ABC Television 2017

New Format for 2017

The ABC is committed to increasing its investment in science with the Catalyst program returning in 2017 as an internally commissioned production, but with a revised format.

Under the proposed plan, a series of 17 hour-long documentaries will be created to replace the existing 30-minute magazine-style program, which launched in its current format in 2001.

The hour-long focus will enable Catalyst to explore a range of science ideas in depth, using leading expert subject presenters, rather than a fixed ensemble of science reporters.

The Catalyst team will also deliver short form content around each issue and throughout the year to increase the ABC’s digital science offering on and off ABC platforms.

Catalyst will be co-located with other Science Units in Radio and Science Online to foster collaboration and ensure editorial excellence with greater promotional synergies.

The review of the program is in line with ABC TV’s strategy to reach a broader and more diverse audience with distinctive, Australian content that is accessible and durable.

Catalyst will recruit an experienced Executive Producer to manage a small internal production team.

The Director of ABC TV, Richard Finlayson, said the proposed change in direction was driven by changing audience demands.

“Catalyst has made a huge contribution to science communication over 16 years.

But, audiences can now get instant access to quality content anywhere in the world and we must ensure our programs can have the greatest possible public impact.

“Under this model, we will encourage excellence by allowing the best minds in Australia to pitch their science ideas no matter how local or how global.”

Up to 9 ongoing staff members may be affected by the proposed changes.

Consultations have begun with the ABC offering alternate positions for some staff.

They should cut their losses and move on.

If it’s going to be so different, they should just launch it as a different show and remove any associated stigma.

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Shouldn’t be too hard


Michelle Guthrie is one unfunny joke.

“I have heard it said … that the ABC has captured the hearts and minds of every preschool and aged-care facility,”

This was spouted at least three years ago Michelle. It’s a shame she couldn’t have her own vision instead of her predecessors failed ambitions.

The ABC has been trying to shed that image since it commissioned Crownies back in 2011. So far it has failed as has every drama slanted towards youth despite the ABC desperately trying to prove otherwise. The Code never should have received a second season. Barracuda flopped.

Cleverman. The show that bombed in ratings and most of the viewer feedback was negative and harsh.

So I don’t understand why she has to focus on so many niche fields that ends up alienating the loyal audience that actually gives the ABC recognition and relevance. Catering towards the elderly and the preschool level is exactly the niche they should cover as no one else does it well.

She wants more ethnic diversity. Umm so I guess NITV doesn’t exist and what about SBS?

The Warriors sounds dreadful now as it did when I read about it a couple of months ago. That’s the last thing we need in Australia, more content geared towards sport. We have enough already. Exactly who is the target audience? Guaranteed no one is going to give two shits about this crap. Which is probably exactly what ABC thought so hired McCune and Woods. Such distasteful stunt casting.

Cyberhate with Tara Moss. Ohh the LOLs. No amount of crap is ever going to stop people expressing their hate on the net. If you can’t hack the hate stay off the net.

"When we look at producers, we’re going to ensure their hiring practices reflect our [diversity] objectives. As a commissioner of shows, we can drive a lot of behaviour."
I have a huge issue with this. This is a classic case of ‘positive’ discrimination and tokenism. People should not be promoted solely because they are the right sex and race. Promotions and positions of authority should be earned not given. Positive discrimination is discrimination pure and simple. Yes Michelle even ‘straight white guys’ can be discriminated against.

It wouldn’t shock me in the least if Catalyst is junked. I doubt it would fit into the new ABC regime.

So far in 2017 it looks like there will be less drama and a ton more niche crap. As someone in ABC’s new target demo I don’t think I’ve watched anything on ABC live since my mid teens and I only use IView Ripper. That’s your target audience ABC, one that doesn’t give two shits about you and no amount of makeovers will ever make you relevant to someone in their early twenties. It sad to see them chasing after a lost demographic. What a waste.

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[quote]Ethically Challenged?

Would you like to live more ethically? Now’s your chance. Compass is looking for households to take part in an ethical living challenge as part of a brand new series in 2017.

If this sounds like you, please send an email to and let us know a bit about yourselves.

Describe your household

• How many adults / children / pets are there?
• How old are you?
• Where do you live?
• How do you get to work / school etc?

