Production has commenced on the six-part comedy series The Letdown, for ABC in Australia and Netflix internationally with funding support from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW. ABC will broadcast the series in Australia on TV and iview. Netflix will stream the series internationally outside of Australia, and it will be available on Netflix in Australia after its run on ABC.
Produced by Giant Dwarf and co-written by Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell, who also stars, The Letdown was one of six Comedy Showroom pilots which aired last year on ABC TV as part of a joint initiative with Screen Australia.
With the pilot episode receiving the 2016 AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television, the series continues with the developing friendships and lives of a mother's group thrown together through the circumstance of timing. Audrey (Alison Bell) navigates the steep learning curve of motherhood as she deals with sleeplessness, shifting relationship dynamics, her issues with her own mother and her husband's career ambitions. They say it takes a tribe to raise a child, but these days obliging tribes are hard to come by – so perhaps this unlikely group of women (and one fella) is as good as it gets.
With a stellar cast including Alison Bell, Duncan Fellows, Sacha Horler, Leon Ford, Lucy Durack, Celeste Barber, Leah Vandenberg, Xana Tang, Sarah Peirse and Noni Hazlehurst, The Letdown proves that being a parent can be both extreme and hilarious.
Creators and writers Sarah Scheller and Alison 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."
Mike Cowap, Investment Manager Multiplatform at Screen Australia said: “Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell firmly established themselves as bold new voices with this darkly funny concept created as a pilot for our joint ABC initiative Comedy Showroom, demonstrating the appetite for a full series. We’re thrilled that this uniquely Australian story will be seen both at home and abroad through Netflix.”
Sophia Zachariou, Director, Sector Investment at Create NSW, said “Encouraging female voices in comedy is a key focus for Create NSW and we are proud to be supporting this important next step in the careers of Sarah and Alison, whose original and darkly hilarious comic sensibility was so brilliantly showcased in The Letdown. I can’t wait to see what they will unleash across an entire series!”
ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski said: “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.”
Production Credits: A Giant Dwarf production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with funding from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW. Executive Producer Julian Morrow. Produced by Martin Robertson. ABC Executive Producers Rick Kalowski and Rebecca Anderson. Directed by Trent O’Donnell. Written by Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell.