Create NSW and ABC partner to encourage Aussie TV drama development

HBO LookingCharacter-driven 30-minute TV drama with ‘heart and humour’ is the name of the game in a new $100,000 development partnership between Create NSW and ABC, that has been launched with a call for submissions across the state.

One-to-two page pitches are sought for a half-hour returnable drama series that is suitable for prime time viewing on ABC. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate diversity on and off screen, as well as projects that focus on a younger audience.

“With this initiative we’re looking to create home-grown half-hour dramas that can equal the likes of international productions such as HBO’s Girls, Looking and Insecure,” said Create NSW Director for Sector Investment Sophia Zachariou. “We want to see ideas for dramas that draw viewers in with bold and powerful but most importantly, relatable storytelling. This is a great opportunity to support existing as well as emerging screen talent, and I can’t wait to see the variety of applications.”

Up to ten NSW-based applicants will be shortlisted to attend a masterclass in early 2018 featuring key creators and showrunners from successful local and international productions. A total of four final projects will be selected to receive matched joint development funding of up to $20,000 each from Create NSW and ABC, with development deliverables due for September 2018.

“We want to break open the half-hour space for Australian drama and with this initiative we’re thrilled to be creating more opportunities for screen practitioners to tell compelling stories that surprise and delight audiences,” said ABC Head of Scripted Production, Sally Riley. “We hope to see ideas that are both uniquely Australian and universal, and that can ignite and provoke conversation.”

Applications are now open and close midnight Sunday 28 January 2018. For more information, including eligibility guidelines and criteria, or to apply, visit: for details.

Image: Frankie J. Alvarez, Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett in HBO’s Looking (sourced)