ABC Upfront 2022: All new and returning shows

• Plus what to expect from ABC Kids and ABC Me

The 2022 ABC Upfront was held on Thursday, November 25th, and saw a huge slate of new and returning content announced for next year.

Watch the 2022 ABC Upfront on YouTube here and on iview here.

Entertainment – New

Stories From Oz

Stories From Oz (above) is an irreverent comedy documentary series where six of Australia’s most defining stories are retold as musicals. Written by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen, and performed by an ensemble cast of dazzling triple-threats, this 6-part extravaganza breathes new life into some of the country’s most colourful stories, by giving them the full musical treatment they’ve always deserved.

Produced by comedy production house Princess Pictures, the series swings between interviews with the real-life players and musical numbers that give Taylor and Hansen full rein to put their trademark satirical spin on the material.

The stories receiving the full razzle-dazzle makeover are the saga of Schapelle Corby, the unlikely triumph of Steven Bradbury, the political showdown of the Tampa affair, Melbourne’s cursed Ferris wheel, the fairy- tale of the young Tasmanian woman Mary Donaldson, and the international meltdown caused by Barnaby Joyce when he threatened to euthanise Johnny Depp’s pet dogs, Pistol and Boo.

Billed as the world’s first documentary you can dance to, Stories From Oz is proof that some stories are so extraordinary that it’s not enough to simply tell them. You have to sing them as well.

Summer Love

Summer Love is an anthology series which sees eight very different sets of people rent the same beachside holiday house. Eight different writing teams bring eight different stories to life, each connected through the house and through the theme of love.

Summer Love captures the collision between the dreamy enchantment of the beach and the clumsy reality of humans on holiday.

It explores the anonymity, the possibility, and the escape that we all feel, alongside the ever-present threat of sand in the sheets.


Featuring an ensemble cast dominated by Australia’s hottest young talent, including; Sean Keenan, Jillian Nguyen, Ben O’Toole, Hunter Page-Lochard, Sophia Forrest, George Pullar, Lincoln Younes, and Vivenne Awosoga.

Barons tells the story of a surf-crazed group of hippy friends who turn their backs on the world in search of their ideal patch of surfing paradise.

Little do they know that their desire for ultimate freedom and the perfect wave will take them from the beach to the boardroom, creating billion-dollar empires. But in selling their surfing dream to the world, these best friends will become fierce rivals and the question for this found family is – once you sell paradise can you ever get it back again?

Set in the 1970s hedonistic world of surfing and the cutthroat culture of entrepreneurship, Barons sense of adventure, fun and infinite possibilities, will appeal to both young and young at heart audiences.


Savage River

Set in regional Victoria and starring Katherine Langford, the compelling six-part series Savage River is an intriguing murder mystery.

When Miki Anderson returns to her hometown in rural Victoria after 8 years in prison, she’s determined to finally move on with her life. But the close-knit community of Savage River is not about to let her forget the past that easily.

When a murder rocks the town, Miki immediately becomes the focus of everyone’s suspicion.

With the police closing in, she sets out to prove her innocence, uncovering long- buried secrets that will cast doubt on everything she thought she knew.

Significant Others

Catastrophe strikes on a morning swim. Sarah, the single mother of two teenagers, vanishes beneath the waves. The mystery of her disappearance is the catalyst that hurls her fractured family back together.

At first her siblings, Ursula, Den and Claire, fear their shambolic sister’s vanishing could be her latest stunt. They arrive to discover she has bulldozed half the house. Problem is: it’s their house too.

A house full of childhood laughter and haunted memories that start to unravel as they embark on life in the rubble, attempting to parent two kids who are desperately hoping their mum will return.

The family rages against the purgatory of not knowing their loved-one’s fate. Was Sarah drawing up plans for a bright future – or trying to erase a troubled past? There are doors this family never opens but now they must.

A story as funny as it is tragic, Significant Others is a searing account of how five disparate souls put the pieces back together after shock loss. This electrifying six-part psychological drama is created by Tommy Murphy for the ABC.


