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13 12 2017 - Media release

Fresh Blood: Four teams advance to pilot stage


Fresh Blood projects: (top L-R) Be Your Own Boss, Koala Man, (bottom L-R) The Angus Project, Why Are You Like This

From the 20 sketch comedy teams selected as Fresh Blood’s Class of 2017, four will now receive $75,000 each to produce a half-hour pilot to premiere on ABC iview in 2018.

The four projects are Be Your Own Boss created by Becky Lucas and Cameron James; animation Koala Man created by Michael Cusack; The Angus Project created by Nina Oyama and Angus Thompson; and Why Are You Like This created by Naomi Higgins, Mark Samual Bonanno and Humyara Mahbub.   

Fresh Blood is the highly successful joint initiative between ABC and Screen Australia created in 2013 to unearth a new generation of comedic talent. Previous recipients have included Aunty Donna, Fancy Boy and Skit Box.

In March 2017, 20 teams from hundreds of applications were selected to create 3 x 3-5min sketches. All 60 sketches are now available on ABC COMEDY on iview. Plus ABC will also broadcast a ‘Best of Fresh Blood’ three-part series on ABC COMEDY on Tuesday 18 January at 9.30pm, hosted by Wil Anderson.

In December 2017, the 20 teams participated in an exclusive workshop led by industry representatives to learn the skills required to build a sustainable career. Each team was subsequently invited to submit ideas for half-hour comedy pilots, and from those submissions four teams have been selected for production funding.

All four pilots will be delivered by June 2018 and will premiere on ABC COMEDY in the second half of the year. ABC and Screen Australia hope to take one of these four pilots to a full series in 2019.

ABC Director of Television, David Anderson said: “The ABC has long been the home of comedy and innovative content, consistently delivering fresh programming for Australian audiences. Together with Screen Australia, our Fresh Blood initiative continues to demonstrate a commitment to nurturing Australia’s next generation of creative talent, giving new voices the opportunity to shine, with the possibility of a series commission.”

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said: “There is no shortage of comedy talent in Australia and we are incredibly grateful to ABC iview for providing a premium online platform for these Fresh Blood voices to be heard. We’re thrilled that this program has attracted so many projects that are female driven and display such diversity, and I would like to offer my congratulations to the four teams who are being given the enviable opportunity to create a pilot based on the strength of their outstanding series pitches.”

The four pilots that will go into production are:

30 mins
Created by Becky Lucas, Cameron James
Synopsis A mockumentary series that dips into the lives and struggles of several desperate couples that are living the Australian Dream – to be your own boss.

30 mins
Created by Michael Cusack
Synopsis Koala Man is about a local suburban superhero with no special powers but a strong and burning passion to snuff out petty crime and bring order to the community.

30 mins
Producer Craig Anderson
Created by Nina Oyama and Angus Thompson  
Synopsis Angus, a hard partying guy with cerebral palsy and his reckless carer Erika, get up to no good in a conservative country town.

30 mins
Created by Naomi Higgins, Mark Samual Bonanno, Humyara Mahbub
Synopsis Why Are You Like This is a sharp, dialogue driven comedy that is unforgivingly harsh. Best friends Penny and Mia inadvertently dissect the dark side of human nature - premises that are often taboo - all the while blissfully ignorant of how many people they upset.

Viewers can now binge on all 20 Fresh Blood bite sized sketch comedy series anytime on ABC COMEDY on iview or on ABC COMEDY on YouTube.

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Jessica Parry | Senior Publicist

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