Screen Australia, the entertainment funding body, is to invest more than $12 million in the coming year on 11 new projects including the long-mooted TV drama on the life of Molly Meldrum.
Funding for the project was finalised last week. It has since been confirmed that the show, simply entitled Molly, will be produced by John Molloy (BoyTown (2006), Love Is a Four-Letter Word (2001) and The Last Time I Saw Richard (2014)), Michael Gudinski and entertainment agent and manager Mark Morrissey.
The two-part show will be directed by Kevin Carlin (Blue Heelers (1994), The Wedge(2006) and BoyTown (2006)) from a script by Australian playwrights Matt Cameron and Liz Doran. The project is expected to go into production later this year and will air on Channel Seven. Domestic and international sales will be handled by Mushroom Pictures.
“We have backed some of our great contemporary writers, directors and producers, alongside some exciting new voices,“ says Screen Australia Head of Production Sally Caplan.
“The projects target audiences as diverse as Australia is today, with projects which are ambitious, risk-taking and culturally important, revealing we have no shortage of great stories to tell. Who could resist…the story of music biz legend Molly Meldrum?”
The announcement follows this year’s success of the INXS mini-series. The two-part biopic Never Tear Us Apart saw a significant ratings boost for the Seven Network. The first part registered 1.974 million viewers, topping Nine Network’s Schapelle Corby docudrama which drew just 1.022 million viewers, apparently leading Nine Network Chief Dave Gyngell to quip, “If only Schapelle could sing.”