The Slap sells to the US and Canada

18 November, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Controversial ABC series The Slap will soon be heard around the world.

Produced by Matchbox Pictures, the popular series – through international distributor DCD Rights – has now sold to DirecTV and TVOntario (TVO) for US and Canada distribution rights, respectively.


It follows the news last month of the acquisition by the Sundance Channel, which will screen the show in Eastern Europe, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Asia. The BBC picked up the rights to the show in August and it went to air on BBC4 late-last month, netting an average audience of 830,500 (4 per cent share), according to Variety.

Californian-based DirecTV, which in the past acquired Underbelly, will screen the series on the Audience Network channel later this year.

“Selling The Slap to North America is something that we really hoped for,” producer Helen Bowden told IF today. “DirecTV is the home of the US dramas Damages and Friday Night Lights, so we are thrilled to be in that company.”

While in Canada, The Slap will be seen on public broadcaster TVO in the near future.

“TVOntario goes under the banner ‘Makes you think’, which seems like the right home in Canada for our show.”

It's been a big week for Melbourne-based Matchbox Pictures, which on Monday was awarded the Independent Producer of the Year trophy at the SPAA Conference dinner and Awards night.

The Slap's a series that has sparked controversy since airing in Australia in early-October. Based on Christos Tsiolkas’ book of the same name, it follows the repercussions of a single ‘slap’ from a man to a child at a summer barbecue. It brings up such debates as parenting, race, class, sexuality and the rights of children. Each episode covers a different character’s point of view.

Stars appearing in the series include Melissa George, Jonathan LaPaglia, Sophie Lowe, Alex Dimitriades, Essie Davis, Blake Davis, Sophie Okonedo, Anthony Hayes, Diana Glenn and Kingswood Country’s Lex Marinos.

The final episode screens on ABC1 next Thursday (November 24) at 8.30pm.

To read more about The Slap, pick up a copy of the October/November issue of IF Magazine. For more on adaptations, see the December/January edition.