ABC Me (stylised as ABC ME) is an Australian children’s free-to-air television channel owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It was officially launched by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 4 December 2009 as ABC3.
In September 2007, the Australian government announced a proposal to launch a new digital-only children’s channel, ABC3. A new ABC channel appeared on television receivers in 2008, as a placeholder for the future ABC3 channel. ABC3 was considered by the Australia 2020 Summit and given as one of the recommendations to the Government. In April 2009, the Government’s official response to the Summit approved the idea, and in the 2009–10 Commonwealth Budget $67 million was allocated towards ABC3 as part of the Government’s $167 million funding increase to the ABC.
On 18 June 2009, the Corporation began its first public ABC3 campaign to scout for new hosting talent. On 22 October 2009, eight presenters were announced. Amberley Lobo and Kayne Tremills would host Studio 3, with Ben Crawley as a roving reporter, he later joined the show What Do You Know? alongside Dr Rhythm. Scott Tweedie would host Prank Patrol, while Hannah Wang and Mitch Tomlinson were named as co-hosts of Rush TV and Stephanie Bendixsen and Steven O’Donnell were hosts of Good Game: Spawn Point, a spin-off of the ABC2 TV series Good Game, made for younger gamers.
On 4 December 2009 at 5pm, the hour-long Countdown to 3 special was broadcast on the channel and was simulcast on ABC1. It featured special performances from Australian artists Cassie Davis and Short Stack, an introduction to various ABC3 presenters and shows and the station’s launch around 6pm by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
In 2011, James Elmer joined as co-host of Studio 3 along with Kayne and Amberley. On 4 December 2011, the winners from the MeOn3 contest were revealed as Alfie Gledhill and Olivia Phyland. On 14 September 2012, Alfie left Studio 3 to pursue acting dreams. In October 2012, Comedian Khaled Khalafala joined Studio 3, and stayed with the crew until early 2013 before leaving. In March 2013 the Janitor (Dave Cartel) and Bubbles the goldfish supposedly left Studio 3 for Venezuela, with Bubbles being replaced with a new goldfish called Alexis. Tim Matthews, Grace Koh and Ivy Latimer later joined James and Liv in June 2014 after winning The 3 Factor competition.
In August 2016, it was announced that ABC3 would rebrand as ABC ME on 19 September 2016. The rebranded channel is reported to be “designed to reflect and celebrate the lives, interests and diversity of young Australians” and will increase its focus to primary school children. To mark the rebrand, ABC ME teamed up with 16 year old Australian singer Angel Tairua to record a new song Unique (Me2U) to celebrate the launch of ABC ME.
ABC ME is operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation part of ABC Television. Overall strategic responsibility for all of the ABC’s domestic services rests with the Director of Television, David N Anderson (since 2017). The direction of ABC ME itself rests with Michael Carrington the current Head of Children’s and Education responsible for commissioning all ABC ME content across television, online, and iview.
The channel’s programming runs from 5am to 9pm during the weekdays and 6am to 10pm during the weekends, 5am to 10:30pm (10pm on Fridays) daily, and targets the 6-15-year-old age group. At 10:45pm, the station closes and displays the ‘signpost saying “returns at 5am” Or “returns at 6am” with ABC Jazz background music before reopening again at 6am. It broadcasts a range of genres, including comedy, drama, music, animation, extreme sports, wildlife and news-based programmes.
The channel aims to feature at least 50% Australian produced content. News To Me is a show that is hosted by the channel’s presenters. It premiered on Monday 19 September 2016 at 5:10 pm and is produced by the in-house Children’s production team, alongside Good Game: Spawn Point, and Let’s Go. Other programs which air on the channel include the historical drama My Place, sitcom Mal.com, animation series Little J & Big Cuz, a news and current affairs show produced by the team from Behind the News (the longest running program on ABC ME) and a sketch comedy You’re Skitting Me.
Program playout for ABC ME is controlled from ABQ, the ABC’s Brisbane station via the ABC’s playout facility, MediaHub. Programmes such as Studio 3 and Prank Patrol were filmed and produced at ABV in Melbourne.
Unlike commercial channels, ABC ME is not constrained by a local content quota and portions of its programming are sourced from foreign broadcasters such as CBBC (as Children’s BBC), ZDF and Yoopa.
Internal productions are regularly hosted by presenters.
- Pip Rasmussen (2016–present)
- Dallas Reedman (2018-present)
Good Game Presenters:
- Gus Ronald aka “Goose” (2017–present)
- Angharad Yeo aka “Rad” (2017–present)
- Gemma Driscoll aka “Gem” (2018-present)
- Grace Koh (2014–2018)
- Tim Matthews (2014–2017)
- Steven O’Donnell aka “Bajo” (2009–2017)
- Stephanie Bendixsen (2009–2016)
- Amberley Lobo (2009–2016)
- Kayne Tremills (2009–2016)
- Ben Crawley (2009–2011)
- Scott Tweedie (2009–2011)
- Hanna Wang (2009–2012)
- Mitch Tomlinson (2011–2012)
- James Elmer (2011–2016)
- Alfie Gledhill (2011–2012)
- Olivia Phyland (2011–2012)
- Ivy Latimer (2014–2015)
- Khaled Khalafala (2012–2013)
- Dave Cartel (2013–2014)
- ABC Guide
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- on YouTube
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