Foxtel has announced a new, contemporary “re-imagining” of Prisoner.
To be titled Wentworth, the series will be produced by FremantleMedia Australia, formerly known as the original producer Grundys.
It will follow the story of newly arrived prisoner Bea Smith, and her ascendancy to the position of ”Top Dog”.
Developed by Lara Radulovich and David Hannam from the original concept by Reg Watson, it will be produced by Fremantle’s new head of drama, Jo Porter, and be filmed in Melbourne.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: “Wentworth will be a dynamic and very confronting drama series, developed and stylised specifically for subscription television audiences. We have told producers to push all boundaries and honestly depict life on the inside as it is in 2012.”
FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama, Jo Porter, said: “Wentworth is a compelling character drama series about women which will take the audience inside a unique environment governed by its own rules.
“The series explores the politics of women in a world with few men, and how the experience both challenges and changes them, sometimes for the better. It’s a drama series built on the great Australian tradition of overcoming the odds to find mateship and belonging in the most unlikely circumstances. We’re very excited to be casting for so many strong female characters.”
FremantleMedia Chief Executive Asia Pacific, Ian Hogg, said: “An entire generation of
Australians grew up watching Prisoner and another is about to do the same with Wentworth.
“It will be bold, relevant and adventurous. Most importantly, its foundations will be built on amazing stories and wonderful characters.”
A new version was originally on TEN’s 2011 drama slate as Inside Out telling the story of an innocent woman thrown in jail, who comes to realise getting even is the best revenge, written by Ian Bradley and developed by Freehand.
Brian Walsh recently hinted at the new series, telling TV Tonight, “One of the Dramas will be a big ensemble piece, shot in Melbourne. I expect we’ll announce that in the next week or two. It will be broadcast later this year on the W Channel.”
This marks at least the second remake for Prisoner which was remade for the US market as Dangerous Women as well as a stage musical for the UK.
Foxtel has enjoyed ongoing success with reruns of the original series which regularly delivers a solid audience on 111 HITS.
The original series, which aired between 1979 and 1986, remains one of Australia’s most enduring and beloved dramas.
Source: The Age