New series funded for ABC, SBS, Nine.

A family drama for Nine, Kitty Flanagan in a legal comedy and a drama about TV news personalities coming to ABC.

New scripted TV projects for ABC, SBS and Nine are amongst $8.5 million of production funding from Screen Australia.

They include family drama The Midwife (working title) from Playmaker, a comedy from Kitty Flanagan called Entitled and an ABC drama about an ambitious TV reporter and a ‘difficult’ female newsreader, called The Newsreader.

There is also a crime caper for SBS, The Unusual Suspects, from Aquarius Films.

A second season of ABC animation The Strange Chores is also funded.

Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s Head of Content said, “Screen Australia is very much open for business and will continue to fund great ideas. This challenging time for the sector will pass, and when it does we can’t wait to see these projects come to fruition.”

6 x 30
Porchlight Films
Genre Comedy
Directors Kitty Flanagan, Tom Peterson
Writers Kitty Flanagan, Penny Flanagan
Producer Vincent Sheehan
Executive Producers Greg Sitch, Liz Watts, Anita Sheehan
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis A comedy series following probate lawyer, Helen Tudor-Fisk (Kitty Flanagan), as she navigates, death, money, grief, property, family and people’s unerring sense of entitlement.

The Midwife (working title):
Genre Drama, Family
Writers Jono Gavin, Sarah Smith
Executive Producers David Taylor, David Maher, Sarah Smith
Broadcaster Nine Network
Synopsis A series about women who always deliver.

The Newsreader:
6 x 60 mins
Werner Film Productions
Genre Drama
Director Emma Freeman
Writer Michael Lucas
Producers Joanna Werner, Michael Lucas
Executive Producers Stuart Menzies, Joanna Werner
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis An ambitious TV reporter and a ‘difficult’ female newsreader team up to conquer the world of commercial news.

The Unusual Suspects:
4 x 60 mins
Aquarius Films Pty Ltd
Producers Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford
Writers Jessica Redenbach, Roger Monk, Vonne Patiag
Broadcaster SBS
Synopsis A sexy, addictive whodunnit and a deep dive into the inner workings of the vibrant Filipino domestic worker community and Sydney’s scandalous, cosseted Eastern Suburbs.

The Strange Chores
26 x 11 mins
Ludo Studio, Media World Pictures
Genre Comedy, Family, Action adventure, Animation
Director Scott Vanden Bosch
Writers Anna Barnes, John McGeachin, Luke Tierney
Producers Charlie Aspinwall, Colin South
Showrunner Daley Pearson
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis Two teenage wannabe warrior heroes and a spirited ghost girl master the skills they need to replace an ageing monster hunter by doing his strange supernatural chores.

9 Responses

  1. I think a comedy about news would work well instead of a drama, given the success of Anchorman and Frontline. An obvious choice for inclusion of involvement with Entitled would be Shaun Micallef.

  2. >> and a ‘difficult’ female newsreader <<

    How on Earth did a project using that description get funded by the decision makers at Screen Australian / ABC / Film Victoria ?

    Parallels with the working title for Total Control.

    1. Presumably there is a lot of weight carried in the inverted commas. My reading of that would be that they are going to address the stereotype that powerful women are considered ‘difficult’, but reducing it to a one line synopsis for a funding body removes a lot of nuance. It happens all the time.

    2. I’d imagine the decision makers based their decision on more than that one line description.

      When it’s coming from a female-led production company, who also made Riot and Secret City, perhaps there’s a little more nuance involved than we might get from a one sentence description?
      Hell, maybe the inverted commas around ‘difficult’ mean the exact opposite of what you appear to be assuming?
      I don’t know… but I reckon they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt here until we’ve seen it.

    3. I think they should have went with a better choice of wording. It’s difficult to judge without watching it first, but the thesaurus is the best friend for the most appropriate word.

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