Netflix nabs Australian documentary

12 April, 2015 by Don Groves

Netflix has acquired exclusive subscription VOD rights in multiple territories to two series of an observational documentary that follows three Aussies on road trips through the US.

The streaming giant will screen Unplanned America in North America, Australia/New Zealand and the UK in a deal with SBS International.


The first season, which aired on SBS2 last May, featured former MTV Australia staffers Tim ‘Gonzo’ Ryan and Pawel ‘Parv’ Jarecki and their pal Nick Maher, a self-taught filmmaker, as they drove 35,000km across more than 35 states to investigate various subcultures.

The second season sees the trio visiting Portland strip clubs, skate colony Skatopia, a bondage, domination, sadism and masochism training chateau in upstate New York, and a New Orleans Voodoo priestess.

Other segments explore the legal marijuana revolution sweeping the US, including a legal weed tour through Denver; devouring 20,000 calorie burgers at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, contrasted with spending Christmas lunch at Albuquerque's biggest homeless shelter; and delving into the tattoo culture in Southern California, including a cancer victim undergoing areola tattooing as part of restorative breast surgery.

Unplanned America is produced by No Roles for Sam, which the trio formed with Dan Mansour and Emma Smith.

In January Netflix acquired worldwide first-run rights, excluding Australia and the UK, to Bottersnikes and Gumbles, a CGI animated children’s comedy series from Cheeky Little Media’s David Webster and Patrick Edgerton and Mighty Nice’s Darren Price.

Among Netflix’s local acquisitions are Jonah from Tonga and Serangoon Road, both via ABC Commercial.

In other SBS International deals, Red Creative Media’s Luke Nguyen’s United Kingdom has been sold to UKTV in the UK, AMC Networks Central Europe, Discovery Networks Asia and Choice TV NZ.

National Geographic’s People Channel in Europe and pan-Asia acquired Poh & Co, which stars Poh Ling Yeow, a finalist in the inaugural series of MasterChef Australia, as she cooks up recipes and provides viewers with insights into her life and her Chinese-Malaysian family.