ABC 2018 Upfronts: Think Tank quiz, Jack Irish, Annabel Crabb.

  • New weeknight 6pm quiz Think Tank hosted by Paul McDermott
  • Jack Irish joins Harrow, Pine Gap, Riot, Rake and Mystery Road
  • Back in Time for Dinner with Annabel Crabb
  • Arts series Everyone’s a Critic
  • Gardening Australia moves to 1 hr on Fridays
  • Stan Grant to host 9pm discussion show on ABC News
  • Gruen, Hard Quiz, Mad as Hell, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, The Checkout return
  • Catalyst, Compass,  You Can’t Ask That, Ask the Doctor, Restoration Australia return
  • Docos on Bob Hawke, Sir John Monash.

ABC has revealed key highlights for the first half of 2018, confirming a new weeknight quiz show Think Tank hosted by Paul McDermott, the return of Guy Pearce as Jack Irish and a new series for Annabel Crabb.

Other changes see Gardening Australia move to 1 hr on Friday nights, a new 9pm discussion show on ABC News hosted by Stan Grant and hints that 7:30 will be “strengthened” in 2018 (one hour perhaps?).

ABC announced the new and returning titles in a press release today, which follows recent announcements in Arts, Comedy, Indigenous, Entertainment & Children’s TV.

David Anderson, ABC Director of Television said: “As the national broadcaster, we are uniquely positioned to tell Australian stories and bring people together to explore and understand issues that matter to them, and to reflect Australia’s culture and diversity. Our programming in 2018 is a major testament to this; with quality content that spans a variety of genres and subjects. There is something for everyone at the ABC.”

Rebecca Heap, ABC Head of Programming & Digital said: “2018 is an exciting year for the ABC and our audience, with a wonderful mix of new programs to discover , along with many returning favourites. We are incredibly proud of our 2018 line up, which reaffirms our commitment to excellence and underscores the ABC as a powerhouse of great Australian television. ”

There is no confirmation regarding 2017 dramas Newton’s Law or Pulse but Anderson recently told TV Tonight it would “become apparent” with 2018 highlights. Others still to be confirmed include Janet KingUtopia, Screen Time, Rosehaven and Ronny Chieng: International Student but the list is notably for the first half of the year.

The ABC today revealed a diverse and unmissable line up for the first half of 2018 , including a variety of new programming across all genres, including Australian premieres and the return of audience favourites. This complements the impressive Comedy, Entertainment, Indigenous, Arts and Children’s 2018 programming already announced.

2018 will see the return of the agenda – setting ABC NEWS line – up across television, radio, digital and social media, including flagships such as 7.30, Australian Story, Four Corners, Q&A, AM and PM.

Two new television programs will also launch: a prime – time news discussion show at 9pm on the ABC News channel, presented by Stan Grant, and a half – hour late edition national news bulletin at 10.30pm on ABC TV. Current affairs flagship 7.30 will be strengthened, reinforcing its position as the nightly destination for Australia’s best analysis and storytelling. Stay tuned for further ABC News update in early 2018.


Back In Time For Dinner
One Australian family goes on an extraordinary time – travelling adventure to discover how the post – World War 2 revolution in the food we eat has transformed the way we live, the fabric of the nation and defined the roles of men and women over the past 60 years.

In each episode Annabel Crabb, will guide our modern day family through a different decade. Back In Time For Dinner offers a unique opportunity to tap into the social, economic, and political imperatives of our times.

The family’s own home is meticulously transformed back in time from the 50s all the way to present day and finally into the future. Following carefully researched recipes they’ll source, cook and eat the same meals as everyday Australian families in each era. The family will live through the highs, lows and challenges that shaped family life in the 20th century.

A Warner Bros. Australia production for the ABC.

Employable Me
It’s hard enough finding a job nowadays, but when you have a disability it can be almost impossible.

Employable Me follows people with n euro diverse conditions such as autism, OCD and Tourette Syndrome as they search for meaningful employment.

The series follows nine warm, funny and generously open participants as their job searches unfold. Each story is told from the characters own perspective and follows their determination. Neuro – psych testing by experts identifies their skills , reveals some astounding cognitive brilliance and helps deliver some truly surprising job outcomes.

A Northern Pictures production. Financed by Screen Australia and the Austr alian Broadcasting Corporation with financial support of the NSW Department of Family an d Community Services and the assistance of Create NSW.

Everyone’s A Critic
Everyone’s A Critic opens the doors into some of the nation’s most prestigious art galleries. The Australian public are then invited in to deliver their opinions on works created by some of our most respected and iconic artists

Regardless of their education or knowledge of art, the ‘critics ’ are asked in each episode to comment, interpret, and respond to a collection of works. Subjects including Australian identity, race relations, love, family, gender and pop culture are explored through paintings, installations, sculptures and photography

Everyone’s A Critic is candid, emotional, humorous and at times controversial. Part art history, part critique it captures a cultural response to what has and what is happening in our world.

Everyone’s got a story, everyone’s got an opinion, everyone’s a critic.

A Matchbox Pictures Production for the ABC .

