ABC Upfronts 2020

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Yours in 2020: An ABC that is diverse, relevant and essential to Australia

The ABC today announced its 2020 programming slate, with a suite of content that confirms the public broadcaster as the home of distinctive and inclusive stories.

“In a world overrun by global media giants, Australian stories have never been more important. Equally, the ABC has never been more essential to the Australian people,” said Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist.

“In 2020, the ABC will be the engine room of Australian creativity, putting more Australian faces, voices and stories on screen than any other broadcaster.

“The stories we share will speak to and for all Australians, firing their imagination through bold content and creativity. We will engage new audiences by increasing the diversity of our programs and people, on and off screen, sparking meaningful change in how we see ourselves and each other.”

Highlights revealed today include new series Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge and Big Weather (and how to survive it) both fronted by Craig Reucassel; we explore the culture of outrage with Reputation Rehab and Australia’s relationship with alcohol in Shaun Micallef’s On the Sauce . Outback Ringer and Australia’s Ocean Highway take us into the secret world of Australia’s top end and the ocean’s depths.

Two-parter Dark Emu , with author Bruce Pascoe, and feature-length documentaries Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra and The Australian Dream , share the voices of Indigenous Australia and explore broader themes of race, identity and belonging.

Revelation , the new documentary series from award-winning ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson, unpeels layers of cover-up to expose the full, shocking picture of clergy abuse in Australia.

Among returning series, Gardening Australia , Catalyst and Compass will help people navigate and find joy in their world and the ABC is proud to again showcase regional Australian stories in Back Roads and Landline .

The ABC is delighted to announce that Hamish Macdonald will join the ABC as the new host of weekly flagship discussion program Q&A and as a senior presenter across television and radio.

In drama, newcomers Stateless and Fallout and returning favourites Mystery Road , Harrow and The Heights will continue to tell remarkable stories in ways that are entertaining, relatable and uniquely Australian.

Viewers will love series five of the eye-opening and award-winning You Can’t Ask That , as well as Annabel Crabb and the Ferrone family who will travel even Further Back in Time for Dinner .

Parents of Australia, rejoice! A new series of Australia’s most popular kids show, Bluey , is coming to ABC KIDS. Since its launch in October 2018 Bluey has become the nation’s most watched children’s program with a total of 152 million program plays and a VPM series rating of 2.3Million*. Kids will also love Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors? and fast-paced action thriller Itch .

Our Wednesday night line-up is back with new series of Gruen , The Weekly with Charlie Pickering , Anh’s Brush with Fame , Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hel l and Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery .

Fresh from his TV Week Gold Logie win, Tom Gleeson returns to screens with another series of Hard Quiz , and laugh along with new series of Rosehaven and Black Comedy .

The ABC would like to thank our production partners and our state and federal funding partners for their continued support, particularly Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Screenwest, Screen Queensland, Screen Canberra, Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria, South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Territory.

  • ABC Radio will be announcing its program and presenter line-ups for 2020 in early December and stay tuned for more comedy announcements to coincide with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in early 2020.

Drama

Fallout (working title)


Ewen Leslie, Shaka Cook, Jessica de Gouw

There is no more lethal cocktail than a combination of blind faith and paranoia. And it seems in 1956, everyone was drinking it. It’s the height of the Cold War. The Menzies Government has welcomed British atomic bomb testing at remote, ‘uninhabited’ Maralinga, in outback South Australia. Charged with keeping the base functioning smoothly is Major Leo Carmichael (Ewen Leslie), an Australian Army Engineer and WWII hero. But testing the most dangerous weapon in the world is no easy task for Leo with a Commanding Officer (James Cromwell) who is not fit for purpose; a new meteorologist, Dr Eva Lloyd-George (Jessica De Gouw) who starts asking questions; and the Government and press watching his every move. And as it turns out, the land of Maralinga may not be so uninhabited after all, when Leo’s faced with the arrival of a family of Indigenous Australians seeking their own answers about the giant clouds that explode occasionally…

A riveting blend of historical fiction and espionage thriller, this is filmmaker Peter Duncan at his satirical best. Fallout is a story of our infinite capacity for betrayal, and no one is immune, not even the betrayers themselves.

Production Credits
A Porchlight Films Production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Screen NSW. Financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation and Head Gear Films.
Writer and Director: Peter Duncan
Producers: Vincent Sheehan, Tanya Pheegan Executive Producers: Liz Watts, Anita Sheehan Sally Riley (ABC), Andrew Gregory (ABC).

Stateless

An airline hostess on the run from a dangerous cult, an Afghan refugee and his family fleeing persecution, a young father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat running out of time to contain a national scandal: Stateless is a powerful and timely series about four strangers whose lives collide at an immigration detention centre in the middle of the Australian desert.

Production Credits
A Matchbox Pictures and Dirty Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC. Financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation.
Writers: Elise McCredie and Belinda Chayko
Directors: Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse Producers: Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford Executive Producers: Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres, Elise McCredie, Liz Watts and Andrew Upton, Sally Riley (ABC), Andrew Gregory (ABC).


