(Australian Associated Press)
Australian TV drama production has reached a record high with $321 million spent on 46 local shows during the past year.
Screen Australia has released its annual drama report which shows a record high expenditure on production in Australia in 2016/17 of $1.3 billion, up 50 per cent on the previous year.
However, the massive spike is largely down to the fact that Hollywood blockbusters Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman and Pacific Rim: Uprising were all made in Australia.
But expenditure on home made TV shows, the majority of which were half-hour comedy formats such as The Family Law, Here Come the Habibs! and Get Krack!n is on the increase.
There’s also a focus on mini-series production, including shows such as Cleverman, The Secret Daughter, Wentworth, Wake in Fright and the upcoming Picnic at Hanging Rock.
“Australian TV drama was the biggest ever. If you look on screen, there are multiple local dramas on every single network at the moment. Australians are really enjoying it and want to watch local content. Every network has dramas on air and that’s driving this spend,” Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason told AAP.
Last year was also a record-breaker in terms of money spent on its creation ($310 million) as the networks continue to invest in local shows.
“I think it’s because the networks are realising the point of difference to them and those streaming services is local,” Mason said.
“The more they’re in touch with us as people and the stories we’re interested in, the most successful they will be.”
Online shows that were at least 30 minutes long, including The Other Guy, Let’s Talk About, Other People’s Problems and The Superwog Show, and premiered on platforms such as Stan, ABC iview and YouTube, contributed $14 million to overall expenditure.
“We are beginning to see a real rise in YouTube where there might be significant money beginning to be spent on some of that content. Australia has world-leading people making content in that space,” Mason said.
The one area of decline this year was in children’s TV drama production with expenditure of $48 million significantly below the five-year average of $60 million.