ABC, Screen Australia, ITV Studios, and Screen Canberra are thrilled to announce the commencement of filming in Canberra for “Austin,” a delightful new eight-part narrative comedy series set to air on the ABC.
Produced by the award-winning team at Northern Pictures, “Austin” features two beloved UK performers, Ben Miller (known for “Bridgerton” and “Death in Paradise”) and Sally Phillips (famous for “Veep” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary”), alongside acclaimed Australian actors Gia Carides (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Big Little Lies”) and Roy Billing (“Jack Irish,” “Underbelly”). Making his acting debut is Michael Theo, the breakout star from the ABC’s internationally acclaimed series “Love on the Spectrum.”
The storyline revolves around much-loved children’s author Julian Hartswood (played by Ben Miller), whose unintentional social media storm jeopardizes his career and that of his illustrator wife Ingrid (Sally Phillips). However, a surprising turn of events occurs when Austin (Michael Theo), Julian’s neurodivergent son, makes an unexpected appearance. Can embracing this unconventional family dynamic be Julian’s path to redemption from cancellation? Will Ingrid forgive him for his previous arrogance? One thing is certain: if Julian underestimates Austin, he’s in for a rude awakening.
ABC Head of Scripted Rachel Okine says “Everyone loved Michael Theo when he opened his heart to us in Love on the Spectrum, and they’re going to love him all over again when he shows off his comic chops alongside comedy legends Ben Miller and Sally Phillips in this humorous and heartwarming international series.”
Screen Australia Head of Content, Grainne Brunsdon says, “At its heart, Austin is a show about neurodiversity and acceptance. This funny and original comedy series, starring the incredibly talented and much-loved Michael Theo, alongside comedy legends Ben Miller and Sally Phillips will bring laughter, joy and a flurry of heart-warming moments to our screens. Austin is a testament to the power of storytelling in promoting inclusivity, and we’re absolutely delighted to be part of this series.”
Julie Meldal-Johnsen, EVP Global Content, ITV Studios says “We cannot wait for our international partners to dive into the beautiful, heartfelt, hilarious and uplifting world of Austin. Offering whip-smart dialogue and a story that is as emotive as it is funny, we feel this UK/Australian dramatic-comedy is truly international and ITV Studios is proud to support it.”
Holly Trueman, CEO of Screen Canberra says, “Screen Canberra is excited to support Austin through the Screen Attraction Fund and Screen Investment Fund. Filming this international comedy series in Canberra highlights our diverse filming locations and talented industry professionals. Austin is another high-calibre project showcasing our city’s creative potential.”
“Austin” is scheduled to air on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2024.
Production Credits: A Northern Pictures production for the ABC. Significant production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia, Screen Canberra, and ITV Studios, which also manages international distribution. Post, digital, and visual effects support provided by Screen NSW. Developed with the assistance of ABC and Screen Australia.
Writers/creators: Darren Ashton, Ben Miller, Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker, Adam Zwar, and Kala Ellis. Producer: Joe Weatherstone. Executive Producers: Catherine Nebauer, Darren Ashton, Ben Miller, Sally Phillips, Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker, Peter Anderson. ABC Executive Producers: Todd Abbott and Rebecca Anderson. Head of Scripted at ABC: Rachel Okine.