Everything Old is New Again

The ABC just announced a big chunk of their line-up for 2020, so you know what that means – press release time!

Teetotaler Shaun Micallef explores Australia’s drinking culture in new documentary for the ABC

ABC and Screen Australia today announced a new 3 x 60’ documentary, Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce, to be hosted by award-winning ABC favourite, Shaun Micallef, and produced by CJZ.

Shaun Micallef drank neither wisely nor well back in his university days and swore off it in his mid-twenties. Now his sons have hit drinking age, it’s got him thinking – what kind of national drinking culture are they getting into?

In this timely documentary Shaun looks beyond clichés and misconceptions to discover the new face of alcohol in Australia. It’s changing rapidly, right under our noses.

“Personally, I’ve never quite understood alcohol. I don’t get it. It tastes funny and I’m not very good at it. Two glasses of beer and I’m under the table. So about thirty years ago, I decided I’d be better off without it. But I have children now of drinking age, and I’m wondering what advice I can give them about drinking if I don’t understand it?” says host Shaun Micallef.

Across the series, Shaun explores Australia’s long and torrid love affair with alcohol and journeys around the country meeting people whose lives have been touched by alcohol in good ways and bad.

Head of Entertainment Josie Mason-Campbell said: “Shaun Micallef has one of our most curious and interesting minds. We’re proud to work with Shaun on this deeply personal journey. Shaun will traverse Australia to get to the heart of our relationship with alcohol in this timely and important factual series.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim said: “Australia’s relationship with alcohol is an important topic, and with Shaun Micallef’s willingness to use his personal journey as a vehicle to prompt broader national discussion, this documentary will encourage viewers to reflect on different perspectives.”

Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce was announced today at the ABC 2020 Content Reveal and will air on ABC and iview in 2020.

And also, this:

Presenter, prankster and passionate advocate, Craig Reucassel returns to ABC in 2020 hosting two new documentaries funded by Screen Australia.  Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge will shine a spotlight on the nation’s growing climate change concerns, while Big Weather (and how to survive it) explores Australia’s unpredictable and extreme weather conditions.

Craig Reucassel, host of the two shows, said, “There’s a real thirst for knowledge about how Australia is being affected by changes to the climate and what we can do to prevent it. I’m so lucky to be able to dive deep into this sometimes frustrating topic and can’t wait to share the results.”

Most Australians now accept that climate change is real, but very few of us know what we can do about it. The three-part series Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge delves into the climate crisis to understand where our energy comes from, how transport and travel emissions affect our health and just what is the carbon footprint of the things we buy?

Craig will showcase how we, as individuals, families, schools and businesses can help reduce our carbon footprint by making practical day-to-day changes.  And far from taking the pressure off politicians and businesses, Craig will check in to see if they are doing all they can to make the changes we need.

ABC Head of Factual and Entertainment and Acting Head of Programming Josie Mason-Campbell says “We’re thrilled to have Craig at the helm of these two ground-breaking series.  Entertaining, informative and challenging, both shows will kick-start discussions, change attitudes and encourage Australians to take action!”

*

The thought-provoking and entertaining three-part series Big Weather (and how to survive it) explores the devastating effects of Australia’s extreme weather and aims to empower communities, families and individuals to prepare, survive and recover from them.  By following the weather cycle over the Summer of 2019-20, the series will consider how Australia’s cataclysmic climate tears us apart… and brings us together.

Sharing stories from communities, frontline disaster crews and experts who are dealing with the effects of our escalating climate emergency, Big Weather (and how to survive it) seeks to answer the big questions: How have extreme weather events shaped our nation’s story? Why are these events becoming less predictable and more intense? And what can we do to adapt, survive and thrive into the future?

Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary, Bernadine Lim said, “We are thrilled to support these original and timely Australian documentaries that I’m confident will not only contribute to the national conversation on the environment but will also encourage behavioural change.”

Sounds like a big year for fans of the ABC telling you what to do.

Of far more interest to us was what was not mentioned today: any new comedy projects. To be fair, there’s already been news on that front – another season of Rosehaven, whooooo, plus Fresh Blood pilot Why Are You Like This? was announced as going to series back in September – and today’s announcements came with the big caveat of “more to come”.

(the full line-up of returning comedy according to TVTonight is: Gruen, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Anh’s Brush with Fame, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, Hard Quiz, Rosehaven, Black Comedy and Mad as Hell, thank God)

But still, not announcing any new comedy at all during what is meant to be the launch of the 2020 line-up does seem like cause for concern. Is “steady as she goes” really the best we can currently hope for?

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