General Monash and Me: Peter Greste on Australia’s Greatest ANZAC
Monash is a towering figure in Australia’s story of World War 1; he is celebrated as one of the great tacticians of the Great War with his innovative battle tactics helping to break the stalemate on the Western Front.

A raft of contemporary biographies builds on this mystique, but how accurate are their accounts of him as a commander of the AIF? Was he, as his critics claim, vain, impulsive, egotistical, and prone to exaggeration? Award winning journalist Peter Greste plays detective and military analyst, unearthing pr ivate letters, diary entries and army records from protagonists on both sides of the conflict to reveal a much richer and more detailed picture of Monash.

An Artemis Media Production in association with the Australian Broadcast ing Corporation, Screenwest, Lotterywest and The Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Hawke, The Larrikin and the Leader
From the moment Bob Hawke blazed onto the national stage, he was the rock god of Australian politics. Never short on self – belief, he propelled himself head and shoulders above the crowd to become the most popular Prime Minister we’d ever had. But what kind of leader was Bob Hawke? And what are the lessons for today?

Now with unprecedented access to Bob Hawke and intimate first – time accounts from those who were by his side, this two – part political biography takes a revelatory look at the times and the leadership that made us who we are today. The result is a rollicking journey through some of the most tumultuous decades in Australia, made more timely by the 35th anniversary in March 2018 of Bob Hawke winning government, and the current crisis of confidence in Australian political life.

A Southern Pictures production with funding from Screen Australia and the ABC, in association with Create NSW.

Think Tank
Hosted by TV grandmaster Paul McDermott, Think Tank is an exciting new nightly quiz show. Each episode sees three contestants go head to head, pitting their general knowledge and their general luck against each other , drawing on the wisdom of eight relatively ordinary Australians with an extra – ordinary love of trivia and general knowledge .

But be warned…Our Think Tankers – like Australia itself – are made up of a diverse group of people plucked from all walks of life. They are there to help but sometimes they get it wrong.

An ITV Studios Australia production for the ABC.


Ask The Doctor, Season 2
This innovative factual series returns to deliver more of the latest in health and medical advice for all Australians. In the new season we’ll find out if we really can live to be 100, discover if pets are good for our health and if we can afford to eat the right food. Our inquisitive doctors are back and will put themselves and the public through life – changing experiments, they’ll bust medical myths and bring us the latest in health advice we should all know. Who knows maybe Granny really did know best.

Nothing will be off limits as we investigate and test the latest medical methods to explore and guide the health of our nation.

A WTFN production for the ABC.

Returning in 2018 to take you to the heart of the biggest science stories from Australia and around the world, each hour – long program will delve into the very latest science, meet the researchers at the cutting edge and show how scientific thinking is changing the lives of everyday people.

The series will explore how we can use maths to help us make better decisions and the ways robots are transforming farming across Australia; we’ll meet the intrepid explorers determined to go back to the Moon and discover why we should all make sleep a priority.

It’s a series that will astonish and inform in equal measure.

An ABC production.

Compass returns in March 2018 with brand new episodes. Highlights include Pitch – Up , where Australian families have a chance to make a difference by donating to support grassroots charities; Sacred Space an immersive series featuring high profile Australians including Australia’s first female bishop Kaye Goldsworthy and musician and writer Eddie Ayres; The Street challenges Australian to find real meaning in their lives, and on Good Friday a Comp ass special Countdown To Calvary presented by Hugh Bonneville is a forensic investigation into the last week of Christ’s life

An ABC production.

Gardening Australia
ABC’s most down – to – earth gardening program is blossoming in 2018 into a hour – long format that you can catch at the new time of 7.30pm Friday, kicking off on January 26th. Join host Costa Georgiadis and the team as they traverse this amazing country unearthing the best gardens and gardeners in the land.

A new duration, new time slot, new stories, new information from trusted and knowledgeable presenters and plenty of ideas to carry you into a flourishing new year.

An ABC production.

Hard Quiz, Season 3
After the huge success of season two, 2 Hard Quiz is back in 2018 for a harder – than – ever third series.

Host and loveable grouch Tom Gleeson grills four self – declared experts on their own unique subjects as they battle each other, and the barbs, to become Hard Quiz Champion.

The contestants give as good as they get to take home the coveted Big Brass Mug™.

When it comes to entertainment, there’s no question Hard Quiz is the answer.

A Thinkative TV production for the ABC.


Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery Season 6
Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery is back on the road.

In this ten part series, Julia takes much loved and well known personalities on a trip down memory lane creating unscripted moments, provoking reactions and reflecting dimensions of the guests along the way. Each intimate and revealing journey shows that our past, our present and our future are all there inside us, just waiting to come out, waiting to go for a walk.

Guests this series are: Germaine Greer , Louis Theroux, Rebecca Gibney, Nicky Winmar, Maggie Beer, Barrie Cassidy, Cate McGregor, Brian Cox, Raelene Boyle and Dave Faulkner.

A Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder production for the ABC.

Jack Irish Season 2
Jack (Guy Pearce) stumbles into the world of manipulative pharmaceu tical companies, corrupt educational institutions aimed at international students and fatal clinical trials. The apparent suicide of a foreign student triggers a chain of events that will see Jack risking his life to uncover the truth.

