Press release time!
Screen Australia has announced a slate of production funding investments including directorial debuts from acclaimed actors Rachel Griffiths and Guy Pearce, as well as new TV series for SBS, Foxtel, Channel Seven and one for Network Ten led by The Project co-host Peter Helliar. In total $7.4 million in funding has been allocated through the feature film, television and online production programs.
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Princess Pictures’ and Pablo Pictures’ eight-part comedy drama How To Stay Married for Network Ten, starring Logie award-winning actress Lisa McCune and comedian Peter Helliar, who has also co-written the script. It tells the story of Greg (Helliar) and Em (McCune) whose 13-year marriage is put to the test by a new job, an unexpected house guest, a redundancy and an experimental sex move. Produced by Jess Leslie, executive produced by Andrea Denholm and Emma Fitzsimons, and directed by Natalie Bailey from a script by Helliar and Nick Musgrove. This series has also been financed by Film Victoria.
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Screentime’s comedy Orange is the New Brown for Channel Seven – a six-part series that will reflect contemporary Australian life using one-off sketches, original and recurring characters and TV parodies. Produced by Jack Kain, executive produced by Johnny Lowry, directed by Hayden Guppy and written by Nazeem Hussain, Joel Slack-Smith, Sophie Braham, Richard Thorp, Penny Greenhalgh and Heidi Regan. This series has also been financed by Create NSW and is currently in production.
So, uh, it’s not all bad news? Actually, it’s all good news, as the Peter Helliar show isn’t exactly news and we fully support the idea of sketch comedy on the commercial networks. It’ll probably be… well, you’ve seen recent Australian sketch comedy, you know where the bar’s set. But it’s a numbers game: the more sketch comedy we make, the more likely it becomes that we’ll make something good.
If only we could say the same about Peter Helliar projects.