Set in the wilds of Far North Queensland, Troppo is the story of disgraced ex-cop Ted Conkaffey (Thomas Jane) who is begrudgingly recruited by Amanda Pharrell (Nicole Chamoun) – an eccentric private investigator with a disturbing criminal past – to investigate what emerges to be the murder of a brilliant tech pioneer.

As they battle to uncover the truth amid the tightly held secrets of Crimson Lake, their own traumatic pasts are dragged painfully into the present – tearing them apart, as each of them faces their own fight for sanity and indeed survival.

Here Out West (Feature Film)

A baby is kidnapped from a western Sydney hospital by a desperate grandmother. Her flight sets off a chain of events that brings together complete strangers over the course of one dramatic day.

Here Out West is set in the buzzing and ever-changing melting pot of Western Sydney. It is an anthology feature film consisting of eight distinct yet interconnected stories, written by eight of Australia’s brightest new writers – Nisrine Amine, Bina Bhattacharya, Matias Bolla, Claire Cao, Arka Das, Dee Dogan, Vonne Patiag, Tien Tran.

Here Out West is directed By Fadia Abboud, Lucy Gaffy, Julie Kalceff, Ana Kokkinos and Leah Purcell and stars Geneviéve Lemon, De Lovan Zandy, Arka Das, Rahel Romahn, Leah Vandenberg, Christine Milo, Khoi Trinh, Christian Ravello and Jing-Xuan Chan.

Entertainment – Returning

Aftertaste (Season two)

After throwing away his last chance at fame, Easton West (Erik Thomson) has settled into obscurity rather well. Telling himself he’s far happier away from the kitchen and a ‘PC’ world gone mad, he’s living a quiet life with his sister Denise (Susan Prior) and her far too forgiving partner Brett (Wayne Blair) on the old family property.

When Brett and Denise decide to make things official and tie the knot, however, it coaxes back the prodigal pastry chef Diana (Natalie Abbott) from her new life in London.

Still furious with her family’s secrets and lies, Diana’s desperate to prove to them how much better off she is without them. But old tensions rear their ugly heads, and soon Easton and Diana are bickering, wrestling, and wielding a shotgun.

As this family tries to negotiate its awkward reunion, the past will once again throw the West family into more chaos.

Fisk (Season two)

The lady in brown returns. Helen Tudor-Fisk (Kitty Flanagan) is back, along with solicitor siblings Roz & Ray Gruber (Julia Zemiro and Marty Sheargold) and, of course, everyone’s favourite probate clerk/webmaster, George (Aaron Chen).

With Roz stepping aside to start her own mediation business (within the Gruber offices) Helen is determined to take on a more senior role at Gruber & Associates.

However, Helen’s grand vision to become partner soon comes unstuck when she’s featured in a current affairs show hit piece, and her main focus becomes trying to repair her damaged reputation.

Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery (Season nine)

It’s the last spin around the block for Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, albeit in some classic marques. In this the ninth series, Julia will join her favourite people on a personal road trip that in turns are revealing, emotional, intimate, and joyous.

They’ll visit the places that shaped them, meet people that inspired them and discuss the major events in their lives. For over 70 episodes Julia has travelled the country, and the world, interviewing actors, comedians, politicians, CEO’s, music stars, sporting legends, public intellectuals, and authors.

This final round of guests will intrigue, delight and surprise to the end.

Question Everything (Season two)

Jan Fran and Wil Anderson return for another series of Question Everything (or will they?).

This comedy panel show unpacks all the misinformation, disinformation, half-truths, and rumours in what we see, hear and read.

Jan and Wil are joined each week by a revolving panel made up of up-and- coming and well-known comedians, who Question Everything by dissecting the news and media to separate fact from fiction.

Tomorrow Tonight (Season two)

Tomorrow Tonight is a truly unique panel show.

Notable Australians tackle hypothetical moral dilemmas to discover more about themselves, each other, and a future that is rapidly heading our way.

Hosted by Annabel Crabb, with Charlie Pickering and Adam Liaw by her side, the show will rediscover the true art of conversation and have fun doing it.

Mystery Road: Origin

It’s 1999, and Constable Jay Swan, a charismatic young officer arrives at his new station. Fresh from the city and tipped for big things, Jay might be the new copper, but he’s not new to this town. His estranged father Jack lives here, as does the woman who will change his life forever, Mary.

