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In Australia, ABC is the "Australian Broadcasting Corporation", a public broadcaster modeled after The BBC. No affiliation with the American ABC that's owned by Disney.

Long Runners:

  • All Saints
  • Blue Heelers (Drama/Cop Show, 1994-2006)
  • A Country Practice. A show that focussed on the doctors of the Wandin Valley Hospital and their private practice. To a lesser extent, it was also a cop show that had storylines relating to the one-cop Wandin Valley Police Station.
  • Four Corners (Current Affairs, running since 1961)
  • Heres Humphrey (Children's programme, 1966-2003). Most Australians would first cite Humphrey as an example of the Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal.
  • Hey Hey Its Saturday (Variety/comedy, 1971-1999; 2009; 2010;). One notable recurring segment was "Red Faces", a talent show along similar lines to The Gong Show. Two Reunion Specials were aired in 2009, and the show was brought back for 2010.
    • On Wednesdays for the first half of 2010, back on Saturday when it came back from hiatus.
  • Home and Away (Soap Opera, running since 1988, 4500+ episodes)
  • Homicide (Famously gritty cop show, 1964-1977. Notable for introducing the phrase "Police! Don't move!" shouted loudly; older Australians may get it)
  • Media Watch
  • The Movie Show (Movie reviews, running since 1986; Americans have Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, we have Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton (though we usually just call them "Margaret and David"). They switched networks in 2004 and now host At The Movies, which is the same show in all but name.
    • The Movie Show did continue on for a while afterwards, featuring younger hosts, but was soon canceled. One of the hosts now works on the ABC show Hungry Beast.
  • Mr Squiggle (Children's programme, 1959-1995, in which a puppet with a pencil for a nose (who lived on the moon) would draw things upside-down and converse with a bulldozer and a talking blackboard (a grouchy talking snail was also involved). No, I don't know what we had in the water in 1959 either.)
    • A good test of an Australian's age is to ask who was Mr Squiggle's human offsider. Their answer will tell you when they were watching the show.
  • Neighbours (Soap Opera, running since 1985, 5000+ episodes. Far more popular in Britain than in its native Australia, although it still has its share of viewers (aided by it usually sitting in between The Simpsons and another popular show in Ten's schedule until 2011 when it was moved to 11). The number of viewers overseas has several times surpassed the entire population of Australia.)
  • Play School (Children's programme, running since 1966)
    • Not to be confused with the British show of the same name which ran from 1964 to the 80s. But it is close.
  • Rage (Music Videos, running since 1987. A long, overnight weekend program which frequently shows videos unexpurgated and uncensored—when you see a lowercase "rage" logo fade in at the start of Youtubed music videos, it's from this show.)

Other Noteworthy Australian shows:

  • Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight A variety show based on comedian Adam Hills having a fantastic time with guests and the audience.
  • Amazing - An awesome children's game show involving a giant QWERTY keyboard, searching through a multi-level maze, then playing old school Nintendo games.
  • Animalia
  • Angry Boys (Chris Lilley's third show, 2011)
  • Bananas In Pyjamas
  • Blinky Bill
  • Blue Water High - Teens try and get on to the pro surfing circuit.
  • Bodyline - Dramatisation of the 1932-33 cricket tour. Stars Hugo Weaving.
  • Boney - another seriously politically incorrect show from the 1970's, this time about Australia's one aborigine detective who uses native skills and a hint of "abo" magic to close cases other cops have given up on.
  • Border Security Australia's Front Line: live action reality show about the work of Customs and Immigration Services at Australia's busiest airport.
  • Brides of Christ
  • The Chasers War On Everything (Jon Stewart meets Jeremy Beadle.
  • CJ the DJ
  • Crocodile Hunter
  • Crownies
  • Cybergirl
  • Dance Academy - A teen drama about an exclusive school for Australia's best teen dancers.
  • Danger 5 - From the creators of Italian Spiderman, a crazy Action/Comedy based on an alternate WWII in which a Multinational Team fights Nazis. Preceded by a Webisode series on YouTube.
  • Dead Gorgeous
  • Double the Fist
  • DAAS Kapital
  • Emergency
  • The Elephant Princess
  • Erky Perky
  • Farscape (Australian-American co-production)
  • Fast Forward and Full Frontal, pair of popular Sketch Comedy series, Full Frontal is a 90s Spiritual Successor to the late 80s Fast Forward which was on a different network. Notable for launching the careers of Eric Bana, Shaun Micallef, and the stars of Kath and Kim, among others.
  • The Ferals (four Funny Animals played by puppets live in the shed of a suburban dork. Got a spinoff as Feral TV, and two of the animals got their own shows)
  • Feral TV
  • Fire Starring Georgie Parker of All Saints, it centered on the first woman in the Queensland fire service during a spate of arson attacks. Noteworthy for being at the time Darker and Edgier Australian television.
  • Frontline
  • Funky Squad
  • The Games, a Mockumentary series about the preparations for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
  • The Girl From Tomorrow
  • The Glass House, a panel show in which comedians and their guests discuss recent news. Dropped by the ABC in 2006.
  • The Gruen Transfer, a panel show about advertising and Spiritual Successor to The Glass House. Cheerfully breaks down ad psychology along the way. Highlight is the "Pitch" segment, where two leading ad agencies compete to make an ad for something unsellable (Such as: Whale Meat, War on New Zealand, Holidays to Baghdad, Global Warming and Making People Stop Coming to Australia.)
  • Good Game (A video game review show)
  • Good News Week - the news of the week, dissected through fat jokes. Ran from 1996 to 2000 on two different channels (1996-1998 on the ABC, 1999-2000 on Network 10), returned to Network 10 in 2008.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Notable for being shown on Nickelodeon and Teen Nick in the USA and being so popular there that a third season was demanded and made, although several characters had seemingly disappeared.
  • Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left
  • Hey Dad
  • The Hollowmen
  • Home and Away
  • Housos - SBS comedy about bogans.
  • Infinity Limited
  • Johnson And Friends
  • K 9
  • Kath and Kim
  • The Late Shift - Skit show, mostly reliant on TakeThats.
  • The Late Show. Not to be confused with the American show of the same name, this was a highly popular Saturday night TV show from 1992-1993 that ran closer to Saturday Night Live in content, but with far lower production values, deliberately less professionalism and a chattier delivery from the actors to the audience. Featured several comedians from Fast Forward, despite the Late Show's intense (yet tongue in cheek) hatred of its producer Steve Vizard; Vizard had hand picked the stars he felt were most likely to succeed from a very well regarded Melbourne comedy school and The Late Show was formed from the 'leftovers'. Ironically, they'd go on to form Working Dog Productions, whose films The Castle and The Dish, along with TV shows like The Panel, Thank God You're Here and Frontline would arguably be more successful than anything Vizard produced.
  • The Librarians
  • Life Support
  • Lift-Off
  • Little Elvis Jones and The Truckstoppers
  • McLeod's Daughters
  • Minty - Australian/British comedy television series. British schoolgirl Melanie Hobson wins a trip to Australia in a competition, she is amazed to discover, on arrival at the airport, that she has a double, Minty Sullivan, an Australian soap opera star. Minty and Melanie often swap places — with almost nobody suspecting the truth (even though the 2 girls are very different in many ways).
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Mission Top Secret
  • Mother And Son
  • My Place
  • Myth Busters - An American-Australian Collaboration - Discovery Networks provides finance and distribution, along with the hosts and most of the film crew, with everything else being done by Beyond Productions in Sydney. Also, originally an Australian idea, but when it was pitched to the Australian Networks, they turned it down. In a last ditch attempt, it was pitched to Discovery Networks, and as they say, the rest is history.
  • Neighbours
  • Newlyweds
  • Noah and Saskia - Australian-British collaboration.
  • Number 96, famous for being one of the earliest shows to take a frank approach to the characters' sex lives. An American adaptation was produced, which didn't do so well. There was also a movie made in 1973.
  • Ocean Girl, a children's show about a girl living on an island. She's discovered by some children who live on a nearby underwater colony/