Comedy

Why Are You Like This

Why Are You Like This follows best friends Mia and Penny as they navigate their 20s in Melbourne, along with Penny’s dramatic and aloof housemate, Austin. Guided by their own modern day moral code, they confront complex social issues in an outrage driven world, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.


Documentaries

Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce

ABC and Screen Australia today announced a new 3 x 60’ documentary, Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce , to be hosted by award-winning ABC favourite, Shaun Micallef, and produced by CJZ.

Shaun Micallef drank neither wisely nor well back in his university days and swore off it in his mid-twenties. Now his sons have hit drinking age, it’s got him thinking - what kind of national drinking culture are they getting into?

In this timely documentary Shaun looks beyond clichés and misconceptions to discover the new face of alcohol in Australia. It’s changing rapidly, right under our noses.

“Personally, I’ve never quite understood alcohol. I don’t get it. It tastes funny and I’m not very good at it. Two glasses of beer and I’m under the table. So about thirty years ago, I decided I’d be better off without it. But I have children now of drinking age, and I’m wondering what advice I can give them about drinking if I don’t understand it?” says host Shaun Micallef.

Across the series, Shaun explores Australia’s long and torrid love affair with alcohol and journeys around the country meeting people whose lives have been touched by alcohol in good ways and bad.

Head of Entertainment Josie Mason-Campbell said: “Shaun Micallef has one of our most curious and interesting minds. We’re proud to work with Shaun on this deeply personal journey. Shaun will traverse Australia to get to the heart of our relationship with alcohol in this timely and important factual series."

Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim said: “Australia’s relationship with alcohol is an important topic, and with Shaun Micallef’s willingness to use his personal journey as a vehicle to prompt broader national discussion, this documentary will encourage viewers to reflect on different perspectives.”

Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce was announced today at the ABC 2020 Content Reveal and will air on ABC and iview in 2020.

Production Credit: A CJZ production for the ABC. Principal production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia. Series Director Tony Jackson. Executive Producers: Andrew Farrell & Paula Bycroft. ABC Executive Producer Julie Hanna. Head of Entertainment and Factual Josie Mason-Campbell.


Craig Reucassel shaking things up in 2020 on ABC

Presenter, prankster and passionate advocate, Craig Reucassel returns to ABC in 2020 hosting two new documentaries funded by Screen Australia. Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge will shine a spotlight on the nation’s growing climate change concerns, while Big Weather (and how to survive it) explores Australia’s unpredictable and extreme weather conditions.

Craig Reucassel, host of the two shows, said, “There’s a real thirst for knowledge about how Australia is being affected by changes to the climate and what we can do to prevent it. I’m so lucky to be able to dive deep into this sometimes frustrating topic and can’t wait to share the results.”

Most Australians now accept that climate change is real, but very few of us know what we can do about it. The three-part series Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge delves into the climate crisis to understand where our energy comes from, how transport and travel emissions affect our health and just what is the carbon footprint of the things we buy?

Craig will showcase how we, as individuals, families, schools and businesses can help reduce our carbon footprint by making practical day-to-day changes. And far from taking the pressure off politicians and businesses, Craig will check in to see if they are doing all they can to make the changes we need.

ABC Head of Factual and Entertainment and Acting Head of Programming Josie Mason-Campbell says “We’re thrilled to have Craig at the helm of these two ground-breaking series. Entertaining, informative and challenging, both shows will kick-start discussions, change attitudes and encourage Australians to take action!”

The thought-provoking and entertaining three-part series Big Weather (and how to survive it) explores the devastating effects of Australia’s extreme weather and aims to empower communities, families and individuals to prepare, survive and recover from them. By following the weather cycle over the Summer of 2019-20, the series will consider how Australia’s cataclysmic climate tears us apart… and brings us together.

Sharing stories from communities, frontline disaster crews and experts who are dealing with the effects of our escalating climate emergency, Big Weather (and how to survive it) seeks to answer the big questions: How have extreme weather events shaped our nation’s story? Why are these events becoming less predictable and more intense? And what can we do to adapt, survive and thrive into the future?

Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary, Bernadine Lim said, “We are thrilled to support these original and timely Australian documentaries that I’m confident will not only contribute to the national conversation on the environment but will also encourage behavioural change.”

Production Credits: Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge is a Lune Media production for the ABC. Major production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia. Financed with support from Screen NSW. Executive Producer Jodi Boylan.

Big Weather (and how to survive it) is a DMA Creative production in association with Northern Pictures. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Developed and produced with investment from Screen Queensland.

Australia Remastered

Australia Remastered is a breathtaking series of 23 new natural history films that draw on the proud ABC legacy of wildlife filmmaking. Host Aaron Pedersen travels from coast to coast highlighting wildlife wonders that will take your breath away, Australia Remastered showcases an incredible array of life, land, and seascape like nowhere else in the world. From Kakadu to the Great Barrier Reef, no one has captured the depths of our iconic natural wonders in more detail than the ABC. In Australia Remastered, we bring the best moments of wildlife filmmaking back to life, by drawing on digitally re-mastered footage from the ABC archive, a treasure trove of rarely seen animal behaviour.