Mystery Road: Origin will explore how a tragic death, an epic love, and the brutal reality of life as a police officer straddling two worlds, form the indelible mould out of which will emerge, Detective Jay Swan.

Proud Nyikina man Mark Coles Smith plays Young Jay leading a stellar cast including Toby Leonard Moore, Daniel Henshall, Lisa Flanagan, Clarence Ryan, Steve Bisley, Caroline Brazier, Hayley McElhinney, Dubs Yunupingu, Kelton Pell, Leonie Whyman, Salme Geransar, Nina Young and rising stars Jayden Popik, Grace Chow, and Tuuli Narkle as Jay’s first love Mary.

Mystery Road

Factual – New

A Dog’s World

Dogs were the first animal ever domesticated and this long-shared history has intertwined their biology with our own in ways we are only just beginning to understand.

Join ABC’s Tony Armstrong, as he presents A Dog’s World, a three-part series that seeks to understand our ever-evolving relationship with dogs.

Through genetics, neuroscience, behavioural and physiological research we uncover the mounting evidence on what makes dogs unique among animals and an unparalleled companion for humans.

The series uncovers fresh insights into the human-dog relationship, that will have us looking at our pooches in new ways.

A League Of Her Own

A League of Her Own follows the Queensland Maroons women’s team as they strive to achieve the extraordinary in one of the most physically demanding professional sports in Australia – rugby league.

But there is more to it than just the game – these elite athletes are also juggling family and careers as well as fighting for equal pay. And they have one chance to show they have something worth backing.

Featuring actuality, behind the scenes footage, intimate interviews and a rich array of archive, this documentary chronicles the team’s journey to the 2021 Women’s State of Origin. 

Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography

This is the ultimate story of Carbon, the most talked about but least understood element on earth. Carbon in nature, industry, culture, war and love. Carbon’s story is an epic journey from the death of a star to the birth of the modern world, towards an understanding of today’s most vital issues: energy, climate and survival.

Told through intimate testimonials from those who know Carbon deeply, we also hear Carbon’s story in her own words. As if unearthed from an ancient archive. Carbon finally has a voice.

Narrated in first person by Sarah Snook, Carbon tells of her birth in the violent core of an exploding star billions of years ago and of turbulent sagas through the fabric of our evolving Earth. With breathless exhilaration she uncovers that she is key to unlocking the evolution of all life forms, including us.

Carbon’s story reminds us that we are deeply connected with our planet. She reminds us of the profound beauty of the natural world and of our fleeting and humble participation in the most extraordinary story in the universe.

Harley & Katya

Indigenous Australian figure skater Harley Windsor was the poster boy for the Australian Winter Olympic Team.

Paired with Russian skater Katya Alexandrovskaya, this unlikely duo achieved unprecedented success on the ice before meeting with great tragedy.

Now Harley is alone in Moscow, contemplating his future. We retrace his steps to uncover the dark side of elite sport.

How far are we willing to go in the pursuit of Olympic glory?

Inside The Sydney Opera House

Inside the Sydney Opera House is a fly-on-the-wall series built around the unfolding drama of the colourful characters who make up this spellbinding artistic precinct.

The Sydney Opera House is the country’s number one tourist destination and its busiest performing arts centre – but what exactly happens behind the scenes and underneath those world-famous majestic sails?

This three-part documentary series will reveal all, with the stories being told by everyday Sydney Opera House staff and its extraordinary resident companies.

They will offer us an exclusive backstage pass to one of the world’s most celebrated buildings, which according to the US architect Frank Gehry “changed the image of an entire country.”

Israel Folau

This documentary is about Australia’s most gifted and controversial athlete, and how a social media post landed him at the heart of our culture wars, derailing campaigns and careers in the process.

A homophobic bigot to some, a persecuted freedom warrior to others, this is the first time Israel Folau’s story is examined in all its multilayered complexity.

Ithaka: A Fight To Free Julian Assange

Filmed over two years across the UK, Europe and the US, this documentary follows 76-year-old retired builder, John Shipton’s tireless campaign to save his son, Julian Assange.

