2023 Upfronts: ABC Kids, ABC ME.

Crazy Fun Park, a new Gardening Australia Jnr, more from The PM's Daughter and the perennial Bluey in 2023 on ABC TV.

Yesterday ABC announced new and returning titles for ABC Kids and ABC ME in 2023:

Crazy Fun Park
Chester dreams of being a world-famous graphic novelist, living the high life surrounded by the cool kids, far away from the boring limits of his small town, Asphodel Heights. But Chester is starting to believe his biggest obstacle to fitting in isn’t his own shortcomings but his best (and only) friend – Mapplethorpe. Once upon a time, the two boys were inseparable until Mapplethorpe stumbled into the abandoned theme park on the edge of town, Crazy Fun Park, and died in a tragic accident. Chester is grief-stricken without his soulmate until he ventures to Crazy Fun Park one night and discovers the soul of his mate may not be alive but is still very much kicking. He’s become part of the undead and now “lives” in Crazy Fun Park – a Netherworld with all the other undead Fun Kids who died in gruesome theme park fatalities when the park was operational. It’s run by the moody alpha, Remus, and is a place where they never have to grow up. So every night, Chester can visit Crazy Fun Park to hang with the dead kids in an all-night party land when the pain of living get too much. But there is a delicate order between the worlds to be maintained and there are horrific and hilarious consequences when the balance is upturned. A Werner Film production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in association with Film Victoria and the ABC. Produced by Joanna Werner. Executive Producers Stuart Menzies, Joanna Werner, Bernadette O’Mahony. ABC Executive Producer Libbie Doherty. Distribution by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

Gardening Australia Jnr.
Gardening Australia Junior is a factual entertainment show inspiring young people & their families around Australia to roll up their sleeves and get growing, with gardening tips, tricks and creations that kids will totally dig! Grab your spade and get ready to dig in as our hosts, The Buds and surprise guests take on wild and wonderful challenges at Gardening Australia Junior HQ. An ABC Original Production. Series Producer, Bryson Hall. Supervising Producer, Natalie Robinson-Hurst. Managing Editor, Nicole Cheek.

The Disposables
The Disposables is a creature feature generating pivotal story points around the refugee crisis, our undervaluing of our immigrant populations, microplastics within our bodies, warehouses full of forgotten recycling and the betrayal of everyday people doing their best to sort their recycling, to do their bit. A mysterious sickness is sweeping through Western Sydney and showing no signs of slowing down. A terrifying creature prowls the suburbs at night. The cries of the immigrants and blue-collar workers who call it home are being ignored and panic is building. The whole place feels like a powder keg waiting to explode. But outspoken, sixteen-year-old, social justice warrior and aspiring rapper, Priya, has her own problems. Between the jingoistic rhetoric of Immigration Minister and local MP Bruce Carter, authorities who treat her as an undesirable, a seemingly indifferent Australian community, and the question mark hanging over her Temporary Protection Visa renewal, the strange goings-on in her neighbourhood are the least of her worries. Photoplay Films Production in association with Dragonet Films. Major production investment from Screen Australia and ABC in association with Screen NSW. Produced by Karen Radzyner and Renny Wijeyamohan. ABC Executive Producer Margaret Ross.

The PM’s Daughter S2
Cat’s finally found her groove as the PM’s daughter, but her school and home life are upended when she discovers an unexpected crush, begins a feverishly competitive internship, and outs a shocking parental secret – all leading to the unmasking of a brand new conspiracy. Series 2 will see Cat and her friends grappling with the idea of the truth. From knowing your parents, to knowing your heart, everything is way more complicated than the adults like to admit… especially when you’re growing up in the Lodge. Cat has always been determined to speak truth to power and her pursuit of a future in journalism will take this to the next level. Set against the backdrop of an election, whether it’s personal or political, Cat’s about to discover the truth can hurt just as much as it helps. A Fremantle Australia production for the ABC, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with The Australian Children’s Television Foundation and financed with support from Screen NSW and Fremantle International. Producer: Tim Powell. Co-Producer: Yingna Lu. Executive Producers: Warren Clarke, Tristram Baumber. Co-Executive Producer: Kieran Hoyle ABC Executive Producer: Mary-Ellen Mullane. ACTF Executive Producer: Bernadette O’Mahony.

