ABC, 10, Netflix titles funded.

Three television dramas, one children’s series receive Screen Australia funding.

Screen Australia has announced funding for ABC and ViacomCBS / Netflix titles.

Two feature films, three television dramas, one children’s series and one online project share in $5.9 million of production funding.

The projects include ABC anthology drama series Fires set during last summer’s devastating bushfires, Season 2 of Frayed and Spreadsheet, a comedy about a single woman and her database of potential sexual partners for ViacomCBS.

Also funded is Kid’s Drama Dive Club, a 12-part teen mystery drama for Network 10 and Netflix.

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplan said, “It’s fantastic to kick off 2021 with such a great sample of the premium dramas that have been greenlit across the country. It’s testament to the resilience of the screen industry to have so many projects move into production during such a challenging period.

She added, “I’m also looking forward to bold new comedy Spreadsheet, from emerging creator Kala Ellis teaming up with talented writers Romina Accurso, Rhys Nicholson, Darren Ashton, Matilda Brown and Michelle Law.”

A six-part drama for the ABC inspired by extraordinary accounts from people who survived the catastrophic fire season of 2019/20. A serialised anthology, Fires weaves character studies based on true stories into a narrative about the biggest fires of this century. Each episode is based around reports from ordinary people caught in the unimaginable and the impossible choices they were forced to make. From volunteer firefighters risking everything, to families who lost homes and loved ones; from people who had to make agonising decisions about whether to stay or flee, to those who found themselves responsible for the lives of friends and strangers – Fires tells the story of how one summer changed us forever. The writing team, led by showrunner/writer Belinda Chayko (Safe Harbour) includes Jacquelin Perske (The Cry), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy and Punch), Steven McGregor (Mystery Road) and Anya Beyersdorf (Eden). Fires is produced by Elisa Argenzio (Lambs of God) and executive produced by Tony Ayres (Stateless), Andrea Denholm (How To Stay Married) and Liz Watts (The King). This project is financed with support from the ABC and supported by Film Victoria through the Victorian Screen Incentive and Regional Location Assistance Fund.

Frayed Season 2:
A six-part second season for the ABC and Sky Studios from Merman and Guesswork Television. Season two picks up back in London, where the lives and secrets of the Cooper family unravel further as they deal with the ramifications of season one’s explosive finale and their Australian past insists on catching up with them. Returning for the second season is series creator, writer and BAFTA-nominated actor Sarah Kendall, director Shaun Wilson, producer Nicole O’Donohue and executive producers Kevin Whyte, Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan. The series is financed with support from Screen NSW and international sales will be managed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.

An eight-part comedy series for Viacom CBS about recently divorced, hectically busy mother-of-two Lauren who is looking for sex without commitment. With the help of her best friend Alex, the ‘Spreadsheet’ is born: a database of options to sleep with. Lauren is determined to prove women can play men at their own game, from mastering casual sex, to a career, her family and her own sanity. The creative team features creator and writer Kala Ellis, writers Romina Accurso (The Heights), comedian Rhys Nicholson, Darren Ashton (Here Come The Habibs), Matilda Brown (Let’s Talk About) and Michelle Law (Homecoming Queens). Spreadsheet is produced by Andy Walker (The Kettering Incident) and executive produced by Catherine Nebauer (Hardball). This project is supported by Film Victoria through the Victorian Screen Incentive, and ITV Studios will manage international sales.

Dive Club:
A 12-part teen mystery drama for Network 10 and Netflix. Filmed in Port Douglas, Queensland, the series centres on teenage divers Maddie, Lauren, Anna and Stevie. When Lauren goes missing after a cyclone, the group are plunged into a search that raises more questions the deeper they dive. Dive Club is written by Georgia Harrison (Rip Tide), Claire Harris (Zelos), Adrian Powers (Paper Champions), Caera Bradshaw and Drew Jarvis, and directed by Rhiannon Bannenberg (Rip Tide), Christine Luby (This Little Love Of Mine) and Hayley McFarlane (Swimming for Gold). The producers are Steve Jaggi (Rip Tide) and Spencer McLaren (Swimming for Gold). Made by The Steve Jaggi Company, this series is a Netflix and Network 10 co-production, with support from Screen Queensland.

2 Responses

  1. So let me get this straight. The premise of Spreadsheet is that a hectically busy single mother of two needs to find a way to stop having men wanting to seriously date or settle down with her. While simultaneously beating men at their own game of just wanting casual sex? A little bit of a contradiction there.

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