ABC announces 2012 comedy line-up

It was with some anticipation that I awaited the ABC’s announcement of their 2012 line-up. While my brother-from-another-mother Dan Barrett of White Noise has an excellent view of some of the highlights, I thought it might benefit the comedy lovers out there amongst us to have a bit of a look at there year that is ahead of us.

The ABC has some big shoes to fill coming in 2012. There’s going to be a gaping hole in our hearts and minds left by Spicks and Specks, which wound up a successful ten year run with a classy 1.6 million viewers. Interestingly, the ABC marketing department have decided to class some shows that might blur the line between entertainment and comedy as ‘entertainment’. Just a note though, that just because these shows are announced, it doesn’t mean that they’ll make it to the screen. There’s precedence for that.

In addition to these, there’s reference to a return of Gruen (the form isn’t specified), and Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight. What’s missing from the line-up? There’s no mention of The Chasers in there (although Chas Licciardello will be part of ABC24 show Planet America), but perhaps that will come later. The Hamster Wheel wasn’t on the 2011 line-up. Series 2 of Laid was also confirmed on Marieke Hardy’s twitter account, but there’s no mention of that here.

Before we get started though, I think the ABC needs to be given a round of applause for supporting local comedy – there’s some great Australian comedians to look forward to on our screens, and it’s interesting to compare what the ABC has announced compared to the ‘home of comedy’ channel 9, who besides sending Hamish and Andy overseas again (they somehow found their way back…) have a comedy line-up of nothing but imports.

There’s many familiar faces in the ABC line-up, but enough new people to keep it unpredictable. But please ABC, Andrew McClelland and Simon Taylor need some screentime. Make it happen, and thank me later.

UPDATE: Outland, Woodley, and Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight will be on the ABC at the beginning of 2012 – no real surprise there. This Christmas and Please Like Me are ‘still a way off’.



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 monasterycoming 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”. Zapruder’s Other Films in association with ABC TV.

First up, out of the ‘everything that Denton touches turns to gold’ department, is… Andrew Denton himself. A welcome return to television since he decided Enough Rope was in fact enough, Denton’s show sounds sneakily like QI with a bit of window dressing – not that there’s anything wrong with that. What I do find interesting is the whopping 27 episode order, right out of the gate. With six months on the screen, we’ll have plenty of time to decide whether we like Randling or not.

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4 Responses

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  1. “Rake” isn’t comedy?

    If “laid” gets a mention.. surely to goodness Rake season 2 merits some text?

    by ggm on Nov 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

  2. ABC have Rake listed in their line-up as a drama. Not having seen it, I was hardly going to disagree with them on that.

    by Matt Smith on Nov 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

  3. I Want More Hollowmen!

    by Matthew of Canberra on Nov 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm

  4. Ditto MoC
    Also Backberner- Peter Berner should be back on TV (Nostalgia…)
    Micallef is always worth watching, as is Frank Woodley…

    by oldskool on Jan 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

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