ABC 2017 new highlights: Brian Cox, Todd Sampson, Shaun Micallef.

ABC confirms Stargazing Live in Australia, The Ex-PM, and new dramas Pulse & The Easybeats.

ABC has today announced further programming for 2017, following its Upfronts announcements last year.

Highlights confirmed today include new dramas Pulse & The Easybeats, new and returning comedy / entertainment titles Get Krack!n’, Hannah Gadsby’s Nude, The Ex-PM, The Chinaboy Show, factual events Brian Cox’s Stargazing Live in Australia, Craig Reucassel’s War on Waste, Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line, and children’s programs Mustangs FC, Get Grubby TV and Joey’s Big Adventure.

Outgoing ABC Director of Television, Richard Finlayson said: “It’s with great pleasure we reveal another raft of world-class content today; programming that unequivocally confirms ABC as the home of Australian stories, conversations and the best creative talent. Our programs continue to not only entertain but tackle the things that matter, at home, in the community and to the nation.”

Head of Programming and Digital Rebecca Heap said: “Last year we launched live streaming of all ABC channels on ABC iview and created the ABC ME platform for school-aged children. Since the launch of the ABC ME app we’ve seen a 68% uplift in plays and recently hit a record 516,000 plays in one single day.

“After the enormous success of our digital-first content slate last year, in 2017 we’re committed to produce more hours of digital programs targeting younger audiences across iview and ABC2.”

Geraldine Doogue is stepping down as host of Compass after nearly 20 years with Kumi Taguchi taking the role in a new 6pm Saturday timeslot.

A high-flying financial analyst had it all before a failing kidney landed her at death’s door, and a transplant offered her a second chance. Inspired by the man who saved her life, Frankie alters course to become a doctor herself, working and learning in the high stakes, high-pressure world of the cardio-thoracic and renal wards of a major teaching hospital.

The Easybeats
In 1964 when five young newly-arrived immigrants met in a Sydney migrant hostel and formed a band called The Easybeats, no one could have guessed they’d take Australian rock’n’roll from Villawood in Sydney to London and the world, creating Australia’s first truly international rock group. Interwoven with a killer soundtrack, this two-part mini-series touches on themes of celebrity, damnation and redemption. It was a wild ride being rock stars in the swinging 60’s. And in their pursuit of success the members of the band each struggled with their own sense of self and the loss of identity that comes with overwhelming fame. But in the end they came to understand that though they were all from different countries, the sum of the musical parts was quintessentially Australian. This is a story with powerful contemporary relevance.

Stargazing Live in Australia
Over three consecutive nights on ABC, Professor Brian Cox and a cast of Australia’s leading scientists and favourite faces will inspire the nation to “look up” and appreciate the unique wonders of the Southern Sky. There’s nowhere better in the world to see the heavens than in Australia. Here we can see up to 100 times more stars than in the Northern Hemisphere – and it’s not just because the skies are clearer. From our great southern land, we look directly out into the vast heart of the Milky Way. Based on the immensely popular BBC format, this will be Live event television at its best.

War on Waste
The exciting new three-part factual series War on Waste will turn the spotlight on the staggering amount of waste we produce as a nation, and how together we can do something about it. No stranger to confronting situations, presenter Craig Reucassel will take on the supermarkets, challenge Australians to go waste free, debunk recycling myths, and uncover some shocking truths about fashion waste. Most importantly he’ll take a critical look at household, retail and farming waste in Australia – and ask, what has changed in the Australian psyche, and in our consumer culture, that has led us to become among the most wasteful nations on Earth?

Compass returns at 6pm on March 4 in a new Saturday timeslot when Geraldine Doogue passes the baton to brand new Compass presenter Kumi Taguchi in an interview revealing why Kumi is the perfect person for the job. But Geraldine is not stepping back completely and will continue to host specials throughout the year including Modern Prophets, an interview series with a refreshing perspective on key events in the religious and secular calendar and a powerful one-hour special exploring the potential outcomes of the Royal Commission.

Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line
Todd Sampson puts his faith in science to the ultimate test in a series of epic experiments, trusting his life to the Laws of Physics. With the help of some of Australia’s leading young physicists, along with a first-class construction and safety team, each episode follows Todd’s journey from the kernel of an idea through to a daring experiment that will show physics in action on an incredible scale. Filmed in Melbourne, Sydney, Bankstown, Cockatoo Island, Kangaroo Valley and New Zealand, Life on the Line is a visually poetic and stunning documentary series that reveals the invisible forces in the world around us.

