SundanceTV Commissions Second Season of Australian Drama 'Cleverman'

Courtesy of GPTV Holdings Pty and Zone 140
'Cleverman'

The renewal comes as the first series premieres simultaneously in the U.S. and Australia.

SundanceTV has commissioned a second season of Australian genre series Cleverman, ahead of its simultaneous premiere Wednesday on the AMC Networks drama channel and ABC TV in Australia.

Announcing the renewal, Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV, said: “The world that Ryan Griffen and the rest of the team behind Cleverman have created is a perfect blend of timeless mythology seen through the prism of a near future lens. This is a series that sophisticated genre fans will no doubt fall in love with. We are thrilled to be working with our incredible partners at ABC TV, Goalpost Pictures Australia, Red Arrow International and Pukeko Pictures to continue the West brothers‘ journey.”

Based on a concept by Ryan Griffen and made by and starring a largely indigenous Australian cast and crew, Cleverman centers on the estranged West brothers, one of whom becomes an aboriginal leader elder with supernatural powers known as the Cleverman. They become involved with a legendary species known as the Hairypeople, who have emerged from the Outback and now live — uneasily — in a ghetto-like containment zone within the country's largest city.

The series premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and has since been picked up by BBC3.

Filming on the second six-episode season of Cleverman will take place later this year in Sydney. Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell will return to direct. There’s no word yet on whether Iain Glenn (Game of Thrones), who stars as the slippery media mogul Jarrod Slade, will return to the series.

“It’s rare that you get the green light for a second series of a show before the first season has even gone to air, so for me it's a testament to the quality and audience appeal of Cleverman," said Sally Riley, head of scripted production, ABC TV. "It is also a testament to the unflinching support the show has from our funding partners Screen Australia and Screen NSW here in Oz, and our international partners Red Arrow and Sundance TV.”

Season 2 of Cleverman will be produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures for ABC TV Australia in co-production with SundanceTV and Red Arrow International, with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.

New Zealand’s Weta Workshop, with Jacob Nash (Bangarra Dance Company), will again provide the creature design. Park Road Post Production (the Hobbit films) is providing picture, visual effects and sound postproduction services.

Red Arrow International will continue to distribute Cleverman worldwide.

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