The new year and decade kicks off with four new Down Under TV shows and seasons, plus the addition of a previously-released program to a second streaming service.
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.
Programs and dates are subject to change without prior notice.
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 6 (NZ)
Yours truly is doing a happy dance, because this brilliant Kiwi mystery series is coming back with four new episodes!
Set in the small, scenic town of Brokenwood in the North Island of New Zealand, the new season opens with “The Power of Steam,” in which the Brokenwood Steampunk event brings to life the world of Victorian dress-up, escapism, and attendees’ alter egos. It’s also where a murderer takes someone’s life, prompting Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea, Go Girls), Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland, The Almighty Johnsons), and Detective Constable Sam Breen (Nic Sampson, Step Dave), along with Medical Examiner Gina Kadinsky (Cristina Serban Ionda, Filthy Rich), to investigate.
“The Page Turner” finds a famous crime author visiting Brokenwood to give a reading from his latest novel at the local book club, followed by Shepherd and his team investigating a homicide after said author is murdered in the same manner as in his book.
In “Dead Men Don’t Shoot Ducks,” an animal activist is killed on the first day of duck hunting season, and it’s up to Shepherd and co to determine if the shooting was an accident or something sinister.
And in “Dead and Buried,” the Brokenwood police team gets reacquainted with some familiar faces when they investigate a suspicious suicide at the local women’s prison.
Returning cast members include Colin Moy (Spartacus) as police commander Simon Hughes, Elizabeth McRae (Shortland Street) as town gossip Mrs. Marlowe, Pana Hema Taylor (Westside) as multi-talented local Jared Morehu, Karl Willetts (Outrageous Fortune) as the hapless Frodo, Jason Hoyte (Nothing Trivial) as publican Ray Neilson, Shane Cortese (Nothing Trivial) as defense lawyer Dennis Buchanan, and Zara Cormack (Funny Girls) as local gal Kimberly.
Guest stars include John Leigh (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), John Callen (“The Hobbit” trilogy), Calvin Tuteao (Once Were Warriors), and Teuila Blakely (This Is Not My Life).
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 6 premieres in the US with its first feature-length episode on Monday, January 6, exclusively on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon. New episodes begin streaming on the following Mondays.
The InBESTigators: Season 2 (AU)
This terrific children’s comedy-drama series (which is fun for adults, too) returns with a bunch more mysteries for the young sleuths to solve (and to vlog about). From missing concert tickets and a stolen costume, to an accusation of plagiarism and suspicions of cheating, Ava (Abby Bergman), Maudie (Anna Cooke), Ezra (Aston Droomer), and Kyle (Jamil Smyth-Secka) — aka the Inbestigators — are on the case!
The InBESTigators: Season 2, a Netflix Family series, premieres globally outside of Australia and New Zealand on Friday, January 10, exclusively on Netflix.
Zumbo’s Just Desserts: Season 2 (AU)
Australian pâtissier, chef, and recipe book author Adriano Zumbo, and British cook, cookbook writer, and broadcaster Rachel Khoo, are back at the Dessert Factory to co-host a new season of this competition series and to judge the contestants’ impossible cakes, amazing confections, and other fantastic sweets.
Zumbo’s Just Desserts: Season 2, a Netflix Original series, premieres globally outside of Australia on Friday, January 10, exclusively on Netflix.
The Dead Lands (NZ)
Based on the award-winning 2014 Māori action film The Dead Lands, this new supernatural-fantasy adventure TV series follows Waka Nuku Rau (Te Kohe Tuhaka, Shortland Street), a murdered Māori warrior who is sent from the Afterlife back to the land of the living to redeem his sins and find honor. But this world is being ravaged by a breach between Life and the Afterlife, with the spirits of the newly-dead stalking the land and hunting the living.
Waka needs help, if he is to accomplish his mission. He gets it in the form of a determined young woman named Mehe (newcomer Darneen Christian), who embarks with Waka on a quest to find “who broke the world” and to figure out how to close the breach between the living and the dead — if it’s not too late.
Costars include Kirk Torrance (Outrageous Fortune), Miriama Smith (Filthy Rich), Grace Palmer (Shortland Street), and Jordi Webber (Power Rangers Ninja Steel).
(The series debuts in New Zealand on TVNZ on Friday, January 24.)
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS BEING ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
Dead Lucky (AU)
This crime thriller series stars Oscar® nominee Rachel Griffiths (Hilary and Jackie) as Grace Gibbs, a detective obsessed with catching the armed robber who killed her junior officer. Her new trainee is Charlie Fung (Yoson An, The Meg), a young detective who blames Grace for his best friend’s death.
Meanwhile, a group of international students in a share house think they’ve found paradise, until one of their housemates disappears. And elsewhere in Sydney, husband-and-wife convenience store owners resort to deadly measures to defend their business, while a violent fugitive hides on the outskirts of the city. Over the course of a week, the paths of these characters collide with devastating consequences.
Costars in the four-part drama include Mojean Aria (Call of the Void), Simon Burke (Deep Water), Justine Clarke (Tangle), Ian Meadows (The Wrong Girl), Rhys Muldoon (Rake), Anna Samson (Jack Irish), and Xana Tang (The Letdown).
For details about the January 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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