Netflix buys rights to Australian comedy series Utopia
James R | On 23, Jul 2015
Netflix has bought the rights to Utopia – no, not that one.
The Australian political comedy, made by Working Dog Productions, follows the goings-on at the Nation Building Authority, a fictitious government agency responsible for major infrastructure works Down Under. The show is created by Tom Gleisner, Santo Cilauro and Rob Sitch, who stars alongside other Australia comedians, such as Luke McGregor, Kitty Flanagan and Anthony Lehmann.
The first season spanned eight episodes and aired on ABC1 in August 2014, before going on to win the TV Week Logie Award for Comedy. It will arrive on Netflix US and UK later this year. The deal was managed by UK-based DCD Rights, which handles the international sales for Working Dog’s catalogue. A separate deal with Working Dog will see the show land on Netflix Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2015.
In the US and UK, Utopia will be rebranded as “Dreamland”, due to the existence of the Channel 4 series of the same name – now cancelled, but already on Netflix.
Season 2 of Utopia / Dreamland, meanwhile, will air on ABC in August in Australia, so you can expect it to arrive on Netflix at a later date.
The show joins fellow Aussie series Rake on Netflix UK, as the streaming giant continues its strategy of acquiring series originating from territories that it enters. Earlier this month, Gerard Depardieu was cast in Marseille, the SVOD service’s first French original production, following its launch in France.
“We are incredibly excited to be part of the Netflix phenomenon,” Working Dog principal Michael Hirsh told the Sydney Morning Herald. “And we are extremely flattered that they are running the original version, the Australian version.”