The Spooky Files
The Spooky Files is a fun, spooky, adventure-filled series that tackles kids’ relationships with fear – with buckets of scares and truckloads of laughs along the way. When spooky creatures – or ‘Spookies’ – start appearing in the regional town of Sunny Valley, an unlikely group of local kids work had to capture them and keep the situation secret. Bert and Billie are a work in progress step brother and step sister whose parents have just moved in together. Xena is kooky and honest to a fault gadget queen, and Derek is a cool jock who lives a double life as a secret member of the Spooky Crew. Together, they run their super secret operation, Spooky HQ, out of the basement of Bowl-O-Rama 5000, a retro bowling alley run by local entrepreneurs (and 90s fan man boys) John and Jon. It’s here the Spooky Crew house the captured Spookies, trying to figure out where they’re coming from and hoping to one day return them ‘home’ – wherever the heck that is! But as their collection grows, how long can they keep their Spooky business secret…? A Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) and Megaboom Pictures production for ABC ME and BBC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from VicScreen and BBC. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will manage international sales. TAP is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Turn Up the Volume
Turn Up The Volume is a live action drama series about a group of young female and gender non-conforming kids attending a weekly music camp, who decide to form a band. Disconnected, disaffected and desperately looking for their tribe, these teenagers find that, via the transformative, uplifting power of music and friendship, they can unite together to define themselves on their own terms. The series is inspired by the documentary, No Time for Quiet, produced by Philippa Campey with directors Hylton Shaw and Samantha Dinning, which followed the first Girls Rock! Camp in Melbourne that empowered a diverse group of girls, trans and gender non-conforming young people through music and community. A Matchbox Pictures and Film Camp production. Matchbox Pictures is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC. Financed with support from VicScreen. Produced by Philippa Campey and Rachel Davis. Executive Producer Amanda Higgs. ABC Executive Producer Margaret Ross.

Su and Pharrell, both 14, are a pair of emerging wannabe documentary filmmakers. At least Su is. She’s a naturalist in waiting. If it swims, crawls, flies or bites– Su can tell you all about it. Pharrell, on the other hand, would probably rather be making real films, you know, with scripts and emotions and actors and stuff – but for the time being shooting tree ants, frill necked lizards, thimble sized possums and the occasional dive-bombing flying fox on his 8k Canon Vixia HF G40 from the safety of a camouflaged hide, is about as close as he is going to get. But what he lacks in interest he makes up for in talent. Thrown together by Roaring Koala, the production company they’re interning for, they make an unlikely team, as they spend their days, and sometimes nights, crammed together in tents, camouflaged in hides, behind bushes dressed in ghillie suits, or stuck up trees; sitting, waiting, watching, cajoling, bickering, and occasionally even filming the animals they’ve been enlisted to document. A WildBear Entertainment production for the ABC, with production funding from Screen Australia and financed in association with Film Victoria. Wildlifers is developed and produced in association with the ABC and distributed by ABC Commerical.

100% Wolf
Good Game: Spawn Point
Kangaroo Beach
Play School
Beep and Mort
Ginger and the Vegesaurs


One Response

  1. It’s no surprise to see a Gardening Australia Jnr. as there is some focus on gardening and agriculture in childcare education. The BBC has a history of children’s gardening with Bill and Ben: The Flower Pot Men.

    The Disposables looks like one to avoid, even to show to children. The plot gives me a headache, causes confusion, and the issues are serious and shouldn’t be trivialised. Often these sort of political shows push some agenda and omit critical information. It’s especially when those involved in the production or opinion do not have any account beyond what the media provides.

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