ABC: 2013 highlights

By David Knox on November 29, 2012 / Filed Under News, Top Stories 33

The ABC has  released details about some of the new programs coming in 2013, including a raft of new dramas, factuals, kid’s TV, plus the return of Chris Lilley and a new-look Spicks and Specks.

A Press Release with select highlights follows:

ABC TV has today announced its amazing programming slate for 2013, which continues the network’s mission to deliver bold and highly-recognised content across the range of distinctive channels and platforms.

In 2013, the drama slate on ABC1 will be stronger than ever before. Following the success of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo comes the highly-anticipated Paper Giants: Magazine Wars – the story of the Golden Years of the glossies.  Don Hany stars as Australian-born Sam Callaghan in the fast-paced detective series Serangoon Road, while Craig McLachlan takes us back to the 1950s as the unpredictable Dr Lucien Blake in The Dr Blake Mysteries.  Kevin Harrington will tell the story of Australia’s most unlikely sporting hero in the telemovie Cliffy; and a stellar cast including Claudia Karvan, Justine Clarke, Shane Jacobson, William McInnes and Stephen Curry will star in The Time Of Our Lives – a long-form drama that delves into the lives of the three generations of a modern Australian family.

In entertainment and comedy you’ll be Amazed by the new project by the star of Summer Heights High and Angry Boys Chris Lilley; and we welcome the return of Australia’s favourite music quiz show Spicks And Specks – but it will be no cover version (NB: New cast to be announced).

Creators of The Librarians, Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, bring us the heart-warming comedy Upper Middle Bogan. Merrick Watts, Dave O’Neil and Monty Dimond will romp down memory lane in the fast and furious comedy game show Tractor MonkeysThe Chaser’s Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel will give consumer affairs an extreme makeover in The Check Out; and our Agony Aunts and Uncles are back with The Agony Guide To Life.

There will be amazing new factual programs and documentaries including a portrait of the man with a brilliant mind – Gough Whitlam – in Whitlam: The Power And The Passion.  Join William McInnes as he heads to remote corners of Australia to indulge in a secret passion – bird watching – in William’s Big TwitchGruen Planet’s Todd Sampson gets a radical brain ‘makeover’ in Redesign My Brain; and Making Couples Happy will take four marriages on the brink of break up and put them through relationship rehab.

ABC2 will continue to provoke, enthuse and surprise with a raft of programs that will really get you talking. Intrepid storyteller Sabour Bradley dives Head First into the most controversial and intriguing issues in Australia; Joe Hildebrand returns to shatter some myths, burst our bubbles and slaughter some sacred Australian cows; Jess and Josh will continue on their hilariously bumpy road to self-discovery in a return series of Twentysomething; and there’s sketch comedy by the funniest blackfellas in Australia with Don’t Be Afraid Of The Darkies.

ABC3 and ABC4KIDS remain the first choice for kids around Australia. In 2013 kids will be amazed by the exciting online game Peleda; the science-based game show Steam Punks; and the live-action drama series Lost Boys. Australian favourites Play SchoolBananas In Pyjamas and Giggle And Hoot will all be back.

Reaching more than three million Australians each week, ABC NEWS 24 continues to grow expanding its ability to show key events live from across the country and the world and presenting informed discussion and debate on the big issues facing the nation.

In 2013 ABC TV will continue to lead the way in the multi-screen TV environment when we see the launch of an exciting new way to connect with TV content. The ABC Companion is an interactive tablet-based app designed to complement ABC TV programs. The ABC Companion’s first project accompanies Tractor Monkeys, and will allow viewers to play along with the TV show on their second screen mobile device.  ABC iview is set to become even more exciting and usable with the rollout of a major redesign.

Kim Dalton, Director of Television says: “At ABC TV we believe in great television. We believe in commissioning, acquiring and delivering distinctive programs, and making them available where and when our audiences expect to find them – on our very distinctive, familiar and much loved suite of broadcast channels, through iview or connected TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile phones.”

“For your entertainment, your information and your analysis, we invite you to be amazed with ABC TV in 2013.

This post updates.


  1. harrypotter1994 December 1, 2012 at 4:08 am -

    ABC’s youtube page has released a 14 minute highlights package for all their channels…

  2. Secret Squirrel November 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm -

    @Hoin – I don’t think that there’s any meat left on that bone, it’s time to stop gnawing at it. Clarke and Dawe are on for about three minutes. You could always go and make yourself a hot beverage when they’re on.

  3. Hoin November 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm -

    My only hope is that the ABC finally realises that the “7:30″ experiment hasn’t worked and brings back the proper name of “The 7:30 Report”. Everybody still calls it by that name anyway. Also that they finally put down that pathetic, limping dog “comedy” segment featuring Clarke and Dawe.

  4. Trix November 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm -

    @idiotbox, Shaun Micallef has tweeted that the show will return next year.

    Very happy with what’s on offer for next year. There’s a real Renaissance in comedy happening at the moment – very good to see.

