Once the Olympics finish, the ABC picks up the Paralympics and delivers the events and what will be some interesting ‘colour’ for the games – but not before Ernie Kane ruins it all in the lead up. The majority of programming is then held over until this period is over for Aunty, but SBS has got it’s big card lined up for the end of August in Go Back To Where You Came From. There’s a ton of drama and additional comedy also coming too… just not for a while yet.
What: KANE AND DISABLED
When: Thursday 16 August, 7:25pm (10 x 5 min episodes; ABC2).
Who: Lawrence Mooney, Sam Pang.
Worth it?: It’s uncomfortable, awkward and downright wrong, but oh so funny. Mooney as Ernie Kane (the TV host with a publicity/career death wish) and Pang as Noah Urlich (producer and cousin to 80’s pop star Margaret Urlich) together deliver distractingly good television aimed at introducing us to some of the Paralympians about to compete in London, with events to be aired across ABC1 and ABC2. Ernie’s ambition outweighs his talent. Selfish, narcissistic, misogynistic, slightly racist and ill at ease around
disabled people – Ernie seems an odd choice to host this show, but well suited to show business.
What: GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM Season 2
When: Tuesday 28 – Thursday 30 August, 8:30pm (3 x 60 min episodes; SBS one).
Who: Dr David Corlett, Angry Anderson, Peter Reith, Imogen Bailey, Allan Asher, Catherine Deveny, Michael Smith.
Worth it?: For what was one of the most important pieces of television in 2011, Go Back has high expectations on it for this second season. Including six prominent faces from Australian politics, television and radio, some with outspoken views on refugees and asylum seekers and others with a connection to the debate, should provide for some interesting commentary – but will it have the same impact? The six participants will again be guided on their journey by author and refugee expert Dr David Corlett, and the three-part series will be followed by a special episode of Insight, hosted by Jenny Brockie.
What: GRUEN PLANET
When: Wednesday 29 August, 8:30pm (10 x 45 min episodes; ABC1).
Who: Wil Anderson, Russel Howcroft, Todd Sampson.
Worth it?: Just as Gruen Sweat passes, so then a new series of what is now the most important brand (ironically) to the ABC kicks on: Gruen Planet. The analysis and commentary on advertising, branding and spin is intelligent and fast-paced, and that’s the major attraction to the show – it doesn’t treat its viewers like idiots. Wil is now a seasoned TV host, and Russel & Todd love to disagree on the simplest principle, only adding to the overall delight and interest the show provides. Smart, uncompromising and bloody funny, there’s a lot left in the Gruen tank yet. Thank Gruen.
What: PARALYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY
When: Thursday 30 August, 6:20am (Various events across 11 days on ABC1 and ABC2).
Who: Stephanie Brantz, Adam Hills, Karen Tighe, Lawrence Mooney, Sam Pang, Adam Zwar.
Worth it?: Featuring over 100 hours of coverage, ABC1 and ABC2 will capture all the inspiring highlights from the 11 days of competition, including the spectacular Opening Ceremony (August 30) and Closing Ceremony (Sept 10) starring British band, Coldplay. Both ceremonies will be hosted on ABC1 by Adam Hills and sports presenter, Stephanie Brantz. ABC1 will kick off the broadcast with live Games coverage every morning – hosted by Karen Tighe, and then return each night to Stephanie Brantz for her Nightly Highlights show. Joining Tighe and Brantz throughout the coverage will be an array of ABC sports reporters including Amanda Shalala, Clint Wheeldon, Gerry Collins (swimming), Peter Wilkins (cycling and wheelchair rugby), Quentin Hull (athletics), Peter Walsh (wheelchair basketball) and Darren Boyd. Also providing special expert commentary will be former Australian Paralympians – Troy Sachs (wheelchair basketball), Heath Francis (athletics), Amy Winters (athletics) and Katrina Webb (athletics).
What: RAKE Season 2
When: Thursday 9 September, 8:30pm (8 x 1 hour episodes; ABC1).
Who: Richard Roxburgh, Matt Day, Russel Dykstra, Danielle Cormack, Caroline Brazier, Adrienne Pickering.
Worth it?:Roxburgh brought Cleaver Greene to live in the most spectacularly decadent way in 2010, and while the two year wait has been long it’ll likely have been worth it to see him “cut his chaotic swathe into the murky depths of justice, politics, correct society and incorrect relationships”. He specialises in defending the indefensible, and this time the subject matter is only more bizarre – suicide bombers, psychotic schoolgirls, murderers, a pedantic chameleon, an international pariah, and a serial ‘bobbitter’ – which we can expect Cleaver to offer a sturdy and robust defence for whilst his personal life continues to spin out of control around him. Deliciously naughty yet meaty TV, providing something worth watching on a Thursday night.
What: LOWDOWN Season 2
When: Thursday 9 September, 9:30pm (8 x 30 min episodes; ABC1).
Who: Adam Zwar, Paul Denny, Beth Buchannan, Dalian Evans, Kym Gyngell, narrated by Geoffrey Rush.
Worth it?: Alex Birchill (Zwar) is back, and the karma bus is coming around the corner to smack him again. The showbiz journalist and entertainment columnist for fictional tabloid the Sun is belly deep in as much gossip and celebrity trauma as can be fabricated – usually by him. His best mate and photographer Bob (Denny) is still following Alex like a lapdog and getting in as much trouble for his mate as with him. The delicious writing from Zwar and Amanda Brotchie has layered itself into season 2 in a way that ensures even local journalistic fubars are celebrated in this fast-paced look at the cult of celebrity gossip. A stellar way to relax after Rake, so just keep watching.
What: JACK IRISH
When: To be announced (2 x 2 hour telemovies; ABC1).
Who: Guy Pearce, Shane Jacobsen, Marta Dusseldorp, Don Hany, Colin Friels, Emma Booth.
Worth it?: Footy, horseracing, corruption, murder and quality cabinetmaking – welcome to the world of Jack Irish. Iconic literary character, Jack Irish (Pearce), comes to life next week in two ABC1 telemovies adapted from the celebrated novels by Peter Temple. Irish is a former criminal lawyer, collector of uncollectable debts, football lover, punter, trainee cabinetmaker and sometime lover. The complete man, really. An authentic Australian dramatic voice delivered by a quality Australian cast. Must watch TV.
When: To be annoucned (6 x 1 hour episodes; ABC1).
Who: Deborah Mailman, Dean Daley-Jones, Miranda Tapsell, Jimi Bani, Shari Sebbens, Kelton Pell.
Worth it?: The first contemporary TV drama series written, directed and produced by Indigenous Australians, Redfern is set in the infamous inner-city suburb of the same name centring around and exploring contemporary inner city Indigenous life. It’s expected to be a hard-hitting, truthful and emotionally engaging story centring on a diverse group of individuals which explores their strength, flaws and resilience.
What: DEVIL’S DUST
When: To be announced (ABC1).
Who: Anthony Hayes, Don Hany, Ewen Leslie.
Worth it?: Following the story of Bernie Banton (Hayes) as he battled for compensation for all asbestos victims, right up to his death, It’s the intensely personal story of three very different men whose lives and careers are bound together by a tragedy that becomes a scandal, and then a fast-moving battle through the corridors of corporate, political and media power. At the heart of the story are the 60,000 Australians likely to die of asbestos disease by 2030, and a man who became the very public face of mesothelioma. Strong, heartfelt, powerful drama again from the ABC.