  • Offspring, a show started in 2010 about Nina, a doctor who works with midwifery (forgive this troper for forgetting the technical term). It also revolves around her love life. Really quite funny, and there is some Truth in Television as yes, shift workers do often look absolutely buggered and have to coordinate their lives around their jobs.
  • Packed to the Rafters
  • The Paul Hogan Show - quite possibly the last gasp of the old politically incorrect male Australia. Popular in the 1980's before Hogan accepted the lead role in that American movie about a politically incorrect outback hunter who goes to New York. A sketch and stand-up comedy show with recurring characters, such as the ridiculuously macho stuntman Leo Wanker.
  • Pearlie
  • Phoenix (A thirteen-part series (1992) which was a very realistic police drama, loosely based on the investigation into the 1986 bombing of the Russell Street Police Headquarters in Melbourne, Victoria. Another series (Phoenix II) and a legal drama spin-off Janus, which centred around the prosecution of a notorious Melbourne crime family, were also made.)
  • Pizza - SBS comedy about the Fat Pizza restaurant, where the pizzas are big and cheesy!
  • Prisoner (called Prisoner Cell Block H everywhere else for obvious reasons).
    • The long form was the accepted title when screened on British TV, where it quickly gained cult following.
  • Rake
  • Review with Myles Barlow
  • Round the Twist
  • Rush
  • Ryan - A show from the politically incorrect 1970's about a tough macho private eye, his stereotypically Italian assistant who was even called Luigi, and his glamorous blonde secretary (A very young Pamela Stephenson, before she took the emigrant boat to England)
  • The Saddle Club
  • Salam Cafe One of the first Islamic comedy program.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyles the Lost World
  • Satisfaction, a drama centered around the staff of a high-class brothel.
  • Sea Change, A dramatic comedy about a competitive, neurotic and work-driven lawyer whose workaholic lifestyle has distanced her from her husband and children. A move to a seaside town changes everything.
  • Sea Patrol
  • Sea Princesses
  • The 7 PM Project - Dave Hughes, Charlie Pickering, Carrie Bickmore, and at least two other people read the news, then chat about it. Geared towards the Digg and Twitter generation, which may partly become its undoing.
  • Ship To Shore - Mid 90s children's show about a group of schoolkids living on an island that was just off the coast of Perth, Western Australia.
  • Skippy the Bush Kangaroo - A Boy And His Kangaroo. Australia's Lassie.
  • Skithouse - A hilarious skit show with loads of well-known comedians. The common joke was to suggest replacing the "K" in the name with an "H".
  • The Slap
  • SLiDE
  • Spellbinder
  • Spicks & Specks (A music quiz show, which has lately gotten reliant on the antics of the various guest stars (many of them comedians). This may be evidence of Seasonal Rot.)
  • Spirited
  • Stingers - A Cop Show about undercover police and how the job affects their lives.
  • The Straits - A groundbreaking crime drama in terms of its rare setting and (specific) concept - the deadly smuggling trade between northern Australia and Papua New Guinea.
  • Studio 3
  • Summer Heights High
  • Swift And Shift Couriers - SBS comedy about the worst courier company in Australia
  • Talkin Bout Your Generation (A pop-culture celebrity quiz show in the style of Spicks and Specks and Good News Week).
  • The Genie From Down Under - a children's comedy series about a British girl who discovers an opal with an Australian genie and his son inside. The show shifts between rainy old England and outback Australian.
  • Time Trax
  • Thank God You're Here (the rough equivalent to improv shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway (albeit limited to one 'game' type—features comedians being thrown into situations and forced to bluff their way through them. Results vary depending on who competes.)
    • A squillion different countries have made their own version.
  • Tracey McBean
  • Underbelly (A show about Australia's history of organised crime. The first series, covering the gangland war in Melbourne, was unanimously considered awesome. The second series, 'A Tale of Two Cities' about the drug trade between Sydney and Melbourne... not so much.)
  • The Upside Down Show with Shane Dundas and David Collins of The Umbilical Brothers
  • The Water Rats: Police Procedural which ran from 1996 to 2001, about the Sydney Water Police, who patrol Sydney Harbour, and surrounding areas.
  • We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High (Award-winning, incredibly popular mockumentaries, later let down gently with a sea of "Well... it's big in Australia..."-s from overseas critics).
  • The Wedge
  • Wicked Science
  • Wild Boys
  • Wilfred


Really Short Runners:

  • Australias Naughtiest Home Videos (A one-ep spinoff of Australia's Funniest Home Videos, the Nine Network's owner[1] saw the first act (which involved, among other things, animals having sex), called the station, and ordered them to pull it "get that shit off the air!". It went to commercial after 24 minutes, and came back as a Cheers rerun. In 2008, the entire episode was finally aired, complete with a link segment to mark the spot the original broadcast was cut off)
  • Let Loose Live (Hilariously unfunny sketch comedy show, pulled after two episodes)
  • Yasmins Getting Married: short lived reality show that was based on the succesful Scandinavian show Kerry's Getting Married, only lasted for 4 episodes.
  • Stooged: Lame Punk'd rip-off that only lasted for 2 episodes.


In terms of childrens' tv, the most prolific producers are Jonathan M. Shiff Productions (of Blinky Bill, Ocean Girl, and H₂O: Just Add Water fame), and the Australian Children's Television Foundation (a government-funded organisation behind shows such as Spellbinder, Dance Academy, and the beloved Round the Twist).

  1. Kerry Packer
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