An Easy Tiger production for ABC in association with Film Victoria.

Restoration Australia
Restoration Australia gets a makeover and returns for seven episodes in 2018 with new host Stuart Harrison at the helm. Harrison, an architect, and self – confessed history nerd is the co – founder and director of an award – winning architectural practice and an expert on existing building and adaptive heritage re-use projects.

Each episode, Harrison follows the trials and tribulations of a different group of Australians committed to the daunting task of restoring forgotten heritage gems into living homes. T his season looks beyond the restoration of colonial and early Australian buildings to embrace significant homes from all periods of Australian history. From Iconic modernist masterpieces to Queenslanders, inner city gasworks and colonial churches, each of the ambitious projects in this fresh new series will inspire and surprise Australian audiences.

An ABC Production with Fremantle Media Australia.

The Checkout Season 6
The Checkout, ABC’s factual consumer affairs series, returns to our screens with new episodes which turn consumer TV on its head with its no – holds – barred, irreverent and entertaining approach to the subject at hand.

As in previous series, presenters will include Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel from The Chaser team, Kirsten Drysdale, Zoe Norton Lodge, Ben Jenkins, Scott Abbot, Alex Lee, Andy Matthews and Kate Browne from CHOICE.

A co-production between the ABC, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder and Giant Dwarf.

You Can’t Ask That , Season 3
You Can’t Ask That returns bolder, braver and blunter than ever. Asking misunderstood Australians the most outrageous, uncomfortable and shocking questions sourced from the public, the series holds a mirror to all corners of contemporary life and culture. T he series confronts prejudice and discrimination, offering genuine insight into the lives of diverse Australians who live in judgement. Taking a seat and answering the questions in 2018 are: priests, former cult members, swingers, former reality tv stars, people with schizophrenia, sexual assault survivors, drag queens/kings and people with eating disorders.

This groundbreaking format was recently awarded the European Broadcast Union’s Rose d’Dor for Best Reality & Factual Entertainment Program with the series format enjoying immense success internationally, well on the way to becoming the ABC’s biggest original format hit.

With no subjects off limits the questions are confronting, the answers surprising 

An ABC production. 




Back in Time for Dinner


Back in Very Small Business

Anh’s Brush With Fame S3

Corey White’s Road Map to Paradise

Art Bites S2

Don’t Stop the Music

Ask the Do ctor S2

Employable Me

Australian Story

Everyone’s a Critic


Grace Beside Me

Black Comedy S3

Hannah Gadsby’s Nakedy Nude



Comedy Next Gen S2

Hawke , The Larrikin and the Leader


Hive: Guilty

Fresh Blood S2

Hive: Oddlands

Four Corners

Hive: Remembering Agatha

Giggle & Hoot

Invictus Games

Good Game Spawn Point

Making Child Prodigies

Gruen S10

General Monash and Me

Hard Quiz S3

Mystery Road

Inside Amy Schumer

Pine Gap

Jack Irish S2


Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery S6


Melbourne Int’l Comedy Festival 2018


My Year 7 Life

Teenage Boss

News To Me

The New Legends of Monkey

Play School

Think Tank

Play School Story Time


Rake S5

Restoration Australia

Shaun Micallef’s Ma d As Hell S8

The Checkout S6

The Mix

The Weekly with Charlie Pickering S4

You Can’t Ask That S3


  1. It will be good to see Paul McDermott back in a quizmaster role.
    7.30 often needs more time but I’m not sure about a permanent extension.
    Do we really have enough Art Galleries to sustain a Goggle-art series?
    Lateline becoming Late News was always on the cards as a simulcast from News24.
    Given the ABC’s budget or lack thereof, Back In Time for Dinner may have to use green wallpaper and CGI. From the wood stove to the microwave. An interesting idea.
    The cringeworthy “what have you got to say…” and “what will you do with the mug…” bits of Hard Quiz have gone on recent eps. I would like to see the occasional special when the contestants have similar subjects or the almost-winners have another chance.
    Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery goes OS, look out tall poppies!
    Media Watch twice a week and Media Bytes goes mainstream?
    Throw in a possible impeachment and snap Federal…

    • Mr game show fan

      I’m one of the people who actually like the “what will you do with the mug if you win?” bit in Hard Quiz. It should not be too hard to extend Season 3 episodes by 1 or 2 minutes to allow this segment never needing to be edited out again.
      This bit was edited out for the last three episodes of Season 2 but understand the “Tom’s Tie Breaker” was pretty much the reason why they edited it out for the Season 2 finale. What a finale.

      Even better maybe fully extend Hard Quiz episodes from about 30 minutes to 45 minutes or even about a full hour (high 50s at least for this part of the suggestion)
      How do you allow for more time in each episode?
      Have 5 contestants at the start. After the 5 expert rounds, send the lowest points scorer home (have a Hard Off if needed)
      The 4 left would play a round of Tom’s own expert subject complete with current rules that relate to that segment…

  2. We have just finished watching the British version of Back in Time for Dinner on Foxtel and thought it was great. However we were constantly saying; how good it would be to see a local version. My prayers have been answered…

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