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Drama Awards 2019

Stan taps Sony, Yost for eco thriller

Australian SVoD service Stan has ordered a futuristic environmental thriller from Sony’s Playmaker Media, starring Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt and exec produced by Graham Yost.

Joanne Froggatt

The Commons (8×60’) will start shooting in Sydney next week, with funding from Screen Australia and Create NSW.

Created by showrunner Shelley Birse (The Code), the drama revolves around the themes of climate change, biotechnology, ethical boundaries and the place of motherhood in saving the planet.

Yost (The Americans, Sneaky Pete, Justified) is among the executive producers alongside Playmaker’s David Taylor and David Maher, Stan chief content officer Nick Forward, Fred Golan (Sneaky Pete, Justified, Roswell) and Birse.

The scripts are by Birse, Matt Ford (House Husbands, Hiding), Michael Miller (Pulse, Cleverman) and Matt Cameron (Secret City, Bloom). Jeffrey Walker (Lambs of God, Riot) is the set-up director, working with Rowan Woods and Jen Leacey. The supporting cast includes Damon Herriman (Justified, Perpetual Grace Ltd).

Forward told C21: “It’s a hugely ambitious project that deals with some big themes. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in Australia. The pairing of Shelley Birse and Graham Yost is such an exciting prospect. With actors of the calibre of Joanne Froggatt and Damon Herriman joining the cast, alongside a stellar creative team, The Commons continues to demonstrate our ambition as the home of original Australian productions.”

Elizabeth W Scott, Create NSW’s executive director, investment and engagement, said the production would provide more than 290 jobs across cast, crew and post-production.

Sony Pictures Television will handle worldwide sales of the series, which is set to premiere in 2020.

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