November 27 - December 3, 2022: Issue 564


ABC in 2023 – Bright, bold, brilliant Programs coming your way

The ABC will celebrate the world’s biggest party – Sydney WorldPride in 2023

November 24, 2022

The ABC is proud to showcase its 2023 programming slate. Next year, audiences will be treated to a line-up of unrivalled Australian content from across the country. Whoever you are or wherever you are, there’s something for you on ABC in 23.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson says “In 2023 the ABC will bring to our audiences everywhere more of the brilliant and compelling programs they love and rely on. No other network or streaming service features Australian stories and voices as much as the ABC, ABC iview and ABC News.

“I am also pleased to announce that ABC content will be accessible to even more Australians as we introduce audio description to ABC iview and continue to find even more ways to connect with audiences.”

ABC Acting Director of Entertainment and Specialist Jennifer Collins says “In 2023 we’re proud to offer audiences, of all ages, shows that are unique, thought provoking and entertaining. As the single largest commissioner of Australian content, working with the very best creatives, the ABC in 23 will continue to showcase a diverse range of Australian stories that will delight our audiences across all our platforms, free and accessible to all Australians.”


Get ready to laugh with an exceptional slate of home-grown comedy, with comedians Matt Okine and Denise Scott teaming up to star in a reimagining of Australia’s beloved comedy Mother and Son; a pair of renegade sisters taking no prisoners and shaking up history as they search for newly-rich, dumb husbands in 1850s Victoria in Gold Diggers; and we head back to the offices of the Nation Building Authority with a brand new series of Utopia.

Mother and SonWhen his widowed mum, Maggie, sets fire to the kitchen, recently single Arthur Gbeme moves back into the family home. As he tells it, he has “put his life on hold” to care for his mum, but the truth is, there isn’t much to put on hold. A former nurse, Maggie used to be a firebrand – a renegade. But since the death of her husband, Maggie has been... a little off.

A bold re-imagining of the long running and hugely successful ABC comedy, Mother and Son is a show about ageing, migrant upbringing, changing family roles, and caring for someone you love even when they’re driving you up the wall.

Re-created by Matt Okine with collaborators, Sarah Walker, Tristram Baumber and the show’s original creator, Geoffrey Atherden, Mother and Son is an 8 x 30 min comedy series starring one of Australia’s most-loved comedians, Denise Scott as Maggie and Matt Okine as Arthur.

With rich, warm characters that could be drawn right from your own family. Mother and Son offers hilarious, poignant, and utterly relatable observations on modern family life.

A Wooden Horse production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW. Produced by Jude Troy and Richard Finlayson. Associate Producer Alexandra Cameron. Executive Producer / Creator / Writer Matt Okine. ABC Executive Producers: Todd Abbott and Louise Smith. International Sales: ABC Commercial. 

Matt Okine and Denise Scott - Mother and Son 2023

Aunty Donna's Coffee Café; Starring Aunty Donna’s Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly, and Zachary Ruane, the high octane and unpredictable series follows the story of three best mates running a trendy cafe down one of Melbourne’s less-than-iconic laneways.

A Haven’t You Done Well Productions production for ABC. Principal production investment from the ABC and Screen Australia in association with VicScreen. Director/Producer Max Miller and writer/Executive Producers Sam Lingham, Broden Kelly, Mark Samual Bonanno, Thomas Armstrong and Zachary Ruane. Producer Nicole Minchin and Executive Producer Georgia Mappin. ABC Executive Producers Rachel Millar and Todd Abbott.

Aunty Donna's Coffee Café

Chas Licciardello, Kirsten Drysdale and Lawrence Leung are joined by a cast of comedians, as they seek to answer and explain your most pressing of questions, in the entertaining series No Stupid Questions (Working Title). How do I join the Illuminati? Do fish feel pain? When can I make a citizen’s arrest? Are other animals ticklish? Is social media addictive? Should we be worried about ancient viruses being unlocked from melting permafrost? Is there a new show on the ABC in 2023 that lets the audience ask questions like this? Is there a new show that will go and find the answers to these questions in an entertaining and thought provoking fashion? There is!

Does this show have a name? Not yet, let’s move on. Who’s on it? Chas Licciardello, Kirsten Drysdale, Lawrence Leung, Alex Lee, Cameron James and Louise Wall.

Chas Licciardello, Kirsten Drysdale and Lawrence Leung - No Stupid Questions!

Gripping drama House of Gods will take audiences behind the walls of an imam’s family and the community he leads. While crowd favourite, the multi-award-winning series The Newsreader returns.

