The ABC tonight celebrated the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, declaring an unrivalled commitment to comedy content across television, online, radio and podcasting. This multiplatform approach gives fans the ABC’s comedy offering wherever they are, whenever they want a laugh. Whether on TV, iview, ABC listen, or ABC’s social media, the ABC continues to widen the ways audiences can find and engage with ABC content.
David Anderson, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “The ABC has a long history of investing in world class Australian comedy for our audiences. Our audiences’ behaviours continue to change, and as content makers our job is to deliver them experiences when and where they want them.
“The ABC COMEDY launch was a great opportunity for the ABC to reinvent the way we traditionally think about our ABC audiences. This rebrand saw our iview numbers jump 70%, in no small part due to our ABC iview summer comedy binge, with over two million plays for that content alone. So we know that there is an appetite for on-demand comedy viewing.
“The ABC is a place where content makers and comedians can take more risks. We continue to look for exciting ways to work with our existing, highly talented comedians, continuing the ABC’s long tradition of fostering new talent. Programs like Tonightly with Tom Ballard are a great example of this. We sometimes take significant risks, but we reach more people by creating shareable social media content and influencing conversations.
“The ABC will continue our push into these areas of growth, by experimenting with short form video content like Fresh Blood, rolling out further offerings across our audio platforms and continuing to invest in ABC fans’ favourites, such as Rosehaven.”
ABC’s Head of Comedy, Rick Kalowski, discussed highlights from the upcoming year.
"It’s an exciting time for the ABC as we continue to lead the way with world class comedy programming. From new series of ABC favourites, to kick starting the careers of up-and-coming talent, our commitment to comedy in all its forms is stronger than ever.”
Don’t touch that remote! Wednesday night entertainment delivers the laughs from May 2 with the return of three ABC favourites - one after the other. Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, Gruen and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering get together from 8pm to create an unmissable line up on Wednesday nights.
Following on from this stellar line up, Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise is a brand-new series like no other, which will see comedian Corey White try to solve the biggest problems facing everyday Australians. Premiering at 9.40pm, the series will set Corey on a collision course with conventional wisdom as he takes on not one, but two, urgent issues in each of the series’ ten episodes.
At the end of this series, Corey will have had a shot at fixing democracy, Australia Day, environmentalism, capitalism, gambling, domestic violence, the war on drugs, foster care, terrorism and housing.
Further announcements tonight included a sidesplitting audio feast from ABC listen. In the smash hit Santo, Sam and Ed’s Total Football podcast, listeners can join Santo Cilauro, Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee as they tackle the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia – and on iview, filmed episodes of the podcast will also be available.
The laughs continue as Alice Fraser, Cal Wilson and Sami Shah attempt to turn the manure of the internet into flowers of joy as they debate online trolling, during the Troll Play podcast. Plus, Nazeem Hussain returns with season three of the hit ‘anti-travel’ podcast, Burn Your Passport.
Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola are back in production on series three of one of the ABC’s comedy jewels, Rosehaven. Aaron Fa’Aoso, Nakkiah Lui and Wayne Blair are on track to deliver another ground-breaking series of Black Comedy; plus, the long-awaited reboot sees Wayne Hope reprise his role as trumped-up businessman Don Angell in Back In Very Small Business (from Hope and Robyn Butler, makers of Upper Middle Bogan).
Emerging talent also remains a focus, with four half-hour pilots for Fresh Blood currently in development. In this series, the ABC and Screen Australia kick-start the careers of young comedy writers, directors and performers, with Be Your Own Boss, Koala Man, The Angus Project and Why Are You Like This?