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The Drama Report 2017/18

The Drama Report covers the production of feature films, TV drama (mini-series, telemovies and series/serials) and online drama programs by financial year.

The report incorporates data gathered through surveys and publicly available sources to give a comprehensive view of drama production activity in Australia. Data is presented for the past five years, 2013/14 to 2017/18.

Foreign titles are included if they are shot (or substantially shot) in Australia, or have post, digital or visual effects (PDV) work carried out in Australia without shooting here.


Drama expenditure in Australia

  • $814 million total Australian expenditure– a 37% decline on last year’s record, due to reduced foreign production spend.
  • Record expenditure by Australian titles - $718 million 88% of total expenditure was triggered by Australian titles that started principal photography during 2017/18. The last high watermark was set a decade ago in 2008/09, when $702 million was spent on Australian titles, making up 97% of total expenditure.
  • 38 Australian features - $321 million12% increase on last year and 29% above the five-year average, due to strong Official Co-production feature activity.
  • 36 Australian TV drama titles- $295 million 8% down on last year’s record, but still above the five-year average. Almost a third of the mini-series slate had a total duration of fewer than five hours, driving a decline in the volume of hours. 
  • 10 Australian children’s TV drama titles - $49 million 3% above last year, but below the five-year average. The volume of hours produced dropped 36%, caused by fewer Official Co-productions, less animated content production, and the cyclical influence of the children’s content quotas on commercial free-to-air broadcasters. 
  • 18 Australian online drama titles - $53 million significant increase in expenditure on last year’s debut measurement of $15 million, driven by content with longer episodes and higher cost per hour.
  • 31 foreign projects $96 million
  • PDV-only spend totalled $88 million from 26 titles, up 31% on 2016/17
  • Spend of $8 million on three features and two TV dramas that commenced shooting in Australia, significantly below 2016/17’s all-time high and the lowest result since 2008/09.

Expenditure by location

New South Wales at 37% accounted for the greatest share of total expenditure, followed by Victoria at 30% and Queensland at 17%. 2017/18 saw a record year of spend for both South Australia and Western Australia.

See the statistics section of the Screen Australia website for details and for pre-2017/18 data.

Download full report here