Bay of Fires;  Showcasing Tasmania’s rugged west coast, Bay of Fires, tells the story of Stella (Marta Dusseldorp), who is unexpectedly dropped into a small community with her children. But it’s not the kind of place they put on postcards – it is instead rife with simmering feuds, crime and sometimes, murder. An Archipelago Productions and Fremantle Australia production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Screen Tasmania, with support from VicScreen. Producers Marta Dusseldorp and Yvonne Collins. Executive Producers Greg Sitch, Andrew Knight and Brett Popplewell. ABC Executive Producers Sally Riley, Alex Baldwin and Louise Smith. Fremantle will distribute the series internationally.

Jennifer Collins: “It’s quirky, it’s funny, it’s fresh, great characters. Marta has done an exquisite job. I think this one is going to be a fantastic co-viewing opportunity for our audiences. It catches that beautiful, rugged West Coast of Tasmania, so well. The casting and the storylines are fantastic. It’s a bunch of misfits that all ended up in this town together.”

Marta Dusseldorp in Bay of Fires

Follow a diverse group of dating novices looking for love in Better Date Than Never and discover the science behind some of the deadliest of weapons in First Weapons.

Leigh Sales makes her return to ABC, presenting Australian Story, while everyone’s favourite sports host Tony Armstrong uncovers some Great Australian Stuff. 

Tony Armstrong unpacks the surprising, strange, and sometimes dark history behind our most iconic Aussie stuff. From the pioneering Boomerang, hills hoist and Victa lawnmower, to One Day Cricket, Sherrin footballs and the humble meat pie. And of course, some of our most questionable fashion staples, including speedos and stubbies.

Featuring Ben Law, Nazeem Hussain, Jenny Kee, Nornie Bero, Richard Glover and Jean Kittson to name a few, Tony digs deep into the ABC archives to uncover what makes something “great” - what stuff we should celebrate and what he can reveal in new lights.

Craig Reucassel is putting the waste issue back on the agenda in a new series of War on Waste, while Anthony LaPaglia investigates Australia’s early mafia history in The Black Hand.

In War on Waste (S3) we’ll put the critical issue of waste back on the agenda and highlight the connection between waste and climate change. At the helm, passionate planet advocate and prankster Craig Reucassel will look at the mindset change we need to fix the problems.

He’ll champion our waste heroes and hold the villains to account, and set new challenges for corporations, councils and communities.

Alongside new large scale public installations to show the shocking impact of our consumer habits, the series will conscript entire communities as part of a national plastic audit to vividly highlight the problems lurking in our own homes.

Craig Reucassel returns in 2023 with the War on Waste

Anthony LaPaglia, delves back in time to explore an Australian Italian community’s struggle against hard times, extreme politics, looming war and the mafia in their midst. A personal journey from Queensland cane country to Calabria, Italy seeking answers to a question faced by all those who remake their lives in a new place what comes with us from the old country, what do we leave behind? 

A WildBear Entertainment production for the ABC. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW and Screen Queensland. Producers Kate Pappas & Adam Grossetti, Executive Producers Alan Erson, Michael Tear & Anthony LaPaglia. ABC Factual Manager Julie Hanna.

Anthony LaPaglia investigates Australia’s early mafia history in The Black Hand.

There’s plenty for natural history fans to enjoy with stunning new series including, Australia’s Wild Odyssey, The Platypus Guardian and Dolphins: Is Our Love Too Deep?. While acclaimed author Tim Winton shares his love of the West Coast in Ningaloo Nyinggulu.

Australia's Wild Odyssey follows the flow of water across the Australian continent to uncover the incredible connections that link all creatures on earth: from ants, to eagles to us. Over three dynamic episodes, this wildlife series sets out on a journey across the driest continent on earth - following the rain, rivers and underground aquifers as they transform and connect distant ecosystems. Each stop on the journey reveals a new piece of the ecological puzzle that connects organisms and ecosystems, creating a planet just right for us.

Alongside passionate biologists and Traditional Owners, we reveal in awesome detail the surprising connections that allow life on earth to thrive. How can floods in the outback affect mountain possums 1000kms away? How do dingoes change the shape of desert sand dunes? How can a tiny crab help keep the earth’s atmosphere stable? Each story brings a new understanding of the natural functions that power our global life support systems, and the importance of preserving each piece of this complex web of life.

This series is an epic adventure across Australia’s unique landscapes, and a love letter to the only planet we know that sustains life.

