Austin

Austin

When much-loved children’s author Julian Hartswood (Ben Miller, Bridgerton, Death in Paradise) inadvertently causes a social media storm, his career and that of his illustrator wife Ingrid (Sally Phillips, Veep, Bridget Jones’s Diary) appears to be over. That is until Austin (Michael Theo, Love on the Spectrum), the neurodivergent son that Julian never knew existed, turns up out of the blue. Could embracing this modern nuclear family be Julian’s route back from cancellation?

Will Ingrid forgive him for being such a pompous shit? One thing is for certain: if Julian thinks Austin is going to be a push over, he’s in for a rude awakening.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

A Northern Pictures production for the ABC. Major production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia, Screen Canberra and ITV Studios which also handles international distribution. Post, digital and visual effects support by Screen NSW.

Writers / creators Darren Ashton, Ben Miller, Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker, Adam Zwar and Kala Ellis. Producer Joe Weatherstone. Executive Producers Catherine Nebauer, Darren Ashton, Ben Miller, Sally Phillips, Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker and Peter Anderson. ABC Commissioning Editors Todd Abbott and Rebecca Anderson. ABC Head of Scripted Rachel Okine

Definitely needs a better title than that. It’s meaningless and does not peak your curiosity. Looking at the description of the show, could they use something like Divergent Family?

I realise they probably didn’t have the budget to spend on a 3-day brainstorming session to come up with a title, but surely there was time during development and commissioning stage that some thought could be put into finding something catchier. Hopefully between now and going to air they can do so.

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Let’s hope so. I have noticed that they have made some changes recently even if some are subtle.

Limbo became In Limbo to avoid confusion with another TV series and movie released around the same time called Limbo.

The Spooky Files became Spooky Files. Not sure if this is because they’ve listened to criticism that there are too many shows that start with “The” in the title.

And we already discussed Stories From Oz became Australian Epic.

Cameras Roll in Canberra on New ABC comedy: Austin

ABC, Screen Australia, ITV Studios, and Screen Canberra are delighted to announce that filming has begun in Canberra on Austin, a charming new eight-part narrative comedy series for the ABC. Austin will air on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2024.

Produced by the multi award-winning team at Northern Pictures, Austin stars two of the UK’s most-loved performers, Ben Miller (Bridgerton, Death in Paradise) and Sally Phillips (Veep, Bridget Jones’s Diary), along with favourite Australian actors Gia Carides (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Big Little Lies) and Roy Billing (Jack Irish, Underbelly). Making his acting debut is Michael Theo, the breakout star of the ABC’s international hit series Love on the Spectrum.

When much-loved children’s author Julian Hartswood (Ben Miller) inadvertently causes a social media storm, his career and that of his illustrator wife Ingrid (Sally Phillips) appears to be over. That is until Austin (Michael Theo), the neurodivergent son that Julian never knew existed, turns up out of the blue. Could embracing this modern nuclear family be Julian’s route back from cancellation? Will Ingrid forgive him for being such a pompous shit? One thing is for certain: if Julian thinks Austin is going to be a push over, he’s in for a rude awakening.

ABC Head of Scripted Rachel Okine says “Everyone loved Michael Theo when he opened his heart to us in Love on the Spectrum, and they’re going to love him all over again when he shows off his comic chops alongside comedy legends Ben Miller and Sally Phillips in this humorous and heartwarming international series.”

Screen Australia Head of Content, Grainne Brunsdon says, “At its heart, Austin is a show about neurodiversity and acceptance. This funny and original comedy series, starring the incredibly talented and much-loved Michael Theo, alongside comedy legends Ben Miller and Sally Phillips will bring laughter, joy and a flurry of heart-warming moments to our screens. Austin is a testament to the power of storytelling in promoting inclusivity, and we’re absolutely delighted to be part of this series.”

Julie Meldal-Johnsen, EVP Global Content, ITV Studios says “We cannot wait for our international partners to dive into the beautiful, heartfelt, hilarious and uplifting world of Austin. Offering whip-smart dialogue and a story that is as emotive as it is funny, we feel this UK/Australian dramatic-comedy is truly international and ITV Studios is proud to support it.”

