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Oz TV drama spending rockets

Spending on Australian TV drama jumped by 27% to a record A$372m (US$359m) in the 2012/13 financial year, according to Screen Australia’s annual drama report.

The number of hours – 656 from 56 titles – was up 19% on the previous year.

Adult TV drama comprised 40 titles (502 hours) with total budgets of A$314m and spending in Australia of A$306m.

The children’s drama slate amounted to 154 hours with total budgets of A$92m and local spending of A$67m, more than double last year, while hours jumped by 95%.

All Australian broadcasters increased their investment in Australian drama. Pubcaster ABC financed 30 titles worth A$75m, the largest investment of any single broadcaster.

Its slate included the Australian-Singaporean copro Serangoon Road, Old School, Janet King, The Gods of Wheat Street and returning seasons of Redfern Now and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

The Australian film/TV industry provided the majority of finance for the drama slate (67%), investing A$273m. Foreign investors injected A$46m into 16 programmes.

Miniseries accounted for 186 hours and A$187m, more than double 2008/09’s 93 hours and A$87m

“There is clearly a growing demand from local audiences for Australian stories, across multiple platforms and new channels,” said Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley. “Our stories are resonating with international audiences as demonstrated by multiple format sales overseas for Australian television dramas such as Rake and A Moody Christmas.”

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