Production Credits
A Wildbear production in association with the ABC and ABC Commercial.
Host: Aaron Pedersen
Series Producers: Kylie Stott, Jeremy Hogarth, Belinda Gibbons Executive Producers: Alan Erson, Michael Tear, Bettina Dalton Writers: Alice Orszulok, Rebekka Schafferius

Dark Emu

Multi award-winning book Dark Emu comes to the screen, with celebrated author Bruce Pascoe presenting his fresh perspective on Indigenous history.

In this series, author Bruce Pascoe will take audiences on a revelatory and inspiring journey across Australia to present a very different history of our nation and the First Australians. It will tell the story of Indigenous achievement pre-colonisation in the form of agriculture and farming, infrastructure and design, astronomy, trade and governance.

Production Credits

Dark Emu is a Blackfella Films production for the ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW and Film Victoria.
Director: Erica Glynn Producers: Darren Dale and Belinda Mravicic
Writers: Bruce Pascoe and Jacob Hickey Presenter and Narrator: Bruce Pascoe
ABC Executive Producer: Kelrick Martin.

Reputation Rehab

Factual entertainment series Reputation Rehab will see co-hosts Kirsten Drysdale and Zoe Norton Lodge find reputations in distress and provide a unique opportunity for transformation.

Barely a week goes by without someone being publicly shamed in a torrent of angry tweets, opinion pieces and TV punditry, for real or imagined mistakes. In Reputation Rehab , Kirsten and Zoe will investigate scandals and tackle them head-on to see if they can change people’s hearts and minds.

Production Credits
An ABC and CJZ production. Creators, producers and writers: Sophie Braham and Melina Wicks
Presenters and writers: Kirsten Drysdale and Zoe Norton Lodge.
Executive Producer: Nick Murray (CJZ)
ABC Executive Producer: Nick Hayden.

Searching For Superhuman

What makes us human? What hidden powers lie in the bodies of those who live longer, healthier lives? How can we grow faster, stronger, smarter? Is there a way to delay ageing?

For millennia, humans have searched the heavens and Earth for answers, but in the last thirty years science has begun to unravel those most elusive secrets. The pace of discovery has been breathtaking.

In six documentaries, drawing from the rich archives of the ABC, Searching for Superhuman chronicles the incredible scientific advances that have changed the way we understand ourselves and our biological destiny.

Featuring expert commentary by the world’s leading researchers in genetics, microbiology, stem cell science, surgery, exercise medicine, nutrition, bionics, fertility, mental health, longevity and neuroscience, the series tells the science journey of our recent past and extraordinary future.

This is our journey. This is our search for superhuman.

Production Credits
A Wildbear production in association with ABC TV and ABC Commercial. Host: Shalin Naik Wildbear Executive Producers: Alan Erson & Bettina Dalton Wildbear Series Producer: Alice Taylor
Wildbear Series Director: Nik Wansborough
ABC Executive Producer: Leo Faber.

The Great Acceleration

As the human race speeds to unlock the scientific potential of our future, in this 6 part series we examine the journey of science in the 21st Century… a journey known as The Great Acceleration . Each episode features a different focus point – The Machine Age, Space Exploration, Future Energy, Ever Changing Earth, Agriculture and Human evolution.

The next generation machine age has arrived with integrated technologies and big data laying the foundation for artificial intelligence. Breakthroughs in energy technology and efficiency are providing hope for a sustainable, powerful future. We are entering a new age of space exploration as technology, once monopolised by superpowers, transitions to the hands of private companies. Closer than ever to understanding the origins of the universe, nations have collaborated to create the biggest machine on earth, whilst peering into the possibilities of time travel.

Production Credits
A Wildbear production in association with ABC TV and ABC Commercial. Host: Shalin Naik Wildbear Executive Producers: Alan Erson & Bettina Dalton Wildbear Series Producer: Alice Taylor
Wildbear Series Director: Nik Wansborough ABC Executive Producer: Leo Faber.

The Australia Dream

Written by award-winning journalist Stan Grant, The Australian Dream is the story of champion AFL player and Indigenous rights activist Adam Goodes; more broadly, it is a story about race, identity and belonging.

A searing document of the nation’s uneasy relationship with First Nation people, it is also a powerful celebration of a true Australian champion.

For years Adam Goodes was a beloved AFL hero. Then the two-time Brownlow Medallist and former Australian of the Year began to call out racism, and his Australian dream turned into a nightmare.

Australia loves its Australian Rules Football, and for an elite player it should have been unimaginable: his career ending in a controversy that cost him his love of the game. But Australia has an uneasy relationship with its Indigenous peoples and Adam Goodes is a proud Adnyamathanha and Narungga man.

Featuring incredible archival footage alongside illuminating interviews, The Australian Dream questions what sort of country we want to be.

