Welcome ABC1….. bye bye ABC TV!

From 12pm today, ABC TV becomes ABC1.

Both ABC1 and ABC2 will still use the recognised squiggle – with the logo to appear next to ABC1 with a blue background and ABC2 with a yellow background.

The broadcaster also announces more local content set for our screens this year. It will deliver 25 hours of new local drama this year plus 17 Australian documentaries, two comedy/entertainment shows along with new arts programming. New shows will include Dirt Game, a six-parter about three people trying to save a doomed mine.

The team behind The Librarians has written a new comedy called Very Small Business, about a publisher.

ABC2 will have a concerted push to a younger audience.

“Going into the foreseeable future ABC1 will be our major station, it will be the major channel,” said Director of Television Kim Dalton.

“It will be the channel that attracts the big audiences, and shows the big popular programs.

“But I’m quite confident that over the next six to 12 months we will really consolidate and grow our ABC2 audience and that the awareness of ABC2 will grow very significantly within our broader ABC audience.”

ABC2 will include the broadcast of 40 live Triple J concerts.

Press Release:

ABC TV will today unveil its highly anticipated, new on-air look, as it launches its 2008 season as Australia ’s leading multi-platform broadcaster.

No longer just a single channel, this year, ABC TV offers two distinctive television channels – ABC1 and ABC2, and the only comprehensive range of programs available online. Underpinning this is a complete rebranding of the network to support its activity as Australia ’s only multi-platform, multi-channel, free-to-air broadcaster.

Director of Television, Kim Dalton , says in 2008, ABC TV will give viewers more choice than ever. “We are helping to reshape the way people use and interact with television by giving them more programs, more ways to view them, and more flexibility around when and how to watch them.

“We have deliberately chosen an alternative path to other Australian networks – embracing true multi-channelling. ABC1 and ABC2 will each offer distinctive Australian programming. Increasingly, much of this content will be available on demand, online, as downloads, and streamed. And this is just the beginning!”

It begins with ABC1 – the channel has undergone a name change, but will continue to be Australia ’s pre-eminent provider of quality television. Highlights for ABC1 this year include:

Two six-part drama series; The Cut, starring John Wood and Dirt Game – set in a mining town; the film adaption of the celebrated stage musical, Bran Nue Dae with Ernie Dingo; telemovie Conversation Killer written by Ian David; and a second series of East of Everything. These are in addition to the dramas screening on-air this year – East of Everything, Bed of Roses and Valentine’s Day.

One of Chaser Broadcasting’s projects in 2008 will see them behind-the-scenes, as co-producers of a new six-part comedy, starring and written by comic, Lawrence Leung in Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure.

Also returning to ABC1 is Wil Anderson, as host of The Gruen Transfer, which will be executive-produced by Andrew Denton and Anita Jacoby. A program that could only screen on the ABC, this ten-part series will be a funny and often biting, exposé of the advertising world.

New comedy projects feature Wayne Hope and Kim Gyngell in a six-part series, Very Small Business, and Sam Simmons in The Urban Monkey.

The Howard Years, from ABC News, is a four-hour documentary series that promises to be the definitive record of the time.

In announcing a series of new talk-based initiatives, Kim Dalton says the ABC will continue to present Australia ’s pre-eminent news and current affairs programs. “I want ABC TV to be the destination of choice for the important discussions and debates about the big issues that affect us all, where they are in the foreground and up for discussion.”

Q&A – Lateline’s Tony Jones will host this ambitious live and interactive weekly forum. In front of a studio audience, it will tackle the big issues and events of the week. Viewers on TV and the net will participate via mobile, online messaging and email. Tony will still continue on Lateline, though some nights the program will be presented by Leigh Sayles and Virginia Trioli , to enable Tony to focus on Q&A.

During Youth Week in April, we will screen a hard-hitting documentary about life on the streets in Australia – Oasis, following which, Tony will also host a panel discussion on homeless youth.

