ABC to fast-track Doctor Who Christmas special

Doctor Who's Christmas Special will air in Australia just hours after it UK premiere. Also coming in summer: Bed of Roses, The Tudors, Bran Nue Dae and more.

For the first time the ABC will fast-track the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special.

It will air on Boxing Day in Australia, just hours after it screens in the UK.

Fans have long asked for Who to be fast-tracked by ABC to help minimise internet spoilers. The 2009 special aired in January, a month after its UK premiere.

Doctor Who is one of several highlights ABC has planned for the summer.

Also set to air is a new series of Bed of Roses, US miniseries The Tudors, the feature film Bran Nue Dae, British telemovie Lennon Naked, documentary series South Pacific, British miniseroes Collision, documentary Love in a Time of HIV, factual series Chopper Rescue, entertainment special Schools Spectacular, new sports game show The Trophy Room plus new kids’ game show What Do You Know?

There are also festive specials from Spicks and Specks, Catherine Tate, Myles Barlow, Good Game, Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.


World Premiere
Saturday 4 December, 7.30pm ABC1
Louisa Atherton (Kerry Armstrong) is rediscovering love a second time round, Holly (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence) is experiencing the roller coaster ride of her first love and Minna (Julia Blake) is grieving a lost love. Three generations of women together negotiating love, loss and the unpredictability of life. A co-production between ABC TV, Hugh Marks and Ruby Entertainment with the assistance of Film Victoria. (12 x 1hr)

World Premiere
Wednesday 8 December, 8.30pm ABC1
A quiz show for casual and committed sports fans, The Trophy Room celebrates Australia’s national obsession. As well as answering sports questions based on current and classic trivia, two star-studded teams of three panellists must conquer a physical challenge based around a sporting theme. Combining sports chat, knowledge and trivia with parlour games and physical sporting challenges, The Trophy Room promises to be good clean fun the whole family can enjoy, with an Australia Day special thrown in for good measure too. An ABC TV and Granada coproduction. (9 x 30min)

Australian Premiere
Sunday 12 December, 7.30pm ABC1
3000 of the state’s most talented singers, dancers, and musicians, including a 1200-voice choir, 80 piece orchestra, 1500 dancers, rock, jazz and brass bands and soloists from ages 5 to 18 are all woven into the original school musical extravaganza, the Schools Spectacular. An extended version of the show will then screen on Sunday 19 December at 7pm on ABC2. (90min)

World Premiere
Wednesday 22 December, 10pm ABC1
Myles turns his critical eye to the most celebrated occasion of the year: Christmas. In examining the practice of Giving, Myles attempts to impart the lessons of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to a reluctant Andrew O’Keefe, with some expert help from Barry Crocker. Indulgence sees Myles spending up and wreaking havoc at his ex-wife’s office Christmas party, in an effort to examine festive excess. And in the Letter of the Season, family secrets explode when Myles invites an old friend around for dinner in order to capture the Christmas Spirit. (1hr)

World Premiere
Friday 24 December, 8.30pm ABC1
All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth… and an hour of fun, games and dress-ups with the gang from Spicks and Specks. Yes, it’s time for another festive edition of A Very Specky Christmas. Join Adam, Myf and Alan, along with their sleigh full of special guests as they liven up your Christmas with a sack full of yuletide tunes and trivia. (1hr)

Australian Premiere
Sunday 26 December, 7.30pm ABC1
Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor returns with his companion Amy Pond in a clever twist on themuch loved A Christmas Carol, with special guest stars Sir Michael Gambon and singing sensation Katherine Jenkins joining Amy and the Doctor for an unforgettable present.

