2010 Drama Report

Government funding body Screen Australia has issued its Drama Report (previously known as the Production Report) for the year 2009 – 10.

Here are the results in the Television sector (scripted Drama / Comedy):

There were 36 titles spending $286 million, down from was $308 million the previous year. Expenditure for Australian TV drama for adults increased but children’s programs fell after two strong years. As a result, overall expenditure fell.

The total hours of produced television was 564 hours of TV, down from 646 hrs in 08/09.

The Australian children’s drama slate fell this year, to 116 hours with total budgets of $76 million and total spend of $53 million.

In financing, industry provided 76% of finance for this year’s TV drama slate (76 per cent), contributing $234 million. This was up on the previous year: 71% / $231m. Direct government sources contributed $28 million to 21 programs, accounting for 9% of total finance. This was down on last year: $43m to 25 titles, accounting for 13% finance.

Screen Australia provided $14 million to 9 titles.

SERIES AND SERIALS FOR ADULTS (includes sketch comedy):
Production of series/serials dropped again this year, in hours, total budgets and expenditure
in Australia, while cost per hour increased further, consistent with the trend towards higher production values.
I Rock, Angry Boys, Lowdown, City Homicide, Home and Away, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better, The Jesters, The Librarians, Neighbours, Packed to the Rafters, Rescue Special Ops, Review With Myles Barlow, Rush.

MINI SERIES FOR ADULTS:
Production of mini-series rose again this year, with 10 titles, 105 hours and total budgets of $106 million, all above the three-year averages.
Cloudstreet, Spirited, Killing Time, Tangle, Bed of Roses, COPS: L.A.C., Killing Time, Offspring, Rake, Sea Patrol, Underbelly: The Golden Mile.

TELEMOVIES:
After dropping last year, telemovie production increased again in 2009/10 to similar levels as 2007/08, with four titles spending $11 million.
Hawke, Offspring, Sisters of War, Wicked Love.

CHILDREN’S (incl animation):
Dance Academy, Guess How Much I Love You, Bananas in Pyjamas, Davincibles, Castaway, The Elephant Princess, Flea Bitten, Penelope K By the Way.
Co-Productions: Dead Gorgeous, Me and My Monsters.

Two foreign TV dramas started shooting in Australia in 2009/10: Foudre series 3 (France), Paradise Ranch (Korea).

Victoria accounted for 37 per cent of expenditure by this year’s slate, Queensland for 31 per cent and NSW for 26 per cent -however this includes Film and Post Production.

To compare with last year’s Production Report go here.

14 Comments:

  1. I didn’t watch any of them. I might watch Sisters of War but that crap “innocents are the first casualty of war” line really doesn’t make me want to watch it. What the heck is wrong with the ABC ad department when they turn people off shows with such nonsense? Although it’s not as bad as people jumping in the air with loops and the old promos with people talking rubbish. I wish they’d go back to nature and choose some decent music. Like they used to but do it with 16:9. And update things. Oh well.

  2. On the subject of childrens drama content, do kids really watch much tv anymore? i mean aren’t they mostly playing video games & using facebook instead? (obviously i dont have any rugrats of my own lol) i would think in this day & age there should be more focus on internet content for children, i know they are doing some of this but its a generation too late & seems more focused on blocking out nasty stuff than actually developing sites that are especially entertaining for kids.

  3. @steve – I think it was originally a telemovie which ended up being the pilot episode. TEN then commissioned the series from that. Although I could be wrong so anyone correct me if I am!

  4. Next year will be interesting. Final Sea Patrol, most likely final City Homicide, potentially final Rush and Rescue Special Ops.

    They’ll need to have a lot in development to get back to this year’s levels. Winners and Losers and Inside Out might be good though.

  5. @Steve, Offspring was originally commissioned as a telemovie, then a 13 part series was commissioned before the telemovie had gone to air. They were then run consecutively.

  6. The last 12 months has been an interesting time in television drama, seeing the end of some long running series and the commissioning of some possible shining lights. Audiences are making it clear they won’t tolerate sloppy writing or performing anymore and aren’t loyal to the point of accepting second rate work. I’m optimistic that we’ll see more innovative and broader dramas in the next year or two, with some interesting projects already in production – Cloudstreet, The Slap, Cleo, Panic at Rock Island, Outland plus new series of Dance Academy, Underbelly, Spirited etc.

  7. And that will fall next year and the year after as
    more shows get the axe and more shows likely bomb. Pity the chances of good solid drama being picked up drop every day.

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