Production Credits
The Australian Dream is an Australian-UK co-production between GoodThing Productions and Passion Pictures. Production investment from Screen Australia, Lorton Entertainment, ABC and Film Victoria.
Director: Daniel Gordon Writer: Stan Grant Featuring: Adam Goodes, Stan Grant Producers: Sarah Thomson, Nick Batzias, Virginia Whitwell, John Battsek Executive Producers: Ben Simmons, Paul Wiegard, Andrew Ruhemann, Julian Bird, Joel Kennedy, Tommy Gordon, Jo Chichester (ABC Commissioning Editor). Kath Earle (ABC Head of Regional Sports & Events).

Road To Now

The first decades of the 21st century have been a time of dramatic change and difficult challenges. And yet, it all started with such promise. The end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall seemed to usher in new optimism, where the democratic values of the West were universally accepted. How quickly it all changed.

Now, a new threat looms, as great as any humanity has ever encountered. In the past 30 years we have added two billion people to the planet and our impact is so great that we are changing the planetary systems which we, and all other species rely on for survival. Wars rage and millions are on the move as tensions are rising. These are global challenges requiring global solutions, yet driven by fear and uncertainty, nations are retreating behind their borders. What started with a wall coming down, has led to a time of new barriers, both physical and philosophical. How did it come to this? How did the celebrations of freedom of that remarkable night in Berlin become the crisis we face today?

In Road To Now , across 6 hours, we step back to observe the connections that link the rapidly changing events of the past 30 years, we see the patterns that led us inexorably to this moment. The series includes all new interviews, perspectives and key insights from the likes of CNN’s Christianne Amanpour, Niall Ferguson, Helen Clark and John Howard.

Production Credits
A Wildbear production in association with ABC TV and ABC Commercial.
Host: Chris Bath
Wildbear Executive Producers: Alan Erson & Bettina Dalton Wildbear
Series Producers: Alice Taylor
Wildbear Series Director : Nik Wansborough
ABC Executive Producer: Leo Faber.

Outback Ringer

Outback Ringers are the men and women who do one of the most dangerous jobs on earth – catching feral bulls and buffalo in Australia’s harsh and iconic outback. Cutting deals with the local land owners in exchange for access to their properties and a share in the profits - the Ringers need to catch and sell as many animals in the shortest time possible. Get it right and the Ringer can enjoy a six figure pay day, get it wrong and the losses can be crippling.

In an increasingly crowded planet, this is not just a story about a unique group of Australians (40% of whom are Indigenous) but an exploration of the history, ecology, mythology and the micro and macroeconomics of these breathtaking landscapes.

Across Queensland, NT and WA this series dramatically captures several teams on various musters, broadening our understanding of the Australian Outback and the various communities that call these wild environments home. It asks fundamental questions about our relationship with the land – what are the tensions that exist between humans and the land? How is the use of the land changing for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians? And what global economic forces are playing out in the Outback?

Production Credits
A Ronde Production for the ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW with Screen Territory. Executive Producers: Ben Davies (Ronde Production).
ABC Executive Producer: Stephen Oliver.

Australia’s Ocean Highway

We live on an oceanic planet whose waters have sustained life for almost four billion years. The ocean is the birthplace of life on our planet, from the most basic organic compounds that become bacteria, bacterial to plants, plants to animals.

500 million years ago life left this blue womb and colonised the land, but we are still intricately linked to the ocean. Our climates, coastlines, ecosystems and economies are tied to the perpetual movement of water between continents. The great ocean currents are the arteries and veins of planet Earth.

This is the story of one fascinating flow – the East Australian Current, a massive oceanic river that stretches the length of Australia’s East Coast. 3000 kilometres long, 100 kilometres wide and hundreds of metres deep.

Production Credits
An ABC and Wild Pacific Media Production. Funding from ARTE and Wild Pacific Media.
Executive Producers : Nick Robinson (Wild Pacific Media Production).
ABC Executive Producer: Stephen Oliver.

Why Are You Like This

Why Are You Like This follows best friends Mia and Penny as they navigate their 20s in Melbourne, along with Penny’s dramatic and aloof housemate, Austin. Guided by their own modern day moral code, they confront complex social issues in an outrage driven world, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

Why Are You Like This explores the grey areas a lot of us are afraid to traverse, in a world determined to see things as black and white.

Production Credits
A CKOL production for the ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria.
Creators and Writers: Naomi Higgins, Humyara Mahbub and Mark Samual Bonanno
Directors: Jessie Oldfield and Adam Murfet Producer: Sarah Freeman Executive Producers: Jessie Oldfield, Adam Murfet, Amanda Higgs, ABC Executive Producers: Nick Hayden, Rick Kalowski.

Wanita: Heart of the Queen

Wanita: Heart of the Queen is the rich and unlikely story of country music artist Wanita – the self proclaimed Australian “Queen Of HonkyTonk”. We follow Wanita’s odyssey to prove her worth by singing and recording in Nashville. Three decades of recklessness have kept her from realising this childhood dream, but against the odds, Wanita is determined to reach the City of country greats.

