Last night’s 2012 ABC programming launch firmly cemented ABC as Australia’s real ‘Home Of Laughter’.
The comedy dominated lineup featured some of Australia’s most exciting names in comedy.
The biggest announcements were arguably Shaun Micallef’s return to ABC in his own Daily Show-esque project and Andew Denton’s return to screen as host of the new word game comedy show ‘Randling’.
Here is the full list of new 2012 programs which will feature comedy, comedians and funny people:
Shaun Micallef is Mad As Hell
Micallef fans will rejoice at the dapper comedian’s return to ABC where he cemented himself as an Australian comedy icon in ‘The Micallef Program’ 12 years ago.
Details are still murky here, but the show’s tagline ‘One man, a desk, the world…’ paints the picture of some classic Micallef commentary of current affairs.
Andrew Denton returns as the host of a new comedy word-game game show. This is tipped to fill the big shoes left by Spicks and Specks. This is Denton’s first continuing on screen role since Enough Rope tied up in 2008.
For the last decade, TV has specialised in game shows where the points mean nothing. Not anymore. From Jon Casimir and Andrew Denton, creators of The Gruen Transfer, comes RANDLING – a show where every point is fought over tooth and claw. Where viewers will be asked to pick a team and cheer them on as they tackle the Toughest Non-Sporting Competition In The Whole World.* Over 27 weeks, culminating in a grand final, ten teams of two (the names will surprise you) will slug it out on the greatest battleground of all: words. The tool which gives life meaning. The very thing that sets us apart from the animals.** A fierce and funny half hour, RANDLING is whitewater rafting for the brain. Returning to TV after spending four years in a Laotian monastery coming to terms with his failure to win the Gold Logie, host Andrew Denton promises only this: “We guarantee that every viewer will leave each episode of Randling at least 1.7% smarter and over 100% happier”.***
*May not actually be true.
**Does not include spelling bees.
***Proven by nine out of ten experts.
Zapruder’s Other Films in association with ABC TV.
Please Like Me
Australia’s most successful Gen Y comedian makes his scripted comedy debut. Josh Thomas‘ new six part series borrows the title from the 2007 stand up comedy show that cemented Thomas as Australian comedy’s next ‘one to watch’.
Life is just kicking off for Josh. He’s living in a share house. He’s doing adult things like drinking wine and eating asparagus. And he’s heading rapidly – if reluctantly – towards his twenty-first birthday. But the events of one day throw his world spinning off its axis, and Josh is forced to move back into the family home to keep an eye on his divorced mother. Inspired by the award-winning stand-up comedy of Josh Thomas, PLEASE LIKE ME is a sixpart series about growing up quickly, and about realising that your parents are not heroes, but dopes with no idea what’s going on – just like you. Written by and starring Josh Thomas. Produced by Todd Abbott (Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey). A Pigeon Fancier production in association with ABC TV.
Written and created by John Richard and Australia’s most fabulous comedian Adam Richards. Outland follows the trials and tribulations of a gay science fiction club. Comedy.
In the closet, no one can hear you squeal. Starring Christine Anu, Adam Richard, Ben Gerrard, Paul Ireland and Toby Truslove, OUTLAND is a comedy series about the lives, loves, passions, and never-ending dramas of the members of a gay science fiction fan club. Orbiting around their shambolic meetings at each other’s apartments, this is a series about how you cope if you’re gay and a geek. Can science fiction save them all? Mostly it’s about belonging – no matter who you are – and how everyone searches to find a place to fit in. Created by John Richard and Adam Richards. Produced by Princess Pictures in association with ABC TV, Screen Australia and Film Victoria.
Frank Woodley returns to narrative comedy doing what he does best, whimsical physical comedy.
One of Australia’s most loved comedians, Frank Woodley stars in his own series as WOODLEY, the chaotic and accident-prone father of eight-year-old Ollie (Alexandra Cashmere). Recently divorced, his ex-wife Em (Justine Clarke) couldn’t live amongst the chaos, but Woodley secretly hopes that one day he’ll win her back, and there is nothing he won’t do to get his family together again. But with Em’s new boyfriend Greg (Tom Long) on the scene, it’s not going to be easy. Inspired by Frank’s silent film heroes, WOODLEY is an unashamedly romantic comedy filled with virtuosic physical mayhem. Produced by Bucket Tree Productions in association with ABC TV and Film Victoria.
Agony Aunts and Uncles
Some of Australia’s smartest comedians and personalities give their no-bs commentary and advice on defining moments in the life of human men and women.
Confessional, illuminating, inappropriate, wrong! Welcome to AGONY UNCLES, a series where some of Australia’s funniest and wisest celebrity gents including Tim Ross, Waleed Aly, John Eliot, Brett Tucker, Josh Lawson and Lawrence Mooney, put their reputations on the line to tell you what it’s really like to be single, to cohabitate, marry, divorce and then be single again in the 21st century. Narrator Adam Zwar is also the uncles’ trusted confidant. They share with him the do’s and don’ts of picking-up, falling in love, getting your heart broken and losing a house. For male viewers, the Agony Uncles will guide you through the cycle of love and beyond, while ladies get the chance to hear firsthand what men really think about love and all that goes along with it. High Wire Films in association with ABC TV.
With the camera trained on some of Australia’s wisest and funniest women including Judith Lucy, Mirka Mora, Denise Scott, Sarah Wilson, Sam Lane and Julia Zemiro, these Agony Aunts will help men, as well as their fellow women, navigate the difficult terrain of the modern relationship. Narrator and confidant, Adam Zwar (Lowdown, Wilfred) will head further down the river in his hilarious search for answers on dating, cohabitation, marriage, divorce and getting back on the horse. Will he find the answers he seeks or return more confused than ever? That’s if he returns at all. AGONY AUNTS promises to be every bit as wrong, insightful, inappropriate, confessional, and funny as its brother, AGONY UNCLES. High Wire Films in association with ABC TV.
Myf Warhurst – Nice
In the wake of Spicks and Specks, Myf Warhurst makes her solo TV debut in this cultural exploration of the inexplicably nostalgic.
Myf Warhurst is digging out the bedazzler, and putting on her oversized koala wool knit jumper to take viewers on a nostalgic journey to find out what our popular taste says about us as a nation. MYF WARHURST’S NICE is a show that embraces past cultural icons and takes a closer look at what surrounds us – the stuff you find in your own living room rather than in a gallery or museum. It’s a celebration of all the things that are just, well… ‘nice’. Along the way Myf will ask whether these ‘nice’ things tell us more about who we are than we are prepared to admit, and in order to fully appreciate what’s ‘great’, do we also need to embrace the ‘nice’? From spiral perms to the humble dim sim, Copperart to cheesy love
duets, the fabric of Myf’s youth has gone on to influence her tastes today – and she’s not alone. That’s Nice Productions in association with ABC TV.
Returning comedy series
On top of this already impressive comedy lineup, the ABC last night announced the return of some to the most critically acclaimed Australian comedy of 2011. Returning for 2012 is:
Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight Season 2
Lowdown – Season 2
Laid – Season 2