×

‘Rake’ Producer Essential Media Back in the International Drama Business (EXCLUSIVE)

The producer behind series including “Rake” and “Jack Irish” and the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” is launching Essential Scripted, a new high-end TV and film production business.

International Emmy Award-winning producer Michelle Hardy has joined the team. A first-look deal has also been set with Hardy White Pictures, the Australian drama indie that is a partnership between Hardy, and director Erin White, whose credits include the ABC Australia comedy series “Sando.”

The new division will be part of Essential Media, which is owned by acquisitive film and TV production and distribution group Kew Media.

Essential sold its drama catalog to FremantleMedia last September in a move that saw one of its co-founders, Ian Collie, exit and start FremantleMedia-backed drama shingle Easy Tiger. Based in Sydney and L.A., Essential is now getting back into creating drama with the launch of the new scripted unit.

Essential is run by CEO Chris Hilton and chief content officer Greg Quail. They will oversee Essential Scripted with Hardy as VP, Australia, and Simonne Overend her counterpart in the U.S.

“We’re relishing the prospect of our return to drama production in Australia and the USA at a time when the opportunities have never been greater,” said Hilton (pictured). “We have an exciting new slate and with the support of our new partners at Kew we’re looking forward to bringing more premium scripted content to audiences around the world”. 

Essential has an international track record in drama. Its legal drama “Rake” was remade for Fox in the U.S. with Greg Kinnear, while series such as Guy Pearce-starrer “Jack Irish” play on the Acorn streaming service.

More TV

  • Adam Schlesinger

    Tom Hanks, Rachel Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Stephen King Pay Tribute to Adam Schlesinger

    Whether it was the snarky but sincere pop of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, the ‘60s retro of Tom Hanks’ “That Thing You Do!” or the Broadway fare of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Adam Schlesinger’s music reached far beyond his public profile. The master songwriter passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 52 from complications related [...]

  • Aline Brosh Mckenna Adam Schlesinger

    'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Co-Creator Aline Brosh McKenna Pays Touching Tribute to Adam Schlesinger

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna paid a touching tribute to Adam Schlesinger on Twitter after the Emmy-winning songwriter and singer died Wednesday from coronavirus complications. Brosh McKenna took to the social media platform to fondly recall a moment from the writer’s room, “One day, when Adam, Rachel (Bloom) and Jack (Dolgen) were working, we [...]

  • Rick and Morty HBO Max

    Adult Swim Announces 'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Return Date

    Adult Swim has announced that the second half of Season 4 of “Rick and Morty” will premiere on May 3 at 11:30 p.m. The announcement was made today alongside a new trailer for the season’s remaining five episodes. Set to the upbeat chant of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” the footage offers [...]

  • Jason Kilar

    New WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar on His Vision for the Future of Media

    By tapping Jason Kilar — the co-founder of Hulu and an Amazon veteran — to be its new CEO, AT&T-owned WarnerMedia is sending a signal that its future will be streamed. In a conversation with Variety just hours after the announcement, Kilar himself says as much. Kilar has known AT&T COO and current WarnerMedia CEO [...]

  • Amy Adams Jennifer Garner

    Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams on 'Save With Stories,' Helping Children During Coronavirus Quarantine

    Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams are opening their contact lists for their new endeavor to help children during the coronavirus pandemic. Not long after the U.S. came to a screeching halt because of COVID-19, the two superstars launched “SaveWithStories,” an Instagram account that features celebrities and other notable figures reading children’s books. The line-up already [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content