SBS and Shine to produce The Family

Press release from SBS

Australian family life will be under the microscope in a new eight-part documentary series commissioned by SBS.

SBS Director of Television and Online, Matt Campbell, today announced SBS is commissioning The Family – an observational series which documents the universal themes of family life and sees an Australian household open its doors to viewers, 24 hours a day for 12 weeks of on-camera surveillance.

The series will be produced for SBS by Shine Australia – the company whose subsidiary, Dragonfly produced two series of The Family for Channel Four in the UK.

“This will be one of the most technically complex documentary series attempted in Australia,” Mr Campbell says. “In the first series in the UK, Firefly kitted out the house with 21 cameras and set up a viewing gallery and editing suite next door.

The series took 5,500 hours of rushes and gave us an intimate look, over eight episodes, at family life in all of its glory. “But this is not about the technology – it’s about complete access to the daily drama of family life – with its laughter, challenges and satisfactions and that’s what appealed to SBS.”

The casting of the series is expected to take several months and the producers will be looking for a multi-generational family, with kids and lots going on in their lives.

Mark Fennessy, CEO Shine Australia said: “The Family is gripping television which pushes the boundaries for observational documentary. From a logistical and editorial perspective it's a massive undertaking. Shine is truly delighted to be bringing this brilliant series to SBS.”

SBS plan to air The Family in the first half of 2011.