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TV drama production activity summary

Number of TV drama programs produced, number of hours and total production budgets (current dollars*), 1990/91–2014/15

Next update March 2017

* Dollar value as per each year specified (ie not adjusted for inflation)

The TV drama slate – Australian and foreign telemovies, mini-series, series and serials – grew significantly during the 1990s, with total production budgets peaking at $495 million in 2000/01. In the four years that followed, total budgets fell, reaching a low of $224 million in 2004/05. Since then, total production budgets for the TV drama slate have risen again and since 2010/11, have been above the previous decade’s average of $342 million.

Between 1990/91 and 1999/00, an average of 51 programs were produced annually with total budgets of $274 million each year. Most of these were Australian (including co-productions), with an average of 44 programs per year and total budgets of $228 million. In the following decade, 2000/01 to 2009/10, the full TV drama slate averaged 47 titles and total budgets of $342 million per year, including an average of 42 Australian programs with total budgets of $285 million. In 2014/15, total budgets for Australian programs were down on the previous year as was the number of hours produced.

The level of foreign TV drama production is mainly impacted by fluctuations in the number of telemovies made here. The peak of 16 titles in 2000/01 was the result of 14 foreign telemovies starting production, due in part to the acceleration of production schedules by US companies to avoid strike action in that country.

For more details, see TV drama spending in Australia and Drama production overview: Focus on production.

No. TV drama programs produced, 1990/91–2014/15
 
Graph: Number of TV dramas produced, 1990/91-2014/15

Total production budgets (current dollars*), 1990/91–2014/15
 Graph: Total TV drama production budgets, 1990/91-2014/15

Notes:
Foreign productions undertaking only PDV in Australia have been included since 2006/07.


Figures preceded by '+' are for foreign productions undertaking only PDV work in Australia.

  Australian productions1 Foreign productions2 All productions Total spend in Aust.
($m)*5
No. Total budgets ($m)* Hours3 No. Total budgets ($m)*4 Hours3 No. Total budgets ($m)*4 Hours3
1990/91 43 164 n.a. 2 14 n.a. 45 178 n.a. n.a.
1991/92 50 162 n.a. 4 33 n.a. 54 195 n.a. n.a.
1992/93 32 152 n.a. 6 21 n.a. 38 173 n.a. n.a.
1993/94 36 158 n.a. 4 36 n.a. 40 194 n.a. n.a.
1994/95 50 180 555 7 58 28 57 238 583 210
1995/96 51 219 783 9 50 20 60 269 803 238
1996/97 43 254 709 8 75 44 51 329 753 279
1997/98 46 279 852 6 50 30 52 329 882 305
1998/99 38 325 738 10 85 41 48 410 779 349
1999/00 52 385 794 8 41 14 60 426 808 373
Total 90/91–99/00 441 2,277 n.a. 64 463 n.a. 505 2,740 n.a. n.a.
Annual av. 90/91–99/00 44 228 n.a. 6 46 n.a. 51 274 n.a. n.a.
2000/01 46 350 846 16 145 29 62 495 875 393
2001/02 44 313 725 5 39 39 49 352 764 321
2002/03 42 248 673 12 91 29 54 339 702 286
2003/04 39 216 621 5 38 16 44 254 637 227
2004/05 33 219 620 1 5 3 34 224 623 206
2005/06 42 228 583 3 41 15 45 269 597 232
2006/07 45 276 615 5 (+0) 49 30 (+0) 50 (+0) 325 645 (+0) 286 (+0)
2007/08 46 324 718 1 (+0) 150 10 (+0) 47 (+0) 474 728 (+0) 407 (+0)
2008/09 45 355 675 2 (+2) 2 8 (+20) 47 (+2) 357 683 (+20) 334 (+<1)
2009/10 38 319 570 2 (+0) 15 11 (+0) 40 (+0) 333 582 (+0) 296 (+0)
Total 00/01–09/10 420 2,847 6,648 52 (+2) 575 189 (+20) 472 (+2) 3,423 6,836 (+20) 2,988 (+<1)
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 42 285 665 5 (+1) 58 19 (+5) 47 (+1) 342 683 (+5) 299 (+<1)
2010/11 41 341 583 3 68 15 44 410 598 392
2011/12 45 335 549 5 13 9 50 347 558 301
2012/13 57 407 661 2 22 12 59 430 672 395
2013/14 51 388 603 2 8 21 53 397 624 345
2014/15 47 332 517 2 30 16 49 362 533 320

Source: Screen Australia.

Notes:
Figures are updated on an ongoing basis therefore there may be some discrepancies with previously published data.
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.
n.a. Not available
n.p. Not for publication due to confidentiality reasons.
Figures preceded by '+' are for foreign productions undertaking only PDV work in Australia. Foreign productions undertaking only PDV in Australia have been included since 2006/07. Foreign shoot and PDV only figures combined from 2010/11 onwards due to confidentiality reasons.
* Dollar value as per each year specified (ie not adjusted for inflation).
1. Productions under Australian creative control, including domestic productions, official co-productions and other productions involving shared creative control, i.e. with a mix of Australians in key creative positions.
2. Productions under foreign creative control with a substantial amount shot in Australia.
3 ‘Hours’ refers to commercial broadcast hours rather than actual running time. Hours data available from 1994/95 only.
4. Total budgets include only foreign titles shot in Australia – total budgets for foreign PDV-only titles are not available.
5. Data available from 1994/95 only. See TV drama: Spending in Australia for more details. Includes some expenditure on foreign production elements – for example, fees for non-Australian actors or other individuals while working in Australia. Includes foreign PDV-only spending in Australia.

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