ABC: 2010 Highlights

ABC unveils more of its 2010 slate with a new series penned by Marieke Hardy, more Bed of Roses, a comedy about a gay sci-fi club and a telemovie on David Hicks.

lowdownThe ABC has announced some of it programming highlights for 2010.

It has revealed key dramas, comedies, documentary, sports, arts, current affairs and children’s entertainment.

Amongst the highlights are new comedy series Lowdown starring Adam Zwar, Poh’s Kitchen with MasterChef’s Poh Ling Yeow, Andrew Hansen’s debating series Strictly Speaking, Cal Wilson in Sleuth 101, a new comedy about a gay sci-fi club Outland, a new drama series by writer Marieke Hardy Like a Virgin, new Bed of Roses plus I ROCK and a telemovie about David Hicks, X-Ray.

Kim Dalton, Director of Television said, “2010 is also a year of development. Behind the scenes, we are building up the slate of drama productions to screen in coming years, thanks to the Federal Government’s funding allocation announced in 2009.

“Filming will commence across the country on the following projects: in Adelaide, the telemovie X-Ray, the story of Terry Hicks’ battle for justice for his son David, who was detained at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years without trial; in Queensland, Sisters of War, a telemovie inspired by the true story of an Australian army nurse and a Roman Catholic nun stationed in a Papuan mission station with wounded soldiers who were forced to face the Japanese alone; in Sydney, the eight-part series Rake, in which Richard Roxburgh plays a criminal defence barrister who defends the indefensible – from bigamists to cannibals and everything in between; and in Melbourne, both the eight-part series, The Slap, based on the award-winning novel by Christos Tsiolkas, and series 3 of Bed of Roses.

“And not forgetting the most anticipated new television comedy series in the country, Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys, also in production in Melbourne.”

Q&A will move to a new Monday night timeslot and be extended to 40 shows when it returns in February.

Amongst the highlights are:

strictly_speakingStrictly Speaking
(13 x 30’) ABC1, iView
Andrew Hansen, The Chaser’s very own singing comic, will be at the helm of this new, 13-episode series that puts public speaking centre-stage. Speakers from across Australia were chosen from more than 1500 applicants. Three contestants each episode go mouth-to-mouth in a speechifying spitfest to win the crown of ‘Australia’s Best Public Speaker’.

Sleuth 101
(8 x 30’) ABC1, iView
Sleuth 101 is an exciting new murder mystery game show with a comedic twist. Host Cal Wilson will be joined
each week by a celebrity guest comedian who will strive to solve the crime before a live studio audience. This is risky stuff, the high wire act of the comedy world, with no script – just witness statements, footage flashback and forensic evidence – to piece together the mystery.

Poh’s Kitchen
(40 x 30’) ABC1, ABC2, iView
Poh Ling Yeow, the cook who won the hearts of the nation as runner-up on Masterchef, joins ABC TV with her own cooking program, Poh’s Kitchen. As an artist, Poh approaches food with a unique sensibility and a natural curiosity. Her intuitive cooking style and sense of fun draws Australia’s leading cooks and chefs to Poh’s Kitchen. Thai ‘cooking guru’ David Thompson, one of Australia’s best chefs Neil Perry, and French-trained chef Emmanuel Mollois are the first guests to the Kitchen, exchanging techniques and recipes and sharing Poh’s family cooking secrets.

(8 x 26’) ABC1, iView
Lowdown is a fast-paced, deadpan comedy about a tabloid columnist’s quest to get a shock-and-awe story
each week to save his embattled newspaper. With former Sunday Herald Sun celebrity columnist Adam Zwar as co-creator and star, Lowdown is not just a TV comedy – t’s a funny, fly-on-the-wall view of the tricks of a tabloid journalist’s trade.

(6 x 26’) ABC1, iView
Where do you go if you grew up unpopular and pimply, having unrequited crushes on boys in the rugby team and wishing to be transported to the exotic yet often papiermache worlds of English science fiction serials? How do you cope if you are both a geek, and gay? Outland is a situation comedy from the producers of Summer Heights High and John Safran’s Race Relations that revolves around a gay science-fiction club. It is a comedy about belonging, and how everyone searches to find a place where they fit in.

Like A Virgin
(6 x 26’) ABC1, iView
This black comedy, written by Marieke Hardy, follows the trials and tribulations of Roo McVie – a 29-year-old market researcher and good time girl-about-town who shares a flat with her best friend EJ, and whose former lovers start dying in strange and unexpected circumstances. Completely freaked out by the fact that so many of her ex-boyfriends are suddenly dying, Roo and EJ embark on an investigation inspired by gritty American police dramas. They assemble a chart of headshots of the victims, noting names, sexual practices and other forensic details in a quest to find a pattern and stop the litany of deaths.

Bed of Roses (series 2)
(8 x 55’ drama series) ABC1, iView
When Louisa Atherton decided to stay in Rainbow’s End she thought things were going to be simpler, but
she didn’t count on how difficult it was going to be to work out what to do with her life. When charming,
sophisticated Tim Price takes over the management of local newspaper, The Rainbow Echo, he recognises
Louisa’s talents and offers her a key position.