Production Credits
A People Productions production for the ABC. Principal production funding from Screen Australia. Financed with assistance from Screen NSW. Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Writer and Director: Matthew Walker Producer: Carolina Sorensen, Clare Lewis and Tait Brady
Executive Producer: Kalita Corrigan (ABC).

100% Wolf

So what if he’s a pink poodle? Freddy Lupin knows he’s got what it takes to run with the elite werewolf Night Patrol. All he has to do is win a place at the prestigious Howlington Academy, keep his fluffy butt out of trouble and graduate. Easy-peasy, right? WRONG!

Being the first dog at a werewolf-only finishing school is tougher than Freddy ever imagined. With the hopes of dogs everywhere resting on his curly pink shoulders, Freddy knows failure is not an option. He HAS to pass the year. Teaming up with his ragtag bunch of schoolmates and best frenemy Scarlet, a teen werewolf hunter, Freddy must harness his wolfish side and embrace his own inner-poodle. He may be fluffy and groomed, but it turns out that Freddy Lupin is 100% hero!

Production Credits
A Flying Bark Production for the ABC (Australia) and Super RTL (Germany) with international rights and distribution through Studio 100. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Financed with support from Screenwest and Screen NSW.
Executive Producers: Emily Price, Martin Krieger, Hans Bourlon, Gert Verhulst and Amanda Isdale (ABC)
Producers: Michael Bourchier, Barbara Stephen, Alexia Gates-Foale
Writer: Fin Edquist.

Backburning Midnight Oil

They were five against the world. Midnight Oil pledged to each other and to their audience that they would never compromise their beliefs, to be the most outspoken, dangerous rock band in the country.

From 1974 - 2004 they took the hardest line - putting themselves in difficult situations to remain true to their beliefs, redefining what popular music could be in Australia, and culminating in some of the most incredible spectacles in Australian music.

Following a long hiatus the band are reunited and playing to sold out crowds proving their politically charged songs are as relevant in Australia today as they were 40 years ago.

Production Credits
A Beyond Entertainment and Blink TV production.
Principal production funding from Screen Australia. Financed with assistance from Screen NSW. Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Director and Writer: Paul Clarke
Producers: Martin Fabinyi and Carolina Sorensen Executive Producers : Miranda Culley Commissioning Editor: Jo Chichester (ABC).

Firestarter: The Story Of Bangarra

Firestarter will mark the 30th anniversary of Australia’s most iconic performing arts company: Bangarra Dance Theatre. Told through the personal family story of its celebrated and longstanding artistic director, Stephen Page.

Production Credits
An In Films production for the ABC.
Principal Production and development funding from Screen Australia. Developed and financed with assistance from Screen NSW. Financed with philanthropic funding via the Documentary Australia Foundation. Developed and produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Directors: Wayne Blair & Nel Minchin Writers: Wayne Blair, Ivan O’Mahoney & Nel Minchin
Producer: Ivan O’Mahoney Executive Producers: Nial Fulton and Kalita Corrigan (ABC).

How Food Works: A Catalyst Special

A Catalyst special, How Food Works is a unique blend of science and culture. In this series chef Paul West, Dr Noby Leong and Professor Clare Collins uncover the latest research that will help you cook better and eat healthier – and may also save you money.

Production Credits
An ABC production. Executive Producer: Penny Palmer.

Itch

Children all over the world are concerned about climate change. What if we put the solution into their hands? Itch is a fast-paced action thriller, that does just that.

In this adaptation of Simon Mayo’s novel of the same name, a smart but flawed hero, Itchingham Lofte finds a new element on the periodic table which could be the world’s solution to our energy problems. In the midst of all, the conspiracy and scientific discoveries is a very human story about the strains of growing up, regional family life, fitting in and thinking through one of the world’s biggest ethical dilemmas.

Production Credits
A Komixx Entertainment and Feisty Dame Production for the ABC.
Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen West and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund. Distributed by ABC Commercial.
Executive Producers: Amanda Morrison, Edward Glauser, Andrew Cole-Bulgin, Michael Shyjka, Robert Morrison, Jan Stradling (ABC) Libbie Doherty (ABC)
Producers: Amanda Morrison, Tania Chambers and Melanie Halsall
Writers: Melanie Halsall, Dan Berlinka, Ron Elliot, Heather Wilson, Jessica Brookman and Roger Monk
Directors: Renee Webster and Nick Verso.

Kangaroo Beach

Welcome to Kangaroo Beach, a sun-soaked paradise by the sea! Every dazzling day on Kangaroo Beach is an action-packed adventure for wannabe-hero joey Pounce, creative koala Frizzy, sports-phobic wombat Neville and mini-marine biologist and platypus Gemma.

Whether training as young lifeguards, learning new water skills or exploring the wonders of the beach, the four furry friends are having the time of their lives.

The series will appeal to young audiences and families all over the world by exploring the familiar world of water play – on the beach, in the sea, in swimming pools, rivers and rock pools, while empowering viewers with an imperative message about water safety in every story.

