Australia's Playmaker Signs First-Look Deal with Fremantle Media

Playmaker's 'Slide' is one of a few Australian dramas with which FME has had recent success.

SYDNEY -- Local production shingle Playmaker has secured a first-look deal with Fremantle Media Enterprises, with FME announcing Tuesday it will develop, fund, and distribute Playmaker’s drama output around the world.

Playmaker, headed up by former Fox television production execs David Taylor and David Maher is currently in production on Foxtel’s groundbreaking new multiplatform drama Slide, with co-producers Hoodlum Entertainment, which FME will distribute globally.

The deal is part of FME’s wider global drama strategy to develop more scripted content with leading producers in key territories. Fremantle Media is also a 25 percent shareholder in locally listed TV production and distribution house, Beyond International.

FME will have first look on all scripted projects from Playmaker including projects to come out of its recently launched Scribe program, an initiative to foster and develop writing talent backed by Screen Australia's Enterprise program. Scribe will see three leading Australian writers develop drama series concepts together over three years, while being mentored by NCIS’ Australian show runner, Shane Brennan.

"We wanted to work with Playmaker not only for their expertise in scripted content, but also for their commitment to nurturing local writing talent which reflects our own approach to content development. We are very excited about taking Slide into the market this year, and launching future Playmaker titles under the FME banner over the next few years,” David Ellender, FME’s global CEO said, announcing the deal. 

“Playmaker’s goal is to produce authored, distinctive and commercially successful Australian drama. We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with the FME team in making that happen,” David Taylor added.

The deal with Playmaker sits alongside a number of other Australian drama successes for FME, including international sales of glossy crime drama, The Strip, which has sold to more than 25 countries including the U.S., Germany, Holland, France, South Africa and China’s largest broadcaster CCTV. The pay-TV drama, Satisfaction has also sold to more than 30 countries including the U.S., Japan, France, and Russia.