Gruen missing as ABC reveals 2017 programming slate and doubling of iView content

The ABC has doubled its committed to “digital-first content” in 2017 with more than 20 new Australian shows announced as part of its programming slate for the year ahead, however noticeably absent is advertising panel show Gruen.

Gruen – starring Wil Anderson, Russell Howcroft and Todd Sampson – is a ratings success for the ABC, with the return of the series in August pulling in 954,000 metro viewers, and performing as one of the broadcaster’s top rating shows for the year across its 10 week run.

A spokesperson told Mumbrella there was no announcement on Gruen today, but said there would be another programming update in February.

Director of television Richard Finlayson said: “We exist to bring great Australian stories to life. Our track record of innovation and creativity over recent years, means that the best creative talent in the country want to work with us. In fact, they keep raising the bar and it’s thanks to them that we can present another fabulous year of the very best of Australian TV to our audiences.

“But it’s not just at the premium end – in 2017 the network will double its commitment to digital-first content, with more than 200 hours of new content made especially for ABC iView, which continues to introduce audiences to exciting new content and create opportunities for a fresh and diverse generation of creative talent. We’re very proud of our great VOD service which provides free access all year, with no advertisements and across every imaginable device.

“Continual evolution is part of the DNA of the ABC. Earlier this year, we proudly launched the live streaming of all ABC channels on ABC iView, and in September we successfully launched the new ABC ME platform for school aged children.”

Vince Colosimo, Miranda Tapsell, Tasma Walton, Claudia Karvan and Rob Collins star in ABC TV dramas during 2017

Vince Colosimo, Miranda Tapsell, Tasma Walton, Claudia Karvan and Rob Collins star in ABC TV dramas during 2017

Content specifically designed for ABC iView include Ivan Aristeguieta’s Lost in Pronunciation; Goober, a series following an autistic Uber driver on a search for a new best friend; and a coming of age romantic comedy set over six years of New Year’s Eves titled Almost Midnight. It will be complemented by a new cooking show for milliennials by Triple J breakfast presenter and comedian Matt Okine

The new year will also the the introduction of a “new, consistent look” for ABC News across all platforms and channels which will see the names for ABC News 24 and ABC NewsRadio to simply ABC News.

Both the digital emphasis and news changes were foreshadowed by ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie in a speech last week.

Director of news Gaven Morris said: “The way our audiences get news and current affairs content continues to change, but increasingly they’re looking for fast access. As Australia’s most trusted news source we need our offering to be seamless and consistent no matter how audiences choose to access it. Our new, unified identity will be simply ABC News, representing independent, quality reporting and context that works equally well across all our digital and broadcast platforms.”

Next year will see the return of dramas including Newton’s Law, The Warriors and Seven Types of Ambiguity as well as new seasons of Cleverman and Glitch and the turn of Janet King and The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

For comedy lovers, new shows will include Anne Edmonds’ original noir comedy The Edge of The Bush and new autobiographical comedy Ronny Chieng: International Student while Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Utopia, Julia Zemiro’s Home Deliver and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering are all also returning to the ABC.

Next year will also see the ABC “celebrate and question what life in Australia is like today” with shows including Bullied, in which Ian Thorpe will help school-aged Australian kids handle real life situations of bullying, and, Cyberhate with Tara Moss.


Annabel Crabb will take viewers behind the scenes of Parliament House in Open House, while Blue Water Empire, a dramatised documentary series, will give new insight into the history and culture of the Torres Strait Islands.

Next year will see Anh’s Brush with Fame and Back Roads return to screens while the ABC will celebrate 30 years of Rage in April.

A new series will see Michael McCoy take a journey through some of Australia’s most lavish and magnificent gardens in Dream Gardens.

Art Bites will see a new series of art documentaries premiere next year including:

  • Shock Art
  • The Glass Bedroom
  • Suburban Interventions
  • The Wanderers
  • David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema

And for young viewers new series include Nippers, looking at the culture of Surf Life Saving and My Year 12 Life which will documents the life of 12 HSC students.

Additional programming will be revealed in February next year.


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