Get Krack!n’
Having conquered the cut throat world of satirical online cooking shows, the Kates (McLennan and McCartney) are ready to take their trademark sassy swipe at breakfast TV with Get Krack!n’. With no sense of on-camera technique, the Kates will shuffle through a roster of unsafe demonstrations, surly guests, underprepared experts and the over-lit decomposition of the duo’s already rocky relationship. Like any televisual format that the Kates put their rough, manly hands to, things on Get Krack!n’ will go downhill fast. Frankly, whatever the hour, an audience deserves better.

The Ex-PM
After the surprising success of his autobiography, Ex-PM Andrew Dugdale (Shaun Micallef) answers his party’s call to stand for election in a marginal Murray Darling electorate. They tell him they want a ‘sure thing’ in the contest. With his entire household in tow, all of them working on his campaign, Dugdale sets up house at the local sewage farm and begins engaging with the local community, particularly over a contentious plan to expand a national park that will wipe out the local Nandos.

Hannah Gadsby’s Nude
“The Nude” is one of the most enduring subjects in western art and culture. In this two part Arts-doc series, comedy queen Hannah Gadsby undresses the nude and lays bare our compelling relationship with the human form. Wielding her wit like a TV detective with a UV light, Hannah reveals the invisible clothing of The Nude. This series will get you thinking, even you only tune in for a laugh. Hannah Gadsby. Nude. Look out.

The Sisters of Invention are the world’s first pop girl group with disabilities. Determined to challenge society’s pre-conceived ideas about who can be a pop star, the group are getting ready to release an ambitious music video to accompany their debut album. But can they break free of the tough reality of living with a disability? This is an unforgettable series exclusive to ABC iview.

The Chinaboy Show
John Luc’s The Chinaboy Show is the first ABC sketch comedy written from the perspective of a Vietnamese–Chinese Australian. Front and centre of this series is online sensation John Luc (AKA Mychonny), whose content has enjoyed more than 300 million views, easily making him one of Australia’s most loved YouTube stars.

Mustangs FC
Mustangs FC is a goal-kicking comedy drama about girls who abandon the sidelines and start their football club’s first all-girls team. Against the odds, they’ll stand united and overcome any challenges the club, the boys, or the opposition can throw at them. All while wrestling with what it means to be a friend; a sister; a daughter; a girlfriend.

Get Grubby TV
Get Grubby TV takes the Australian Emmy award-winning animated TV series, dirtgirlworld, and reimagines the story to reveal the real place and the real characters…unreal! Having invented the ‘costavator’, dirtgirl and scrapboy have also gained a new friend, Costa the Garden Gnome (Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia), and together they are travelling across Australia to new places and getting grubby… big time!

Joey’s Big Adventure
Play School’s brand new toy Joey will jump into a big adventure to explore the world of baby animals. Joey will join Play School presenter’s Miranda, Luke, and Rachel as they introduce pre-schoolers to the wonderful world of wildlife. They’ll meet and uncover facts about a range of baby animals, from hatching Gentoo Penguin chicks in their snow enclosure to a litter of adorable six week old puppies. With a beautiful catchy song to accompany each episode, Joey’s Big Adventure will provide insights into the animal kingdom with plenty of giggles along the way.

New Titles
Art Bites
David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema
Cyberhate with Tara Moss
Dream Gardens
Get Krack!n’
Hannah Gadsby’s Nude
Lost in Pronunciation
Mustangs FC
My Year 12 Life
Newton’s Law
Open House with Annabel Crabb
Rage 30th Anniversary Specials
Ronny Chieng: International Student
Seven Types of Ambiguity
Shortcuts to Glory: Matt Okine Vs Food
Stargazing Live in Australia
The Chinaboy Show
The Edge of the Bush
Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line
War on Waste
The Warriors
Trip for Biscuits

Returning Titles

Anh’s Brush with Fame
Back Roads
Comedy Up Late
The Ex-PM
Gardening Australia
Get Grubby TV
Spawn Point
Hack Live
Janet King
Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell
Stop Laughing This is Serious
The Checkout
The Doctor Blake Mysteries
The Weekly with Charlie Pickering
You Can’t Ask That
The Book Club
Meet the Mavericks
ABC News & Current Affairs
ABC News Breakfast
Australian Story
Four Corners
Foreign Correspondent

ABC would like to acknowledge and thank Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Film Victoria, Screen West and South Australian Film Corporation for their strong support and ongoing major investment in ABC programs.

9 Responses

  1. First year since 2010 with no show from The Chaser? Please tell me something will come later David!

    2011-2012: Hamster Wheel
    2013: Election Hamster
    2014-2015: Media Circus
    2016: Election Desk

    I am hoping so much for a return to their traditional format, akin to Hamster Wheel (preferably with just the 5 original hosts). Election Desk was a debacle and The Checkout hosts were not funny.

  2. No second season of Restoration Australia or third season of Who’s Been Sleeping in My House. Shame, both shows were really interesting, and showed a nice history of the way we lived a hundred or so years ago.

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