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AUSTRALIAN Children's TV drama

Number produced, hours, budgets, spend and average cost per hour, 1990 /91–2020/21

Next update December 2022


Historically, children's TV drama tended to fluctuate year-to-year due to broadcasting compliance regulations for the commercial free-to-air networks, however policy changes in 2020 mean that these broadcasters can, but are no longer specifically required to, commission children's drama to acquit their new content obligations.

1990s -  an average of 12 titles were made annually, generating a total of 825 hours of content. The average cost of an Australian children's TV drama in this period was $4.50 million, or $660,000 per hour. Of the 121 titles produced, 38 were animated.

2000s - the average number of titles rose slightly to 13 each year, with total hours increasing significantly to 1,347. The average cost rose to $6.73 million per title, or $655,000 per hour. Of the 131 titles produced, 68 were animated.

2010s -  this past decade saw the average number of titles largely unchanged at 12 each year, while the total hours of content fell to 1,114. The average cost fell to $6.40 million, however the average cost per hour rose to $706,000. Of the 123 titles produced, 78 were animated.

An average of less than one foreign children's TV drama has been shot in Australia since 1990/91. Due to the small sample size, they are not included in the table below. For foreign TV drama figures see: All TV drama formats.

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.

In 2020/21, seven children’s dramas entered production, generating 39 hours of content, at a total cost of $48 million.

As part of a broader package of policy changes, in late September 2020, the Australian Government announced changes to content obligations for commercial free-to-air broadcasters – see Television > Content regulation.

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