EXCLUSIVE: 10 will maintain its local content in 2020 despite fears from the production sector that already-completed local Drama, Documentary and Kids’ television may be held back.
With the government announcing local sub-quotas were suspended commercial networks will attract no further quota points this year -meaning content is effectively more valuable to screen in 2021. Seven has already responded by dropping Kids titles from 7TWO.
But a 10 spokesperson told TV Tonight, “We’ve always spoken about the importance of supporting the local production community…. we have a number of scripted and drama productions in the can to broadcast this year and will not use the relief as a reason to hold them for another year.”
6 part Lingo Pictures drama The Secrets She Keeps premieres on Wednesday having premiered on 10 Play over Easter along with How to Stay Married S2 and Drunk History. Other dramas including Five Bedrooms and Neighbours have halted production due to COVID-19 precautions.
Nine premieres Informer 3838 this evening and resumes Doctor Doctor on Wednesday. Upcoming drama Halifax: Retribution is in post-production.
Seven planned a big push for Between Two Worlds, from writer Bevan Lee, post-Olympics. While the Games are postponed to 2021, Seven sources confirmed they still plan to screen the drama in 2020. Home and Away and Amazon-commissioned Back to the Rafters have both paused production.
While the government offered quota relief to networks the dramatic move has ignited a backlash from the creative community, already doing it tough.
Patrick Brammall: “Forgive my tone @PaulFletcherMP But you’re saving the stadiums and forgetting the players. In the US networks are increasing development so production can begin the second this is over. Removing the content imperative entirely is like using a hammer to defuse a bomb.”
Adam Zwar: “They’ve been wanting to do this for years and now they’ve taken their chance. And it’s going to take a brave govt to bring those obligations back. I hope the Libs like their kids speaking in American accents because that’s the future.”
Anthony Hayes: “These wolves have been circling the local industry, waiting for the moment they can do this. Purchase cheap shit overseas & make nothing. It’s the lowest, most dog act to do this under the guise a virus is responsible. More Australian content is how you save jobs and industry”
Matt Le Nevez: “Allowing those stadiums to import foreign content like our cinemas already do is a death nail to an industry already kneecapped by this govt. Their death by a million cuts for over a decade has now laid waste to a sledgehammer approach to culture. Shame on you @PaulFletcherMP”
Screen Producers Australia wanted temporary averaging flexibility, which allows for quotas to be shifted over a three year period, rather than a complete suspension.
“This would ensure demand returns to the system at levels sufficient to get the sector back on its feet and able to pump out productions and employ large numbers of people,” said CEO Matthew Deaner.