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ABC on the hunt for new head of comedy as Rick Kalowski departs

ABC’s head of comedy Rick Kalowski is departing the public broadcaster after more than six years. During his time with the broadcaster, Kalowski has worked across more than 80 titles, from scripted comedy series, pilots and digital shorts to podcasts.

Kalowski has worked on programs including Utopia, Rosehaven, The Letdown, Get Krack!n, Frayed, Please Like Me, Upper Middle Bogan, Ronny Chieng: International Student, The Moodys and The Katering Show.

His departure follows a record number of 18 AACTA Award nominations for scripted comedy for the ABC in 2019, and a first-time sweep of all nominations in the Best Television Comedy Series and Best Television Comedy Performance categories.

Kalowski will be pursuing new career opportunities in the Australian and global screen industry after his departure in February 2020. He said he has loved his time with the ABC.

“Being ABC Head of Comedy has been the great honour of my professional life. To work with some of the most brilliant comedy minds in the world, to help nurture the careers of new comedy talent of every background, has changed me not just as a creative but as a person.

“Departures are never easy. But after the banner year ABC scripted comedy has enjoyed with audiences and awards, the time felt right for new challenges (and some sleep). I will dearly miss my ABC colleagues and wish them every success,” said Kalowski.

ABC director of entertainment and specialist, Michael Carrington, said Kalowski leaves a very healthy ABC Comedy.

“Rick has a lot to be proud of. His dedication, drive and sheer force of will have delivered outstanding Australian comedy content to our audiences, winning plaudits here and overseas for the strength and diversity of our programs. He has helped Australians laugh more, which is no mean thing. He leaves ABC Comedy in great shape for the future and we wish him well.”

Sally Riley, ABC head of drama, comedy and indigenous, said: “Rick’s commitment to remarkable Australian content is boundless. He has helped lift ABC Comedy to great heights, cementing our reputation as the home of ‘krack!n’ comedies and creativity. His passion for supporting emerging and diverse talent has seen a whole new generation of Australian comedians and creatives shine on the local and international stage. His hard work and unbridled enthusiasm for making people laugh will be sorely missed.”

Kalowski has worked with producers and media companies including Netflix, Amazon, Google, Comedy Central and the BBC, expanding international investment in ABC scripted comedy.

During his time with the broadcaster, he drove significant growth in the development and production of ABC scripted comedies in regional areas and helped foster the next generation of Australian comic talent. The ABC will announce the appointment of a new head of comedy in 2020.

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