The world’s most famous political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has become an emblem of an international arm wrestle over freedom of journalism, government corruption and unpunished war crimes.

Now facing a 175-year sentence if extradited to the US, the family are confronting the prospect of losing Julian forever to the US justice system.

This David-and-Goliath struggle is personal. With Julian’s health declining in a British maximum-security prison and American government prosecutors attempting to extradite him to face trial in the US, the clock is ticking.

Weaving historic archive and intimate behind-the-scenes footage, this story tracks John’s journey alongside Julian’s fiancée, Stella Moris as they join forces to advocate for Assange. We witness John embark on a European odyssey to rally a global network of supporters, advocate to politicians and cautiously step into the media’s glare – where he is forced to confront events that made Julian Assange a global flashpoint.

ABC Upfront

Ithaka: A Fight To Free Julian Assange

Meet The Penguins

In this one-hour natural history film, Dr Ann Jones takes us to meet the world’s smallest penguins, living on the southern coastline of Australia.

From the world’s most famous penguin parade on Phillip Island to the penguins lives in the city suburb of St Kilda, we meet key characters who over the next six months will attempt to complete their mission: to stake their territory, partner up and raise their chicks.

Warm, surprising, revelatory and uplifting, Meet the Penguins shows us that whilst the Little Penguins may be the world’s smallest penguin, they might just be the toughest too.

Muster Dogs

Spanning the red earth of the Top End to the green pastures of regional Victoria, Muster Dogs is a 4×1 hour character-driven series featuring

five graziers from across Australia, each of whom has been given a Kelpie puppy from the same litter to train up to be a muster dog.

Checking in with the puppies at key milestones, our training gurus and mustering experts will set challenges and assess the pups’ progress.

Our journey to train these uniquely Australian dogs is an emotional ride into the farmers’ lives and a deeper understanding of the unique bond between human and dog.

Ningaloo With Tim Winton

Celebrated author Tim Winton takes us on a lyrical and passionate exploration of Ningaloo, on Australia’s North West Cape – a haven for unique and endangered species and one of the last pristine suite of ecosystems on the planet.

A remote and ‘living ark’ of biodiversity where the forces of nature are still the most powerful shaping influence.

Ningaloo has been a long-time inspiration for Tim’s life and his work, and on this very personal journey he seeks to learn more about how this unique place came to be, how its local and global connections combine to create such a rare island of biodiversity as well as what such a place might tell us about our future.

For Tim, it’s a place that enriches humanity – and his exploration of it will astonish, inspire, and delight.

Rebuilding Mallacoota (w/t)

After a bushfire almost wiped them off the face of the earth, can a ragtag band of citizens from a deeply divided community overcome their differences and seize control of their own destiny to come back from the brink?

Rebuilding Mallacoota (w/t) is an intimate character-led observational documentary series that chronicles a real-life experiment in self- determination taking place in the bushfire-ravaged Victorian coastal community of Mallacoota.

Inspired by the fleeting unity its residents felt while fighting the fires side by side, Mallacoota’s citizens aren’t waiting around for bureaucrats and outsiders to save their community – they’re putting aside their differences and coming together to rebuild themselves before it’s too late.

But in a small town that’s long been riven by feuds and deep divisions, will this turn out to be a shining example of grassroots democracy in action or a one-way ticket to a world of pain and anguish?

Southern Ocean Live (Live Broadcast)

Australia’s Southern Ocean is a wild and dramatic place – full of charismatic creatures and the perfect place for the ABC’s next live adventure. Southern Ocean Live will be a blockbuster night of natural history, broadcast live, from the icy depths of our winter seas.

Hosts Hamish Macdonald and Dr Ann Jones, will be located at Penguin Parade, on Phillip Island in Victoria. During this extraordinary night of broadcast, we will witness stories about whales, great white sharks, cuttlefish, albatross along our great southern coastline.

We will learn how the southern coastline of Australia is warming and changing four times faster than anywhere in the world, and what this means for scientists trying to protect fragile ecosystems.