Holly Trueman, CEO of Screen Canberra says, “Screen Canberra is excited to support Austin through the Screen Attraction Fund and Screen Investment Fund. Filming this international comedy series in Canberra highlights our diverse filming locations and talented industry professionals. Austin is another high-calibre project showcasing our city’s creative potential.”

Production Credits:

A Northern Pictures production for the ABC. Major production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia, Screen Canberra and ITV Studios which also handles international distribution. Post, digital and visual effects support by Screen NSW.

Writers / creators: Darren Ashton, Ben Miller, Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker, Adam Zwar and Kala Ellis. Producer: Joe Weatherstone. Executive Producers: Catherine Nebauer, Darren Ashton, Ben Miller, Sally Phillips, Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker, and Peter Anderson. ABC Executive Producers: Todd Abbott and Rebecca Anderson. ABC Head of Scripted: Rachel Okine.

C21 reports Austin is part of ITV Studios’ content slate for the forthcoming London TV Screenings for overseas buyers.

Premieres Sunday 9 June at 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

When much-loved children’s author Julian Hartswood (Ben Miller) inadvertently causes a social media storm, his career and that of his illustrator wife Ingrid (Sally Phillips) appears to be over. That is until Austin (Michael Theo), the neurodivergent son that Julian never knew existed, turns up out of the blue. Could embracing this modern nuclear family be Julian’s route back from cancellation? Will Ingrid forgive him for being such a pompous shit? One thing is for certain: if Julian thinks Austin is going to be a push over, he’s in for a rude awakening.

Production Credit: A Northern Pictures production with Lincoln Pictures for the ABC. Major Production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia, the ACT Government and Screen Canberra. Post Produced with the assistance of the NSW Government in association with ITV Studios.

Episode 1

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Sunday 9 June 8.00pm

A best-selling, but recently cancelled children’s author has a meltdown when approached by a neurodivergent 20-something claiming to be his son. He then realises that embracing the young man may be the path to redemption.

Julian Hartswood (Ben Miller) would be the last person you’d think needs help. He has a beautiful wife and family, a 28-year blockbuster career as an author, and respect and adoration from the media as well as young readers around the world. But while on the Australian tour of his latest book, “Big Bear In Space”, he reposts a tweet from a white supremacist, and within minutes, his reputation goes from adored to reviled.

His book events are immediately called off and his wife, Ingrid (Sally Phillips), who illustrates his best-sellers, starts fielding offers to work with other authors. But Julian is determined to forge ahead with the tour and sets up his own book signing event without his publisher’s approval. And it’s there he meets Austin (Michael Theo), a neurodivergent 20-something claiming to be his son.

Initially Julian tries to escape from Austin, then denies ever meeting Austin’s mother, and then decides that presenting himself to the public with his long-lost autistic son may be a path to career redemption. Austin is happy to indulge Julian’s self-interest. But an even greater problem emerges for Julian when Ingrid adds nine months to Austin’s age and realises he was conceived while she and Julian were dating.

So now Julian must manage cancellation, a new son, and a wife/work partner who can’t decide whether she wants revenge or just to walk away. This is the story of a selfish man who stumbles upon a righteous path thanks to the patience, smarts, and decency of his neurodivergent son.

Production credit: A Northern Pictures production with Lincoln Pictures for the ABC. Major Production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia, the ACT Government and Screen Canberra. Post Produced with the assistance of the NSW Government in association with ITV Studios.

I think could be a bit of a sleeper hit. It’s very good with a great cast and should get a good lead in on Sunday nights from Spicks and Specks so should get a good sampling.

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I agree. I haven’t looked forward to a show more than this for quite a while. We need more original half hour content like this in this country.

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In addition to the first broadcast on Sunday ABC is repeating the show in a fairly high profile time slot of Wednesday 9:05 pm after Gruen

Also repeated on Friday at 10:35 pm as well as 9:25pm Tuesday on ABC Entertains