Hoodlum strengthens ties with the Mouse house

25 June, 2017 by Don Groves

Hoodlum CEO and co-founder Tracey Robertson. 


In a rare if not unique arrangement for an Australian-based production company, Hoodlum Entertainment has signed a worldwide first-look deal with Disney’s ABC Studios International.

“The global nature of the deal may well be the first for an Australian company although NBCUniversal and Sony both have footprints in Australia,” Hoodlum CEO Tracey Robertson told IF, referring to NBCUniversal’s Matchbox Pictures and Sony’s Playmaker Media.

“The deal allows us to be a lot more flexible about a project and place it where we think it may fit and have a partner who is interested working with us to exploit it across international territories.”

The two companies first collaborated on the US version of the Australian ratings hit Secrets and Lies, which ran for two seasons on the ABC network.

That is followed by the co-production Harrow, which marks the first move into series production from ABC Studios International.

Co-created by writer Stephen M. Irwin (Australia Day, Wake in Fright, Secrets and Lies) and producer Leigh McGrath, Harrow will centre on Dr. Daniel Harrow, a brilliant forensic pathologist who solves cases while harbouring a dark secret.

Shooting on the 10-part drama commissioned by Australia’s ABC and supported by Screen Queensland is due to start in Queensland on August 7. The producers are in final negotiations with the lead actor and the director.

The venture will be run by Keli Lee, ABC Studios International’s London-based MD of international content and talent, Robertson, who is based at Disney Studios in Burbank, and Nathan Mayfield, Hoodlum’s Brisbane-based chief creative officer.

Lee said, “This collaboration with Hoodlum is very exciting for us as it marries us to a highly-respected content company with a track record for producing quality programs for worldwide distribution.”

Separately, Netflix has commissioned Hoodlum to produce supernatural drama Tidelands, its first local series, co-funded by Screen Australia.