Network 10 has acquired season two of the SundayArvo Productions and Ozpix Entertainment-produced comedy Stage Mums.
The Gold Coast-set parody of life behind-the-scenes with ambitious screen talent is co-produced, written by and stars SundayArvo’s Anna Waters-Massey.
Season one (8 x 7min) screened on 10 Peach last year and garnered a strong audience reception. The second season will be longer, 8 x 30min, and is in currently early pre-production, with the expectation it will air early next year.
The series began its life as a skit posted to YouTube, inspired Waters-Massey’s real life on the Gold Coast as an acting coach and mother of two aspiring thespians. Her daughter Cleo Massey also stars in the ensemble cast which includes Tara Page, Samantha Pearce, Gerry Connolly and Brooke Lee. Season two includes guest appearances by US gossip columnist Perez Hilton. Both series are directed by Louise Alston (Back of The Net).
“Stage Mums is in my DNA and I have created it from frontline experience. I am constantly finding things to draw on in the industry, from the dodgy agencies to the celebrity-hungry parents that get ripped off trying to make their children famous,” Waters-Massey told IF.
While the original web prototype received positive response, they didn’t attract massive hits. However, Waters-Massey said that the depth of the online reaction proved she had struck a chord within a certain demographic and one that would lend itself better to a television format.
“It didn’t go viral and wasn’t outstanding traffic but our audience is predominantly mothers who aren’t glued to the phones like millennials are. We do have a strong fan base on social media and Instagram. And I wanted to reach the demographics that enjoyed it the most in the format that they consumer content.”
In pitching the first series to networks and streamers, she “knocked on a million doors”, but was rejected. Undeterred, series one was self-funded and produced on a shoestring budget with the help of a private investors. Its screening on YouTube then attracted the attention of Network 10 which picked it up.
The development of Season 2 has attracted the support of Screen Queensland and a grant from the Gold Coast City Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund.
In February, Escapade Media secured the international distribution rights to Stage Mums for series one and series two which was in development at the time. Both series will be taken to Mipcom for international sales opportunities this month.
“It’s great to see Anna Water-Massey’s creative efforts and hard work pay off and evolve from YouTube to broadcast production. We have loved developing this project and supporting Anna’s vision of taking Stage Mum’s to the audience it deserves locally and soon globally. Our domestic release partner, Channel 10 have been a great supporter as well and we are so grateful to be working with Escapade Media as fellow EP and international sales agent for the product,” said Ozpix producer Kris Maric.