Living ethically

• Why do you want to live more ethically?
• What would you like to change?
• At the moment do you do anything to live more ethically?
• What (if anything) stops you doing more?[/quote]

##2017 Update

ABC delivers ambitious, accessible & Australian programs for 2017

ABC Director of Television, Richard Finlayson, and Head of Programming and Digital, Rebecca Heap, today announced additional titles to be added to ABC’s impressive 2017 slate and has affirmed ABC’s commitment to ambitious, accessible and Australian programming.

Richard Finlayson said: “It’s with great pleasure we reveal another raft of world-class content today; programming that unequivocally confirms ABC as the home of Australian stories, conversations and the best creative talent. Our programs continue to not only entertain but tackle the things that matter, at home, in the community and to the nation.”

Major highlights unveiled today include outstanding drama (Pulse, The Easybeats), must-see comedy and entertainment (Get Krack!n’, Hannah Gadsby’s Nude, The Ex-PM, The Chinaboy Show), change-making factual event television (Brian Cox’s Stargazing Live in Australia, Craig Reucassel’s War on Waste, Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line, the Ian Thorpe hosted Bullied), and groundbreaking children’s programs (Mustangs FC, My Year 12 Life, Get Grubby TV and Joey’s Big Adventure).


War on Waste

The exciting new three-part factual series War on Waste will turn the spotlight on the staggering amount of waste we produce as a nation, and how together we can do something about it. No stranger to confronting situations, presenter Craig Reucassel will take on the supermarkets, challenge Australians to go waste free, debunk recycling myths, and uncover some shocking truths about fashion waste. Most importantly he’ll take a critical look at household, retail and farming waste in Australia – and ask, what has changed in the Australian psyche, and in our consumer culture, that has led us to become among the most wasteful nations on Earth?

Cyberhate with Tara Moss

Co-programmed on ABC2 and ABC iview the week of Bullied will be the revealing program Cyberhate with Tara Moss. Author, journalist, and human rights advocate Tara Moss will take us on a tour to the darkest corners of the web to uncover the world of cyber violence. Through interviews, discussion, cutting edge science and Moss’s own story of dealing with online threats, anger and trolls, this series will investigate why fury is reshaping the online world.



Compass returns at 6pm on March 4 in a new Saturday timeslot when Geraldine Doogue passes the baton to brand new Compass presenter Kumi Taguchi in an interview revealing why Kumi is the perfect person for the job.
But Geraldine is not stepping back completely and will continue to host specials throughout the year including Modern Prophets, an interview series with a refreshing perspective on key events in the religious and secular calendar and a powerful one-hour special exploring the potential outcomes of the Royal Commission.


ABC delivers the best dramas on Australian television.
Previously announced dramas for 2017 include Newton’s Law, Seven Types of Ambiguity, The Warriors plus new seasons of the strikingly original Cleverman and Glitch and home grown favourites Janet King and The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

Joining them on ABC’s already impressive 2017 drama slate are the Australian medical drama Pulse, the two-part Easybeats mini-series The Easybeats.

2017 will also see the return of award-winning comedies Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell and Utopia, plus comedian Anne Edmonds’ original noir comedy The Edge of the Bush and new autobiographical comedy Ronny Chieng: International Student, which has just gone into production this week for ABC in Australia and Comedy Central in the US.

Back too is the team at The Checkout, Shaun Micallef in The Ex-PM and we’re serving up even more of the Katering Show girls in Get Krack!n’.

The Checkout resumes its unwavering mission to make the Australian Consumer Law sexy, expose the ways we’re all being ripped off and give us the tools to fix it.

ABC will also continue to offer snappy, bite-sized servings of ambitious and innovative entertainment exactly when you want it, with must-see ABC iview exclusives Pop-Ability and The Chinaboy Show.


The Sisters of Invention are the world’s first pop girl group with disabilities. Determined to challenge society’s pre-conceived ideas about who can be a pop star, the group are getting ready to release an ambitious music video to accompany their debut album. But can they break free of the tough reality of living with a disability? This is an unforgettable series exclusive to ABC iview.

