While the answer has almost always been tied back to budgets, population and risk, it could be about to change.
Screen Australia has announced today that it will launch a “landmark” program to support the development of “internationally driven high-end television drama” aimed at international audiences. Projects will tell “specific but universal stories, with a creatively ambitious vision and a cinematic sensibility to encourage the cross-fertilisation of the best Australian cinema and TV creative talent.”
The High-end Television Development Program has been set up in response to “the unprecedented audience and market growth for high-end television, and the ambitious, authorial and emotionally engaging storytelling that has connected with high-end global audiences, who flocked to shows such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Top of the Lake, House of Cards and The Bridge.”
It will fund up to five projects each year in two rounds, with up to $40,000 available for each successful project to develop inventive, high-end ideas from concept to series bible and first draft pilot script.
Screen Australia Head of Development Martha Coleman said, “High-end television is responsible for water cooler conversations all over the world, winning its audience with complex, nuanced stories and creative brilliance. We know that Australia has the ideas and the talent to make a global impact through its storytelling, and this fund will assist our producers and writers to rise to the challenge and engage in this space.”