Australia’s national broadcaster announced its slate of shows for 2017 on Wednesday, prompting panic and confusion over a few notable omissions.
Most concerning was the absence of beloved advertising analysis show Gruen, which has enjoyed a decade on air with consistently excellent ratings (this year, it even out-rated The Bachelor).
However, there’s hope yet – the ABC’s announcement is only the first instalment of its full 2017 schedule, with many of its returning and new shows yet to be revealed.
The broadcaster’s full list of news and current affairs shows is also unknown.
Instead, a raft of new and returning comedies and dramas has been confirmed, with 20 new Australian shows, a commitment to cultural diversity and a focus on digital-first content created specifically for the broadcaster’s iView service.
Some of the most exciting fresh shows include Newton’s Law, a lawyer-centric drama starring Claudia Carvan, and Ronny Chieng: International Student, an autobiographical series about Chieng, the young Australian comedian who scored a coveted gig on US late night series The Daily Show.
Particularly intriguing is Seven Types of Ambiguity, based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Elliot Perlman.
Starring Hugo Weaving and Hollywood heartthrob Xavier Samuel, it follows seven characters brought together by the disappearance of a young boy.
In Bullied, Ian Thorpe seeks to help school children cope with bullies, while Tara Moss targets cyberbullying in Cyberhate with Tara Moss.
Glitch, the critically-acclaimed six-part drama, will return for a second season and with a new power player on its side – Netflix is co-producing the series with the ABC after buying the rights to broadcast the show outside Australia.
Watch a preview of next year’s content:
Up in the air
Although Gruen was skipped in the first round of announcements, it’s unlikely the ABC will ditch a show that’s so popular.
“Wil [Anderson]’s a busy guy,” the ABC’s head of television Richard Finlayson told Fairfax. “[B]ut of course we hope there will be more seasons of Gruen.”
Another big hit was Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries starring Essie Davis as private detective Phryne Fisher, which last aired in 2015.
There’s been interest and speculation surrounding a possible fourth series, but Mr Finlayson suggested Davis, who recently starred in HBO mega-series Game of Thrones, might be too busy to return.
“We’d love Phryne to come back but at this stage, no,” he told Fairfax.
No word yet on other ABC hits like Richard Roxburgh’s Rake or comedian Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me, but a second announcement in February 2017 will likely announce their return.
Until then, here’s the full list of new and returning content:
The new additions
• Almost Midnight
• Art Bites
• David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema
• Blue Water Empire
• Cyberhate with Tara Moss
• Dream Gardens
• Lost in Pronunciation
• My Year 12 Life
• Newton’s Law
• Open House with Annabel Crabb
• Rage 30th Anniversary Specials
• Ronny Chieng: International Student
• Seven Types of Ambiguity
• Shortcuts to Glory: Matt Okine Vs Food
• Songs from the Red Couch: 30 Years of Guest Rage Programmers
• The Edge of the Bush
• The Warriors
• Trip for Biscuits
The returning favourites
• Anh’s Brush with Fame
• Back Roads
• Comedy Up Late
• Gardening Australia
• Good Game & Good Game SP
• Hack Live
• Janet King
• Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery NYE
• Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell
• Stop Laughing This is Serious
• The Checkout
• The Doctor Blake Mysteries
• The Weekly with Charlie Pickering
• You Can’t Ask That