2023 Upfronts: Prime Video

New dramas and docos, comedy specials and a return for cricket doco The Test, coming in 2023.

  • New: Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles, The Defenders, Hugh van Cuylenburg G.E.M, Dance Life
  • New: Stand up specials: Joel Creasey, Rhys Nicholson, Dave Hughes, Tommy Little, Lizzy Hoo
  • Asher Keddie and Leah Purcell join Sigourney Weaver in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
  • Kate Box in Deadloch, Megan Smart on Class of ’07
  • Renewed: The Test

Prime Video Australia last night revealed its content slate for 2023 at an event in South Eveleigh.

They included 4 new local titles, 5 stand up specials and 1 returning sports documentary -all in addition to three previously announced scripted Originals: Class of ’07, Deadloch, and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart.

The evening was hosted by Joel Creasey, joined by Prime Video execs Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand; Tyler Bern, head of content for Prime Video Australia, New Zealand, and Canada; Magda Grace, director, Prime Video Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; and Sarah Christie, senior scripted development executive at Amazon Studios, Australia.

In attendancde were Asher Keddie and Leah Purcell (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart), Megan Smart (Class of ’07), Kate Box (Deadloch), Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland (The Test Season Two), and The Wiggles co-founders Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt (Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles).

“Prime Video is proud to announce that 2023 will be its biggest year for launching Australian content to local and international customers, with a record nine new Australian Amazon Originals launching next year,” said Hushidar Kharas. “We continue to be incredibly focused on investing in and developing the world’s best talent, to deliver the highest quality content for our Prime Video customers in Australia and around the world.”

“Prime Video has announced 23 Australian Amazon Original commissions since 2019. We have been actively developing, commissioning, and acquiring local projects, and we are thrilled that our Australian customers are connecting with our local content,” said Tyler Bern. “From world-famous musicians with legions of fans, like The Wiggles, to the gripping story of refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, and the Australian cricket team back for The Test Season Two, 2023 will showcase a diverse breadth of stories we have to tell here in Australia.”


The Defenders
A feature-length documentary produced Sweetshop & Green, The Defenders tells the gripping true story of how Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini footballer turned political refugee, was arrested while on his honeymoon in Thailand under an invalid Interpol warrant. Outraged at a fellow Australian player being imprisoned, former Socceroos captain Craig Foster becomes the unlikely leader of a team of human rights activists, social media warriors, and ordinary Australians who launch a campaign to #SaveHakeem. This is the true story of how a group of ordinary people battled against the odds to rescue a player’s life and try to save the very soul of the game itself.

Hugh van Cuylenburg G.E.M
Hugh is the best-selling author of The Resilience Project and Let Go. He is also the co-host of the very popular The Imperfects podcast. Through engaging storytelling and unpacking the research into simple tips, Hugh’s talk will give Prime Video customers a chance to learn positive mental health strategies which help them become happier and more resilient. The 90-minute special is produced by Princess Pictures.

Stand-up specials
Featuring some of Australia’s most well-known and hilarious comedians, these specials will be making Prime Video your go-to for comedy in 2023. The specials are Dave Hughes: Ridiculous; Tommy Little: Pretty Fly for a D***head; Lizzy Hoo: Hoo Cares, from Guesswork Television; Joel Creasey: Queen of the Outback; and Rhys Nicholson’s Big Queer Comedy Concert, from Big Yellow Taxi.

Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles
Calling themselves The Wiggles after the way young children move, four young men; Anthony, Murray, Greg and Jeff, and a dinosaur called Dorothy, seemed an unlikely basis for a global sensation. Both a celebration and exploration of more than thirty years of The Wiggles phenomenon and their re-emergence into the cultural zeitgeist in 2022. The story of The Wiggles has never before been shared in a feature length documentary and the extraordinary behind the scenes personal footage has never previously been seen. The Director is Sally Aitken, with Fraser Grut co-directing.

Dance Life
Produced by EQMedia, Biscuit Tin, and Creative Bubble, the five-part documentary series gives a peek behind the curtain of the Australian dance institution Brent Street, the Southern Hemisphere’s leading dance academy. The goal of a student at Brent Street is clear: Wow them at “Agent Week” and get a lead role for the final dance graduation at the end of the year, and your path is set. But only a small minority will achieve dance stardom. The series is created and produced by Jade Barnes and Luke Cornish and is now shooting in Sydney.


