Netflix announces first original Aussie series, ‘Tidelands’


Two years after its launch in Australia, Netflix has announced its first local series, Tidelands. 

To be produced by Brisbane’s Hoodlum Entertainment, Tidelands is a supernatural crime drama penned by Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets & Lies). Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Leigh McGrath will executive produce, with production expected to kick off in Queensland next year.

The synopis: a former criminal who returns home to the fishing village of Orphelin Bay. After a body washes ashore, she must uncover town’s secrets and investigate its strange inhabitants: “a group of dangerous half-Sirens, half-humans called “Tidelanders.”

“We’re proud these strong Australian storytellers are bringing their vision to the first Australian Netflix original series,” said Netflix’s vice president of international original series Erik Barmack.

“We can’t wait to bring the mystery of Tidelands to our members around the world.”

Robertson said the Hoodlum team were excited to partner with Netflix on the 10 x 50 minute series. “This story is one that has been itching to be told and we are thrilled to be making it on our home soil in Australia with fantastic creatives and highly skilled crews,” she said.

“The primeval landscapes of Queensland are a perfect setting to tell the story of betrayal, small town secrets, ancient mythology and, when it comes to family, explore whether blood really is thicker than water.”

Tidelands first received development funding from Screen Australia back in 2014, when it was to be developed for Netflix rival Amazon.

Industry organisations such as Screen Producers Australia have long been advocating for the foreign streaming giants to commission local content. CEO Matt Deaner argued last year that it was time for these platforms to contibute to the communities “whose public infrastructure they rely on and from whom they derive their super-profits.”

Local SVOD Stan has commissioned shows such as No Activity, Wolf Creek and most recently, Matt Okine’s The Other Guy. It also has several other series in development.

Netflix’s Tidelands commission follows its investments in Glitch, Beat Bugs, Bottersnikes & Gumbles, Kazoops, Mako Mermaids: An H20 Adventure, White Rabbit Project and the upcoming Legend of Monkey. 

Netflix has also acquired Australian films such as Cargo, Berlin Syndrome and Casting JonBenet.