The telemovie Redfern Now: Promise Me almost certainly won’t be the final chapter in the saga of the mostly indigenous residents of inner-city Sydney.
ABC TV head of programming Brendan Dahill hopes the creative team will get back together for another instalment in the franchise.
In a sense the drama produced by Blackfella Films’ Darren Dale and Miranda Dear, which starred Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair, Leah Purcell, Aaron Pederson, Rarriwuy Hick, Lisa Flanagan, Kelton Pell and Kirk Page, is a victim of its own success.
Dahill tells IF, “The first two series were so popular the cast members are in heavy demand. But we hope to get the team back together when they are available.”
Due to air in the next couple of months, Redfern Now: Promise Me will explore the impact of a violent crime on two women and the fight for justice that ensues. Anthony Hayes, Daniella Farinacci and Genevieve Lemon join the established cast in the telemovie written by Steven McGregor and directed by Rachel Perkins.
Another show which Dahill hopes will return to the schedule in 2016 is Upper Middle Bogan. The producers, Gristmill Productions, are busy this year making Little Lunch, a 26 x 15’ mockumentary about what happens in the primary school playground at snack time, commissioned by ABC3.
Dahill confirmed the third season of Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me will screen on the ABC’s main channel this year after the first two aired on ABC2.
Via ABC Commercial, the broadcaster is supplying a broad slate of shows including Summer Heights High, Ja’mie Private School Girl, Upper Middle Bogan, It’s a Date, The Moodys, Rake, Redfern Now, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Jack Irish and Janet King to Subscription VoD service Stan.
Dahill does not see the emerging $10-a-month services as a threat to his channels or free-to-air overall, reasoning, “As we saw in the UK, free-TV viewing is staying rock solid while digital is growing.”
But he does not foresee Australia sustaining three or four streaming platforms, predicting, “Give it three years and there will be two left standing.” As to which two, he’s not saying.