Sony Pictures Television is expanding its reach into Australia with the acquisition of Playmaker Media. The Sydney-based production company, which specializes in scripted programming, was formed in 2009 and is led by producers David Taylor and David Maher. The outfit’s credits include six-part thriller The Code, which was sold to DirecTV in the U.S. and to the BBC in the UK this year. Its primetime drama House Husbands has been renewed for a 4th season by the Nine Network and has adaptations percolating in France and Italy. Next year, Oz’s Nine also will air the second season of Playmaker’s coming-of-age period series Love Child, which was 2014’s most-watched drama. Its new family drama Hiding is set in the world of witness protection and premieres on Australia’s ABC in 2015.
Australia increasingly has been mined by U.S. networks, with such series as The Slap, A Moody Christmas and Rake acquired as formats. SPT, which has stakes in scripted production businesses in the UK, Germany, Russia, Latin America and elsewhere, is making its first Down Under move with Playmaker.
“Playmaker is having fantastic success creating the next generation of distinctive, high-quality Australian television drama,” said Andrea Wong, SPT’s President of International Production. “They are a great addition to our international production group.”
As part of the agreement, SPT’s distribution arm will sell Playmaker programs and formats throughout the rest of the world. Maher and Taylor will continue to lead Playmaker from its existing office in Sydney.