New drama project funding

Screen Australia has approved new funding for Drama projects for ABC, Nine, Seven, TEN and Foxtel.

These include Never Tear Us Apart, Power Games: The Packer Murdoch Story, Secrets and Lies: The Track and Foxtel’s new drama Return to the Devil’s Playground, as revealed by TV Tonight.

There’s also a new thriller for ABC1, The Code, and a new animated kid’s series for Seven, Tashi.

“The five adult TV projects announced today are an eclectic mix of genres, styles and content with a diverse range of talented teams,” said Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley. “These are all high-quality compelling productions, with some iconic Australian stories in there that are sure to resonate broadly with Australian audiences.”

THE CODE
6 x 60 mins
Playmaker Media Pty Ltd
Producers David Maher, David Taylor, Shelley Birse
Writers Shelley Birse, Blake Ayshford, Justin Monjo
Director Shawn Seet
International Sales FremantleMedia Limited
Broadcaster ABC1
Synopsis: The Code is a fictional thriller set between the remote Australian desert and the corridors of power in Canberra. A murder in the Outback thrusts two unlikely brothers into an international political conspiracy.

NEVER TEAR US APART
Shine Australia
2 x 120 mins
Producers Rory Callaghan, Mark Fennessy
Director Daina Reid
Writers Justin Monjo, Dave Warner
International Sales Shine International
Broadcaster Seven Network
Synopsis: Never Tear Us Apart tells the uncensored story of Australia’s most successful band, INXS. This big, brash and colourful TV drama will chart the rise of six Sydney boys who became the biggest band in the world. A story of mateship, a story of success and excess, talent and sheer bloody will, set to a pulsating soundtrack including all of INXS’s greatest hits.

POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY
Southern Star Entertainment
2 x 120 mins
Producers John Edwards, Mimi Butler
Writers David Caesar, Samantha Winston
Director David Caesar
International Sales Endemol Worldwide Distribution
Broadcaster Nine Network Australia
Synopsis: Boy publisher Rupert Murdoch comes to Sydney to take on the Packers in a war for control of newspapers and television.

RETURN TO THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND
Matchbox Pictures
6 x 47 mins
Producers Helen Bowden, Blake Ayshford
Executive Producers Penny Chapman, Simon Burke, Penny Win
Writers Blake Ayshford, Cate Shortland, Alice Addison, Tommy Murphy
Directors Rachel Ward, Tony Krawitz
International Sales NBCUniversal
Broadcaster FOXTEL
Synopsis: 1988. Thirty-five years after Fred Schepisi’s film The Devil’s Playground, Tom Allen, now a psychiatrist, becomes a secular confessor to the Catholic clergy, and is soon embroiled in political and theological intrigue.

SECRETS AND LIES: THE TRACK
Hoodlum Active Pty Ltd
6 x 43 mins
Producers Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield, Leigh McGrath
Writer Stephen Irwin
Director TBA
International Sales Cineflix
Broadcaster Network Ten
Synopsis: Ben is an innocent man who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a four-year-old boy. As his world falls apart, he desperately tries to find the real killer… at stake is his marriage, his kids, his reputation and his sanity.

CHILDREN’S TELEVISION DRAMA

TASHI
Buzz Studios
52 x 11 mins
Producers Jim Ballantine, Barbara Stephen
Writers Fin Edquist, David Evans, Cleon Prineas
Directors Serg Delfino, Marc Wasik
International Sales Wavery Productions BV
Broadcasters Seven Network (first run), ABC (shared runs)
Synopsis: When young Jack is bundled off and sent to stay with distant relatives in a far off land, he has no idea quite how much his life is about to change.

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