ABC 90: Ita cuts the cake and unveils new shows

ABC announces new dramas, comedies, kids, factuals -plus returning favourites.

L to R: Michael Carrington, Sally Riley, Ita Buttrose, Tom Gleeson, Virginia Gay,
Libbie Doherty, Jennifer Collins, Magda Szubanski, Emma Watkins.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose cut the cake at a media event in Sydney yesterday ahead of ABC’s 90th anniversary.

Joined by ABC execs and stars including Tom Gleeson, Magda Suzbanski, Virgina Gay, Natalie Abbott and Emma Watkins, the broadcaster unveiled a slate of new and returning shows to screen throughout the year and into 2023.

Speaking at a media event in Sydney yesterday ABC Chair Ita Buttrose said: “For 90 years the ABC has been a vibrant and crucial part of the Australian way of life. We are not just celebrating 90 years since our first broadcast, but 90 years serving the people of Australia as their national broadcaster.

“This is an opportunity for Australians everywhere to celebrate an institution they rely on and love.”

ABC Director of Entertainment and Specialist Michael Carrington said: “With the increasing amount of global content available to audiences, ABC’s role as the home of Australian stories has never been more vital.

“Our commitment to supporting the local screen industry, nurturing new talent both on and behind the camera and connecting with all Australians through quality content continues to be our priority. The new programs highlighted today, showcase an impressive breadth of Australian storytelling, of which I’m immensely proud.

ABC 90 Celebrate!
Thursday 30 June at 8pm
The ABC turns 90 this year and is inviting all Australians to celebrate the milestone with a special live two-hour television event. Hosts Zan Rowe, Tony Armstrong and Craig Reucassel will lead a night filled with festivities, entertainment, and fun. With cast reunions, special guests, and performances from some of Australia’s biggest acts, it is set to be an incredible night. Throughout the evening, the hosts and other ABC favourites, will connect with performers and presenters in other capital cities and in regional locations across the country. Digging deep into the ABC archive, get ready to take a nostalgic look back at the programmes and the people that have made an impact on the nation for 90 years and be inspired by the ABC’s vision for the future. Joining the celebration will be an exciting list of performers and presenters to be announced at a later date.

Zan Rowe said “I’m so excited to be hosting ABC 90 Celebrate! The ABC is a huge part of me and my family’s life, it’s reflected Australian stories back to us all and I’m honoured to ring in this next decade of the ABC’s brilliant, beautiful existence.”

Tony Armstrong said “To be part of ABC 90 Celebrate! is unbelievable. The impact that this organisation has had on so many people is immense, and I can’t wait to highlight that!”

And Craig Reucassel added “I’m thrilled to be hosting ABC 90 Celebrate! I just can’t wait to see the history of this amazing institution. To be a part of this incredible celebration is pretty special”.

The ABC Of….
Tuesday 28 June at 8pm
A six-part interview series, hosted by actor David Wenham, in which a range of prominent Australians, icons of one field or more, revisit their pasts through moments drawn from the vast ABC Archives. Guests include Ita Buttrose, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Garry McDonald, Wil Anderson, John Howard and Sarah Ferguson.

Looking Black
Tuesday July 5 at 8.30pm
High profile First Nations Australians including Deborah Mailman, Leah Purcell, Bjorn Stewart, Miriam Corowa and Nakkiah Lui, reflect and examine ABC’s history of Indigenous programming.

Foreign Correspondent’s 30th Anniversary special

Spicks and Specks
Ten new episodes.

Magda’s Big Health Check
Over three episodes, national treasure Magda Szubanski embarks on an immersive and personal journey to discover what health looks like in Australia today. She is determined to find the answers she needs about how we can improve our chances of a healthy life in the lucky country. In her inimitable style what she discovers is astounding, meeting everyday Australians and experts who offer real hope for us all to take action!

The Messenger
Based on the best-selling book written by Marcus Zusak, eight-part series The Messenger follows the story of Ed Kennedy who becomes an accidental hero when he stops an armed robbery. The next day he receives four playing cards, each with their own set of tasks. Who is sending them and why has he been chosen to receive them?

The Newsreader Series 2
The critically acclaimed, multi award-winning drama is back. It’s 1987, and newsreaders Helen Norville and Dale Jennings are back on screen delivering the biggest stories of the day. Off screen they’re contending with rising public profiles, intensifying office politics, and a ruthless new CEO.

Six-part comedy series about grief, ghosts and how hard it is to let go of those we love, especially when they’re taken too soon. When Charlie’s best friend dies at just 38, he is rudderless and alone… until the wise-cracking ghost of his dead friend begins ‘haunting’ him.

It’s a Jungle Out Here
A hybrid scripted-documentary series for ABC Kids, that weaves a funny live action narrative with quirky wildlife footage. The series follows aspiring filmmakers, 14-year-olds Su and Pharrell behind the scenes of their fictional documentary series Australian Wild, as they try to find the best wildlife in Australia.

Reef School
Welcome to Reef School, where every day is an underwater adventure! Join the little Reefies and their teacher Mr Flip as they discover the extraordinary wonders of an imaginary Australian coral reef. Featuring the voices of Emma Watkins, Courtney Act and Tony Armstrong, Reef School is a 20×11 min series for ABC Kids.

Take 5 with Zan Rowe
Based on the award-winning podcast of the same name, lifelong music nerd Zan Rowe, presents Take 5 with Zan Rowe – an interview show using music to delve deep into the lives of her guests. Across five episodes, icons in music and screen will share five songs they love and explore their connection to this curated soundtrack of their lives.

Soundtrack to Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse
What do you do when you get trapped in the ABC building during a zombie apocalypse? Write a song about it, of course. Four music obsessed teens are on a mission to win triple j Unearthed High – so the end of the world will have to wait. Soundtrack To Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse is a 10×30 min ABC ME series offering action-packed, cranked-to-11, zombie-fueled fun.

10 Responses

  1. I don’t speak for everyone or how they should perceive the situation. What happened was that The Weakest Link was relegated after the controversy.

  2. Is it a good look to have Magda there after the tweets controversy? And could Magda’s Big Health Check suffer the same stigma that The Weakest Link did which led to ratings loss?

      1. Why is Magda constantly on our TV? Why is she in such hot demand by every TV station when almost every program she has done has been a ratings flop? Does she have photos or something?

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