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Production underway on rebooted series of Catalyst

NewsKevin Perry

The ABC has confirmed production is now underway on a new series of Catalyst.

2017 will see the science program return in a new hour-long documentary format with each episode dedicated to exploring a specific topic, replacing the previous 30-minute magazine-style format.

A spokesperson for the ABC telling DeciderTV, “the ABC is committed to producing 17 Catalyst episodes in 2017.  

“Twelve are already in production while the remaining five are in pre-production and development.”

The first episode of the new Catalyst will go to air on 15 August 2017.

The new hour-long focus will enable Catalyst to explore a range of science ideas in depth, using what the ABC describes as “leading expert subject presenters”, rather than the previous fixed ensemble of science reporters.

Catalyst has secured a new executive producer, with a new production team relocated within other ABC Radio & Online Science Units.

The change in format comes after ABC conducted an internal review into the show. The previous version of Catalyst had been involved in controversy with two episodes needing to be deleted from the ABC website after it was proven the science presented was flawed.

Speaking late last year, the ABC’s now former Director of TV, Richard Finlayson, said the change in direction was driven by changing audience demands. 

“Catalyst has made a huge contribution to science communication over 16 years. But, audiences can now get instant access to quality content anywhere in the world and we must ensure our programs can have the greatest possible public impact.

“Under this model, we will encourage excellence by allowing the best minds in Australia to pitch their science ideas no matter how local or how global.”