Next Wednesday 13 February, Tony and Miriam Corowa, the host of Message Stick, will jointly present live coverage on ABC1 of the historic Stolen Generation Apology by the Prime Minister.

The 2008 Paralympics – Adam Hills will host the spectacular Opening Ceremony from the stadium in Beijing and we will screen over 100 hours of Games on both ABC1 and ABC2.

It connects to ABC2. A free digital-only channel, which gives viewers an entertaining, energetic and exciting alternative. The new schedule features themed nights including unique programs and initiatives such as:

ABC2 Live. ABC2 joins forces with the Australian Film Commission, Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet and the Australia Council to bring live coverage of a range of music, dance and theatre to the public, both on TV and in theatres across the country.

Good Game Game – in an Australian first, throughout ABC2’s Good Game series this year, viewers will be invited to help create a game online. The audience will contribute ideas, concepts and artwork, with the best material voted on by their peers and industry professionals. The winning game will then be built by a game development company and launched publicly.

Review with Myles Barlow – a six-part black comedy that pushes the boundary of reality television, brought to you by some of Australia ’s hottest new talent.

Hackfest – a new half-hour program hosted by Walkley Award-winning journalist, Steve Cannane . Confronting, irreverent and a bit naughty.

An expanded triple j tv experience, with up to 40 live concerts throughout the year and two fresh new weekly programs.

A major arts initiative which will see four hours of Australian and overseas arts content in prime time each Sunday night on ABC2.

The new branding will begin appearing on screen from midday today. Viewers can watch the new idents and read more about ABC1 and ABC2 at abc.net.au/newtv

Sources: The Australian, news.com.au, Daily Telegraph.


  1. I hate the new watermarks. They take up too much space and should be opaque not coloured. It looks like they are trying to please everyone by having two logos but who cares about the squiggle. If the squiggle was so loved they should have renamed the channels “squiggle 1” and “squiggle 2” Why is there such a big gap above the squiggle watermark? It would be much less annoying if there at least wasn’t a gap. I’m emailing the ABC today

  2. The Human Dree

    I think the days of assigning a channel in your TV by a designated number is over. Its been years since I gave 2,7,9,10,28 etc those actual numbers on my box.
    Back in analogue UHF days, sure, but not anymore.

  3. I was just a TV director, so in essence I have a bogan’s brain.
    Just what medicine were the lads down at the ABC when they decided to call their majority ABC Channel 2, ABC1.
    It defies intelligence, commonsense, and clear thing.
    As ABC Channel have the most viewers, it’s just simple commonsense you make your major frequency eg Channel 2, ABC2.
    Buggered by their logic, if there is any. Luckily there’s no law for stupidity.

  4. I just watched a program on ABC2 today. In my opinion, I like ABC2’s banana background better than the blue background that ABC1 has. What a shame that the ABC decided to change the ABC2 slogan at the last minute. I quite liked “Bring Out The 2 in You” better.

  5. Dree, you seem to be making a career out of disagreeing with me just because you can. It’s already tiresome.

    No, I wasn’t over-reacting – I mean, look at those watermarks. They’re a disgrace, and if you can ignore them, you’d be the only one, I’m willing to bet.

  6. eastsydneyboy

    What’s the point of complaining?

    ABC management just don’t care. They forced the original watermarks on us, and ignored all the complaints. Why should it be any different this time?

  7. The watermark is too big. They’ll have to make a decsiion what are they going to keep. I just saw it on ABC2. Like 10 and 9, they’ll make a decision based on people’s feedback. I wonder why people at ABC lack any imagionation to create something that everybody would like.

  8. There will be screams about the new logo I just saw on ABC1, and letters to parliament no doubt.

    Interestingly no watermark the useless HD channel and ‘ABC kids’ on the new ABC2.

    Early days I suppose.

  9. “the logo to appear next to ABC1 with a blue background and ABC2 with a yellow background”

    Uh-oh. I have a Bloody Great Big Obnoxious Opaque Watermark Half Way Across The Screen feeling…

    Guess we’ll know in a few hours.

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