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ABC Upfronts | Connecting all Australians in 2021

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ABC stars Rachel Griffiths, Wil Anderson, Erik Thomson, Kitty Flanagan, Leigh Sales, Nakkiah Lui, Craig Reucassel and Superwog helped announce the ABC’s 2021 content slate, showcasing the best of Australian content and creativity in the way that only the ABC can.

Highlights for 2021


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The ABC’s role as the nation’s champion of Australian drama will be on show on ABC TV and iview throughout 2021.

Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths return for the highly-anticipated second series of Total Control, Anna Torv and Sam Reid headline the cast of The Newsreader, Ioan Gruffudd is back for more Harrow  while audience favourite Guy Pearce will reprise his iconic role as Jack Irish.

Set in the scenic Blue Mountains, the ground-breaking new series Wakefield, starring Rudi Dharmalingham, Mandy McElhinney and Geraldine Hakewill tackles the taboo subject of mental illness head on – with all episodes premiering on ABC iview.

A year on from last summer’s catastrophic natural disasters, the six-part series Fires is inspired by the extraordinary people who lived to tell the tale.


The ABC will bring more diverse and inclusive content to audiences in 2021, with an impressive line-up of new and returning factual content.

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Annabel Crabb examines the struggles of Australia’s female politicians in Women in Parliament, while Aaron Pedersen and bestselling author Holly Ringland will guide viewers through the Australian landscape in the stunning new natural history series Back to Nature.

Bondi Hipster Christiaan Van Vuuren investigates the state of Australia in The As Yet Unnamed Democracy Project (working title) and audience favourites Love on the Spectrum and Old People’s Home for 4- Year-Olds make a welcome return.

Four-part series Beyond the Towers revisits the terrorist attacks that changed the world, 20 years on, while Quoll Farm takes an intimate look at the life of an unassuming Australian marsupial.

Staying with the animal world, families will fall in love with four-part series Muster Dogs, which follows five graziers from across rural Australia who have been tasked with turning a gorgeous Kelpie puppy into a working dog.

The challenges we face in old age will be examined in the thought-provoking documentary, Laura’s Choice, which documents a 90-year-old Australian’s decision to end her life on her terms.  


The ABC will bring together all Australians for a laugh with new episodes of Spicks and Specks, while Charlie Pickering and Annabel Crabb will think the unthinkable in a new series of Tomorrow Tonight.

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Sarah Kendall puts on her big hair for more Frayed, while Erik Thomson joins ABC’s comedy alumni, starring as a disgraced chef in the delightful new series Aftertaste.

Nakkiah Lui leads a fresh line-up of talent in Preppers, while Kitty Flanagan brings her singular and hilarious voice to the fast-paced comedy Fisk, about a high-end lawyer who is forced to work in a shabby suburban law firm. 


The ABC’s unrivalled support for Australian arts and artists will be showcased in 2021, with the launch of a new weekly arts program on ABC TV Plus, alongside feature-length documentaries and live performances of music, ballet, musical theatre, film and opera.

Over on our main TV channel, Claudia Karvan delves into the world of Australian literature, from the classics to the page-turners in the three-part Australian Book Series with Claudia Karvan (w/t).

Justine Clarke embarks on a memorable road trip to uncover Australian country music in Going Country, while Rachel Griffiths shares her passion for portraiture in Finding the Archibald.

The fascinating story behind Australia’s pre-eminent Indigenous dance company Bangarra is explored in the feature-length documentary Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra while Step into Paradise celebrates the enduring success of designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson.   

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said no other media organisation has the breadth and depth of trusted content for all Australians.

“Support for Australian creativity has been at the heart of the ABC for the past 88 years and will continue into 2021. After a challenging year of disconnection, the ABC will bring more Australians together from more places across this wonderfully diverse country.

The ABC is the creative voice of Australia and in 2021 we will bring more homegrown content to audiences than ever, across TV, online and ABC iview.”

ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist Michael Carrington said:

“The ABC in 2021 is rich, diverse and inclusive, showcasing Australia’s best and emerging talent on and off screen. ABC iview will be home to more original Australian content than ever before.

Our rebranded secondary channel ABC TV Plus will celebrate Australian culture and creativity, including live performances, premiere documentaries, stand-up comedy and a new weekly arts show.

In 2021, the ABC will deliver more Australian voices, faces and stories than any other network – that’s our point of difference. Amid so much content from overseas, Australians are right at home on ABC.”

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  1. Spicks and Specks will go back to an 10 episode season. Adam Hills can’t do 40 as said before & seems to continue balancing his time at Channel 4 in the UK with the last leg and Paralympics.

    • Thanks Sports Benches – nowhere did it say he’d do more than 10 (or even 10), so we appreciate your insight.

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