Sony Pictures Television Acquires Australia's Playmaker Media

Andrea Wong
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The company continues its growth in international scripted television production

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has acquired Australian independent drama producer Playmaker Media as part of its ongoing international expansion with a focus on scripted fare.

Playmaker — led by co-founders and joint managing directors David Taylor and David Maher — currently has four series commissioned across Australian broadcasters, including the Nine Network’s top-rated family drama, House Husbands, now in its fourth season, and Nine's period drama Love Child. It also has a second series of political thriller The Code and the new witness protection drama The Hiding in the works, both for the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Local versions of House Husbands, about four stay-at-home fathers, are being produced in Italy and France, while Love Child has been sold to a number of territories worldwide. As part of the deal, SPT's distribution arm will now sell Playmaker programs and formats throughout the world

"We love producing authored drama with the best Australian writers and creatives. This next step with Andrea Wong, Wayne Garvie and the team at Sony Pictures Television presents new opportunities to increase the quality and reach of our content both locally and in the international marketplace,” said Maher and Taylor.

The pair will continue to lead Playmaker from its existing office in Sydney, reporting to Wong, president, international production for SPT.

Wong said: "Playmaker is having fantastic success creating the next generation of distinctive, high quality Australian television drama. They are a great addition to our international production group and we look forward to working with David and David to continue to build their award-winning company."

Playmaker joins SPT’s other scripted-focused production businesses around the world, including Left Bank Pictures in the U.K., SPT Germany, SPT Russia and SPT Latin America.

The deal marks the second foray by a U.S studio into local production in Australia, following NBC Universal's full acquisition of Matchbox Pictures earlier this year.