Netflix, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Partner on Comedy Series 'The Letdown'

The Letdown Still - Publicity - H 2017
Daniel Asher Smith/Netflix

The project is the third ABC series the streamer has co-commissioned and the first comedy.

Netflix and the Australian Broadcasting Corp have announced production of a new comedy series, The Letdown, marking the third project on which the streamer and the public broadcaster have partnered and their first comedy.

The six-part comedy from writers Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell, who also stars, follows Audrey (Bell) as she navigates the steep learning curve of motherhood, dealing with sleeplessness, shifting relationship dynamics, her issues with her own mother and her husband's career ambitions. The Letdown proves that being a parent can be both extreme and hilarious. It is being produced by Giant Dwarf.

The cast includes Duncan Fellows, Sacha Horler, Leon Ford, Lucy Durack, Celeste Barber, Leah Vandenberg, Xana Tang, Sarah Peirse and Noni Hazlehurst.

The series was commissioned from a pilot that was part of the ABC and Screen Australia Comedy Showroom initiative last year, in which six shows had their pilots released on the ABC's video-on-demand platform and audiences voted which ones should receive a commission. While The Letdown didn’t win an initial commission from the ABC, the pilot won the 2016 AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Award for Best Screenplay in Television and the series subsequently received funding support from agencies Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

The ABC will broadcast the series in Australia on TV and iview.  Netflix will stream the series internationally outside Australia, and it will be available on Netflix in Australia after its run on ABC.

Scheller and Bell said: "We are thrilled to be working with the ABC and Netflix on a full series of The Letdown. We've learned that making a TV show is actually not unlike motherhood ... floods of tears, bursts of love and unhinged hormonal meltdowns — all in the name of comedy."

ABC head of comedy Rick Kalowski added: “From the moment The Letdown’s pilot went out as part of our Comedy Showroom, it was clear the show had struck a chord with its brilliant blend of laughs and heartbreak — the very stuff early parenthood is made of. It is an absolute thrill to partner with Netflix on an ABC Comedy for the first time, and to bring this series to the rest of the world.”  

The series is being produced by Giant Dwarf with executive producers Julian Morrow, Kalowski and Rebecca Anderson, produced by Martin Robertson and directed by Trent O’Donnell.

The Letdown follows other ABC shows to get the production greenlight from Netflix, including the second season of supernatural drama Glitch and See Saw’s kids drama The Legend Of Monkey. Netflix recently commissioned its first stand-alone Australian drama, Tidelands, from Hoodlum Entertainment.

Market research company Roy Morgan estimated this week that Netflix now counts 2.7 million households as subscribers in Australia, just shy of News Corp’s 50-percent-owned pay TV outfit Foxtel’s 2.9 million households.