ABC TV: summer highlights

Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, the new series of Upstairs Downstairs, a Minder revival, Graham Norton for New Year’s Eve, Jonathan Ross, the Doctor Who Christmas Special, Balibo, new Psychoville, nature specials, a new local factual series, Richard E Grant on safari and music videos from the 80s -just some of the offerings from ABC’s 4 channels this summer.

With less than 8 weeks remaining in the ratings year, ABC TV has announced its summer highlights for ABC1, ABC2 (including ABC4KIDS), ABC3 and ABC News 24.

There is a mix of Australian and international content, specials, first-run series and replays, plus several titles which, whilst filmed several years ago, haven’t had a run on Free to Air yet.

ABC1:
WHO’S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY HOUSE?
Have you ever wondered who lived in your house before you? Where they came from? What became of them? Presented by archaeologist Adam Ford, this major new Australian series reveals the incredible stories that lie between the bricks and mortar of our homes. (December, 8 x 30 mins)

UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS
A lavish revival of the iconic series, portraying life in a London townhouse in 1936 where the fates of the servants ‘downstairs’ and their masters ‘upstairs’ are intimately linked. (December, 3 x 60 mins)

MINDER
With the heart and wit of the original, and the glamour and humour of the modern day, this fun remake focuses on the unlikely friendship between Archie Daley (Arthur Daley’s nephew) and his minder Jamie. (January, 6 x 60 mins)

ZEN
Italian detective Aurelio Zen finds it tough being the only honest cop in town. Plotting politicians, a stressed-out boss and vengeful gangsters don’t make things any easier… A thrilling drama based on the Aurelio Zen novels by Michael Dibdin. (January, 3 x 90 mins)

HOGFATHER & GOING POSTAL
Two hilarious fantasy series based on the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. In Hogfather, it’s the night before Hogswatch (Christmas) and The Hogfather (Santa) has gone missing… will the presents be delivered, and hope restored? In Going Postal, con artist Moist von Lipwig is spared the death penalty to become postmaster of Ankh Morpork’s run down post office. (December, 2 x 90 mins + 2 x 90 mins)

THE HISTORY OF SAFARI WITH RICHARD E GRANT
Richard E Grant examines the controversial history of the safari. Exploring the world of the big game hunters and the luxury of today’s safaris, he goes on a personal journey to experience how the beauty of the bush made Africa the white man’s playground. (January, 2 x 60 mins)

THE PEOPLE’S SUPERMARKET
British chef Arthur Potts Dawson takes on the big supermarket chains and launches a store with good, cheap food that’s fair to consumers and producers. But it will only succeed if Arthur can convince the customers to work there too… for free. (January, 4 x 50 mins)

WHEN TEENAGE MEETS OLD AGE
Four young people with little or no contact with the elderly volunteer to work as carers in a retirement village. It’s the start of an inspirational and emotional journey of discovery for both sides of the generation gap. (December, 3 x 60 mins)

And plenty of favourite programs return with brand new series, including:
JIMMY’S FOOD FACTORY SERIES 2 (December, 9 x 30 mins)
GRUMPY GUIDE TO THE EIGHTIES / SCHOOL DAYS (December, 2 x 60 mins)
THE THICK OF IT SERIES 3 (December, 8 x 30 mins)
MY FAMILY SERIES 11 (December, 9 x 30 mins)
THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW (January, 10 x 45 mins)
WILD AT HEART SERIES 4 (January, 10 x 45 mins)
OUTNUMBERED SERIES 4 (January, 7 x 30 mins)
THREE MEN GO TO SCOTLAND (January, 2 x 60 mins)

There are two summer specials to enjoy:
An annual celebration of books and reading with FIRST TUESDAY BOOK CLUB. Chair of Sydney Writers’ Festival Sandra Yates and author and blogger John Birmingham join the club to discuss books they’re planning to take on holidays, great gift ideas and the best fiction book of the year. (December, 1 x 60 mins)

Meanwhile Margaret and David preview some of summer’s hottest films – and the ones to look out for in 2012 – in an AT THE MOVIES summer special. (December, 2 x 30 mins).

