Summer Programming

Networks are already starting to map out their programme highlights for summer and ABC is first off the rank with some enticing goodies!

The broadcaster will screen a number of specials and comedies that feature some well-known ABC favourites including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumely, Matt Lucas, the Choir of Hard Knocks, John Clarke and Adam Spencer.

The Choir of Hard Knocks will appear in concert at the Sydney Opera House, which for some of the members includes their first flight on a plane. Dawn French will feature in two comedies, one a 2-part Vicar of Dibley special made in 2006, and the new series penned by comic partner Jennifer Saunders, Jam and Jerusalem. The series about a ladies’ guild in Clatterford St. Mary also stars an unrecognisable Joanna Lumley.

An all-star cast including Matt Lucas, Imelda Staunton, and Bob Hoskins team up for The Wind in the Willows. The ABC will also screen the acclaimed BBC drama The Line of Beauty and premiere the Australian-made film Hunt Angels starring Ben Mendelsohn.


The 50 members of the Choir of Hard Knocks have been invited by the Sydney Opera House to perform in the Concert Hall. For most of the Choir, it will be their first time on a plane, and their first visit to Sydney . Taking such a disparate group on the road is a risky venture, and this time the stakes are even higher. But the Choir and their organisers are determined to make it a performance of a lifetime. An ABC TV Production, based on an original concept licensed from FremantleMedia Australia .

MONARCHY – Tuesday 27 November, 9.30pm
The history of the English monarchy, in all its bloody glory, is ripped from the dusty annals and brought dramatically to life by David Starkey – the man credited with making history top-rating entertainment. His epic journey through 1500 years of British rule continues, this time travelling from the War of the Roses and the birth of the Tudors, through to the Civil War and the New Model Army’s charismatic leader, Oliver Cromwell. Starkey reveals the lust, greed, desire and emotion of England’s past kings and queens as they battle for the crown. With teen pregnancies, hired hit men, scheming mothers-in-law, warring siblings and more, it features more drama than even Hollywood could dream up. This five-episode series is a Channel 4 production.

WORDS FROM THE CITY – Friday 7 December, 10.30pm
They rap about everything from social trends and political rage, to what they did with their mates last weekend and what their grandparents taught them. Their stage ranges across parks and laneways to festivals and nightclubs – they are the voice of our young generation and their language of choice is hip hop. Filmed across one long hot summer, amidst sold-out concerts, impromptu freestyles, beachside festivals and more, JTV presents Words From The City an exploration of Australian hip hop through the candid observation of some of the nation’s most compelling MCs, including the Hilltop Hoods, Downsyde, Layla, Koolism, Wire MC and Maya Jupiter. A Film Camp Production in association with ABC TV’s jtv, AFC, Adelaide Film Festival, Madman and Film Victoria.

THE VICAR OF DIBLEY – Wednesday 12 December, 8.30pm
Simply divine comedy! Dawn French returns in this two-part special as the loveable Geraldine Granger, vicar of the rural village of Dibley . She’s fed up with townies buying weekend cottages in the village, and goes around to confront the latest of them, only to discover he might just be the man of her dreams. Could charming handsome Harry be her Mr Right? Or is he Mr How Wrong You Could Be? When Harry asks her to marry him, Geraldine can’t say ‘yes’ quick enough. Naturally however, things don’t go quite to plan – especially when the parish council decide to organise the wedding for her! Written by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Blackadder and Mr Bean). A Tiger Aspect production for BBC.

WIND IN THE WILLOWS – Sunday 23 December, 7.30pm
Based upon the much-loved novel by Kenneth Grahame, this lavish new adaptation features a star-studded cast, including Matt Lucas (Little Britain), Bob Hoskins (Mrs Henderson Presents), Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake), Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) and Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House). It’s springtime and Mole sets out to explore the world. His curiosity leads him to the beautiful riverbank where he meets Ratty, a laid back water rat. Rat introduces him to the exuberant Toad, a wealthy creature with a penchant for extravagant hobbies. But when Toad’s obsession with the motor car gets out-of-hand, Rat and Mole must find a way to help their friend, with assistance from the wise but forbidding Badger, who lives deep in the Wild Wood. A Box TV production for BBC.

