ABC Upfronts 2024

ABC is thrilled to unveil its 2024 programming slate. Complementing a stable of popular returning shows, ABC’s impressive 2024 slate additions span all genres and will entertain and engage Australians of all ages on the platforms they prefer.

ABC in 2024 is packed with distinct, quality Australian content unrivalled in its scale and diversity. Our commitment to serve relevant content of the highest quality to our audiences is paramount and in 2024 we’ll continue to invest in our digital products, which includes new streaming technology to promote better live experiences and improved personalisation across ABC iview.

Chief Content Officer Chris Oliver-Taylor says “We’re delighted to share our world-class 2024 slate – the most diverse slate of landmark Australian commissioned drama series, high-impact factual programs bringing humour, joy, discovery and storytelling and the largest slate of comedy commissions in Australia,’’

“Our Children’s content is world leading and world class. The ABC commissioned the biggest Kids show in the world, and we are thrilled to say Bluey is back in 2024. We’ll have the big events that bring the country together for moments of national celebration like the New Year’s Eve Fireworks, NAIDOC and Mardi Gras, our entertainment heavy hitters will all be returning, and we have an expanded arts coverage with two new shows.”

“In 2024, the next generation of ABC iview will be available to all Australians, bringing more personalisation, better navigation, more channels and more features – always free and always ad free. A number of ABC iview pop up streams will also launch from December including one dedicated to Fisk, while Bluey Fest is featuring this month” Oliver-Taylor said.

2024 program highlights include:
• Captivating new drama Return to Paradise –an Australian spin off of the popular Death in Paradise series.
• ABC legend Shaun Micallef will back with a brand new show that’s pure Entertainment, it’s everything you know and love about Shaun, and a little more.
• Kitty Flanagan is back with Australia’s number one comedy Fisk.
• Debi Mazar, Miranda Otto and Jessica De Gouw head back to the 60s in the heartwarming drama series Ladies in Black.
• UK actors Ben Millar and Sally Phillips team up with Michael Theo (Love on the Spectrum) to star in a delightful new comedy called Austin.
• Grand Designs Transformations hosted by Anthony Burke and Yasmine Ghoniem will showcase everyday Australians transforming their homes.
• Tony Armstrong is on a quest to uncover what Australians cherish in Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things.
• Australia’s favourite Blue Heeler, Bluey is back! With a 28minute special called The Sign.
• Ra Chapman stars as Jane, a cocky Korean Australian adoptee with a love of hairy white guys – the hairier the better! in new comedy White Fever.
• Hands on buzzers Australia, Adam, Myf and Alan return for a new series of Spicks and Specks.
• Food icon Maggie Beer is out to change the lives of our older Australians in Maggie Beer’s Big Mission.
• The riveting three-part news docuseries will take you inside the recent coalition government in a revealing tale of politics, ambition and power, where key players tell all in no holds barred interviews.
• Miriam Margolyes’ inquisitive nature and unique style is on display once again in the new series Miriam Margolyes Impossibly Australian.
• Art obsessed Virginia Trioli presents primetime art show Creative Types with Virginia Trioli.
• The hit series popular with audiences both young and the young at heart – Muster Dogs is back in 2024.
Jennifer Collins Head of Screen Content says “I’m so proud of the depth and breadth of content that only ABC can offer. In 2024 we have a sensational lineup of new shows along with our returning audience favourites. From our specialist content, world class dramas and our popular comedies, to our award-winning documentaries and children’s programs, no other network caters to all Australians in the way ABC does”.

Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths return with more political machinations in the award-winning series Total Control, while Debi Mazar, Miranda Otto and Jessica De Gouw, throw open the department store doors to the fabulous 60s in the glamourous new series Ladies in Black. The hit series The Newsreader returns with all the news and events from 1989. Osamah Sami stars as the son of a Muslim cleric in the gripping series House of Gods. While new drama Return to Paradise – home grown spinoff of the hugely popular Death in Paradise – promises fiendishly clever murder mysteries – all set against the spectacular backdrop of the Australian coastal landscape.

Shaun Micallef returns with a new entertainment show. Kitty Flanagan will once again be donning on the brown suit for a new series of Fisk. Ra Chapman stars as Jane in White Fever, called out for having a white man fetish, Jane is out to reprogram her libido. Australians fell in love with Michael Theo from Love on the Spectrum, and next year he will star in the new comedy Austin alongside renowned UK actors Ben Miller and Sally Phillips. Hands on buzzers Australia, our favourite music quiz show Spicks and Specks returns for more music, games and good times and Tom Gleeson will be quizzing Australians HARD in Hard Quiz. Charlie Pickering will be watching the news so you don’t have to in a new season of The Weekly and Wil Anderson and the team will tackle the advertising world as only they can in a new series of Gruen.

