The 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 abc.net.au/meon3. Applications close July 17.