Bed of Roses (series 3)
(12 x 55’ drama series) ABC1, iView
In series 3 Louisa navigates the joys and pitfalls of starting a new relationship in your 50’s (when how you
do the washing up and whether it is appropriate to fix an engine in the lounge room becomes a major point
of negotiation), and tackles the day to day demands of running a busy local paper.

I Rock
(8 x 26’ drama series) ABC2 Premiere
Take a share house, the pub band scene and some twentysomethings who think they’re the next big thing,
add a dash of satire and you have I Rock. This new eight-part, half-hour series, written by Josh Mapleston
in association with producers David Fedirchuk and Rob Macdonald, is a comedy drama about an indie rock band trying to make it big on the Australian music scene. Leader of the band and the series’ central character, Nash Taylor (Josh Mapleston), is an engaging mix of swagger and arrogance hiding a nerdish vulnerability as he attempts to claw his way to the top of the rock and roll heap.

(1 x 90’ telemovie) ABC1, iView
X-Ray is the story of Australian Terry Hicks’ battle for justice on behalf of his son David, who was held for more than five years in detention without trial at Guantanamo Bay. Thanks to the rigorous campaigning by his father, David Hicks finally had his day in court in March 2007. Based on Chris Tugwell’s acclaimed stage play Camp X-Ray, this main-event telemovie will take audiences behind the headlines that captivated Australia for years, into the emotional heart of a story about the torturous road that a father took on behalf of a troubled son.

Sisters of War
(1 x 90’ telemovie) ABC1, iView
In January 1942, the Japanese war machine thundered across South East Asia. In its path lay a tiny Papuan
mission station, Vunapope. Here a handful of Australian nurses took refuge along with 84 wounded Australian
soldiers. Abandoned by their commanding officers, they were left to face the Japanese alone. Sisters of War is inspired by the true story of two extraordinary Australian women: Lorna Whyte, an army nurse, and Sister
Berenice Twohill, a Roman Catholic nun from country New South Wales who was stationed at Vunapope.

(8 x 55’ drama series) ABC1, iView
Starring and co-produced by Richard Roxburgh, with Sydney barrister Charles Waterstreet as story consultant, this drama series tells the story of a criminal defence barrister as he defends the indefensible. From bigamists to cannibals and everything in between, there is no criminal this barrister won’t represent.

Winter Paralympics
(ABC1, iView)
The outstanding performances of Australia’s Paralympic athletes will again be showcased on ABC TV during
the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver. Following on from the ABC’s award-winning coverage of the 2008
Paralympics in Beijing and the 2006 Paralympics in Turin, ABC1 will broadcast daily highlights of the 10th
Winter Games from March 13-22.

Art Nation
(42 x 26’) ABC1
Complementing abc.net.au/arts is the new weekly magazine program, Art Nation. This new half-hour program will contain news, reviews, performance, features and interviews. A key component of the program will be to showcase the work that has premiered on the Arts Gateway sent in by artists from around the country.

I, Spry
(1 x 55’) ABC1, iView
Enigmatic Australian spymaster, Charles Spry, and ASIO’s intriguing early history are brought to life in this dramatised documentary by the award-winning filmmaker of Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler? and The Prime Minister is Missing.

Outback Kids
(3 x 55’) ABC1, iView
Ten teenagers on the brink of personal destruction and permanent family breakdown are rescued from their
circumstances and taken to a remote and isolated Northern Territory facility 250 kilometres south of Darwin in Outback Kids, Australia’s answer to Brat Camp.

art + soul – Hetti Perkins
(3 x 55’) ABC1, iView
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah) and co-produced by Jo-Anne
McGowan and Bridget Ikin (Look Both Ways, An Angel at My Table), art + soul is a major three-part series about contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

The Extraordinary Tale of William Buckley
(1 x 55’) ABC1, iView
During the first, abortive attempt to settle Port Phillip Bay, convict William Buckley escapes. Near death from starvation, he picks up a spear from the grave of a Wathaurong man.

The Making of Modern Australia
(4 x 55’) ABC1
Through rich family histories and personal archives, The Making of Modern Australia charts the massive shifts in Australian life since World War 2. Online and on television, this living social history project interweaves intimate personal dramas with the best social history research to create a surprising portrait of the nation since 1945.

Making Australia Happy
(3 x 55’) ABC1, iView
What is happiness? How do we become happier? And why should we even bother? To answer these questions, we head to the heart of Australia’s misery. It’s here, in the innerwestern suburbs of Sydney, that eight ordinary Australians will undertake a most extraordinary journey.

Life at 5
(2 x 55’) ABC1, iView
The next instalment of the Life Series, Life at 5, will update us on how these 11 kids we’ve known since birth have been shaped by their very different life circumstances in modern Australia. Based on the first ever Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) currently being undertaken by the Institute of Family Studies, the subjects chosen for the Life Series parallel – in microcosm – those diverse families involved in the study.