And over the Christmas/New Year period, festive outings from hit series such as:
DOCTOR WHO (1 x 60 mins)
THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW (1 x 45 mins)
OUTNUMBERED (1 x 40 mins)
MY FAMILY (1 x 60 mins)
THE ONE RONNIE (1 x 60 mins)

Viewers can also anticipate a feast of Christmas cooking:
NIGELLA’S KITCHEN (1 x 30 mins)
RICK STEIN’S CORNISH CHRISTMAS (1 x 60 mins)
GORDON’S ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS (2 x 60 mins)
JIMMY’S FOOD CHRISTMAS (1 x 30 mins)

And familiar and much-loved Christmas-time programming, including:
CAROLS FROM ST ANDREWS (1 x 60 mins)

THE EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO (1 x 90 mins)
As well, a COMPASS special, CARAVAN OF HOPE, captures the extraordinary journey of Salvation Army chaplains Jean and Peter Ridley as they embark on their annual Christmas bush mission to bring Christmas cheer and joy (and presents for the kids!) to the people of the bush. (December, 1 x 30 mins)

Live events and sport will also feature:
2011 SCHOOLS SPECTACULAR
Sunday 18 December at 7.30pm
ABC3’s John Foreman and Kayne Tremills host the world’s biggest youth variety extravaganza featuring over 3000 talented singers, dancers and musicians. An extended version will air on ABC2 on Saturday 31 December at 7pm, and clips will be posted at abc.net.au/schoolsspectacular. (1 x 60 mins)

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Wednesday 25 January, 6pm (live in NSW, ACT & VIC)
For the first time, ABC1 will broadcast in full the Australian of the Year Awards ceremony from the steps of Parliament House, Canberra. Four awards will be presented by the Prime Minister – Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero. The broadcast will be hosted by Stephanie Brantz.

NATIONAL FLAG RAISING AND CITIZENSHIP CEREMONY
Thursday 26 January, 10am
On Australia Day, ABC 1 will broadcast the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony from the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. Features all the pomp and ceremony of this important event in which new Australian citizens are welcomed by the Prime Minister and the Governor-General.

AUSTRALIAN LADIES MASTERS GOLF: February 2, 3, 4, 5 – live from Royal Pines on the Gold Coast
WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN GOLF: February 9, 10, 11, 12 – played at Royal Melbourne
For the first time, both major Australian women’s golf events will screen back-to-back on ABC TV. Broadcasts will be hosted by Stephanie Brantz, and feature the world number one player and defending champion of both events Yani Tseng and Australia’s greatest ever golfer Karrie Webb.

And for nature lovers:
SUNDAY WILD, a series of fascinating Australian wildlife documentaries, will air over six weeks in January. Titles include CANE TOADS: THE CONQUEST, PROJECT MANTA, KANGAROO MOB, SHARK HARBOUR, EDGE OF NOWHERE and ON A WING AND A PRAYER. Plus, NATURE’S MIRACLE BABIES, in which zoologist Martin Hughes-Games travels the world to discover the plight of threatened species and meets the babies born against the odds. (January, 5 x 50 mins)

To top it all off, ABC1 will also air three highly acclaimed feature films:
EASY VIRTUE – a period romantic comedy about a glamorous American who marries an Englishman, to the horror of his family. (Christmas night, 1 x 90 mins)

BALIBO – a powerful recreation of the true story of the murder of five Australian journalists in East Timor in 1975 in the lead up to the invasion by Indonesia. (January, 1 x 120 mins)

HERE I AM – the inspiring story of an Aboriginal woman, fresh out of prison, with a burning desire to turn her life around. (December, 1 x 90 mins)

ABC2:
A cracking series for drama fans on ABC2 this summer:

THE RUNAWAY
Monday 2 January, 9.30pm
Childhood sweethearts Cathy Connor and Eamonn Docherty are desperate to escape their East End roots. When Cathy murders her mother’s pimp in self-defence, it changes their lives forever. A gritty crime series adapted from the novel by Martina Cole. (6 x 60 mins)