A Wild Pacific Media Production. Developed with the assistance of Screen Australia. Financed in association with Screen NSW. Producers in association with Arte  France. Developed and Produced in association with the ABC. Executive Producers Electra Manikakis and Nick Robinson. Producers Peta Ayers, Nick Robinson, Electra Manikakis. ABC Manager, Documentaries Stephen Oliver.

Australia's Wild Odyssey

Australia's Wild Odyssey

Tim Winton - Ningaloo Nyinggulu.

Ningaloo Nyinggulu; Celebrated author Tim Winton takes us on a lyrical and passionate exploration of Ningaloo, on Australia’s North West Cape - a haven for unique and endangered species and one of the last pristine suite of ecosystems on the planet. A remote and ‘living ark’ of biodiversity where the forces of nature are still the most powerful shaping  influence. Ningaloo has been a long-time inspiration for Tim’s life and his work, and on this very personal journey he seeks to learn more about how this unique place came to be, how its local and global connections combine to create such a rare island of biodiversity as well as what such a place might tell us about our future. For Tim, it’s a place that enriches humanity - and his exploration of it will astonish, inspire, and delight.

An Artemis Media Production in association with Matter of Factual with major production funding from Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Western Australia Screen Fund in association with Screen Australia. Financed with support from the ABC and Love Nature. Writer Tim Winton. Director/Co-producer/Co-writer Peter Rees. Line Producer Karen Williams. Executive Producer Celia Tait. ABC Manager, Documentaries Stephen Oliver.

Comedian Joel Creasey joins forces with canine behaviourist Laura Vissaritis to retrain and rehome our four-legged friends in New Leash On Life. While fellow comedian Zoe Coombs Marr delves into Australia’s complicated Queer history in Queerstralia.

Queerstralia; From Cook to convicts to the ANZACS - most of us who’ve sat through primary school think we kind of know Australian history. But there’s another, hidden history - one of gay diggers, lesbian convict gangs, trans entrepreneurs and cross-dressing bushrangers. Heck, Colonial Australia was essentially founded on homophobia.

In 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip wrote that in the new colony “there are two crimes that would merit the sentence of death; murder and sodomy.” Criminalised and pathologised, living with the constant threat of persecution and worse, Queers have long known it makes sense to stay out of the spotlight. And consequently, LGBTQI+ histories have stayed hidden. This means that for Queer people, attempting to find our predecessors is a tricky process. Our stories exist in the margins, and we have to read between the lines of the official texts to find evidence of our existence.

Queerstralia, a landmark documentary series hosted by award-winning comedian Zoë Coombs Marr, sets out to redress this imbalance. It will wipe away the straightwashing and look into the untold and frankly FASCINATING Queer history of Australia. So trim your nails and roll up your sleeves, because we’re going far deeper than sequins and Priscilla.

A Guesswork Television production presented by Screen Australia and the ABC in association with VicScreen. Principal Production Funding from Screen Australia. Produced with the assistance of VicScreen. Created, written and hosted by Zoë Coombs-Marr. Series Producer Plum Stubbings, Executive Producer Jon Casimir. ABC Manager Factual Julie Hanna.

Queerstralia, screening on the ABC in 2023

Notable parliamentarians will be quizzed by Annabel Crabb in a new series of Kitchen Cabinet, the life of Simone Young is explored in the one-off special Knowing the Score and David Wenham returns with a new series of The ABC Of.

Returning in 2023, The ABC Of is an interview series that brings prominent Australians face to face with their earlier selves. Each episode is built around a one-on-one conversation with host Davd Wenham, with questions inspired by the content of the video clips, all of which are drawn from the vast ABC archives.

Before they sit down, the guests are unaware of the clips that have been chosen. And these video memories often travel past the choices you’d expect, the obvious markers of the guest’s CV, wending their way down delightful and surprising paths to footage that has not seen the light of day for decades.

Steering each interview is David Wenham, a globally successful film and TV actor whose own ABC career dates back to early 1990s programs such as Simone De Beauvoir’s Babies, Come In Spinner, Police Rescue and G.P. as well as more recent series The Code and Les Norton. And no, we are not forgetting his turn as Diver Dan in SeaChange.

At its core, The ABC Of is about how we change and how the world changes around us. It’s who we were and who we’ve become. It’s time travel without the cost and without the jet lag.

A Guesswork Television Production in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Executive Producers: Jon Casimir and Jo Long. ABC Commissioning Editor Julie Hanna.

