2022 Upfronts: What can we expect from ABC?

There are already plenty of new dramas confirmed for ABC next year.

On Thursday afternoon ABC will present its 2022 Upfronts -this will be viewable by the public (link to come).

ABC always has the largest local slate of all, so predicting what’s to come is a big task.

There are already several local dramas confirmed for 2022 including Mystery Road: Origin with Mark Coles-Smith, Barons with Sean Keenan and Ben O’Toole, Troppo with Thomas Jane and Savage River with Katherine Langford.

There was plenty of love for The Newsreader -fingers crossed for a second season.

But will ABC also announce The Messenger based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel of the same name? The project is with Lingo Pictures. Fremantle also has a ‘Prisoner X’ drama project yet to be aligned to a broadcaster -a story uncovered by Foreign Correspondent journalist Trevor Bormann who is part of the team. Is it on the list?

What are ABC’s plans for Q+A in 2022 after host Hamish Macdonald returned to 10? The show has had rotating hosts since his departure.

There are also plenty of new and returning Kid’s titles including MaveriX, First Day, The PM’s Daughter, Crazy Fun Park and Beep and Mort.


Mystery Road: Origin,
Savage River
You Can’t Ask That,
Built to Survive,
First Day,
Outback Ringer,
The Family Court Murders,
The Kaleidoscope Project,
The PM’s Daughter,
Ginger & the Vegesaurs,
The Deep,
Kangaroo Beach,
100% Wolf,
Crazy Fun Park,
Beep and Mort,
The Sound,

Expected to be renewed:

The Wonder Gang,
The Weekly with Charlie Pickering,
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell,
Hard Quiz,
Planet America,
Back Roads,
Gardening Australia,
Australian Story,
Foreign Correspondent,
Four Corners,
Media Watch,
News Breakfast,
The Drum,
One Plus One,
New Year’s Eve


The Messenger,
Red Dirt Riders,
Inside The Opera House,
The Eagle & The Ant (And Everything In Between)


The Newsreader,
Total Control,
Why Are You Like This?,
All My Friends Are Racist,
Spicks & Specks,
The Set,
Love on the Spectrum,
Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds,
Anh’s Brush with Fame,
Back to Nature,
Australia Remastered,
Going Country,
Big Deal,
Ms. Represented,
Mikki vs The World,
Dream Gardens,
Restoration Australia,
Australia Talks

Yet to air in 2021:

Here Out West,
Books that Made Us,
Palazzo di Cozzo: The Australian Dream. Italian Style,
Muster Dogs,
Tomorrow Tonight,

Unlikely to return:

Finding the Archibald,

Not returning:

Jack Irish,

ABC Upfronts is 2pm AEDT Thursday.

2 Responses

  1. Without much analysis the ABC look to have a reasonable lineup for 2022, perhaps it’s not matching the bigger players but for an organisation that is constantly reorganising its finances it does show some effort.
    I’m pleased to see Mystery Road:Origin, it’s an excellent series. Some of the ‘unknowns’ have probably reached their use by date or just cost too much for the audience they attracted, if the ABC revealed how well these ‘axed’ shows fared with overseas distribution sales and marketing it would be interesting.

  2. The list of ‘Unknowns’ is quite long, but a few of them I’d like to see return. I wouldn’t mind if ‘The Newsreader’ had a fallow year. ‘Total Control’ really depends on how the current series pans out. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t mind a new series, even at this early stage. ‘Wakefield’ I’m not sure it’s right to get another series. Loved it and there’s room for it, but some things are best left as standalone (and stand out) series. ‘Harrow’ … I’m not sure. Felt a bit flat this year. Programmers have got rocks in their heads if the skip ‘Spicks’, ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Old Peoples Home’

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