Amazon Prime Video Unveils Slate Of Australian Originals, Including Shows On Test Cricket, The Wiggles And Refugee Footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi

Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand, and Tyler Bern, head of content for Prime Video Australia, New Zealand and Canada
Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand, and Tyler Bern, head of content for Prime Video Australia, New Zealand and Canada Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video unveiled a slate of six new Australian originals for 2023 at a showcase in Sydney tonight, along with first looks at three Australian scripted dramas that the streamer has already announced. 

Described as part of a drive to increase investment into Australian-produced content, Amazon confirmed four docuseries and documentary features, one 90-minute live special and a series of stand-up specials from comedians including Dave Hughes, Tommy Little and Lizzy Hoo. 

Docuseries include a second season of The Test, featuring the Australian men’s cricket team and filmed in the run-up the first Ashes Test match, with Pat Cummins taking on the captaincy in the wake of Tim Paine’s decision to resign. Amazon Studios produced the four-part series with Cricket Australia and Whooshka Media.

Feature-length doc, Hot Potato: The Story Of The Wiggles, tells the story of global sensation The Wiggles, the children’s entertainment group that had a new lease of life amusing locked-down tots during the pandemic. Produced by Augusto, Frog Productions and SAM Content, the show is billed as “both a celebration and exploration of more than thirty years of The Wiggles phenomenon and their re-emergence into the cultural zeitgeist in 2022.”

Australian dance institution Brent Street is given the docuseries treatment in Dance Life, following aspiring dancers striving for fame. Produced by EQMedia, Biscuit Tin and Creative Bubble, the five-part documentary series is currently shooting in Sydney. 

The Defenders tells the story of Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini footballer turned political refugee, who was arrested while on honeymoon in Thailand under an invalid Interpol warrant. The feature-length doc is produced by Sweetshop & Green. 

The slate of new originals also includes Princess Pictures’ Hugh van Cuylenburg G.E.M, a 90-minute live special by the best-selling author of The Resilience Project on positive mental health strategies. The comedy specials include Dave Hughes: Ridiculous, Tommy Little: Pretty Fly For A Dickhead, Lizzy Hoo: Hoo Cares, Joel Creasey: Queen Of The Outback, and Rhys Nicholson’s Big Queer Comedy Concert.

“Prime Video is proud to announce that 2023 will be its biggest year for launching Australian content to local and international customers, with a record nine new Australian Amazon Originals launching next year,” said Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand. 

Tyler Bern, head of content, Prime Video Australia, New Zealand and Canada, added that the streamer has announced 23 Australian Original commissions since 2019. “We have been actively developing, commissioning, and acquiring local projects, and we are thrilled that our Australian customers are connecting with our local content.” 

Amazon also presented first looks of previously announced scripted shows Class Of ’07, about a tidal wave hitting the 10-year reunion of an all-girls college and produced by Matchbox Pictures; crime series Deadloch, written and executive produced by Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan; and novel adaptation The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart, produced by Made Up Stories, Amazon Studios and Fifth Season, and starring Sigourney Weaver. 

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