The Chinaboy Show

John Luc’s The Chinaboy Show is the first ABC sketch comedy written from the perspective of a Vietnamese–Chinese Australian. Front and centre of this series is online sensation John Luc (AKA Mychonny), whose content has enjoyed more than 300 million views, easily making him one of Australia’s most loved YouTube stars.

###For Young Viewers

ABC continues to deliver new shows for young children and teens that they can watch at times and on devices that best suit them.

Must-see shows this year for young viewers include Mustangs FC, Get Grubby TV, My Year 12 Life and Joey’s Big Adventure.

Mustangs FC
Mustangs FC is a goal-kicking comedy drama about girls who abandon the sidelines and start their football club’s first all-girls team. Against the odds, they’ll stand united and overcome any challenges the club, the boys, or the opposition can throw at them. All while wrestling with what it means to be a friend; a sister; a daughter; a girlfriend.

Get Grubby TV
Get Grubby TV takes the Australian Emmy award-winning animated TV series, dirtgirlworld, and reimagines the story to reveal the real place and the real characters…unreal! Having invented the ‘costavator’, dirtgirl and scrapboy have also gained a new friend, Costa the Garden Gnome (Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia), and together they are travelling across Australia to new places and getting grubby… big time!

Joey’s Big Adventure
Play School’s brand new toy Joey will jump into a big adventure to explore the world of baby animals. Joey will join Play School presenter’s Miranda, Luke, and Rachel as they introduce pre-schoolers to the wonderful world of wildlife. They’ll meet and uncover facts about a range of baby animals, from hatching Gentoo Penguin chicks in their snow enclosure to a litter of adorable six week old puppies. With a beautiful catchy song to accompany each episode, Joey’s Big Adventure will provide insights into the animal kingdom with plenty of giggles along the way.


ABC has commissioned what is billed as a ground-breaking documentary series examining the threats to the country’s national and personal security. Keeping Australia Safe is a 6-part series produced by ITV Studios Australia and filmed over one continuous 48-hour period. The producers deployed 200 cameras around Australia and overseas during the two days, involving 30 institutions.

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ABC branding is just all over the place now.


They once did a great job of bringing all their brands under one umbrella. Can’t help thinking that making all these logos so different, actually damages their brand. I think the ABC logo and ABC iview are the only good ones they have.

Seven is very successful by keeping it’s 7 logo prominent in each of its mutichannel logos. Nine brought all their brands together by adding the 9 balls logo in front of them all.


So why did the ABC head in the opposite direction? Crazy!


Disagree. Brands should have their own personality, rather than just a different splash of colour. The Channel Nine ones look horrendously bland and lifeless.


But the ABC logo is one of the most recognisable logos in Australia. Why would you minimise that rather than use it to your advantage?

It’s a key part of every logo listed above?

No-one would look at those logos as a set and wonder what organisation they are a part of.

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It’s not the same to me. I prefer conformity.
I would have gone for a big ABC logo everywhere and smaller words for the channel names.

Oh well. You like it. I don’t.

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Maybe the ABC KIDS logo could be tweaked so there’s the “Apple, Bee, Carrot” motif and “(ABC lissajous) KIDS” for consistency with the others but aside from that, the ABC’s current branding strategy is fine IMO.

If any Australian TV network’s branding is all over the place and needs a major reorganisation, it’s Ten/WIN!

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It’s the way it’s done in most countries too.

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And they tell me nothing about the brands.

How is BBC One different to BBC Four? Rai 1 to Rai 3? What can I expect when I watch.

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Well, don’t get me started on that. What does ABC Me mean exactly?

I’m not suggesting they go back to numbers only anyway.
I think they should be more like the ABC iview logo.

Use the big ABC lissajous logo along with the descriptions NEWS, COMEDY, KIDS, ME, etc

But at the same time BBC’s youth-based channels have different branding and their own identity.

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To me, nothing, but according to to the ABC:

ABC ME says the new-look channel will help show (but never tell) Australian kids where they fit in the world today.


Although, the BBC logo is consistent across all the brands.

Go tell that to TV Forum. The BBC is worse than the ABC at branding. The logos are the only nice thing.

I actually agree with you though. The ABC’s logos are messy and need to be brought into line with each other.