New-look Bondi Vet returning to TV: This time on Nine

• WTFN hoping for another hit series to join Paramedics and The Living Room

A new version of the program formerly hosted by Dr Chris Brown is returning to television as Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast.

The new series will follow the adventures of Alex Hynes, Danni Dusek, Lewis Hunt and Peter Ricci, for insights into the rewarding world of four special vets dedicated to caring for animals every day.

From literally coast-to-coast, the vets face many challenges, and while all being very different people, they share the same passion for animals.

Dr Alex Hynes is an emergency veterinarian who is always in the thick of the action at Brisbane’s Animal Emergency Service. When she is not saving lives in the emergency room, she is pursuing her other passion in life, health and fitness.

Dr Peter Ricci, the Perth-based veterinarian, lives and breathes animals as he works around the clock, at the emergency hospital at Murdoch University and Perth Zoo, as well as looking after his own menagerie of animals at home.

In Sydney, the show follows Dr Lewis Hunt, who was destined to be a vet – he is the son of one. He runs his practice on the Northern Beaches, adored by clients for his warmth and the wholehearted approach to his work.

The new series’ fourth vet, Dr Danni Dusek from Melbourne, is being promoted as the new darling of the series, with her emotional and candid approach to the job and her clients.

Joining the team will also be the tenacious Dr Kate Adams. No ordinary veterinarian, she runs the ever-busy Bondi Vet Hospital and works tirelessly to ensure pets and other animals always get the treatment they require.

Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast will premiere in 2019.

The program is produced by WTFN for Nine and has been in production for the past few months and has a new cast and a new broadcaster.

Bondi Vet originally debuted on 10 in 2009 and ran for eight seasons.

WTFN’s CEO Daryl Talbot said that after the success of Vet On The Hill on Nine on Friday nights, the network was keen to acquire the new Bondi Vet series.

Talbot said that Bondi Vet has been a huge part of the success of WTFN and will be for a long time to come: “Steve Oemcke [WTFN co-founder] and I created Bondi Vet to appeal to audiences in Australia and abroad.

“While the show was very successful for us in Australia, people may not realise it is very big for us overseas. Our key clients in Europe and North America are excited about the re-fresh of the show with a new cast and new locations and have already signed up for the new series.”

Meanwhile, Talbot said WTFN has ended the official ratings year on a high with its hit ob-doc Paramedics also on Nine finishing the week as the number one non-news show, and topping all of the key demographics.

Since debuting in October, Paramedics has been the surprise hit of 2018 leading the resurgence in observational documentaries, and last week pulling in a national audience of more than 1.1 million viewers.

“For producers, TV is all about timing,” said Talbot. “Steve and I first pitched Paramedics to the networks at the beginning of 2016, but we just couldn’t get the series across the line.

Adrian Swift at Nine loved the idea and loved the cast of Paramedics, and kept pushing it forward until it became a reality.”

Back at the 10, WTFN’s flagship lifestyle show The Living Room has also ended the year with a strong performance. The 90-minute Christmas episode of The Living Room with guest appearances from Guy Sebastian and Robert Irwin drew a national audience of 620,000. The show was number 1 in people 18-49 nationally, number 1 in people under 50 nationally and number 2 in people 16-39. The Living Room was Ten’s second highest rating show for the final week of survey.

“It’s seven years since Steve and I originally created The Living Room but the formula is as strong today as it was back then,” said Talbot.

“For us the show is about the right mix of information with an overlay of entertainment. But after many years getting to know this particular audience we always focus on the content in the stories first, then let the entertainment flow from there.

“In 2019 our production team led by EP Virginia Hodgson will continue doing what they’ve done so well this year: well researched stories with a twist and a human touch. I don’t want to jinx us, but who knows, we may even collect a fifth Logie for the show.”

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