JAM AND JERUSALEM – Friday 28 December, 8pm
Britain’s best-loved women in comedy come together in a new series written by the absolutely fabulous Jennifer Saunders. As the local nurse, Sal Vine is at the heart of community life in the village of Clatterford St. Mary . She is self-assured and determined to steer clear of the world of knitting and cake-baking inhabited by the local Women’s Guild. But when her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack and she finds herself out of a job and alone, life at the Guild starts to look attractive. Dawn French, Joanna Lumley, Sue Johnston (The Royle Family) and Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony) star in this six-part series.

DAGG SEA SCROLLS – Sunday 30 December, 7.30pm
John Clarke is a satirist, actor, writer and director, whom Australians have taken to heart since he arrived in 1977 from New Zealand . But where did John come from and why is he held in such high esteem across the Tasman? This wonderful retrospective charts the life of John Clarke and his alter ego, Fred Dagg. When the singlet-wearing, gum-booted farmer made his first appearance on New Zealand television in 1973, no-one quite knew what to make of him. But they soon fell in love with Fred and his unique take on life – so much so he went on to become a national icon. A Roderick Willows and Huntaway Films production.

SLEEK GEEKS – Thursday 3 January, 8pm
An enticing mix of science and humour, Sleek Geeks sees Australia ’s coolest science nerds – Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and maths whiz, Adam Spencer – set out to answer some of the perplexing scientific mysteries we encounter every day. Tackling such themes as Time, Mind Games and Senses, their mission is to reveal the surprising science that lies hidden in our homes, offices and backyards. Over six weeks, Dr Karl and Adam give moments of deep thought to some of the most bizarre ideas imaginable. This is science with a quirky twist. Developed and produced by Cordell Jigsaw Productions in association with ABC TV.

THE LINE OF BEAUTY – Sunday 13 January, 8.30pm
A story of love, class, sex and money in the materialistic 1980s, The Line Of Beauty crawls deep under the skin of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain . Framed by the general elections of 1983 and 1987, it spans four extraordinary years of tragedy and change seen through the eyes and experiences of a young, gay Oxford graduate. Nick Guest, a young man of modest means, is invited to stay with the wealthy Feddens at their home in west London and discovers them to be a family of dysfunction and glamour in equal measure. His journey into the heart of the beautiful and seductive world of the social elite bristles with emotion, drama and social commentary. A richly textured, coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of a ruthless decade, the three-part series was written by Andrew Davies (Bleak House), based on the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. A BBC production.

HUNT ANGELS – Monday 4 February, 8.30pm
They were the Bonnie and Clyde of the Australian film industry – Rupert Kathner and Alma Brooks were partners in crime…. the crime of making movies. At a time when Hollywood studio executives controlled the movie screens around Australia and the police had extraordinary censorship powers, few local filmmakers could get a cinema release. But Rupert was determined to get his films shown and Alma helped him achieve his dream. Based on the true story of one of Australia ’s original and authentic voices in cinema, Ben Mendelsohn, Victoria Hill and Eloise Oxer star in this stunning, AFI award-winning documentary. Produced in association with ABC TV. Written and directed by Alex Morgan. Produced by Sue Maslin.

SBS Summer Schedule

7.30 Who Do You Think You Are?
8.30 Science Docs
9.30 Movie

7.30 Mythbusters / Top Gear
8.30 South Park rpt
9.00 Drawn Together
9.30 News
10.00 Shameless / Skins

7.30 Docs
8.30 Cutting Edge
9.30 News
10.00 Hot Docs

7.30 Food Safari
8.00 Real Top Guns
8.30 Docs
9.30 News
10.00 Newstopia / Movies

7.30 Inspector Rex rpt
8.30 East West 101
9.30 News
10.00 Movie Show
10.10 Movie

7.30 Diamond Road
8.30 Two men in a Trench
9.30 News
10.00 XY Docs

7.30 Top Gear rpt
8.30 Long Way Round
9.20 Rockwiz
10.15 Movie

Summer 07/08 on Seven
Emmy-winning comedy series 30 Rock will have it’s highly anticipated Australian premiere on Channel Seven this Summer.