Voyage to the Planets
(6 x 55’) ABC1, iView
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave Earth? To gaze back at the receding blue gem that is our home planet and set out to go where no human has gone before? What strange sights await you, what dangers must you avoid?


Dead Gorgeous
(13 x 30’) iView
Three beautiful, strong-willed teenage sisters – Rebecca, Sophie and Hazel – are given a second chance at life 150 years after their deaths. Thrust into the 21st century, these refined but spirited Victorian girls must try to fit into a society completely alien to them, without anyone discovering they are really ghosts.

Dance Academy
(26 x 30’) iView
While growing up on a farm in outback Australia, all Tara Webster ever dreamt of was becoming a dancer. So when she makes it into the National Academy of Dance, she realises her life is about to change forever. Fortunately, Tara is not alone in her journey and is joined by the boys and girls who have also won their place in the school.

News on 3 and BTN Extra
News on 3 is the flagship news service for ABC3 and will feature a mix of current daily news from Australia and around the world as well as entertainment and sport reports. ABC3 will screen news updates throughout the afternoon Monday to Friday, leading up to the main 6:55pm bulletin.

Good Game SP
(42 x 15’)
This is the teen sibling to ABC2’s Good Game – the show for gamers, by gamers. Join Stephanie Bendixsen, or ‘Hex’ as she is better known in the gaming world, and Good Game’s Steven ‘Bajo’ O’Donnell for the latest gaming news and events, top gaming tips, reviews and more.

ABC for Kids on ABC2:

(52 x 11’) iView
dirtgirl grows awesome tomatoes, knows cloud names and drives a big orange tractor. Her world – dirtgirlworld – is brought vividly to life in this all-new animation series which mixes live action, animation and photo-montage to make its larger-than-life characters come alive for 3-7 year olds.

The Wiggly Waffle
(52 x 60’)
A special hosted block by the fab four of fun, The Wiggles. Join Anthony, Murray, Sam and Jeff as they present a special hour of singing, dancing, music and games, intermixed with classic series and animations, including Bob The Builder, Baby Antonio’s Circus, Postman Pat and Franny’s Feet.

Jolly Rabbit
(52 x 11’)
Life was all carrots and clover for Jolly Rabbit in his peaceful burrow, until one night an evil pirate named
Captain Squid stole his rabbit’s foot…and the leg attached to it. Now Jolly’s hopping mad and sailing the seven seas with his motley crew of Punk Rockers to find who stole his leg.

Giggle and Hoot
Jimmy Giggle and his best buddy Hoot the owl live in a place where their neighbours are the best anyone could wish for! They never know who’s going to drop in and say hello. The Wiggles, dirtgirl, and the Play School gang all love to visit for a chat, song or a bit of silliness. It’s a world where curiosity and imagination rule!

Acquired Programs:

– new drama mini-series featuring Rupert Penry-Jones of Spooks fame in Whitechapel
– the creators of cult comedy classic The League of Gentlemen present Psychoville (7 x 30’, ABC2 & iView)
Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour (4 X 60’), follows in the footsteps of history’s most notorious
– two new blue-ribbon, high definition BBC nature documentary series, Life (10 x 50’, iView) and South Pacific (6 x 50’, iView), coming to ABC1.


The Colbert Report, both the daily edition (161 x 24’, iView) and the weekend edition (41 x 24’, iView)
– science-fiction-fantasy drama program Sanctuary (13 x 57’, iView)
– new BBC sitcom Miranda (6 x 30’)
Breaking Bad (7 x 55’, iView).

35 Responses

  1. I find it Very disapointing that the Winter paralympic games are Only getting 1/2 hr of highlights a day. Sue it is better than nothing but not by much.
    The summer Paralympic games for something like 4 hrs a day + 1/2-1 hr of highlights.

    The Olympic games on the commercial channels got multiple hours of coverage (sure the Winter games got less than the summer games) but 1/2 an hour of highlights fromt he Winter paralympic games is woeful.

    The opening ceramony highlights were shocking, we saw the flag go up, the caldron lighted, a heap of kids dancing, about 4 teams com out (including Australia), a disabled breakdancer, and a wheelchair “skater” attempt a backflip (but even then they kept cutting to the chick in the band singing in the all balck leahter etc outfit, so we almost missed the attempt and never got to see if he tried againand landed it), the “blanket” thing come down and the kids grab the end and not much mroe, we got no real commentary on what any of this meant and couldn’t grab an understanding becasue it was all out of whack and disjointed becasue we didn’t see or hear any of the commentry or preceding stuff to know what it was about.

  2. @Michka says:
    December 9, 2009 at 2:25 am
    Get ready for controversy for X-ray. I’m sure the media will have a field day for it.

    Maybe if it had been screened 12 months ago. I think it’s now a story that’s well past it’s use-by date.

  3. I really looking forward to Breaking Bad, The Colbert Report & Sanctuary which will all be on ABC2, I think ABC2 is getting better by the year, Also is the Wire returning next year?

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