Acorn snaps up Bunya Productions’ ‘Mystery Road’

20 June, 2018 by Don Groves

‘Mystery Road’

Acorn Media Enterprises continues to show a hearty appetite for Australian drama, acquiring multiple-territory rights to Mystery Road, Bunya Productions’ six-part crime drama commissioned by the ABC.


The series starring Aaron Pedersen and Judy Davis will premiere in August on Acorn TV, which bills itself as North America’s most popular streaming service for British and international television.

Acorn also picked up secondary rights in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in the deal with All3Media International.

In February, Acorn parent RLJ Entertainment announced it had secured exclusive US rights to Jungle Entertainment’s Sando and will distribute the six-part ABC comedy in the UK and other English-speaking markets.

Among the other Aussie shows airing on Acorn TV, which has more than 600,000 subscribers, are Jack Irish, 800 Words, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Doctor, Doctor, Janet King, A Place to Call Home, The Code and Winter.

Directed by Rachel Perkins (Redfern Now, Jasper Jones) and produced by David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin, Mystery Road is rating highly at 8.30 pm Sunday on the ABC. Simpkin tells IF that discussions about a second series are underway with the ABC.

Addressing the Melbourne Press Club yesterday, ABC MD Michelle Guthrie said 800,000 viewers watched the June 3 premiere in preference to the Seven Network’s interview with Barnaby Joyce and his wife.

“Who knew Australians would choose a well-scripted and produced drama over the kitchen-sink exploits of a politician?” she said. “Well-told local drama remains a priority for the ABC and clearly provided a welcome option for many Australians that evening.”

Acorn Media Enterprises MD Shane Murphy said: “With its remote landscape, intriguing mystery and award-winning cast led by Aaron Pedersen and Judy Davis, Mystery Road is right in line with the first-rate international dramas we’re bringing to our subscribers every month.”

All3Media International screened the series at MIPTV, Series Mania and at Banff World Media Festival’s Master Class Series.

Louise Pedersen, the distributor’s CEO, said she will announce further deals in the coming months, observing, “We are delighted by the great response from our clients around the world.”