ABC3 announces new Aussie kids shows

abc3-007The ABC today announced key elements of its new kids, channel ABC3, to launch by Christmas.

Aimed at 6-15-year-olds, with a core demographic of 8-12-year-olds, ABC3 will air between 6am-9pm offering dramas, adventure series, music, wildlife, quiz shows, comedies, Indigenous programs, news and sport.

Director of Television, Kim Dalton (pictured) said: “Our vision is for ABC3 to become the number one destination for Australia’s school-age children. We will achieve this by creating a channel that tells our Australian stories in a creative, innovative and exciting manner. Our long term aim is for 50% of the content broadcast on ABC3 to be Australian, but due to the nature of drama and animation production, it will take time to reach this target.”

And the network is also looking for a string of new hosts to front the new channel, with a search branded ME ON 3.

“We’re looking for people with big personalities, who have got what it takes to impress and are up for a challenge” said Mr Dalton. “Whether you live in Port Hedland or Port Fairy, if your stories make people laugh, then this could be your big break, and I encourage everyone to apply.”

New projects for the channel include:

· After School Care – A comedy pilot now in production, as part of the Kids360˚project – a joint initiative between ABC3, Film Victoria and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Created by Melbourne comedians Damian Callinan and Micky Dwyer, the pilot features a cast of kids as well as ‘students’ plucked from the studio audience.

· West Coast Kids – Western Australian producers will be invited to submit their proposals for a 13-part, character driven situation comedy series. A joint project with Screen West and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

· Dead Normal – a 13-part drama series created by award-winning writer, Barbara Slade, which follows the adventures of three beautiful, strong-willed, outrageous teenage sisters…who just happen to be ghosts. A co-production between Burberry Productions and Coolabi (UK), this high-concept comedy series is now in pre-production in Melbourne.

· News and Current Affairs – a fresh, new approach will keep kids in touch with the key issues each weekday, in a style crafted specifically to appeal. Produced by ABC TV’s Behind the News team in Adelaide.

· Extreme Sports and Culture – a show that explores the world of art, music and fashion centred around the high-octane arena of extreme sports.

· Music – the music genre gets a style makeover with an invigorating show designed to be completely in tune with kids.

Other Australian programs currently in production or completed that will premiere on ABC3 include:

· Dance Academy – Six teenage dancers have one year to prove they’ve got what it takes after winning a place at the National Academy of Dance. For each of them, boy and girl alike, this will be a year of challenge and discovery. This 26-part drama is in pre-production in Sydney, a co-production between ABC3 and Werner Film Productions.

· My Place – This 13-part historical drama tells the story of the children who live in one house in South Sydney over 130 years. Based on the award-winning book by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins. Produced by Penny Chapman, it is a co-production between ABC3 and Little Leaf Pictures, and is now filming in Sydney.

· CJ the DJ – At thirteen, CJ can spin discs like no-one else, mix and scratch tracks like a pro, but nobody wants to know. With her spiky hair and spikier attitude, CJ is little Miss Alternative struggling in a sea of normality. The 52-part animation series incorporates an integrated online DJ experience that will feature on the ABC3’s web portal. A co-production between ABC3 and Kapow Pictures.

ABC3 will also be aiming for a fully integrated online presence including social interactivity, games, video, and user-generated content, embracing websites, blogs (oooh) and a range of entertaining and informative online activities.

So far there are no inital plans to significantly alter ABC2 daytime programming, with the arrival of ABC3.

New top-range programmes that launch on ABC3 are expected to be viewable the next day on ABC1 and in iView.

To apply for ME ON 3 visit Applications close July 17.


  1. i find the opinions byast about this new channel, im 14 i love some of the shows on ABC3 and its what freeview needed= a kids tv channel, but why end at 9pm?

  2. I appreciate the effrots you are focussing on kids shows. What additional features do we need for TV to get ABC3 programs? How much it would be costing to a family? Please let me know the details. Reply immediately.

    thank you,


  3. I remember “T-bag” and the series…. ‘T-bag’ is a witch and she have a side kick ‘Thomas shirt’ knows as “T-shirt” will be hopefully on ABC3. Please? Please? Please? Plus Closed Captions too. I can’t wait to see “T-Bag” and the series” And “Inspector Gadget” (animations) will be on. I hope and with CC (Closed Captions)

  4. The ABC3 logo as seen on the ME On 3 campaign is only but a variation of a template not too similar to ather ABC channels. It’s still too early to be speculating on the channel, even when the hosts are not even casted yet. What happens after 9pm has not been announced yet, but it will eventually.

    You say that ABC News 24 is next, which is actually more serious than you might think. There are even more services planned by auntie, up to ABC6, but ABC4, the news channel, will definetly not be lauched next year at least.

