Mako Mermaids, or Mako: Island of Secrets as it’s known in Australia, was the top-selling Kid’s TV drama for 2017, according to Screen Australia.
The Jonathan M. Shiff production has delivered more net returns to investors from overseas buyers than any other television drama that Screen Australia has invested in over the agency’s lifetime.
The 2017 result for the fantasy series was better than not just the other 34 children’s dramas on the agency’s books, but also the 103 dramas that have been made for adults.
As first revealed by TV Tonight, Mako Mermaids became the first live-action kids series to be simultaneously and exclusively released internationally by Netflix, rolling out in 50 territories initially then growing to 120 territories
1 Mako Mermaids series 1 Jonathan M Shiff Productions
2 Nowhere Boys series 1 Matchbox Pictures
3 H20 Just Add Water series 3 Jonathan M Shiff Productions
4 Little Lunch series 1 Gristmill
5 Dance Academy series 1 Werner Film Productions
“One of the things the SVODs have done is replace relationships with algorithms,” producer Jonathan M. Shiff says. “If something is not working, it’s not renewed. Kids are driving growth here, not impeding it.
“I see the slow metamorphosis into streaming, catch up services supplanting main channels and people watching on a range of devices. There’s limitless opportunity worldwide because optimistic story telling is part of human endeavour. It’s across every age group except perhaps the overcrowded preschool space.”
But he is also critical of a push to dump “C” (children’s) drama quotas.
“Several generations can no longer see themselves on screen. They have lost their voice. This is not a trivial thing. There are no longer opportunities for social modelling, for building self-esteem, for fostering imagination.”