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ABC appoints new comedy chief

Australian public broadcaster ABC has appointed the co-creator and executive producer of controversial sitcom At Home With Julia as its new head of comedy.

Rick Kalowski is currently local indie Quail TV’s creative director and is responsible for Julia, a 2011 ABC1 political satire that lampooned Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and also sold to US video site Hulu. He is also behind shows such as Seven Network sketch comedy Big Bite and Nine Network’s Comedy Inc.

He will replace Debbie Lee, who resigned last year to take up the post of director, scripted development at The Slap producer Matchbox Pictures.

ABC’s director of drama, Carole Sklan, has been holding the comedy post in the interim. Kalowski will begin the role later this year.

Sklan said: “We’re delighted Rick is joining ABC TV as head of comedy. He is passionate about Australian comedy and brings considerable creative skills and experience to the role. Rick has written and produced hours of sketch and narrative comedy. He also has a background in the law which seems to have only enhanced his sense of humour.”

Kalowski added: “The ABC’s greatest comedy shows have been foundation experiences in my life, both as a viewer and a writer, and the opportunity to help continue that tradition is truly a privilege. Hopefully I don’t wreck the joint”.