Netflix and ABC co-commission ‘Pine Gap’ miniseries

Pine Gap. (Photo credit: Kristian Laemmle-Ruff)

Screentime will produce Pine Gap, a six-part political thriller set in and around the US/Australian spy satellite base in the Northern Territory for the ABC and Netflix.

Created by showrunner Greg Haddrick and co-writer Felicity Packard, the miniseries will focus on the interaction between the Yanks and the Aussies who work at the secretive base.

Screentime developed the project with the ABC and then pitched it to Netflix, which will get worldwide rights outside Australia.

“For us Netflix was a no-brainer,” Screentime’s Bob Campbell told IF. “They are open to doing shows that look and sound different and are not necessarily made in Burbank or New York or Arizona. They are spreading their wings.

“Pine Gap is a very important listening post for worldwide intelligence. We will look at the personal lives of those who work at the base and the geopolitical implications for the US, Australia and our neighbours.”

The Australian director will be named soon. No casting is confirmed yet. The leads will be a mix of Americans and Aussies.

Much of the shoot will take place at the SAFC’s studios in Adelaide. Pre-production will begin in November and shooting will take place in multiple locations in SA and the Northern Territory in 2018 for delivery late that year. The SAFC and Screen Territory are supporting the production.

The producers are Lisa Scott and Packard; the EPs are Screentime’s Campbell, Rory Callaghan and Haddrick and the ABC’s Sally Riley and Kym Goldsworthy.

This is the global streaming service’s second Australian original series following Tidelands, Hoodlum Entertainment’s supernatural crime drama which shoots in Queensland next year.

“Greg Haddrick is a magnificent voice in television in Australia and around the world,” said Elizabeth Bradley, Netflix’s vice president of content. “We can’t wait for Greg to bring Pine Gap’s story of secrecy and deceit to Netflix members around the world.”

ABC director of TV David Anderson said, “Pine Gap is shrouded in intrigue for many Australians. It’s the perfect anchor and a timely subject for an Australian drama that can resonate both locally and with a global audience.

“This partnership enables a high-end Australian drama to be produced for all Australians and for locally produced content to be delivered to an international audience.”

SAFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan said: “SAFC welcomes the opportunities which come with a series of this calibre including further developing our amazing South Australian crew. Pine Gap strengthens the relationship between South Australia and the massive Netflix audience projecting our State around the world.

“SAFC is also so pleased to have Screentime stay on in South Australia, transitioning from post-production on Wolf Creek series 2 into Pine Gap pre-production and shoot.”