Australian Television Premiere
Sunday 23 January, 8.30pm ABC1
The multi-award winning, feel-good movie of the year comes to ABC1. As a musical comedy/road movie it features an outstanding cast including Geoffrey Rush, Jessica Mauboy, Rockie McKenzie, Missy Higgins and more. Based on the musical stage play written by Jimmy Chi, and set in 1965, it tells the story of young Willie, who is sent away from Broome to a religious mission in the city to get an education, but runs away so he can return home. So begins a road movie like no other. (90min)

Australian Premiere
Friday 28 January, 8pm ABC1
Every day of the year, someone in north Queensland needs rescuing. In this new series, follow the men and women of Chopper Rescue as they provide much more than a rapid transport service. They’re first on the scene at vehicle and aircraft accidents, police searches, incidents at sea and natural disasters. (6 x 30min)

Sports fans make ABC1 your channel of choice as we serve up a world class season of women’s sport. Throughout summer, join host Stephanie Brantz for the national women’s basketball and football competitions (WNBL and Westfield W League); the Asian Women’s Cup champions – The Matildas – playing in another big Asian tournament, ‘The Peace Queen Cup’ in Korea; the Australian women’s cricket team take on England in a T20 tournament and Karrie Webb and Katherine Hull will be among the world’s best female golfers competing in the Women’s Australian Open.

Saturday 5 February, 8.30pm ABC1
A unique cultural and sporting event, the best Indigenous Australian rules footballers in the country take on an AFL side. Under lights at Darwin’s Marara Oval, the All Stars will face Richmond Football Club. Expect current AFL stars like Cyril Rioli (Hawthorn), Adam Goodes (Sydney) and Austin Wonaeamirri (Melbourne) to be considered for the All-Star line-up, which complements the ABC’s coverage of the Tiwi Island Grand Final and is another opportunity for a national audience to see our leading Indigenous Australian Rules players in action.

Australian Premiere
Sunday 5 December, 8.30pm ABC1
In 1964, Beatlemania was at its height and John Lennon was about to enter the most turbulent and intense period of his life. Reunited with his estranged father, he decides to abandon everything he has known – the Beatles, his first wife Cynthia, his home and even his son Julian – and immerse himself in life with Yoko Ono. Christopher Eccelston and Naoka Mori star in this BBC drama that airs the week of the anniversary of Lennon’s death. (1 x 90min)

Australian Premiere
Monday 6 December, 9.30pm ABC1
Willie Harcourt-Cooze is back continuing his mission to produce the finest chocolate. He has set up his ‘wonky’ factory in Devon and is about to try to compete with the big companies producing popular chocolate bars. And as a sweet treat, there’s a Christmas special as well. (4 x 1hr)

Australian Premiere
Friday 24 December, 7.30pm ABC1
The world’s most loved ogres are back – Shrek challenges Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and the other fairytale characters to spend the night in Lord Farquaad’s haunted castle telling scary stories. One by one they compete through the night, putting their own fairytale spin on infamous spine-tingling tales that everyone knows and loves. (30min)

Australian Premiere
Friday 24 December, 8pm ABC1
Jack Black and the cast from the worldwide hit reunite for this Christmas special, which sees the lovable Po having to choose between his family obligations and his duty as Dragon Warrior when he’s ordered to host a formal winter feast at the Jade Palace. (30min)

Sunday 2 January, 7.30pm ABC1
From the producer of Planet Earth comes this landmark series that explores the sheer scale and majesty of the largest ocean on Earth. The South Pacific islands are the most remote in the world, and this extraordinary isolation has created some of the most curious, surprising and precarious examples of life found anywhere on Earth. Human culture is different too and the reality of life here is sometimes very different, with waves the size of buildings, brutal tropical storms and, in the far south, even blizzards. (6 x 1hr)

Australian Premiere
Starts Friday 21 January 8.30pm ABC1
This thrilling two-part series tells the story of ten very different people who aren’t remotely connected – as far as they know – and who may never see each other again. Yet they all share one single defining moment. Beyond the crumpled cars and beleaguered emergency services are the invisible dramas and when DI John Tolin (Douglas Henshall) begins his investigation into the crash that occurred, he finds himself drawn into many different and dangerous worlds including government cover-ups, smuggling, torn relationships and murder. Written by Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker, Foyles War). (2 x 100min)


