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Children's TV drama production

Number, total production budgets (current dollars*) and hours of children’s series, mini-series and telemovies shot 1990/91–2015/16

Next update March 2018

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

Most children’s TV drama programs are either series or mini-series. There were only eight children’s telemovies made during the 1990s, with total production budgets of $12 million, and seven in the 2000s, with total budgets of $10 million.

The total production budgets for TV drama made for children increased during the 1990s, averaging $48 million each year in the first half of the decade and $82 million each year from 1995/96 to 1999/00. Over the whole decade, 127 children’s drama programs were produced, with total budgets of $647 million, including nine foreign titles.

In the 10 years to 2009/10, there were 136 TV dramas made in Australia for children with total budgets of $895 million (an average of $89 million per year). This included five foreign titles, although there have been no foreign TV dramas for children made in Australia since 2003/04.

After strong results in 2007/08 and 2008/09, Australian children’s drama production contracted over the following three years, which to some extent reflects the cyclical nature of this type of production. The 2012/13 result represented somewhat of a recovery, with 17 titles worth $94 million produced, generating 159 hours of children's TV drama content.

Australian drama production for children is supported by the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s requirement for a minimum number of hours of first-release Australian children’s drama on commercial television. Commercial broadcasters are required to screen 96 hours over three years, with a minimum of 25 hours per year – see Television > Content regulation.

Australian productions1 Foreign productions2 All productions
No.3 Total budgets ($m)* Hrs4 Av. cost per hour ($m) No. Total budgets ($m)* Hrs4 No. Total budgets ($m)* Hrs4
1990/91 9 (3) 21 n.a. n.a. 0 0 n.a. 9 21 n.a.
1991/92 15 (1) 41 n.a. n.a. 1 7 n.a. 16 48 n.a.
1992/93 11 59 n.a. n.a. 2 2 n.a. 13 61 n.a.
1993/94 4 16 n.a. n.a. 0 0 n.a. 4 16 n.a.
1994/95 16 62 108 0.58 1 30 22 17 92 130
1995/96 16 (2) 74 133 0.56 1 1 3 17 75 136
1996/97 11 51 83 0.61 2 25 24 13 76 107
1997/98 16 86 137 0.63 1 23 22 17 109 159
1998/99 7 36 84 0.43 1 16 22 8 52 106
1999/00 13 96 131 0.73 0 0 0 13 96 131
Total 90/91–99/00 118 (8) 543 n.a. n.a. 9 104 n.a. 127 647 n.a.
Annual av. 90/91–99/00 12 (1) 54 n.a. n.a. 1 10 n.a. 13 65 n.a.
2000/01 13 88 133 0.66 0 0 0 13 88 133
2001/02 11 67 98 0.69 1 3 7 12 70 104
2002/03 14 93 126 0.74 2 7 10 16 100 136
2003/04 11 75 145 0.52 2 5 8 13 79 153
2004/05 9 50 92 0.55 0 0 0 9 50 92
2005/06 14 96 139 0.69 0 0 0 14 96 139
2006/07 13 78 109 0.72 0 0 0 13 78 109
2007/08 18 124 200 0.62 0 0 0 18 123 200
2008/09 18 133 189 0.70 0 0 0 18 133 189
2009/10 10 77 118 0.65 0 0 0 10 76 118
Total 00/01–09/10 131 882 1,349 n.a. 5 14 24 136 895 1,373
Annual av. 00/01–09/10 13 88 135 0.65 1 1 2 14 89 137
2010/11 9 65 94 0.69 0 0 0 9 65 94
2011/12 7 53 79 0.66 0 0 0 7 53 79
2012/13 17 94 159 0.59 0 0 0 17 94 159
2013/14 11 86 131 0.66 0 0 0 11 86 131
2014/15 13 95 116 0.81 0 0 0 13 95 116
2015/16 14 101 115 0.88 0 0 0 14 101 115

Source: Screen Australia.

Notes:
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.
n.a. Not available.
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. Does not include foreign productions undertaking PDV only work in Australia.
3. Total includes inhouse productions made by television broadcasters (inhouse number shown in brackets). There have been no in-house productions made since 1995/96.
4. Hours refers to commercial broadcast hours rather than actual running time. Data available from 1994/95 only.

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