The Test
Season Two: Produced by Amazon Studios, Cricket Australia, and Whooshka Media, Season Two of Prime Video Australia’s biggest sports documentary release to date will show an intimate side to the Australian men’s cricket team, as they strive to be the best in the world. Weeks away from the first Ashes Test match, Pat Cummins takes on the captaincy in the wake of Tim Paine’s decision to resign. Faced with Paine’s departure, along with Justin Langer’s looming resignation from the role of senior coach, Cummins and the team now hold the responsibility of writing their own legacy. The Test Season Two is an insight into modern leadership and empowerment at the highest level of sport. And along the way, the players invite us into their lives away from the field. The four-part series is co-directed by Adrian Brown and Sheldon Wynne from Wooshka Media.

Previously announced:

Class of ’07
Creator, writer, EP and director Kacie Anning (Amazon Original Upload Season One), EP and producer Mimi Butler, and actor Megan Smart were in attendance to present clips of the upcoming series. When an apocalyptic tidal wave hits during the 10-year reunion of an all-girls college, a group of women must find a way to survive on the island peak of their high school campus. Clips included a first look at the high-concept series, which was shot on location in Sydney. Class of ’07 is produced by Matchbox Pictures—part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group—and Amazon Studios. Class of ’07 was filmed in New South Wales with the assistance of the New South Wales Government and the Made in NSW Fund. Matchbox Pictures’ Alastair McKinnon and Debbie Lee serve as executive producers.

Showrunners, writers, and executive producers Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan were in attendance, along with producer Andy Walker and executive producers Kevin Whyte and Tanya Phegan. McCartney and McLennan participated in a conversation about their upcoming mystery comedy Deadloch along with actor Kate Box, who stars as Senior Sergeant Dulcie Collins. An exclusive first-look clip gave audiences a glimpse of what to expect in the new offering—the fictional Tasmanian town of Deadloch, a once-sleepy seaside hamlet, is left reeling when a local man turns up dead on the beach. The series, produced by Guesswork Television, OK Great Productions, and Amazon Studios, was shot in Tasmania in early 2022.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
Executive producer Jodi Matterson, and Australian actors Leah Purcell and Asher Keddie presented a first look at the highly anticipated seven-part series, which is a screen adaptation of Holly Ringland’s debut Australian novel. It is produced by Made Up Stories, Amazon Studios, and Fifth Season, and also stars Sigourney Weaver, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and Alexander England. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart received financial support through Screen NSW’s Made in NSW fund and NSW’s Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Rebate with additional support from Screen Territory’s Production Attraction Incentive Program.The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart tells the emotionally compelling story of Alice Hart. When Alice loses her parents in a tragic and mysterious fire, she is taken to live with her grandmother June on a flower farm, where she learns that there are secrets within secrets about her and her family’s past.

4 Responses

  1. With all the endless repeats of stand up comedy specials & Just For Laughs this year, i hope Ten will find a way of making it clear that they are New comedy specials when they air them. Otherwise they will get easily over looked. Their scheduling generally seems to be a bit off, eg Mirror Mirror back to back episodes instead of once a week, cant work that one out, and of course the multiple encores of whatever the latest show they’re trying to push is. One encore gives people a chance to catchup but more just looks desperate & confuses people as to when the premier is scheduled.

  2. As usual for upfronts of Aussie TV, basically, nothing made to appeal to me or my demographic. Not particularly interested in it but I’ll check out Deadloch because I liked The Katering Show.

  3. Good on Prime for making some attempt. Shame the local commissioning decisions are made in the US, by the US. They need to consider hiring Australian content decision makers.

  4. Gee with Class of ’07 they’ve really upped the ante of this reboot of Class of ’74/Class of ’75 turned it into a Lord of the Flies type scenario it seems. Of course I joke, the name of it just brought back memories of that classic Grundy Australian Series with John Hamblin and Leonard Teale and the great Brian Cadd singing the theme song.

    All of that seems really good, still wish Prime would add a quick link that says Australian Movies and Australian Television, however all up I’m finding I watch Prime the one I watch the most and looks like that will continue.

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