  5. popularculturep

    I think more diversity that does not reflect the dribble on the commercial stations is a good think. Bring-it-on with the commissioning of more Australian content for Australian audiences by Australians.

  6. Another pointless money-wasting excersise from the ABC. Why in God’s name don’t they simply utilise ABC2 during school holidays for this very purpose? This is not prudent use of taxpayers money. An abolute and appauling joke.

  7. I agree with Ash re BTN. My son watches it at school with his class and he quite enjoys it, as well as the class discussion that goes along with it.

    As others have said though, I am unsure why there is a need to show content for 6-15 yr olds from 9am-3pm. Unless they are running some quasi-educational shows that schools can use alongside their lesson plans, like the ABC used to back in the day. (I remember being subjected to shows about colonialism and music.)

    I applaud the ABC for bringing some new content to our screens, but looking at that list, I can’t really see anything my son (who fits their 8-12yr old demographic) would be interested in watching.

  8. The current kids programming on the ABC1 wouldn’t change, until analog TV is finally turned off (2013). Hopefully the ABC2 will offer more variety of programming in the future though.

    The ABC can’t even manage to run the ABC2 channel 24 hours a day, so I expect the ABC3 will simply close at 9PM daily.

    It was mentioned on ABC forums recently, that the ABC don’t even have the rights to Degrassi: The Next Generation anymore.

  9. I am a school teacher and I find BTN to be an excellent show. I have watched it with classes ranging from ages 8 to 13 and they have all enjoyed it.
    This year my Year Four class can’t wait for BTN each Tuesday!
    The associated online interactive activities also work very well with my students.
    Querty- perhaps you should watch BTN or at least not base it on your school eperience. Some teachers can make the experience negative through needless note-taking or dictation. I do agree that TTN was not the best program for children and was not at all saddened by it’s demise.

  10. Sounds all good to me.

    I just had a thought. In the downtime (9pm-6am), ABC3 should show rage (or a rage like show). Those of us that don’t have pay tv would like to have a music channel at night time. Just a thought. Much better than the scrolling tv guide that ABC2 show overnight.

  11. Will they make Wolverine and Xmen, Iron Man and all those superhero animation got to ABC3? Are they for kids? What about Mornings on ABC1? Will it become more adult orientated?

    Where is our 24 hour ABC news channel? or Rage/MTV music channel? Where is 7 and 9 in all this? At least ACB, SBS and TEN have embraced digital TV.

  12. Once the analogue switch off happens in 2013, I’m guessing almost all kids programming will migrate to ABC3 from ABC1 and ABC2

    Wonder what happens to ABC3 at 9pm?

    Should it go Nick at Nite style and offer classic aussie family fare?

  13. I don’t see the point of showing programs aimed at 6 to 15 year olds during 9am to 3pm weekdays. Shouldn’t they be in school!!??

    Instead, move the pre-school programming currently on ABC2 to ABC3 and bring some different programming on ABC2 aimed at older viewers.

  14. David, I heard that ABC only was able to air seasons 1-3 of Degrassi: The Next Generation because it became too “adult” and “racy” after the point in the series… is there a possibility that the later seasons could screen on ABC3 in a later time slot?

  15. So ABC will have a 3rd channel, probably around the time 7 & 9 get off their butts and start their 2nd SD. Plus ABC see the future with iView.

    So I guess after 9pm they’ll have the test pattern we are used to at times on ABC2?

  16. So the ABC will continue to buy Australian content, no matter what the quality. I’m tired of money been wasted on reality TV (Dance Academy), and I can’t believe the ABC are even funding a series (West Coast Kids), that has not even been developed yet.

    We don’t need more stupid hosts, or more variety series (Extreme Sports and Culture, Music), as there are more than enough already.

    It looks like the ABC3 will continue to be a majority to repeats (just like kids content on the ABC2), and RollarCoaster on the ABC1 will continue to be a wasteland.

    The ABC is completely out of touch, we don’t even get new seasons of regular series (Arthur, Avatar, Fairly Odd Parents) anymore. In particular the timeslot changes of RollarCoaster on ABC1/2 in last two years, shows they don’t have a clue at all.

  17. I think News and Current Affairs is a good idea for this channel providing it is done well – not like BTN or even Worse TTN. I watched both of these when i was a kid (mainly at school) and felt them both to be degrading and patronising toward children.
    Its interesting to note that ABC2 have no plans to initially change their schedualling in the daytime, and with ABC1 repeating some shows the day after they air on ABC3 – it seems as if there will (initally anyway) be a lot of childrens content on all of ABC.
    Do we know if the station will simply shut down at 9pm or will other content run?

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