David Wenham

The Platypius Guardian; Pete Walsh is a Hobart local who enjoys the outdoor life. That life, however, is turned upside down when his health takes a turn for the worse. As he contemplates his future Pete finds solace along the banks of the picturesque Hobart rivulet.

Here Pete ‘meets’ a platypus he names Zoom, after the way she seems to zoom over to him whenever he sits quietly by the water. Pete helps Zoom untangle from a plastic band. For Pete the convergence of his medical condition and his encounters with this cheeky female platypus, leads to an epiphany. Suddenly he is overwhelmed with a profound inspiration to give back, to save what urban habitat the platypuses have left and ultimately save them too.

A WildBear Entertainment Production. Executive Producer: Chadden Hunter, Director/Producer: Nick Hayward, Producer: Fraser Johnston. ABC Executive Producer: Leo Faber.

The Platypus Guardian photo: Pete Walsh

Whiteley on Trial (In Films) interrogates the biggest case of alleged art fraud in Australian history. When Melbourne dealer Peter Gant and conservator Aman Siddique find themselves accused of forging and selling three paintings as authentic works of modern art royal Brett Whiteley, the pair are convicted by a jury in what at first appears to be an open and shut case. But with the judge himself rendering the verdict ‘unsafe,’ the conviction is quickly overturned on appeal, leaving art observers in disbelief. By interviewing key players in the trial and with access to original case materials, this two-part series follows the captivating twists and turns of a monumental saga, asking what price our cultural heritage paid in the process.

An In Films production for the ABC, developed with support from the Screen NSW Slate Development Fund with production investment from Screen NSW and financed with support from the ABC. Director Yaara Bou Melhem. Producer Ivan O’Mahoney. Associate Producer Georgia Quinn. Executive Producers: Ivan O’Mahoney & Nial Fulton. ABC Executive Kalita Corrigan.

Whiteley on Trial

For the rising Generation

Aussie teens will be engaged across social media with The Disposables, while budding green thumbs will be encouraged to get out and digging, with Costa in Gardening Australia Junior. Also on offer in 2023 is Crazy Fun Park, Turn Up the Volume and Wildlifers.

The Disposables; The Disposables is a creature feature generating pivotal story points around the refugee crisis, our undervaluing of our immigrant populations, microplastics within our bodies, warehouses full of forgotten recycling and the betrayal of everyday people doing their best to sort their recycling, to do their bit.

A mysterious sickness is sweeping through Western Sydney and showing no signs of slowing down. A terrifying creature prowls the suburbs at night. The cries of the immigrants and blue-collar workers who call it home are being ignored and panic is building.

The whole place feels like a powder keg waiting to explode. But outspoken, sixteen-year-old, social justice warrior and aspiring rapper, Priya, has her own problems. Between the jingoistic rhetoric of Immigration Minister and local MP Bruce Carter, authorities who treat her as an undesirable, a seemingly indifferent Australian community, and the question mark hanging over her Temporary Protection Visa renewal, the strange goings-on in her neighbourhood are the least of her worries.

Photoplay Films Production in association with Dragonet Films. Major production investment from Screen Australia and ABC in association with Screen NSW. Produced by Karen Radzyner and Renny Wijeyamohan. ABC Executive Producer Margaret Ross.

The Disposables

Gardening Australia Junior; Gardening Australia Junior is a factual entertainment show inspiring young people & their families around Australia to roll up their sleeves and get growing, with gardening tips, tricks and creations that kids will totally dig!

Grab your spade and get ready to dig in as our hosts, The Buds and surprise guests take on wild and wonderful challenges at Gardening Australia Junior HQ.

Crazy Fun Park; Chester dreams of being a world-famous graphic novelist, living the high life surrounded by the cool kids, far away from the boring limits of his small town, Asphodel Heights. But Chester is starting to believe his biggest obstacle to fitting in isn’t his own shortcomings but his best (and only) friend – Mapplethorpe. Once upon a time, the two boys were inseparable until Mapplethorpe stumbled into the abandoned theme park on the edge of town, Crazy Fun Park, and died in a tragic accident.

Chester is grief-stricken without his soulmate until he ventures to Crazy Fun Park one night and discovers the soul of his mate may not be alive but is still very much kicking. He’s become part of the undead and now “lives” in Crazy Fun Park - a Netherworld with all the other undead Fun Kids who died in gruesome theme park fatalities when the park was operational. It’s run by the moody alpha, Remus, and is a place where they never have to grow up. So every night, Chester can visit Crazy Fun Park to hang with the dead kids in an all-night party land when the pain of living get too much. But there is a delicate order between the worlds to be maintained and there are horrific and hilarious consequences when the balance is upturned.

