In a boost for beleaguered Oz drama, Network Ten has started pre-production on “Secretary” and “Tripping Over.”
“Secretary” comes from producer Amanda Higgs, co-creator of one the last big Aussie dramas, “The Secret Life of Us.” Skein follows five secretaries who work for a city law firm and will air late this year.
“Tripping Over,” announced last year as a Film Finance Corp.-backed miniseries, concerns two generations of Aussies and the pull they feel to travel back to England.
Co-production with U.K. broadcaster Five will be filmed in London, Thailand, Sydney and Melbourne beginning in early May.
The network is referring to the mini, which will air later this year, as a “six-part pilot,” giving Ten the option of picking it up as a regular series should it succeed where recent local drama productions have failed.
Ten drama topper Sue Masters acknowledged Oz drama “has had well-publicized challenges” and noted the growing importance of co-productions at a time when local shows are not drawing eyeballs.
Ten is also working with Blighty’s ITV on “The Joanna Lees Story,” about the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio in 2002. Murder also inspired Oz frightener “Wolf Creek.”
In addition, Ten will air four new episodes of Jigsaw Entertainment’s “Blackjack,” which is distribbed by Blighty’s BBC.