. delve into the mysterious death of an elderly man found strapped to a gurney inside an abandoned asylum.

Pana Hema Taylor (Westside) guest stars in the new season, reprising his role as Brokenwood local Jared Morehu. Also returning are Elizabeth McRae (Shortland Street), Colin Moy (Spartacus), Karl Willetts (Outrageous Fortune), Jason Hoyte (Nothing Trivial), and Rawiri Jobe (Tatau).

The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 5 premieres in the US and Canada on Monday, December 3, exclusively on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV channel on Amazon.

Pine Gap (Australia)

Set in the intensely secretive world of intelligence and the top-secret US-Australia joint defense facility in central Australia, this thriller delves into how spies work with and against each other after fissures appear in the critical alliance between the two countries.

Heading the cast are Parker Sawyers (Deep State), Tess Haubrich (Wolf Creek), Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper the Series), Steve Toussaint (Inspector Lewis), Stephen Curry (The Time of Our Lives), Mark Leonard Winter (Cleverman), and Sachin Joab (Jack Irish).

Additional cast members include Kelton Pell (The Gods of Wheat Street), Lewis Fitz-Gerald (Crownies), Madeleine Madden (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Alice Keohavong (Redfern Now), Edwina Wren (Hunters), Jason Chong (All Saints), and Simone Kessell (Terra Nova).

Pine Gap, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, December 7, exclusively on Netflix. (You can add it to your queue now.)

Wanted: Season 3 (Australia)

The action-fueled story of Lola Buckley (Rebecca Gibney, Winter) and Chelsea Babbage (Geraldine Hakewill, Soul Mates) — strangers who became unwitting fugitives and targets for criminals and cops alike — continues in the new season of this International Emmy® Awards Best Drama Series nominee.

The Season 3 opener finds Lola and Chelsea awaiting trial in prison in New South Wales. Under threat on the inside and out, the pair cut a deal to go into witness protection with the understanding that they go their separate ways. But a murder reunites Lola and Chelsea and sends them on the run through South Australia in search of a missing woman.

New cast members include Kate Box (Rake), Michael Whalley (The Principal), Paul Gleeson (Secret City), Kerry Fox (The Woman in White), Clarence Ryan (Cleverman), and Rob Carlton (Underbelly). Robyn Malcolm (Harrow) reprises her role as Donna Walsh.

Wanted: Season 3, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Thursday, December 13, exclusively on Netflix.

Tidelands (Australia)

Charlotte Best (Home and Away) stars in this supernatural crime drama as Cal McTeer, a young woman who returns home to the small fishing village of Orphelin Bay, a town shrouded in mysteries, after ten years in juvenile detention.

When the body of a local fisherman washes ashore, Cal must uncover the town’s secrets and blow the lid off a generations-long conspiracy of silence while investigating its strange inhabitants — a group of outcast half-siren/half-human beings called Tidelanders, who live in a hidden pocket of the bay.

Costars in the eight-episode series include Dustin Clare (McLeod’s Daughters), Mattias Inwood (Will), Aaron Jakubenko (The Shannara Chronicles), Madeleine Madden (Mystery Road), Peter O’Brien (Winter), Jacek Koman (Jack Irish), and Hunter Page-Lochard (Cleverman).

Tidelands, a Netflix Global Original series and the first Australian Original, premieres in the US on Friday, December 14, exclusively on Netflix. (You can add it to your queue now.)

Back with the Ex (Australia)

In this reality series, four singles reunite with the exes they just couldn’t forget after years apart. But will their past loves feel the same way about them? Back with the Ex, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, December 21, exclusively on Netflix.

The Casketeers (New Zealand)

This docuseries follows the staff of Tipene Funerals, including the husband-and-wife proprietor team of Francis and Kaiora Tipene, as they work with grieving families and give the show’s viewers insight into each step in the funeral process.

Filled with heart and humor, the show became a breakout hit when it premiered in New Zealand earlier this year.

The Casketeers, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, December 21, exclusively on Netflix.

Tales by Light: Season 3 (Australia)

The third season of this award-winning and visually-stunning documentary series follows a new trio of photographers, each motivated to harness the power of images to draw attention to and inspire the world to protect some of the most beautiful and vulnerable aspects of our world: children, the ocean, and Australian Indigenous culture.

Episodes follow Simon Lister in the slums of Bangladesh, Shawn Heinrichs by the reefs in Indonesia, and Dylan River in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Tales by Light: Season 3, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, December 21, exclusively on Netflix.

Instant Hotel (Australia)

In this reality-competition program, teams of Australian homeowners compete for the title of Best Instant Hotel by staying overnight in each other’s rentals and rating their experience based on the house, location and nearby attractions, value for money, and the quality of a night’s sleep at the property. A twist comes in the hotel owners scoring the contestants as guests, as well. The team with the highest score at the end of the competition wins an all-expense-paid stay at an instant hotel in California.

Instant Hotel, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, December 28, exclusively on Netflix.

Yummy Mummies (Australia)

This reality show follows four young and wealthy expectant mums throughout their pregnancies — from making elaborate plans for motherhood, to trying to one-up each other.

Yummy Mummies, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, December 28, exclusively on Netflix.


The Secret Daughter: Series 1 & 2 (Complete) (Australia)

Singer and actress Jessica Mauboy (The Sapphires) stars in this feel-good Australian drama series as Billie Carter, a part-time country pub singer who pretends to be the secret daughter of a wealthy city hotelier in order to get herself out of a fix. Soon thereafter she discovers the truth about her family and history, and goes from life in a small country town to five-star city living — all while realizing that her initial pretense comes with more issues than she imagined.

Costarring Matt Levett (A Place to Call Home), David Field (Wild Boys), Rachel Gordon (Winter), and Jared Turner (The Almighty Johnsons), The Secret Daughter: Series 1 & 2 begins streaming Monday, December 10, on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV channel on Amazon.

A Moody Christmas + The Moodys (Australia)

Ian Meadows (Dead Lucky) stars in both comedy miniseries as Dan Moody, an Aussie national living in London who, in A Moody Christmas, returns home each year for six years to spend the holiday with his dysfunctional family. The follow-up series, The Moodys, follows the family through a year’s worth of celebrations (over eight episodes).

A who’s who of Australian talent feature in the “Moody” shows, including Patrick Brammall (Glitch), Danny Adcock (Farscape), Tina Bursill (The Heart Guy), Guy Edmonds (All Saints), Darren Gilshenan (No Activity), Rachel Gordon (Blue Heelers), Jane Harber (Offspring), Phil Lloyd (Sando), Jonny Pasvolsky (Mr & Mrs Murder), and Sacha Horler (Sando).

A Moody Christmas and The Moodys begin streaming Monday, December 24, on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV channel on Amazon.


Did you miss any of the new shows from previous months? Check the Down Under TV Viewing Guide and Viewing Guide Archives to find out.


For details about the December premieres of shows from the UK, Canada, and Ireland, visit The British TV Place. For those about the debuts of original-language, English-subtitled programs from Europe, visit The Euro TV Place.



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Aussie & Kiwi TV: US Premieres in December 2018