Slightly delayed because we weren’t entirely sure it was an actual comedy series press release time!
ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand today announced that its first original Australian commissioned drama series, Spreadsheet, has begun production in Melbourne for Paramount+.
Starring UK actress Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Doc Martin), Spreadsheet features a stellar cast including Stephen Curry, Robbie Magasiva, Rowan Witt, Katrina Milosevic, Ryan Shelton, Zahra Newman, Tina Bursill and Richard Piper.
Produced by Northern Pictures in association with ITV Studios and created by Kala Ellis, Spreadsheet is an eight-part comedy series about divorced, hectic mother-of-two, Lauren (Katherine Parkinson) who is looking for sex without commitment.
With the help of best friend Alex (Rowan Witt), she develops “Spreadsheet”: a database of sex options, customised to ensure her sushi train of sex rolls around with variety and order amidst the chaos of her life. What Lauren didn’t expect was a slew of needy men, which apparently even a well-managed excel tracker can’t control.
Head of Drama and Production, Rick Maier, said: “When you read an idea this fresh and laugh out loud funny from such an original voice as Kala Ellis, it very quickly gets into your system. Then when you add Katherine Parkinson and this sensational ensemble you know you’re really onto something. I can’t think of a better first original commission for Paramount+.”
Northern Pictures Executive Producer and Head of Scripted, Catherine Nebauer, said: “Northern Pictures prides itself on creating unique series’, which surprise and delight, and this is certainly one of them! It’s been a joy to see Spreadsheet come together, with such a talented team behind it. Director, Darren Ashton and Creator/Writer, Kala Ellis have worked closely together to create the perfect blend of comedy, drama and spice, which only Katherine Parkinson can deliver!”
ITV Studios, EVP Global Content Julie Meldal-Johnsen, said: “Just thinking about Spreadsheet puts a smile on my face. Kala’s writing is warm, funny and poignant at the same time – making Katherine Parkinson the perfect person to play the hilarious and chaotic Lauren. Working with producer Northern Pictures again is a pleasure and we are very proud to be bringing Paramount + Australia’s first original comedy commission to our international clients. The show is sexy, frank, unapologetic and we are sure will engage and entertain people around the world.”
So wait, it’s both their “first original Australian commissioned drama series” and “an eight-part comedy series”? We’d say make up your mind, but this is how scripted television works in 2021: everything is a drama aimed at an overseas audience who probably won’t get the “jokes”, unless people start laughing (unlikely), at which point of course it’s a comedy, everybody loves those things.
Just not enough to actually make any of them.