2007 / 2008 was a very good twelve months for production.
Australian television drama produced 690 hours of television this year compared to 615 last year. The increase in hours was due mainly to local series/serials. Spending was also up, reaching $256m. The previous year was $253m. It was the best result since 2001/2.
Commercial free-to-air broadcasters spent $190m, 63% of the finance, for this year’s TV drama slate. Victoria pipped NSW in film and television spending with $250m in production, over NSW’s $239m. Queensland comprised $131m of production spending, With SA $32m, WA $21m, and ACT / Tas / NT $1m. Victoria’s 60% increase on the previous year was mainly due to activity by the foreign slate, primarily The Pacific. NSW was down from $286m in the preceding year.
Out of the Blue was the main contributor to the increase in hours of adult series/serials. Continuing last year’s trend, mini-series production remained higher than average, but telemovies declined.
Children’s drama, hours of both local productions and co-productions increased from 75 hours to 88 hours, and co-productions from 34 hours to 85 hours.
In-house drama activity by Australian free-to-air broadcasters was up at 205 hours all produced by the Seven Network (All Saints, City Homicide, Home and Away and Packed to the Rafters). Last year’s total was 180 hours.
There were 18 Series and serials titles accounted for 465 hours this year, compared to 20 titles and 436 hours last year. These averaged $291,000, cost per hour stayed close to last year’s high of $299,000, above the five-year average of $257,000 per hour.
Series and serials
All Saints series 11 7 Network Operations Limited
Bogan Pride Big and Little Films
City Homicide series 2 Seven Productions
The Hollowmen The Hollowmen Pty Ltd
Home and Away series 21 7 Network Operations Limited
Kenny’s World Thunderbox TV
Lawrence Leung’s Choosen Your Own Adventure Chaser Broadcasting
Mark Loves Sharon Cornerbox Productions
McLeod’s Daughters series 8 Millennium Television Pty Limited; Nine Films and Television Pty Ltd
Neighbours series 25 FremantleMedia Australia (Melbourne)
Out of the Blue Southern Star Group Pty Ltd
Packed to the Rafters Seven Productions
Review with Myles Barlow Starchild Productions Pty Ltd
Satisfaction series 2 Lone Hand Pty Ltd
The Strip New Wave Entertainment Pty Ltd; Nine Network
Stupid Stupid Man series 2 Jigsaw Entertainment Pty Ltd
Swift and Shift Couriers Antichocko Productions Pty Ltd
Very Small Business Gristmill Pty Ltd; ABC Television Drama; World Wide Business Group Pty Ltd
Production of mini-series remained higher than average. Hours totalled 48 and budgets $44 million, both down on 2006/07 (64 hours and total budgets of $50 million), but still well above the five-year averages.
TITLE PRODUCTION COMPANY
Bed of Roses Ruby Entertainment; Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd
Carla Cametti PD Buon Giorno Productions Pty Ltd
The Cut Tom Blacket Media
False Witness Screentime Pty Ltd
Rush Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd; Network Ten
Sea Patrol series 2 Sea Patrol Productions
Telemovie production dropped further this year, with three Australian titles in the slate (four last year), and total budgets of $9 million ($13 million last year).
TITLE PRODUCTION COMPANY
The Informant Screentime Pty Ltd
Scorched Essential Media and Entertainment; Goalpost Pictures Australia; Firelight Productions Pty Ltd
Three Acts of Murder Taylor Media
Production of children’s TV drama rose in 2007/08. Fifteen titles (172 hours) with total budgets of $115 million allocated $69 million to expenditure in Australia. Cost per hour fell relative to last year but remained above the five-year average, at $666,000 per hour.
Four of this year’s local titles (42 hours) were animated, compared to five titles (44 hours) last year; four coproductions (34 hours) were animated, the same number of titles but less hours than last year (52 hours).
AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S (8 TITLES)
Blue Water High series 3 Northside Productions; Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd
Classic Tales (animation) Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd
Dennis and Gnasher (animation) Sticky Pictures Australia
The Elephant Princess The Elephant Princess Pty Ltd
Sea Princesses series 2 (animation) Southern Star Group Pty Ltd;
Neptuno Films; Flamma Films
Snake Tales Westside Films and Television Pty Ltd
Trapped 7 Network; Northway Productions Pty Ltd
Wakkaville (animation) Ettamogah Entertainment Pty Ltd
CHILDREN’S CO-PRODUCTION (7 TITLES)
Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist (animation, official Aus/Canada) March Entertainment Inc; SLR Productions
Pearlie (animation, official Aus/ Canada) Sticky Pictures Australia; Nelvana Limited
The Saddle Club, series 3 (official Aus/Canada) Crawford Productions; Protocol Entertainment Inc
Stormworld (official Aus/Canada) Great Western Entertainment Pty Ltd; Brightlight Pictures Inc;
Time Trackers (official Aus/NZ) Taylor Media; The Gibson Group Limited
Zeke’s Pad (animation, official Aus/ Canada) Avrill Stark Entertainment Pty Ltd; My Pad Productions Inc
Zigby (animation, official Aus/ Canada/Singapore) Thunderbird Films; Big Communications; Flying Bark
Productions; Avrill Stark Entertainment Pty Ltd
There was only one foreign TV drama title started shooting in Australia in 2007/08, the HBO/Playtone/ DreamWorks mini-series The Pacific. It was a very high budget production ($150 million).
The Pacific (US) (Mini-series) HBO Films; Playtone;
Source: Screen Australia