Production Credits
A Cheeky Little Media production for the ABC.
Major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Uyoung Media and Distribution through Sonar Entertainment Executive Producers : Patrick Egerton, David Webster and Amanda Isdale (ABC)
Producer: Patrick Egerton & Celine Goetz
Writer and Creator: Tim Bain
Series Director: David Webster.

Maralinga (working title)

September 27th, 1956. 1700 hours. In a remote corner of South Australia a 15 kilotonne plutonium warhead is about to be launched into the clear blue desert sky.

This is the home of the Maralinga Tjarutja people. For sixty thousand years.

And this is their story in their words. A story of colonisation and culture, of spirit and survival. The story of how the Maralinga Tjarutja people have overcome one of the most destructive nuclear weapon tests the world has ever seen. When the dust settles, culture remains strong.

Production Credits
A Blackfella Films production in association with ABC. Financed with support from South Australian Film Corporation.
Director: Larissa Behrendt Producers: Darren Dale Writers: Larissa Behrendt and Jacob Hickey.
ABC Executive Producer: Kelrick Martin.

Miriam Margolyes: Almost Australian

Celebrated actor, presenter and all-round funny lady, Miriam Margolyes is on a quest to uncover what it means to be Australian in the 21st century. Five years ago, when Miriam became an Australian citizen, she realised that despite having worked and lived in Australia for nearly 50 years, she still had much to learn about her new homeland. So at 78 years of age, she’s embarking on the grey nomad adventure of a lifetime.

Across three, eye-opening episodes, Miriam travels on a road trip across the continent that takes her far out of her comfort zone, digging deep under the skin of Australian life to reveal modern Australia as we’ve never seen it before. With disarming candour and perception, she tackles the questions we’re too afraid to ask and lays bare the complex truths of Australia’s changing identity in the 21st century.

If anyone is going to get to the heart of the nation, it’s this incredibly smart, inquisitive, naughty and honest new Australian.

Production Credits
A Southern Pictures Production for the ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW and Screen Territory.
Director: Liz Allen Series Producer: Ross Wilson Story Producer: Alan Clarke
Executive Producers: Aline Jacques, Laurie Critchley
ABC Executive Producer: Frances O’Riordan.

Revelation

Revelation brings you a series of worldwide television firsts. For the first time cameras are inside the courtroom as two of the Catholic Church’s most notorious child abusers go on trial for sexually assaulting children in their care.

In another first, Revelation brings you interviews with paedophile priests, one from behind bars in a maximum security prison. These uniquely gripping interviews give us an unprecedented look into the minds of men of God who committed unimaginable crimes against children.

Over three riveting episodes, crimes and cover up are shown on a new scale - with a powerful conclusion that will reverberate around the world.

Production Credits
Revelation is an In Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screen NSW.
Executive Producer: Nial Fulton (In Films)
ABC Executive Producer: Stephen Oliver.
Richard Leplastrier (working title)

Revered by architects around the world, Richard Leplastrier’s search for beauty in his career is interwoven with his own life in a bush camp on the edge of Sydney.

Richard Leplastrier (working title)

Revered by architects around the world, Richard Leplastrier’s search for beauty in his career is interwoven with his own life in a bush camp on the edge of Sydney.

Production Credits
A Mitra Films production for the ABC with production funding from Screen Australia. Financed with philanthropic funding via the Documentary Australia Foundation. Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Director and Writer: Anna Cater Producers: Susan MacKinnon and Anna Cater Executive Producer: Miranda Culley (ABC).


Hamish Macdonald to present Q&A

We are delighted to announce that Hamish Macdonald will join the ABC as the new host of weekly flagship discussion program Q&A and as a senior presenter across television and radio.

Macdonald will take over at Q&A from the start of the 2020 season in February. He will also become a regular member of the RN Breakfast on-air team and will be reporting internationally with Foreign Correspondent .

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ABC Television 2020

Full list of returning content and acquisitions for 2020

• 7.30
• Anh’s Brush With Fame S5
• Australian Story
• Back Roads
• Black Comedy S4
• Bluey S2
• BtN
• Catalyst
• Compass
• Dream Gardens S3
• Escape From The City
• Foreign Correspondent
• Four Corners
• Further Back In Time For Dinner
• Gardening Australia
• Giggle & Hoot
• Good Game Spawn Point
• Gruen S12
• Hard Quiz S5
• Harrow S3
• Insiders – with new host David Speers
• Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery S8
• Landline
• Media Watch
• Melbourne International Comedy Festival
• Mustangs FC S3
• Mystery Road S2
• New Year’s Eve
• News Breakfast
• Offsiders
• Planet America
• Play School
• Q&A
• Rage
• Restoration Australia S3
• Rosehaven S4
• Sammy J S3
• Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S11
• Spicks and Specks Specials
• Teenage Boss S2
• The Drum
• The Heights S2
• The Weekly with Charlie Pickering S6
• You Can’t Ask That S5

Co-Commissions
• Little J and Big Cuz S2
• Space Nova
• Thalu

Acquisitions
• Agatha Raisin S3
• Doc Martin S9
• Doctor Who S12
• Endeavour S7
• Grand Designs Australia S6
• Grand Designs UK S16
• Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip
• Killing Eve S3
• Vera S9

Events
• ANZAC Day
• Aus Music Month
• Australia Day Live 2020
• Australian Of The Year Awards
• Classic 100
• triple j’s Hottest 100
• triple j’s One Night Stand
• W & A-League

Podcasts
• The Eleventh (working title)
• Judith Lucy: Overwhelmed and Dying
• Mackaroy (working title)
• New Scripted Comedy musical (title TBC)

Children’s programming

Itch

Children all over the world are concerned about climate change. What if we put the solution into their hands? Itch is a fast-paced action thriller, that does just that.

