ABC Funding Gets Frayed

Press release time!

ABC and Sky (UK) Announce New Comedy Frayed

Internationally-acclaimed, award-winning Australian comedian Sarah Kendall stars in the bittersweet comedy/drama Frayed, a co-commission between ABC and Sky (UK). The 6 x 45’ comedy is the first scripted collaboration between the two broadcasters and is now filming in Newcastle (NSW), Sydney, and London.

Set in 1989, Frayed follows the journey of Sammy Cooper (Sarah Kendall), a fabulously wealthy London housewife who is forced to return to the town in Australia she grew up in.  In coming home, Sammy must revisit her past and the events that led her to flee as a teenager years ago.

Painfully funny and sometimes dark, Frayed is full of complex characters, dubious decisions, and unfortunate events; and at its heart is the journey of one flawed family confronting their secrets and trying to find a way back.

Creator/Star Sarah Kendall says: “I just wanted to visit my family in Newcastle but I ended up shooting a 6 part comedy here for the ABC and Sky. I’m incredibly excited to be given this opportunity. And I also love free flights.”

Sky’s Head of Comedy Jon Mountague says: “We can all relate in some way to complex family drama, which is at the heart of this ingeniously written comedy. Sarah Kendall is an exceptional lead and I’m excited to add Frayed to Sky’s line-up of original British comedy in 2019.”

ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski says: Frayed is among the funniest, but also most moving, pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. I’d been a fan of Sarah Kendall’s standup for years and am delighted to be collaborating with Sky, Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman, and Kevin Whyte’s Guesswork to bring Frayed to Australian and worldwide audiences next year.”

Create NSW Acting Director Screen Investment, Engagement and Attraction Sally Regan adds: “We’re delighted to support such a unique and comical series from Merman and Guesswork. Frayed is an engaging and topical narrative that audiences will warm to as well as generate opportunities for production in regional NSW.”

Frayed is created and written by star Kendall and produced by Merman Television (Motherland/BBC, There She Goes/BBC, Women on the Verge/UKTV, Catastrophe C4/Amazon), the production company founded and run by award-winning duo Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford, in association with Australia’s Guesswork Television (ABC’s Rosehaven, Get Krack!n, Please Like Me). Joining Sarah Kendall is an exceptional Australian and British ensemble cast to be announced soon.

Frayed will air in 2019 on ABC in Australia and Sky and streaming service NOW TV in the UK.

Sky Vision will distribute Frayed internationally.

A 45 minute comedy? That’s new ground for the ABC… if this actually is a comedy, as you don’t really need to read anywhere near between the lines to see this is a project skewing more than a little towards the drama side of the fence. “Complex family drama”? “Moving”? “Generate opportunities for production in regional NSW”? Sounds hilarious.

But of course, this isn’t really an ABC comedy as we used to know it: it’s an international production with a (now) international star that just happens to be filmed here. And this is probably the best we can hope for until someone in the Federal government starts giving the ABC more money – the national broadcaster chipping in a few pennies here and there to piggyback on a project that could just as easily have turned up on a pay network or streaming site here. After all, that’s where it’s going overseas.

We really should get around to compiling that list of scripted ABC comedy from the last few years that wasn’t a co-production with a bigger, richer overseas partner. Probably won’t take very long.

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