ABC2 is ending after 12 years on air, as ABC Comedy takes over from 7:30pm Monday.
ABC2 heralded a new era in Australian television, launching on March 7 2005.
Remarkably, back then there were “genre restrictions” limiting what the channel could show, so it launched with such thrilling titles as Landline A Place In France, Australia Wide, Landline & Studio 22 before shutting down late nights.
In 2006 media ownership laws were passed in parliament, paving the way for entertainment and broader titles.
Offering more edgy content than its big sister channel, ABC2 has largely featured Australian & British content in Comedy, Entertainment, Drama, Factual, Sport, SciFi, & Children’s and some experimental programming.
Titles such as News Breakfast, Please Like Me, Review with Myles Barlow (which has since spawned a US adaptation) and Kitchen Cabinet all got their start on ABC2.
Under channel controller Stuart Menzies it once offered themed nights, including Sunday Best docos.
Amongst the local commissioned comedies were The Roast, Dirty Laundry Live, Fancy Boy, Soul Mates, Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, This is Littleton, Maximum Choppage, The Strange Calls, Aaron Chen Tonight, The Bazura Project‘
Locally produced youth-skewing dramas included I Rock and twentysomething, Docos / factual / reality included #7DaysLater, Head First, Shitsville Express, Dumb Drunk & Racist, Housemates, Not Quite Art, Back Seat Drivers, Tattoo Tales while triplej tv offered music.
Debate show The Hack Half Hour was better than Hack Live.
Good Game was one of the channel’s biggest shows until it wrapped suddenly a year ago, while Whovians offered Doctor Who fans a safe space.
State-based sport also found a home on ABC2, whether the Paralympics, New South Wales Rugby Union, VFL, SANFL, WAFL, Women’s National Basketball League or W-League and Marngrook Footy Shows.
There have been US dramas (notably Breaking Bad, Deadwood and The Wire), British comedies and risqué docos, late-night US hosts, Comedy Up Late and reality from abroad: Catfish or Sex Box anyone?