The critically acclaimed series, which stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin in his Golden Globewinning role as a brash network TV executive, is one of five brand new series in Seven’s Summer 07/08 line-up.

The others are Six Degrees, an intriguing drama from the producers of Lost and Alias starring Bridget Moynahan and Erika Christensen; Man’s Work, a reality show which follows one man’s mission to become a “real man” by taking on some of the world’s toughest and most dangerous jobs; Wild Vets, a dramatic factual series which follows vets who work in the wild; and Whacked Out Sports which features incredible, must-see sports clips from around the world.

New seasons of four-time Emmy-winning The Amazing Race; twisted reality competition series Beauty And The Geek; Heartbeat spin-off The Royal; and New Zealand’s hit observational documentary series Coastwatch and Borderline will also be seen on Seven over Summer.

Plus, with their feud behind them, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie venture into the great outdoors to become camp counsellors when The Simple Life Goes To Camp.

Brand new episodes of Shark, Bones, American Dad, That 70s Show, Heartbeat and Air Crash Investigations will round out Seven’s all-new primetime line-up for Summer. Viewers can also catch up on their favourite episodes of the hit shows Grey’s Anatomy, Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds and Family Guy which all move into repeats next month.

TEN Summer starts the Journey. TEN FIRST WEEK OF SUMMER
Nine goes to the Movies NINE FIRST WEEK OF SUMMER
30 Rock becomes 10:30 Rock for Seven SEVEN FIRST WEEK OF SUMMER

See also Advance TV Guides

As more Summer Programming is announced, this section will update.

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12 Responses

  1. FINALLY BONES RETURNS!!! I can only hope that this time we will be able to watch the rest of season 2, without ch7 cutting it short again. It would also be great to catch up to the US who are on Season 3. Bones fans have been very patient with channel 7 mucking us about with this great show!

    Thanks for this information 🙂

  2. Very much looking forward to Professor Fred Dagg’s “The Dagg Sea Scrolls” 30th Dec ABC.

    When I first listening to Fred’s first album back in 1976 I was on the floor in tears crying it was so funny. Well…. at the time it was anyway!

    Since then John Clarke has continued on in the same vane with his satirical wit; including just the other evening about the Australian Accent.

    A must see for lovers of comedy.

  3. Does anybody know if the ABC ever showed Dawn French’s documentary “Girls Who Do: Comedy”? I saw much of it on YouTube, it was quite funny!

    and will ABC ever show “A Bucket o’ French & Saunders” (Released in UK on 7th September 2007)?

  4. I think the reason the ABC may not be showing ‘The Thick of It’ is because the star has been put in prison for child sex offences. I think they can imagine the talkback radio and the Australian going nuts over it, and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle

  5. I can’t believe ABC have yet to show the brilliant British political satire, The Thick of It. It’s The West Wing, if the Whitehouse were run by a bunch of bumbling idiots and foul-mouthed raving lunatics. It’s Larry Sanders meets The Office. It’s comedy gold, from the mind of Armando Iannucci (I’m Alan Partridge), and it’s quite simply a hilarious (and probably all-too-accurate) depiction of politicians out of their depth. Whilst we’re in the thick of all this political shenanigans, I see no better time for ABC to air it.

    But, instead, ABC have given priority to the godawful The Catherine Tate Show- which will screen it’s second season way before we’ll see Thick- a mildly amusing at best sci-fi comedy, and that mediocre one with Martin Freeman in it.

    Lucky there’s YouTube is all I’ll say…

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