In this adaptation of Simon Mayo’s novel of the same name, a smart but flawed hero, Itchingham Lofte finds a new element on the periodic table which could be the world’s solution to our energy problems. In the midst of all, the conspiracy and scientific discoveries is a very human story about the strains of growing up, regional family life, fitting in and thinking through one of the world’s biggest ethical dilemmas.

Production Credits
A Komixx Entertainment and Feisty Dame Production for the ABC.
Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen West and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund. Distributed by ABC Commercial.
Executive Producers: Amanda Morrison, Edward Glauser, Andrew Cole-Bulgin, Michael Shyjka, Robert Morrison, Jan Stradling (ABC) Libbie Doherty (ABC)
Producers: Amanda Morrison, Tania Chambers and Melanie Halsall
Writers: Melanie Halsall, Dan Berlinka, Ron Elliot, Heather Wilson, Jessica Brookman and Roger Monk
Directors: Renee Webster and Nick Verso.

Kangaroo Beach

Welcome to Kangaroo Beach, a sun-soaked paradise by the sea! Every dazzling day on Kangaroo Beach is an action-packed adventure for wannabe-hero joey Pounce, creative koala Frizzy, sports-phobic wombat Neville and mini-marine biologist and platypus Gemma.

Whether training as young lifeguards, learning new water skills or exploring the wonders of the beach, the four furry friends are having the time of their lives.

The series will appeal to young audiences and families all over the world by exploring the familiar world of water play – on the beach, in the sea, in swimming pools, rivers and rock pools, while empowering viewers with an imperative message about water safety in every story.

Production Credits
A Cheeky Little Media production for the ABC.
Major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Uyoung Media and Distribution through Sonar Entertainment Executive Producers : Patrick Egerton, David Webster and Amanda Isdale (ABC)
Producer: Patrick Egerton & Celine Goetz
Writer and Creator: Tim Bain
Series Director: David Webster.

100% Wolf

So what if he’s a pink poodle? Freddy Lupin knows he’s got what it takes to run with the elite werewolf Night Patrol. All he has to do is win a place at the prestigious Howlington Academy, keep his fluffy butt out of trouble and graduate. Easy-peasy, right? WRONG!

Being the first dog at a werewolf-only finishing school is tougher than Freddy ever imagined. With the hopes of dogs everywhere resting on his curly pink shoulders, Freddy knows failure is not an option. He HAS to pass the year. Teaming up with his ragtag bunch of schoolmates and best frenemy Scarlet, a teen werewolf hunter, Freddy must harness his wolfish side and embrace his own inner-poodle. He may be fluffy and groomed, but it turns out that Freddy Lupin is 100% hero!

Production Credits
A Flying Bark Production for the ABC (Australia) and Super RTL (Germany) with international rights and distribution through Studio 100. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Financed with support from Screenwest and Screen NSW.
Executive Producers: Emily Price, Martin Krieger, Hans Bourlon, Gert Verhulst and Amanda Isdale (ABC)
Producers: Michael Bourchier, Barbara Stephen, Alexia Gates-Foale
Writer: Fin Edquist.


Returning

Bluey

Follow Bluey, a Loveable, inexhaustible Little six-year-old Blue Heeler dog, who Loves to turn everyday family Life into boundless playful adventures, developing her imagination as well as her mental, physical and emotional resilience. These adventures unfold in unpredictable and hilarious ways, bringing her dad, Bandit, mum, Chilli, four-year-old Little sister, Bingo, and the whole neighbourhood into her world of fun Like every kid her age, the thing Bluey Likes to do best is play games, most often with her sister, Bingo Bluey and Bingo both Love to role-play Whether they are doctors, fancy Ladies, butterflies or hotel managers, they Love to try on different characters just for fun And it’s never Long before Mum, Chilli, or Dad, Bandit, are dragged in to take a part in a game.

BtN

The world’s Longest running children’s news program will beback on ABC ME in 2020 for its 52nd season. The show is a fun way for upper primary and Lower secondary students to Learn about what’s happening in their world, with each program built around the major news stories of the week.

Mustangs FC


With great writing, directing and all-star cast Mustangs FC is slated to be big in 2020, as arch
rivals Mustangs merge with the dreaded Wildcats. The merger is on and the Mustangs are gonna have
to tackle some pretty big questions and kick some balls. But will there be a happy ending for the
Mustangs? That’s the big question of the series. Will the Mustangs survive the pressure? Or is it
time to - gulp - split?

