“We should be celebrating all Australian drama across all the networks”

Foxtel's Brian Walsh credits ABC for nurturing Australian drama, ahead of annual producers conference.

More Australian dramas are on the way with Nine and ABC confirming premiere dates for Underbelly: Vanishing Act and Barons, respectively.

So far this year Free to Air local dramas have included Troppo, Home & Away, Neighbours, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Mysteries, but there is more on the way including Claremont, My Life is Murder, Mystery Road: Origin, True Colours, Savage River, Significant Others and more.

Foxtel will screen The Twelve, a jury drama, not to be confused with Nine’s upcoming After The Verdict.

Brian Walsh Executive Director of Television is confident two jury dramas can co-exist for their respective audiences, but hopes they are not pitted head to head as some programmers have done in the past with similar shows.

“The concern I have is that you want every Australian drama to work. It’s good for our industry,” he recently told TV Tonight.

“It’s important that we support our creative community and local industry and we should be celebrating all Australian drama across all the networks.

“I hope that all the programmers are respectful enough to give every Australian story the chance to connect with audiences. I think that’s really important. There’s far too much competition from international streamers for the Australian sector to be beating each other up. That doesn’t serve any productive outcome for the industry or for audiences.”

Screen Australia 2020 / 2021 Drama Report (includes Comedy, Children’s)

But the number of hours of local drama has trimmed on Free to Air television with Nine and 10 looking to their subscription platforms for shows including for Bump, The Tourist, Wolf, Gold, Five Bedrooms, More Than This and the upcoming Last King of the Cross.

“I think that’s the big take out of 2022,” Walsh continues. “The ABC is really the exception to the rule where they’re nurturing Australian drama and pretty much every Sunday night, audiences can be certain there will be an Australian story on ABC.

“Aside from that, you’ve got Neighbours and Home & Away and the odd event series on commercial networks, but audiences clearly have elected Pay television as the outlet for Scripted. That’s just the way things have evolved.”

Foxtel also has a second season of Upright and enjoyed a new summer hit with Binge drama, Love Me. It is yet to be renewed.

Next week Brian Walsh will be In Conversation with executives from Nine, Seven, 10, ABC, SBS and Stan at Screen Forever Conference on the Gold Coast.

2 Responses

  1. I watched the first episode of Troppo on ABC, but then binged watched the rest on Iview. I assume some others did the same hence the low overnight figures.

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