And a host of terrific comedy:
GREEN WING
Tuesday 29 November, 9.30pm
A delightfully surreal comedy-drama from the award-winning team behind Smack the Pony. Largely set in a hospital (despite no discernible medical content) the terrific ensemble cast includes Stephen Mangan, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Black Books’ Tamsin Greig. Two series. (9 x 60 mins + 9 x 60 mins)

PSYCHOVILLE SERIES 2
Thursday 12 January, 9pm
The survivors of the explosion at Ravenhill Psychiatric Hospital reunite to bury one of their number killed in the blast. But there is no rest for the wicked, as new mysteries are unearthed… The second series of the latest creepy comedy from the creators of The League of Gentlemen. (6 x 30 mins)

IDEAL SERIES 6
Thursday 1 December, 10.15pm
Johnny Vegas returns as Moz, the ultimate slacker. Drug dealing, mistaken identity, temptation and black market organ donating all feature in the sixth series of this provocative comedy. (8 x 30 mins)

And the best of 2011’s Australian comedy and entertainment will also be rescreened over the Christmas period, including:
TWENTYSOMETHING at 8.30pm every night from Christmas Day to 30th December
THE BAZURA PROJECT at 9pm every night from Christmas Day to 30th December
ANGRY BOYS double episodes at 9.30pm every night from Christmas Day to 30th December
SPICKS AND SPECKS specials at 7.30pm every night from Boxing Day to 30th December

Join in the fun and farewell 2011 in style:
THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW NEW YEAR’S EVE 2011 SPECIAL
Saturday 21 December, 9.30pm
Featuring celebrity guests and great music, this is a perfect way to welcome in 2012.

And enjoy a fantastic collection of factual programming on ABC2 over the summer:
THE VIDEOS THAT SHAPED THE 80s
Sunday 1 January, 7.30pm
A celebration of the ground-breaking music videos of the 80s and the explosion of London-based talent that contributed to them. (1 x 60 mins)

SUNDAY BEST: ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL
Sunday 1 January, 8.30pm
Sunday Best’s Kristy Best presents the hilarious true story of Canadian metal band Anvil’s last ditch effort to achieve fame and fortune. (1 x 80 mins)

QUEEN: DAYS OF OUR LIVES
Wednesday 30 November, 9.30pm
For the first time, the members of British rock band Queen tell their story. Including extensive archive full of previously unseen footage, this fascinating documentary reveals how four strong-minded individuals worked together so successfully for four decades. (2 x 60 mins)

COMMERCIAL KINGS
Tuesday 3 January, 9pm
Comedy duo Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal set off on a quest to make epic local commercials for deserving small businesses. Each week, they experience a business firsthand, conduct their own special brand of market research and then cast, direct and shoot a commercial. (9 x 30 mins)

THE 27 INCH MAN
Wednesday 14 December, 9.30pm
Recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s smallest man for just six weeks, Colombian Edward Hernandez must learn to deal with abandoned dreams and fading celebrity. A moving story of fleeting fame and its impact on a small man and his humble family. (1 x 60 mins)

LAST MAN STANDING SERIES 1 & 2
Friday 6 January, 8.30pm
A group of young athletic adventurers compete for glory against tribal champions in some of the remotest corners of the globe. Two series, to be followed by Last Woman Standing. (8 x 60 mins + 10 x 60 mins)

MISBEHAVING MUMS TO BE
Wednesday 4 January, 9.30pm
A team of no-nonsense midwives endeavour to convince binge-drinking, chain-smoking and over-eating pregnant women to realise the error of their ways. (6 x 60 mins)

ABC4KIDS (ABC2):
Plenty of fun viewing available for the littlies on ABC4Kids this summer.

