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Australian telemovies

Number of Australian telemovies produced, total production budgets and average budget per title (current* and 2018 dollars), 1970/71–2018/19

Next update March 2021

An average of eight Australian telemovies were made each year in the 1970s. This almost doubled in the 1980s to 15 a year, but dropped back to nine a year in the 1990s.

Converted to 2018 dollars, total production budgets remained relatively stable over this period, averaging $28 million a year in the 1980s and $30 million a year in the 1990s. In the first decade of the 2000s, budgets decreased slightly to an average of  $22 million annually (2018 dollars), with the average number of titles falling to six.

In terms of total budgets, the peak years for Australian telemovie production since 1980/81 were 1986/87 and 1999/00. In 1986/87, 31 telemovies were produced with total budgets of $31 million ($80 million in 2018 dollars), mainly financed through 10BA tax concessions. In 1999/00, 17 titles were made with total budgets of $41 million ($70 million in 2018 dollars). Six were part of telemovie series – three each of Halifax f.p. and Dogwoman. In-house telemovie production has been steadily declining, from four a year in the 1970s, to three a year in the 1980s, to only two made in the whole of the 1990s and two since 2000/01.

Converted to 2018 dollars, the average budget per title for Australian telemovies (including co-productions) has increased from $1.62 million in the 1980s to $2.97 million in the 1990s. Between 2000/01 and 2009/10, the average was $3.64 million reaching as high as $4.64 million in 2000/01. By comparison, the average budget of a foreign telemovie shot here during the 1990s was $8.21 million (again, in 2018 dollars). 

See also Telemovies > Budget ranges.