Southern Ocean Live promises big creatures, big science and big thrills, as we take the audience on a live adventure that’s as wild as it gets.

Space 22

Does creativity have the power to help reach into spaces that are beyond words? Recording artist Natalie Bassingthwaighte believes so. Natalie will bring together seven strangers, each with their own mental health struggles, in an ambitious experiment to test if the simple act of participating in art can help heal invisible wounds.

Joining them in a unique workspace, Space 22, across three different art disciplines will be well known Australian artists Abdul Abdulla, Wendy Sharpe, and Eddie Perfect.

Every year 1 in 5 Australians experience symptoms of mental illness, with roughly 60% of us not seeking help. Working with the Black Dog Institute, Professor Kathryn Boydell will be measuring the results. Supported by psychotherapist Noula Diamantopoulos, many in the group will be experiencing visual and performing arts for the first time.

The hope is that by being creative, together, it will have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

ABC Upfront

Natalie Bassingthwaighte in Space 22

The Exhibitionists

A night accidentally locked into the National Gallery of Australia sends four female actors, (Bessie Holland, Mandy McElhinney, Bridie Carter, and Veronica Milsom), on a caper as they uncover a new perspective on Australian Art.

Searching for a way out of the hallowed halls, they sneak behind the scenes and are confronted by the fact that only 25% of art works in the Australian collection are by female artists. As the night progresses, they uncover scandalous tales of sexism and forgotten works of art. Outraged, they are inspired to bring work by female artists out of the shadows, and into the light.

The Exhibitionists is both a playful and profound docu-comedy, celebrating women in the arts. The film is inspired by the NGA’s Know My Name initiative and will broadcast on International Women’s Day in 2022.

The Family Court Murders

Helmed by Walkley award-winning investigative journalist Debi Marshall, The Family Court Murders takes a deep dive into the shocking events surrounding the 1980s NSW Family Court bombings and murders. Crimes that rocked the nation.

Tiny Oz

Celebrating history and craft in equal measure. Comedian Jimmy Rees and tiny artist JoAnne Bouzianis-Sellick reveal tiny Australia, through the extraordinary crafts people who lovingly obsess over teensy details, as they re-create remarkable moments in our nation’s history, in glorious miniature.

Local artisans across Australia accept the challenge to hand build tableaus representing intriguing events that have all but vanished from living memory. Recreated in miniature include; the once bustling lawless pearling town of Broome, a hot air balloon launch that fascinated and scandalised the people of Adelaide and the hundreds of exotic animals that were escorted through Sydney streets across the harbour, en route to their brand-new home at Taronga Zoo.

ABC Upfront

Tiny Oz

Whiteley On Trial

Whiteley on Trial (In Films) interrogates the biggest case of alleged art fraud in Australian history.

When Melbourne dealer Peter Gant and conservator Aman Siddique find themselves accused of forging and selling three paintings as authentic works of modern art royal Brett Whiteley, the pair are convicted by a jury in what at first appears to be an open and shut case.

But with the judge himself rendering the verdict ‘unsafe,’ the conviction is quickly overturned on appeal, leaving art observers in disbelief. By interviewing key players in the trial and with access to original case materials, this two-part series follows the captivating twists and turns of a monumental saga, asking what price our cultural heritage paid in the process.

Factual – Returning

Back In Time For The Corner Shop

Hosted by Annabel Crabb this much-loved living-history series returns. This time with a twist, rewinding the beloved Ferrone family back in time to live through over 100 years of running a family-owned corner shop.

An institution for millions of Australians, the humble corner shop was more than just a place to buy essential daily needs and tasty treats; it was once at the heart of our community.

From meat pies to milkshakes, from salami to dim sims, from fads to frozen foods, this series will go beyond the family home into our neighbourhoods to tell the story of a changing Australia.

Miriam Margolyes Australia Unmasked 

The very funny, very naughty Miriam Margolyes is finally out of lockdown and heading back home to Australia

She’s once again packing up the campervan and striking out on the road in search of answers. Over three episodes, Miriam seeks to understand what the “fair go” means in Australia today, and how it is playing out in the diverse lives of her fellow citizens. Covid has exposed fault-lines – including in Miriam’s own understanding of her place in the world.