RAA RAA THE NOISY LION
Raa Raa The Noisy Lion is a boisterous yet loveable young lion who lives with his little friends in the Jingly Jangly jungle. Together they learn and develop their communication skills, through the use of Raa’s 4 R’s: Repetition, Rhythm, Rhyme and Retelling. (November, 52 x10 mins)

LITTLE CHARLEY BEAR
Join Little Charley Bear, the adorable and wonderfully irreverent teddy bear, on his playful journeys
into his own imagination. The cheeky, funny Charley inspires his viewers to discover the world around
them. New episodes. (December, 52 x 7 mins)

THOMAS: MISTY ISLAND RESCUE
The engines are hard at work building the new Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. When Thomas helps a
friend in need, he is rewarded with a trip to the Mainland. But on the way he becomes lost at sea and
finds himself on the mysterious Misty Island, where he meets new friends Bash, Dash and Ferdinand.
Together they try to help Thomas find his way home. (December, 1 x 58 mins)

OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT CHRISTMAS RESCUE
Based on the award-winning books by Meomi, about a team of adventure heroes who dive into action
whenever there is trouble under the sea. In this special, the Octonauts travel to Professor Inkling’s
childhood home for Christmas, but a rock slide has endangered the local creatures… Can the
Octonauts rescue the creatures and save Christmas? (December, 1×30 mins)

GIGGLE AND HOOT: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Hooto Claws returns in 2011! Will Elf Jimmy Giggle and Elf Hoot be able to help him deliver the
presents to everyone in the land of Giggle and Hoot in time? Find out in this special Christmas
spectacular. (December, 1 x 12 mins)

MIKE THE KNIGHT
Ten-year-old Mike is the son of the King and Queen of Glendragon, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a brave and noble knight. When his father is away exploring distant lands, Mike becomes the young guardian of his kingdom with the triumphant motto “Be a knight, do it right”.
(January, 52 x 12 mins)

ABC3:
Older kids will find loads to like on ABC3 this summer.

SPLATALOT
Saturday 5 November
Hosted by ABC3’s Kayne Tremills and Scott Tweedie, a hilarious medieval-themed physical game show
featuring an extremely large obstacle course with loads of splats and spills in store. (November, 26 x 30 mins)

ME ON 3 – HOSTS REVEALED
Sunday 4 December
Celebrate ABC3’s second birthday with the announcement of two new hosts, chosen from the
nationwide ‘Me on 3’ search held in September this year. The hosts will join Kayne, Amberley and
James in the super-fun daily show, Studio 3!

BITCOM AND THE OBLIVION RAY!
Saturday 17 December
In a parallel world, Kayne and Amberley discover Studio 3 has been taken over by militant rulers (Joel and Nicole from Stay Tuned). To free their friends, they must find the mythical ‘Oblivion Ray’, which has the power to make people forget their history, their identity, everything. An ABC3 television spectacular not to be missed! (1 x 40 mins)

ABC3’S AUSTRALIA DAY BACKYARD TENNIS SMACKDOWN!
Thursday 26 January
Last year on Australia Day – after a cricket match, a few snags and some ‘Swivel Hips Tremills’
entertainment at Kayne’s uncle’s place – the day was a blast, literally! This year Kayne invites his ABC3 friends to his auntie’s place for a BBQ and a game of tennis. What could possibly go wrong? (1 x 15 mins)

HORRIBLE HISTORIES, PRANK PATROL, TOTAL DRAMA, DANI’S HOUSE & STOKED
Monday 2 January
Catch up on your favourite shows with ABC3’s mini marathon! Devise your prank, learn about the most
gruesome, unpleasant yet funniest moments in history, chill out with Dani, or laugh out loud with
Stoked and Total Drama!

ABC NEWS 24:
DISPATCHES 2011
December
ABC News’ foreign correspondents look back at the biggest international stories of 2011.

50 YEARS FOUR CORNERS
November & December
Classic episodes from over 50 years of Four Corners, Australia’s premier investigative journalism program.

BEST OF FOUR CORNERS
January
A selection of the best Four Corners programs broadcast in its 50th year on air.

LAKE EYRE: AUSTRALIA’S OUTBACK WONDER
RETURN TO LAKE EYRE: THE DELUGE
January
Two beautiful documentaries by Paul Lockyer and the ABC News team.

STATE TO STATE SUMMER
December & January
The best current affairs feature stories from each state throughout 2011.

BEST OF BIG IDEAS
December & January
The best of the Big Ideas series from 2011.