In 2024, ABC will be the home of lifestyle, with Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke hosting the iconic series Grand Designs Australia and returning with a new series of Restoration Australia. Anthony will also be joined by interior designer
Yasmine Ghoniem to present the inspiring series Grand Designs Transformations, showcasing everyday Australians transforming their homes. Heather Ewart returns, shining a spotlight on the towns and people from across the country with more episodes of Back Roads, while Costa and the team keep our garden thumbs green with the return of Gardening Australia.

Logie award winning presenter Tony Armstrong hits the road to learn about the untold history of Australia, through our most precious objects in Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things. Shocked by the findings of malnutrition in our Aged Care system, national treasure and food icon Maggie Beer is on a mission to change the lives of our older Australians in Maggie Beer’s Big Mission. From the makers of You Can’t Ask That comes I Was Actually There, which highlights memorable events from the perspectives of everyday Australians. Marc Fennell traverses the globe in a new series of Stuff the British Stole and we follow the trials and tribulations of a bunch of new hopefuls looking to find love in Better Date Than Never. After enduring a heart procedure Miriam Margolyes is determined to get her mojo back in Miriam Margolyes Impossibly Australian. While the hugely popular Muster Dogs returns with a new set of pups to fall in love with.

Arts fanatic Virginia Trioli is set to explore the essence of creativity with some of Australia’s best creative minds in her prime-time arts show, Creative Types with Virginia Trioli. While Namila Benson returns with The Art Of…(W/T) a refreshing new arts and culture show that seeks to figure out who we are and how we got here, with a focus on art.

Kids around the world rejoice, Australia’s favourite Heeler family is back in 2024 with a 28-minute special episode of Bluey! Adapted from Shaun Tan’s multi-award-winning book, and going into production, is the beautifully crafted animation Tales From Outer Suburbia. Australian kids will unleash their curiosity and have bubbles of fun with Cool Stuff with Fizzy and Suds. While the live action series Planet Lulin mixes extra-terrestrial fun in a coming- of-age series. Get ready for more underwater fun with a new series of Reef School, and there are crunchy new adventures to be had with Ginger and the Vegesaurs. Plus a gorgeous new Indigenous Lullaby to support active kids and frazzled parents at bedtime.

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ABC announces TV adaptation of Shaun Tan’s Tales From Outer Suburbia

There’s nothing ordinary about growing up!

Shaun Tan’s award-winning anthology of short stories is set to become a landmark

ABC animated series

Adapted from the bestselling illustrated book of the same name, ABC, Screen Australia and Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) are delighted to announce Tales From Outer Suburbia, a 10 x 22-minute animated series is heading into production with leading Australian animation studio Flying Bark Productions in collaboration with Highly Spirited.

Director Noel Cleary will lead a stunning recreation of the world established in the internationally acclaimed novel, with a cutting-edge CGI animation and handcrafted stop-motion look and feel. Shaun Tan will oversee the series as Creative Director, with Sophie Byrne (Highly Spirited) and Alexia Gates-Foale (Flying Bark) as Producers.

The series begins when ‘almost thirteen-year-old’ Klara and her six-year-old brother Pim move to Outer Suburbia with their newly single mother Lucy. The siblings’ summer holiday turns into a series of unexpected and surreal adventures. The family goes on a roller-coaster ride of emotion, encountering weird and miraculous phenomena as they adapt to their new reality.

On the direction of the series, Tan says: *“*Sometimes it takes a truly strange event to reveal how we feel about our place in the world, and what things we care about most deeply. With Tales From Outer Suburbia, we hope to awaken that fantastic realisation that fiction and reality are never very far from one another, that there is really no such thing as ‘normal life’.”

The series was developed by the ACTF during COVID and is commencing production at Flying Bark in New South Wales and at Siamese in Western Australia.

Libbie Doherty, Head of ABC Children & Family said: “The minute Tales From Outer Suburbia was presented to us we knew we had to get on board with Shaun and this excellent team. Shaun’s unique take on Australian life strikes a chord in all of us with evocative imagery and powerful storytelling. This adaptation will be iconic. A landmark TV series that will create long lasting memories for young audiences and their families. We are so thankful to all our partners – the ACTF, Screen Australia and Screenwest who continue to get behind Australian Children’s Content.”

Bernadette O’Mahony, ACTF Head of Content said: “We are excited to have Tales From Outer Suburbia go into production after extensive development. It takes a lot of committed, like-minded partners to turn such a visually stunning book into something just as special on screen. We can’t wait for the world to see Shaun Tan’s vision come to life with this talented team.”

Grainne Brunsdon, Screen Australia Head of Content said: "The rich and surreal world of Tales From Outer Suburbia, based on the hugely popular book by Shaun Tan, with scripts from Lally Katz and Sam Carroll, and hyper-real animation created by Flying Bark, is sure to delight viewers of all ages. Entertaining and thought-provoking, this series will remind us that fiction and reality are closer than we think.”