  5. A. November 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm -

    Well there’s a lot there that sounds wonderful. I look forward to seeing much of it. Although I wish they’d swap Mad As Hell and put it on Wednesday. I really hope Agony whatever stays away from that day.

    Of course I also look forward to Doctor Who.

  6. idiotbox November 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm -

    Was there any mention of Shaun Micallef Mad As Hell? Funniest show on the ABC this year and I hope it’s back next year.
    On the other end of the funny scale I hope In Gordon St Tonight is missing off the list for a reason?

  7. David Knox November 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm -

    It is.

  8. Mac November 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm -

    I’m excited for a Spicks & Specks type of show, but it should be a reinvention, not a recasting.
    And no mention of Good Game – please say that’s coming back.

  9. victor November 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm -

    It is back to the future for the ABC. Perhaps Bellbird will be next. Spicks and Specks has had its day and it is time to move on. There may be a few stumbles along the way, such as Randling which was ill conceived (why didn’t they make a pilot instead of making 20 odd episodes?) but if the commissioning editors have the ability to identify and nuture new ideas then a solid show or two will emerge. And having bird watching show with an ABC celebrity actor, William McInnes is actually far more riskier than having a real, engaging, specialist. He’s no Tony Robinson. But the ABC got rid of its natural history unit arguing it was too expensive to maintain. Some decent shows there but are the ABC really trying to achieve excellence or just some programmers ad hoc ideas? Just can’t wait to see Cliffy shuffle onto our screens….not!

  10. tmorgan96 November 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm -

    A brilliant lineup. Go the ABC!

  11. ph November 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm -

    @Backflip. I did read on the Screentime website under news that “Janet King” Crownies spin off is to be an 8 part legal/political thriller and will go into production in early 2013. A very busy Marta Dusseldorp.

  12. neat121 November 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm -

    I’m excited for a new series of Twentysomething! It was one of my favourites last year! And what I’ve seen of Josh Thomas’ new series looks great too!

  13. BigVic November 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm -

    Spicks and Specks classic Australian show!!

  14. loppy November 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm -

    Can’t wait for twentysomething.

  15. David Knox November 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm -

    Gruen Planet and Gruen Nation both return. Josh Thomas show for ABC2. It’s a very long list and I will run more later.

  16. Lyn November 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm -

    I was excited before but now I’ve read the update.
    Without Adam, Myf & Alan, Spicks & Specks won’t be the same. :(

  17. effdee November 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm -

    A return of Spicks and Specks will only work if they choose the right team.
    They have to gel in the same way as the old teams, and the host will be crucial, as to whether it succeeds or not.

    If it works I’ll be rapt!

  18. Paul007 November 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm -

    Looking forward to what new show Chris Lilley is going to bring. He really stepped things up with Angry Boys, I know lots of people didn’t like it but I thought it was his best creation yet.

  19. Backflip November 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm -

    Any word on the Crownies spin off?

  20. Paul007 November 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm -

    No mention of The Gruen Transfer/Sweat, coming back??

  21. vitieddie November 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm -

    Any word on Gruen Planet, Randling and Hamster Wheel?

  22. Daniel November 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm -

    David, got any news on Josh Thomas’ show Please Like Me. Was promised in 2012 so where is it?

  23. Southpatt November 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm -

    I said they should do this from the start – when you’re on a good thing you stick to it.

    NMTB – 26 seasons !

  24. 2paw November 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm -

    New cast for Spicks and Specks?? Sounds a little bit risky to me. Looking forward to Whitlam and all the dramas sound interesting. The Check Out?? Hope it is a little bit Gruen. Where is Gruen (sweat, transfer, planet, nation et al) anyway????

  25. Mia November 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm -

    Thrilled to see Spicks and Specks returning. It will be no mean feat trying to equal the chemistry between host and team captains that Adam, Myf and Alan had!

  26. AEDDIE November 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm -

    Interesting that ABC is bringing back Spicks and Specks.
    Who’s going to be the new host and captains?

  27. Kylie November 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm -

    What?? The return of Spicks & Specks with new host and captains???

    Adam, Myf and Alan are Spicks & Specks!

    Why not call it something different!

  28. Dr_Rudi November 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm -

    “the return of Spicks and Specks (updated: new host and captains).”

    They’re kidding, right?

  29. Lyn November 29, 2012 at 11:26 am -

    Spicks and Specks is back???? Yay!!!!
    Can’t wait!!!! :D

  30. Ruddeger November 29, 2012 at 11:24 am -

    That was a short retirement for Spicks & Specks

  31. shazz November 29, 2012 at 11:19 am -

    I assume Rake is already set for a 3rd series. I hope The Strange Calls gets a 2nd series!

    Also very smart to bring back Spicks and Specks.

  32. shazz November 29, 2012 at 11:19 am -

    I assume Rake is already set for a 3rd series. I hope The Strange Calls gets a 2nd series!

  33. D@GP November 29, 2012 at 11:19 am -

    Impressive slate – but the big news is S&S returning – wonder how big the carrot was to get them to say “OK”…

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