Australian Premiere
Monday 6 December, 8.30pm ABC2
For gamers the silly season means an avalanche of new game releases, but what games deserve to make it onto YOUR Santa list? In this hour-long Christmas episode, Bajo and Hex wade through the best and worst of the Christmas releases to help you make sure all your summer games are good ones! (60min)

Australian Premiere
Wednesday 26 January, 9.30pm ABC2
The picture of the three men on the winner’s podium after the Men’s 200m final at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games is still considered one of the most powerful images of modern history. Almost forgotten in the ensuing years is the seemingly quiet composed man in the left of the picture, the Australian silver medallist – Peter Norman. Why is he considered a household name throughout the United States, even today? (1 x 90min)

Starts Friday 7 January, 9.30pm ABC2
King Henry VIII had one of the most spectacular reigns in English history. In his bid to produce an heir, he would dismantle the established church in England, loot its possessions, and set himself up as an absolute monarch. He would also become famous for his voracious appetite for women and his many wives. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is outstanding as King Henry in this award-winning HBO drama series, with a stellar cast featuring Sam Neill and Natalie Dormer. (10 x 1hr)

Wednesday 1 December, 8.30pm ABC2
As the headlines have disappeared, young people’s understanding of HIV has become confused. Through a series of direct and often emotional interviews, encounters and experiences, a new generation of young people reveal how they contracted HIV, how they cope and the impact it’s had on their close relationships. Love in a Time of HIV paints a portrait of a generation of HIV positive people leading their lives and finding love, with stories of triumph in the face of the utmost adversity. (60min)

Australian Premiere
Friday 10 December, 8.30pm ABC2
A candid, moving and life-affirming documentary grants an all access pass; following the band throughout their 2009 rehearsals to their seminal headline slot at Glastonbury and epic sell-out London tour. (90min)

Australian Premiere
Friday 10 December, 10pm ABC2
Britpop band Blur ended their hugely successful Summer 2009 reunion tour with two colossal sell-out gigs at London’s Hyde Park. Over 100,000 ecstatic fans were there for this exuberant, emotional two-hour set. (1hr)

Monday 27 December, 8.30pm ABC2
Over the past four years, Jack Osbourne has climbed the vertical kilometre of El Capitan, fought physical bouts in Thailand and India, jumped off the world’s highest bungee platform and taken on the most gruelling endurance race in the world. Now, he faces his toughest, most extreme, most arduous set of endurance challenges and adrenaline hits yet – and he’ll be taking a cast of his well-known friends along too. (6 x 1hr)

Wednesday 5 January, 8.30pm ABC2
Eight overweight British people head to four parts of the world – America, Kuwait, Argentina and Greece – where obesity levels are shockingly high, in the hope that seeing the devastating global effects of obesity will kick start them into doing something about their own appalling eating habits and stop them heading for the same ill fate as the people they meet. (4 x 1hr)

We’ve got everything kids could want for Christmas on ABC for Kids including The Gruffalo, Lost And Found, as well as Little Princess Christmas Special, The Koala Brothers Outback Christmas Special and Robbie the Reindeer.

Giggle and Hoot will be introducing several new songs in 2011. The Goodnight Hour makes a big splash with the introduction of ‘Bird Bath Boogie’ and the anticipated reveal of Hoot’s Apartment. After months of speculation, we dive inside the chest of drawers and get quite a surprise, as we discover that Hoot is an owl with exquisite taste for interior design! Giggle and Hoot will also receive visits from lots of their friends including Bananas in Pyjamas, the WotWots and new Play School presenter Luke Carroll. It promises to be a Giggle and Hoot!