Alexia Gates-Foale (Flying Bark) and Sophie Byrne (Highly Spirited) said : “Shaun Tan’s anthology stories have a unique way of portraying modern suburban existence in an enchanting and sophisticated way, and it will be a joy to reimagine them for a broader audience. From an enormous water buffalo in an empty lot, to humans with cat-like features, the true story of each episode is how ordinary people react to these extraordinary incidents. We are thrilled to see these stories realised on the ABC.”

Production credit:

Tales From Outer Suburbia is a Highly Spirited and Flying Bark Productions production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in association with the ABC. Produced in New South Wales and Western Australia with Siamese and financed with support from Screenwest. International sales by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Adapted from Shaun Tan’s multi-award-winning book Tales From Outer Suburbia. Directed by Noel Cleary. Creative Director: Shaun Tan. Writers: Sam Carroll and Lally Katz. Producers: Sophie Byrne and Alexia Gates -Foale. Executive Producers: Barbara Stephen, Bernadette O’Mahony, Julia Adams, Francesca Hope and ABC Executive Producers: Libbie Doherty, Jo Boag.

Kangaroo Beach to return for a third series


Pack your sunnies, thongs and ten bottles of sunscreen, we’re going back to the beach for a brand-new summer of fun with our favourite lifeguard cadets!

ABC and Screen Australia are thrilled to announce that a third series of Kangaroo Beach has been greenlit, promising more action-packed adventure from Australia’s favourite young cadets.

Since splashing onto screens across Australia in 2020, this water safe series became a smash hit with its young audience and families, securing itself as the second most-watched ABC Kids series on ABC iview.

After producing two seasons in NSW, Cheeky Little Media (Ginger & the Vegesaurs, Kazoops) have teamed up with WA production company, Siamese (100% Wolf) and Screenwest to co-produce the new season. Season 3 will be produced across both states, with some key cast being played by WA voices and a new location inspired by the Western Australia landscape.

The new series will see the cadets returning for another summer stacked with fun, adventure and friendship. With two seasons of training under their belt, we’ll see the lifeguard cadets take on new challenges and responsibilities, sharing their learnings with the younger (and much cheekier) ‘Junior, Junior’ cadets.

They’ll spend more time under the sea, scuba diving around the beautiful reef, as well as up in the mountains in a spectacular new lake location that is surrounded by gum trees and connected via a long and bendy river through the bush to Kangaroo Beach. While our cadets are well versed in surf beach safety, they’re unfamiliar with inland waterways and have loads to learn, so there will be plenty of new adventure in store.

We’ll also meet Spyke, a young adventurous Echidna. Spyke may be a bit younger than the cadets, but her personality packs a punch! As Kangaroo Beach’s freshest cadet-recruit, she’s got a lot to learn about water safety — if she’ll listen. She’s also got lots of bush knowledge to share with her new friends.

Libbie Doherty, Head of ABC Children & Family said: “The Kangaroo Beach cadets welcome Spyke the echidna into the team, who will stretch their boundaries with her daredevil antics. Summer is always full throttle on Kangaroo Beach and this season won’t disappoint. Thank you to Cheeky Little Media and Tim Bain for this quintessential Australian series. We’re also welcoming on board Siamese, bringing their animation expertise from WA. We are also grateful to our brilliant financing partners the ACTF, Screen Australia, Screen West and Create NSW for supporting this 100% Australian production.”

Christopher Sharp, Screen Australia Head of Scripted said: “We are thrilled to support the third season of Kangaroo Beach, a series that has captured the hearts of kids nationwide. With its fun, action-packed and educational storylines, Kangaroo Beach is testament to the creativity and talent within the Australian children’s television industry.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO said: “It’s wonderful to see such a beloved children’s series hop over to Western Australia! Kangaroo Beach is set to create a slew of opportunities for talented local practitioners working across a range of different departments including storyboarding, animation and post-sound; and we can’t wait to see our diverse landscapes reflected in this season’s animated world.”

Celine Goetz, Producer, Cheeky Little Media said: “We can’t wait to dive into production on Season three. There is so much for the audience to get excited about with this new series, a stunning new lake location, a plucky new cadet in training and of course, all of the ingredients that we know our fans love – action, comedy and tonnes of heart.”

Production Credit: Kangaroo Beach Series 3 is a Cheeky Little Media production for the ABC, produced in association with Siamese. Major production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF). Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest and Surf Life Saving Australia. International sales by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) and Infinite Frameworks. Post, digital and visual effects supported by Screen NSW. Developed with assistance of the ABC. Cheeky Little Commercial continues as the global brand manager.

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