1990s series Heartbreak High is being reimagined for Netflix into an 8 part Young Adult drama.
As first revealed by TV Tonight, Fremantle has been developing a new version, now partnering with Dutch production company NewBe which acquired the rights from Brian Abel, partner of the late producer Ben Gannon.
The feature and stage play The Heartbreak Kid was based at the fictional Hartley High while the series ran for 7 seasons, originally on 10 from 1994 and 1996 then on the ABC between 1997 and 1999.
Originally produced by Gannon Television the groundbreaking drama was filmed in Maroubra, tackling adolescence, romance, racism, drugs, homelessness, delinquency, religion, education, family and more.
The cast featured Alex Dimitriades, Callan Mulvey, Lara Cox, Doris Younane, Salvatore Coco, Abi Tucker, Ada Nicodemou, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Tony Martin, Kym Wilson, Ivar Kants, Scott Major, Tina Bursill, Tai Nguyen, Jan Adele and Peta Toppano -there’s no word on reprising roles just yet.
It also became an international hit, broadcast in over twenty countries throughout Asia, Europe, North and South America.
It also marks one of the few scripted local titles commissioned by Netflix, which began with Tidelands, at a time when streamers are under pressure to invest in more local content.
Que Minh Luu, Netflix’s Director of Originals in Australia, said: “We haven’t had a rebellious Australian YA series on screen since the original Heartbreak High, so this is well overdue. The new Heartbreak High is for young people in Australia today to feel seen – showcasing their stories, senses of humour and aesthetics to the world, and reminding everyone that they are much, much cooler than us. It’s also for the 90s kids, fans of the original series who remember what it’s like to feel understood by a TV show, then racking off. This Netflix show will be ours, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Myleeta Aga-Williams, Netflix’s Director of Content for Southeast Asia and Australia, said: “We’re excited to work with the Fremantle Australia creative team to bring a modern take to this iconic Australian series, and share it with audiences around the globe. With world-class production facilities and talent, the Aussie screen industry is thriving, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
Fremantle Australia Executive Producers Chris Oliver-Taylor (CEO Asia Pacific) and Carly Heaton said: “We are delighted to work with our partners NewBe and Netflix to bring back such an iconic Australian series and take it global. We cannot wait to bring to Netflix audiences, young and old, a truly brilliant and unashamedly Australian reimagining of Heartbreak High.”
NewBe’s Executive Producers, Jeroen Koopman (founder and CEO) and Tarik Traidia: “It’s been a thrilling ride from the start; from the first idea of bringing this childhood gem back to the screen to actually acquiring the remake rights from Brian Abel. It’s now up to us to determine how the story continues for the next gen, some 25 years later. We’re beyond excited and proud to have partnered with Fremantle Australia to make this reboot come to life on Netflix, and give young adults the same joy of watching as we had back in the day when we were kids.”
Developed with the assistance of Screen NSW, it will make its global debut in 2022.
All 210 episodes of the original Heartbreak High are streaming now on Netflix.