A Werner Film production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in association with Film Victoria and the ABC. Produced by Joanna Werner. Executive Producers Stuart Menzies, Joanna Werner, Bernadette O’Mahony. ABC Executive Producer Libbie Doherty. Distribution by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

Crazy Fun Park

Turn Up the Volume; Turn Up The Volume is a live action drama series about a group of young female and gender non-conforming kids attending a weekly music camp, who decide to form a band. Disconnected, disaffected and desperately looking for their tribe, these teenagers find that, via the transformative, uplifting power of music and friendship, they can unite together to define themselves on their own terms.

The series is inspired by the documentary, No Time for Quiet, produced by Philippa Campey with directors Hylton Shaw and Samantha Dinning, which followed the first Girls Rock! Camp in Melbourne that empowered a diverse group of girls, trans and gender non-conforming young people through music and community.

A Matchbox Pictures and Film Camp production. Matchbox Pictures is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC. Financed with support from VicScreen. Produced by Philippa Campey and Rachel Davis. Executive Producer Amanda Higgs. ABC Executive Producer Margaret Ross.

Turn Up the Volume

Wildlifers!; Su and Pharrell, both 14, are a pair of emerging wannabe documentary filmmakers. At least Su is. She’s a naturalist in waiting. If it swims, crawls, flies or bites– Su can tell you all about it. Pharrell, on the other hand, would probably rather be making real films, you know, with scripts and emotions and actors and stuff - but for the time being shooting tree ants, frill necked lizards, thimble sized possums and the occasional divebombing flying fox on his 8k Canon Vixia HF G40 from the safety of a camouflaged hide, is about as close as he is going to get. But what he lacks in interest he makes up for in talent.

Thrown together by Roaring Koala, the production company they’re interning for, they make an unlikely team, as they spend their days, and sometimes nights, crammed together in tents, camouflaged in hides, behind bushes dressed in ghillie suits, or stuck up trees; sitting, waiting, watching, cajoling, bickering, and occasionally even filming the animals they’ve been enlisted to document.

A WildBear Entertainment production for the ABC, with production funding from Screen Australia and financed in association with Film Victoria. Wildlifers is developed and produced in association with the ABC and distributed by ABC Commercial. 


2023 Event: Sydney WorldPride

Alongside Mardi Gras, ABC will celebrate the world’s biggest party – Sydney WorldPride.

Sydney WorldPride; WorldPride is a global Pride celebration and Sydney will host the celebrations in 2023, marking the first time a city in the southern hemisphere has been chosen.

The ABC is proud to be the broadcast partner for the exciting lineup of once-in-a-lifetime events. We’re set to bring audiences all the loudest, proudest and most important discussions around LGBTQIA+ rights and issues both here in Australia, South East Asia and the rest of the world.

Expect a huge two weeks of celebration, important conversations, party and protest.

Watch the live broadcast of the 45th annual Mardi Gras parade, exclusive on the ABC. As a part of Sydney WorldPride, the parade is back on Oxford Street bigger and better than ever. With 240 floats and the biggest international presence the parade has ever seen, the ABC will deliver full coverage of many crowd favourites plus heaps of new and exciting float participants.

The parade will hit the streets and screens on Saturday, February 25.

An ABC Production. Manager Events & Content Partnerships Janet Gaeta. Senior Producer, Events & Content Partnerships Rebecca Annetts.

Also broadcast in 2023 on the ABC: Australian of the Year, Australia Day Live Concert, ANZAC Day and New Year’s Eve Celebrations.

ABC returning favourites include new series of: Take Five with Zan Rowe, Hard Quiz, Play School, Gardening Australia, Designing a Legacy, Bluey, Q&A, China Tonight, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent, Catalyst, 7.30, The Drum, Beep and Mort, Back Roads, Art Works, Q + A, Gruen S15, Landline, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Offsiders, Restoration Australia S5 and Insiders.

Beep and Mort follows the action-packed adventures of two unlikely best friends. Beep, a curious robot from the stars, and Mort, a cuddly creature from the leafy village of Mollyvale.

Hosted by Namila Benson, Art Works is the ABC's weekly half-hour arts show sharing the most inspiring, surprising, and formative ways that Australian creatives are telling our stories today. Wednesdays at 8.00pm on ABC iview and ABC TV Plus. Repeated on ABC on Sunday afternoons.

Hosted by award-winning journalist Pip Courtney, Landline is Australia's only national agricultural television program covering stories from Australia's rural and regional heartland.