Television Business International

Netflix & ABC conspire to create thriller

Pine GapNetflix and Australian pubcaster the ABC are once again working together, this time on a short-run political conspiracy drama.

The pair has commissioned Banijay Group-owned Screentime to produce the six-part Pine Gap, with Greg Haddrick attached as showrunner.

Netflix will take exclusive worldwide SVOD rights, with the ABC taking Australia.

The South Australian Film Corporation and the South Australian State Government are contributing to the funding, with pre-production beginning in November and shooting commencing across south Australia and the Northern Territory next year.

Pine Gap is a secretive facility in Alice Springs, Australia (pictured above), that Australian and US intelligence agencies jointly run that has been in operation since 1970.

Felicity Packard is co-writing the show, which is billed as “an international political thriller set in and around the enigmatic US/Australia joint defence facility situated in central Australia”.

Sydney-based Screentime has had the show in development “for a number of years”, according to its executive chairman, Bob Campbell.

He executive produces along with Rory Callaghan, Haddrick, and the ABC’s Sally Riley and Kym Goldsworthy. Packard and Lisa Scott produce.

Just over two months ago, Netflix and the ABC announced another coproduction, a comedy about motherhood called The Letdown, which Aussie prodco Giant Dwarf is producing.

“Greg Haddrick is a magnificent voice in television in Australia and around the world,” said Elizabeth Bradley, Netflix’s VP of content. “We can’t wait for Greg to bring Pine Gap’s story of secrecy and deceit to Netflix members around the world.”

Pine Gap is shrouded in intrigue for many Australians. It’s the perfect anchor, and a timely subject, for an Australian drama that can resonate both locally and with a global audience,” said ABC director of television David Anderson.

“This partnership enables a high-end Australian drama to be produced for all Australians, and for locally produced content to be delivered to an international audience. We look forward to working with all our partners on this new venture.”