Netflix Inc has acquired the exclusive first run rights to Jonathan M. Shiff Productions’ Mako Mermaids in USA/Canada, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Benelux and Latin America, with a simultaneous world release in line with the Australian premiere on Network TEN on 26 July.
Netflix has not only acquired the exclusive premiere rights (outside of Australia) to the first season, including a first-run window, but committed to a second season for the same territories. In a deal unparalleled in the company’s history, Australia’s Jonathan M. Shiff Productions is at the forefront of the rights acquisition evolution.
The tale of three mermaids who tasked with protecting their magical Mako Island from trespassers, are thwarted by the arrival of 16 year-old Zac. He acquires amazing powers and merman qualities. Threatened by his existence, the mermaid pod is forced to move away, abandoning the three mermaids. In a bid for survival they must get legs, venture onto land, and take back Zac's powers – or risk being outcasts forever.
A spin-off from the international phenomenon H2O: Just Add Water, the 26 x half hour series is produced by Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, in association with Screen Australia, Network Ten, ZDF Enterprises and Screen Queensland, with assistance from Gold Coast City Council’s Business Gold Coast.
"This exclusive first run deal, and Netflix’s commitment to the brand, is unprecedented – not just for children’s, but for any Australian program. It is a game changer,” said executive producer Jonathan M. Shiff. “With the instant delivery of first run series, as seen with their series House of Cards, Netflix is an exciting and prestigious platform.”
Screen Australia’s Dr. Ruth Harley said: "This is an extremely significant deal for an Australian television program and reinforces that our children’s television sector is highly regarded internationally for the high-quality content it produces. There’s clearly an appetite for quality Australian children’s television content both at home and abroad."