Denton has spent much of the past twelve months out of the limelight, including extended travel, to ponder his future.
Zapruderr’s Other Films, which developed Gruen Transfer, Gruen Planet, Enough Rope, Elders, Can of Worms, 30 Seconds, The Joy of Sets, Randling and Hungry Beast, merged with Cordell Jigsaw around 18 months ago. The Chaser team also emerged via Denton’s company, founded with Anita Jacoby and Peter Thompson, through CNNNN.
“When I started Zapruder’s Other Films 13 years ago, I never imagined I’d be leaving it as CJZ, Australia’s most active, locally-owned, independent production company,” said Denton. “In that spirit of delighted astonishment, I am selling my share of the company to Nick Murray and Michael Cordell and moving on to stir my creative juices outside of television, leaving behind something of which I am immensely proud.
“Having worked with Nick and Michael over the last year, and seen the two teams come together, I’m excited for the company’s future as a place for creative people to continue to flourish. The CJZ production slate will deliver some great television in coming years and they will always be the first port of call if television beckons again.
“The measures of success in our industry are ratings and awards and we have racked up our share of both. I take great pleasure from the fact that, every year of the last ten, Zapruders has supplied among the most-watched, locally made, programs on the ABC.
“My measure of success, however, is not something that can be as easily seen from the outside. To watch talented people grow under the Zapruder banner has been a reward that outstrips the more public ones.
“In an industry that can be brutal, I consider it an achievement to have provided a nurturing environment for good people and ideas. It’s great to know that tradition continues at CJZ.”
CJZ retains a first look deal with Denton in the event he decides to move back into television.
“We’re sad to see Andrew go but his DNA will always remain embedded in CJZ. The proof of that will be a roll-out of great shows that take risks, excite and make a difference,” said Cordell.
“Andrew assembled a great team at ZOF and they are a key part of the merged CJZ team. The goal with the merger was to create a company greater than the sum of its parts and that’s proved the case,” Murray added.
CJZ is known for such titles as The Checkout, Go Back to Where You Came From, Bondi Rescue, Wanted, Shitsville Express. This week it indicated it was still developing Shock of the Now for TEN.
Denton says he will now pursue other creative interests.
“It’s been a full-on 13 years,” he said.
“For the next little while at least, I am going to try my hand at being Australia’s most unlikely, least-laid-back, hippie.”
Gruen Planet is tipped to return to ABC1 in August.