23 Comments:

  1. Bit strange ABC is only getting their hands on Hogfather now. I think it has already been aired twice by 7. Still I did like it and will have to pick up the blu ray sometime.

    Don’t believe Going Postal has been aired yet so that is good to see, although I’m surprised The Colour of Magic isn’t amongst these as well (even though I believe it too has already been aired but by 7Two.

    Oh and yes… I have been waiting for the series Frank Woodley worked on as well. Bummer no solid news on that.

  2. DR WHO RULES! :)

    Wondering when the BBC is going to make a Doctor Who New Year Special?
    I want to see the Doctor wearing a Happy… what year is this anyway? hat! whilst blowing a whistle and popping a party popper and yelling ” Weeeeee…. yeah!”…. and then the party atmosphere ruined by some sort of unwelcome alien invaders. 🙂

  3. Secret Squïrrel

    Some good stuff there. Especially looking fwd to the Pratchet movies. I missed Hogfather last time around (wasn’t is shown on Xmas eve a few years ago? Who watches TV then?). Shame they aren’t showing The Colour of Magic as well.

  4. Looking forward to seeing Graham Norton, before it goes to TEN.

    Shame that they haven’t brought back Later with Jools Holland. I know it only started 21 September in the UK. But was hoping ABC2 would of had it on soon.

  5. Thanks ABC and David for telling us what they are going to show over the summer I look forward to many things listed. Including the music shows, British ones too especially Terry Prachett and so much more. I’ve even seen Hogfather on Seven as well as DVD. Although I’ll admit I most look forward to Doctor Who. The only bummer will probably be the Paul Lockyer specials and Four Corners on ABC News 24. As they’ll probably schedule them either at 8pm or 10pm clashing with every other channel so I’ll miss the start or end if I want to watch them. I probably won’t bother. Most annoying. I’ll admit I like 11pm if they must put it on the hour as it would be more possible to watch for me or repeat them after midnight sometime. I also wish if they must repeat Foreign Correspondent during SBS News can’t they also repeat it later? As they often don’t repeat it during the afternoon because of sport and again I want to watch the news. Also iView isn’t an option and I’ve never been able to record the ABC this century. That’s why clashes matter to me and I love repeats. That said I look forward to what I can watch.

  6. David do you know when Frank Woodley’s series “Woodley” will be airing? As far as I know it was due to air this year but still no word on it.
    Really looking forward to it.
    Thanks.

  7. The ABC3 sounds like a wasteland this summer. A few pointless local productions, another stupid game show, and more endless repeats.

    I was hoping the ABC might license the new anime series from Marvel, or at least show more new content (i.e. The Little Prince), which was previously announced.

  8. I just wanna say congrats to the ABC for such a fresh, comprehensive n quality feast of seasonal programming!!!!!!

    This reminds me of ABC at its best 🙂

  9. No sign of the 7 x one hour Channel 4 commissioned drama The Promise set in Palestine during the British Mandate and present day Israel. This provocative drama directed by Peter Kosmensky appears to be far to radical for the ABC to broadcast. Has it been on PayTV? Has SBS got it?

    • Secret? No. Fan? Yes. Whovian? No. I enjoy it nine times out of ten (last week I started to watch and was bored so I switched off). Are you asking because there is a photo? I was looking for a show that was first-run and xmas feel that’s all. I was going to lead with Hogfather but realised it had been on Seven before. Same for Upstairs Downstairs (been on FTA). More broadly speaking I’ve broken a few Who progamming stories because it’s a show with a big fanbase, as I would for any show.

  10. This line up has me rethinking my Foxtel subscription – combine it with the cricket and my summer viewing is sorted. Impressive (especially The Green Wing – hilarious).

  11. Man! It;s taken a long long time for Greenwing to reach free to air here, saw it years ago on Austar…It’s great that its finally going to be but hey…Going Postal is great….Hogfather is great….And even Upstairs Downstairs is pretty good too. All been here on Austar/Foxtel…And please no Pay TV bashers….Enjoy the shows if you already havent seen them on Pay or by…other…means…:)

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