She was about to come home, when first bushfires and then the pandemic, turned everything on its head. Like thousands of fellow Australians stuck overseas, she’s been yearning to return.

But what is she returning to? From the outlaws to the Establishment, millennials to boomers, Miriam immerses herself in lives rarely seen on our screen. Now eighty, more fragile but more fearless, Miriam takes a deep dive into Australia behind the mask.

Old People’s Home For Teenagers

The success of Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds has paved the way for a bunch of bigger kids to join a bold ground-breaking experiment as Old People’s Home For Teenagers debuts.

Presumed polar-opposites, older people and teens in fact have much in common. Both can experience loneliness and isolation impacting their health and wellbeing.

Having seen how intergenerational care can impact the health and happiness of older Australians, we will witness a new perspective, and test if casting aside pre-conceived notions and spending quality time together can help both teenagers and older Australians live more fulfilling lives.

Can sharing seemingly everyday tasks from cooking to technology build the connection needed to improve the overall wellbeing, confidence and mood of both age groups?

There will be frustrations and short fuses. Will the teens gain tools for resilience? Will self-esteem rise as feelings of loneliness fall?

This incredible social experiment is not to be missed.

ABC Kids and ABC Me

Beep And Mort

Based on Windmill Theatre Company’s award-winning theatre show, Beep, this new series tells the story of two best friends from different worlds, solving their daily dilemmas and unexpected challenges through invention, play and adventure.

Beep and Mort explores the ways the organic and the technological can work together and, at its heart, is a series about empathy, community, and the enduring value of friendship.

Built To Survive

Phil Breslin, third generation Indigenous educator, biologist and adventurer is on a quest to reveal some of the strangest and most specialised animal adaptations on the planet.

Focusing on Australia’s incredibly varied landscapes and environments, Phil yarns with First Nations people about habitats, traverses deserts, dives in the ocean’s depths and uses science to identify Australia’s ultimate animal survivor(s).

Crazy Fun Park

Crazy Fun Park is a hair-raising coming of age tale following best friends Chester and Mapplethorpe, a duo so inseparable, not even death can pull them apart.

After Mapplethorpe tragically dies in the town’s abandoned Crazy Fun Park, Chester discovers that his friend is now “living” with the other undead Fun Kids who also met their end at the park. With no adults, free rides and all the junk food you can eat, it’s every kid’s dream.

But this tragic turn of events means the two teens are forced to redefine their friendship, and as they navigate the already complicated teenage years, they fear their friendship may not be as eternal as originally imagined.

First Day (Season Two)

A new season of international Emmy award-winning series First Day follows Hannah in her second year of high school where she battles her insecurities around dating, particularly whilst being in the public spotlight.

But when she realises she has the opportunity to help a trans friend on his own journey she quickly takes it, even though it will make her more of a target.

Ginger & The Vegesaurs

Go back through the mists of time to a rich and colourful prehistory you never knew existed. An era dominated by the juiciest and crunchiest creatures ever to rule the planet the mighty…Vegesaurs!

It’s springtime in Vegesaur Valley where a herd of Tricarrotops have settled for the season to lay their seedlings. For Ginger, this time of year means only one thing…adventure!

Each episode will be a stand-alone mini-adventure driven by Ginger and the baby Pea-Rexes – Split, Minty and Wasabi – a trio of infant predators who are the perfect sidekicks for Ginger.


With motocross in the red-hot heart of Australia, it’s all action, all the time. MaveriX follows a group of junior riders that make up the first intake of the MaveriX Academy.

MaveriX is a bold experiment in next-level riding designed to push them to their limits, supercharge their talents and set them on a course to the big time.

At the Academy the six gifted individual riders will spend six weeks in Alice Springs over the summer holidays in one of the hottest, dustiest, hostile, and yet beautiful environments known to humankind. Here they must learn to race as a team – or fail.

The PM’s Daughter

Cat is like any other teenager, with one difference: her mother is the Prime Minister of Australia.

Along with her new friends, Cat navigates life in the spotlight, while tracking down a hidden threat to her mum.

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