The ABC and its co-production partner, SundanceTV have commissioned a second season of indigenous-led genre series, Cleverman, as the highly anticipated drama goes to air with a simultaneous premiere on ABC TV and Sundance Channel in the U.S.
Announcing the renewal, Sally Riley, head of scripted production, ABC TV, said: “It’s rare that you get the green light for a second series of a show before the first season has even gone to air, so for me its a testament to the quality and audience appeal of Cleverman. It is also a testament to the unflinching support the show has from our funding partners Screen Australia and Screen NSW here in Oz, and our international partners Red Arrow and Sundance TV.”
Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV, added “The world that Ryan Griffen and the rest of the team behind Cleverman have created is a perfect blend of timeless mythology seen through the prism of a near future lens. This is a series that sophisticated genre fans will no doubt fall in love with. We are thrilled to be working with our incredible partners at ABC TV, Goalpost Pictures Australia, Red Arrow International and Pukeko Pictures to continue the West brothers‘ journey.”
Based on a concept by Ryan Griffen and made by and starring a largely indigenous Australian cast and crew, Cleverman centers on the estranged West brothers, one of who becomes an aboriginal leader with supernatural powers known as the Cleverman. They become involved with a legendary species known as the Hairypeople, who have emerged from the Outback and now live — uneasily — in a ghetto-like containment zone within the country’s largest city.
The series premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February and has since been picked up by BBC3.
Filming on the second six episode series of Cleverman will take place in Sydney later in 2016. Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell will return to direct. There’s no word yet on whether Game Of Thrones star Iain Glenn, who plays Jarrod Slade, a media mogul with a secret agenda, will return to the series.
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “Cleverman fully deserves the local and international accolades that it has received – it’s engrossing, challenging, entertaining and unique. Congratulations to all involved.”
Henrik Pabst, Managing Director of Red Arrow International, added: “Cleverman has already generated a huge amount of interest with international broadcasters, and the great news about Season Two will continue to build on this success. Congratulations to everyone involved in this groundbreaking new drama.”
Cleverman season 2 will be produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures for ABC TV Australia in co-production with SundanceTV and Red Arrow International, with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.
New Zealand’s Weta Workshop, together with Jacob Nash (Bangarra Dance Company), will again provide the creature design. Park Road Post Production (The Hobbit films) is providing picture, visual effects and sound post production services.
Season 2 has been penned by Stuart Page, Jane Allen, Jada Alberts, Justine Gillmer and Ryan Griffen. Producers are Rosemary Blight for Goalpost Pictures, Ryan Griffen, Jane Allen and, for Pukeko Pictures, Sharon Lark, with executive producers Sally Riley, Ben Grant, Kylie du Fresne, Wayne Blair, Angela Littlejohn, Adam Fratto, Jan David Frouman, Amelie Kienlin and Irena Ignatiew.
Red Arrow International will continue to distribute the drama worldwide.