Strange Calls: another ABC series getting US adaptation

Another ABC series is set to have a US adaptation, but in a first, this time it’s landed a US nod before the Australian series has even aired.

Strange Calls premieres next Tuesday night on ABC2, based on a short film by Daley Pearson and Luke Tierney. It stars Barry Crocker as a night security man in Coolum where weird things happen after dark. He is joined by Toby Truslove as a local cop.

Deadline reports a US pilot will be developed by writer Donick Cary (New Girl, The Simpsons, Bored to Death), director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and producer Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors) for the US ABC Network. The US version will be set on Nantucket island, near Boston.

In the Australian series, viewers can interact on Twitter with night security man Gregor (Crocker) as he responds to strange calls.

ABC2 has already uploaded the first episode to iView ahead of the broadcast, next Tuesday night at 9:30pm.

ABC Head of Comedy, Debbie Lee says: “Seeing a US network pickup an Australian series to pilot before it has even broadcast is remarkable and such a testament to the creative vision of the team and the show. The Strange Calls is already creating a buzz online ahead of the ABC2 premiere next Tuesday – so we hope Australian audiences will get in now and see it here first.”

Tracey Robertson, Executive Producer for Hoodlum says: “Hoodlum has been working in the US market for a long time and the American remake of The Strange Calls is the result of not only this commitment but also the hard work by the dedicated team that believed in this project. Even though The Strange Calls is a relatively small project, it’s got a very big heart and this is a brilliant outcome for everyone who was part of this collaboration including the cast and crew, ABC TV, Screen Queensland and Screen Australia.”

Hoodlum’s Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield will also act as executive producers.

The adaptation follows recent news of The Slap and Rake being developed for the US market.


  1. TasTVcameraman

    As with the other shows, I really can not see why they have to do their own versions !

    Just air the original ! They invariably lose something in the translations, if the producers are so thick that they think that the audience is so thick they wont get it, they (the producers) are not giving the audience any credit for their common sense. Most of the audience are pretty smart we can see a dud a mile off, just ask TEN.

  2. The fact that it’s on ABC2 lends one to believe that it’s not all that good, however I’ll give it a go. Barry Crocker was not particularly known for his acting ability. Not a lot else on Tuesdays has much appeal for me.

  3. I just watched it on iView and wasn’t very impressed. A good idea ruined by some pretty stilted and generally awful acting, crude writing, childish and worn out jokes and some very clunky dialogue (the story of all too many Australian “comedies” unfortunately).

    Still, as I said the idea’s not bad, it might get better as it settles in. God knows Lowdown was a disaster for it’s first episode or three but has gradually improved to the point when it’s actually slightly funny sometimes.

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