Then in summer, preschoolers can enjoy new series of their favourite shows including:
Giggle & Hoot
Play School
Angelina Ballerina
Babar and the Adventures of Badou
Milly Molly


Monday 22 November 6.25pm ABC3
Host Scotty Tweedie, the customised Spy Van and the two prank-loving Ninjas will help pull off the prank of a lifetime. Scotty will meet a new prankster in each episode who is on a mission to prank someone they know whether it be a friend, sibling, parent or teacher. (20 x 30min)

Monday December 27, 7pm ABC3
Hosted by Ben Crawley, this game show sees kids placed in two teams of three, each with a captain who has a real passion for a topic of their choice – be it Bollywood dancing, soccer or Italian cooking. The rest of the team is the ‘brains trust’ with strengths in a wide range of topics such as history, sport or pop culture. Joining Ben is DJ Rhythm adding musical tunes to the series. (65 x 30min)

Monday 6 December, 5.35pm ABC3
Get ready to cheer for the bad guys, here comes The League Of Super Evil (L.O.S.E). Armed with a whole new approach to badness, these four Super Villains have set their sights on nothing less than total neighbourhood domination. Between battling obnoxious traffic cops, flogging watered-down lemonade, or scheming to be first in line for the new iDestruct, L.O.S.E. struggles ever-onward towards its goal of total mindless fun. (39 x 30min)

Weekdays from 7am ABC3
Kayne and Amberley are dishing up a smorgasbord of stars to help you see in 2011. How about a spoonful of Zac Efron, a dollop of Justin Bieber, the entire cast of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows and some of your favourite Aussie artists including Cody Simpson, Gyroscope, Jess Mauboy, Amy Meredith, Guy Sebastian and Short Stack. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, Kayne and Amberley have got something special planned for their ‘Summer of Sport’. They’re keeping tight-lipped about the whole situation, but what we do know is it’ll involve all your favourite ABC3 personalities like Benny C, Mitch and Hannah from Rush TV, Prankster Scott Tweedie and Good Game SP’s Hex & Bajo.


Saturday 20 November, 8pm ABC NEWS 24
The landmark series that brought out the drama in Australian politics! Over five episodes, it explores the history of the Labor Party in government under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, told entirely through the eyes of all the major players in government and the bureaucracy. (5 x 1hr)

Saturday 1 January, 8pm ABC NEWS 24
The inside story of the Howard Government that examines the legacy of John Howard’s time in office, is told through the words of the key players including John Howard, Peter Costello, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Peter Reith and Alexander Downer. During his 11 years as Prime Minister, John Howard led his government through a decade of monumental upheaval. Throughout it all, he proved himself to be the ultimate political master. (4 x 1hr)

It’s all about the laughs on ABC iView this summer, with an exclusive series of hit British comedies to keep you entertained. Enjoy Britain (S1–3), Fawlty Towers (S1&2), The Catherine Tate Show (S1- 3), The Thick of It (S1), along with Nighty Night (S1&2), People Like Us (S1) and Saxondale (S1).

Launches January
Plan to use your free time over summer online? Then don’t forget to check out Alternator. A coproduction
between ABC TV and Screen Australia, it is a futuristic high-speed race in which players research and invent new technologies to modify their cars, before they dash off across the country to be the faster race driver and change their world for the better. This Serious Game aims to increase awareness of alternative and sustainable energy options. The game aims to inspire players to take a deeper interest in the world of alternative energy by showing the incredible solutions science is working on today and symbolising those ideas in crazy, fun and super cool ways!

34 Responses

  1. Are we going to be getting new series opf Misfits and a continuation of Deadwood – both fantastic series!!! Are the Tudors going to be starting from the beginning? Hope so – ABC2 is quickly becoming my favourite station. I really wish Sherlock hjad been on there without all the ad breaks and stupid on-screen promotions rolling across the bottom!!!!!

  2. Kuttsywood, I noticed that too! Haven’t all things Shrek been with Nine in the past?

    What a great line-up this summer! I love some of the smaller things tucked away in the media release, like ‘Labor In Power’ getting a run in Q&A’s timeslot on News24 (too young to watch it the first time), & ‘The Thick of It’ being uploaded to iView (wanted to watch that since I saw the movie, ‘In The Loop,’ which it is based).

    PS: Laughing at the program title, ‘Giggle & Hoot.’ They sound fun. 🙂

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