A Matchbox Productions production with ABC, National Indigenous Television and Film Victoria.

Play School

In 2020, Play School nurtures and extends children’s ‘emotional vocabulary’, with emphasis on the
fascinating natural world, the endless wonder of technology and the joys of invention, we explore
the role of children as investigators and active contributors.

While encouraging enquiring minds and a sense of agency in the early years with series, we
acknowledge the facilitative and supportive role families and educators play Returning with new
series of traditional Play School episodes with subjects including, ‘Sea and Space’ - a factual
approach to the world above and below and ‘Time to Belong’ - the importance of connections and
relationships

Play School Art Time

Back by popular demandl Play School Art Time is an action-packed series that celebrates creativity, curiosity and all things artyi Set in magical art studio, the adventurous Art Crew join presenters Zindzi and Matt to create, explore and experience the wonders of art From watercolour paintings to robot sculptures and everything in between. See their creations come to Life in the Art Time Gallery

Play School Nursery Rhyme News Time

We return to Nursery Rhyme Land where the news reporter is constantly confused by what’s going on1 Series 2 takes us back behind the scenes of lO more classic nursery rhymes What makes that Little star twinkle? What is a pocket full of posies? And what’s the story with Gregory Griggs and his 27 wigsi

Play School Show Time

Following on from the huge success of Series l & 2, Series 3 this new series of Play School Show Time will feature a new Line up of fabulous musicians changing up our favourite Play School songs with their amazing talent and unique flair!

Stacked!

Pip, Drew and Ava are on ABC ME with stacks of fun new videos dropping every week. With everything from things brewing in the Dare Lab, to Life advice, and some colourful new characters - the Stacked’ team are all over it. An ABC ME TV production.

Teenage Boss, Series 2

The second series of ABC ME’s popular factual entertainment series, Teenage Boss, will see a whole new Lot of bosses in charge of the family budget Hosted by star mathematics teacher, Eddie Woo, Teenage Boss will see a range fifteen new teenagers from diverse families put in charge of the monthly budget to teach them valuable Lessons about financial responsibility and planning all while trying to reach their ultimate goal of attaining a Luxury item at the end of the month.

Under Eddie Woo’s mentorship, we’ll follow the teenager through the ups, downs, fun and fear of the real world financial challenges their parents have to face every day, but they’ll be taking on for the first time. Money issues are often at the root of family conflicts - frequently, parents feel that their teenager’s spending habits are excessive, while the teenager feels they need more money for Life’s necessities. But who wins the financial battle? Let the negotiations begin.

Little J and Big Cuz, Series 2

Little J, he’s five and Big Cuz, she’s nine. They’re a couple of Indigenous Australian kids Living with their Nanna and Old Dog Little J and Big Cuz are busy with the ups and downs of playground and classroom. There’s always something surprising going on whether it’s at school, in the backyard or beyond The gaps in Nanna’s ramshackle fence Lead to Saltwater, Desert and Freshwater Country With the help of Nanna and their teacher Ms Chen, Little J and Big Cuz are finding out all about culture, community and country.

LittleJ & Big Cuz, series 2 is a Ned Lander Media, Media World and Blue Rocket production for NITV and ABC Children’s Content. Principal production investment from NITV in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen Australia, the Tasmanian Government through Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria, the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

Space Nova

It’s the year 2162, and Life is a blast for space adventuring siblings, Jet and Adelaide Nova. Along with their parents, Josie and Hugo, these intrepid Aussie astronauts spend their days hopping rogue planets, dodging exploding asteroid belts, surfing solar flares, falling through intergalactic wormholes, avoiding being eaten by all kinds of plantimals and even meeting the odd space slug, all in the name of science. But what the Nova family really want to do is meet a real Life intelligent extra­ terrestrial Life form - something humanity has yet to do, probably because even by 2162 our technology can still barely get us to the edge of our own galaxy, Let along the millions of others beyond itl Then everything changes During a routine research mission, the Novas stumble across an abandoned alien space craft trapped in a Celestial Butterfly Even more incredible, this craft appears to be powered by a rainbow substance that’s so powerful it sends the craft zipping away at speeds humanity never dreamed possible Although the Novas were unable to capture the craft, or the ‘Star Dust’ that powered it, they now know that there is an advanced, intelligent species out there, able to travel the universe in the blink of an eye If only they can find them…

Space Nova is a SLR production for SUPER RTL, ABC ME and the NINE Network. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Giggle Garage. Financed with support from Screen NSW.

Thalu

With their country under threat from a huge dust cloud and the mysterious Takers that Lurk within, a small group of Indigenous kids has to make their way to the Thalu, a place of great power, in order to stop the cloud before it destroys everything in its path Along the way they encounter friends and foe alike as they search for eight sacred stones and a special key that will unlock the power of the Thalu and, they hope, stop the Takers in their tracks.

Thaluis a Weerianna Street Media production for NITV and ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund. Financed with support from NITV, with ABC.

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