Press release time!
The ABC and Screen Australia are excited to announce that production has commenced this week in Melbourne on Superwog, a new six-part comedy series for ABC COMEDY and YouTube.
Produced by Princess Pictures in association with the ABC, with principal production investment from Screen Australia, and financed with support from Film Victoria and YouTube, the project will forge new ground with episodes released on YouTube, ABC COMEDY and ABC iview – marking a first ever full series collaboration between the ABC and YouTube.
The dual broadcast plan will give Superwog’s huge loyal fanbase more of the show they love both online and on TV, while also exposing a true Aussie comedy success story to a whole new ABC audience. This partnership is yet another example of how the ABC is continually looking for innovative ways to engage with audiences as they shift towards on-demand content, including forming strategic partnerships to bring digital content to wider audiences.
Created by and starring YouTube sensations Theodore and Nathan Saidden, Superwog – the inspired-by-real-life tale of a flawed teenager and his crazed family in heartland suburbia – is also the first original scripted series to air on ABC COMEDY. This commission reaffirms ABC’s commitment to investing both in Australia’s emerging and culturally diverse comedic talents and in original scripted programming. The series also sees the ABC and YouTube embark on a new collaborative partnership.
Developed over eight years by the comedy duo, the Superwog YouTube channel has garnered an extraordinary 180+ million YouTube views and almost 900k subscribers, cementing their spot as Australia’s most watched YouTube comedy stars.
The Superwog series follows the often misunderstood, dysfunctional Superwog family as they struggle to navigate life in the Australian suburbs. Superwog is a porn and fast food obsessed teenager enrolled in a prestigious private school. His misadventures with best friend Johnny often cause Superwog’s primitive, highly-strung father extreme stress as he battles to keep his delusional but fiercely loyal wife happy.
ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski said: “We’re so happy to bring Superwog to ABC, to be in first time business with YouTube, and for this to be our first scripted original for ABC COMEDY. Superwog’s Screen Australia/YouTube Skip Ahead Pilot was one of the funniest half hours I’d ever seen, and the full series is a cracking addition to our unrivalled comedy offering. ABC is serious about comedy, and about working with incredible Australian online comedy talents like Theo and Nathan Saidden to bring them to new audiences here and around the world.”
Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said: “The viral success of Superwog across their YouTube channel, boosted recently by their Skip Ahead pilot is simply staggering. To see them forge forward into this half hour series with YouTube and ABC COMEDY is an incredible opportunity for the Saidden brothers, as well as for both platforms exploring this innovative collaboration and release strategy.”
Head of YouTube Partnerships, Australia and New Zealand, Ed Miles, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Superwog in partnership with Screen Australia and the ABC, as they take this exciting step into creating narrative content. The Australian YouTube creator ecosystem is incredibly strong and it’s fantastic to see the ABC collaborate with creators to tell unique, local stories and embrace a multi-platform strategy to reach and engage audiences on YouTube as well as broadcast TV.”
Film Victoria CEO, Caroline Pitcher said “Edgy, irreverent and hilarious, Superwog has been a game changer in the online space and Melbourne’s Princess Pictures team have read this consumer popularity superbly. Congratulations to the Superwog and Princess Pictures team who will produce the entire long form series in Victoria.”
The Superwog pilot, funded by Screen Australia and Google as part of the Skip Ahead initiative, was the highest trending YouTube video in Australia last year, with over 3.4 million views (90% Australian based) and the most watched piece of content in the country in 2017.
The six by half-hour Superwog series will screen later this year.
Okay, so somewhere in this maze of funding bodies slapping each other on the back at having decided to give some cash to something that’s already massively successful, we’re going to assume an old-fashioned television series is getting made. Uh, yay?