Just a week after his Hector Crawford speech at the Screen Forever conference in Melbourne, producer John Edwards has revealed he will leave his current role with newly merged production business Endemol Shine Australia.
Edwards said today: “The time has come for me to go out on my own. I’m very excited to be building a new business. I look forward to working together with ESA on Offspring and other future opportunities as they emerge.”
Endemol Shine joint CEOs Mark and Carl Fennessy paid tribute to the producer: “John Edwards is a true industry legend and one of the finest producers in the country. John leaves us on the very best of terms. We thank him for his many years working with Endemol and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Edwards will continue on as a creative consultant for Offspring working with former production colleague Imogen Banks and the production team in 2016 as well continuing to work with Endemol Shine Australia on a number of unspecified scripted projects.
Edwards spoke about the format of Australian dramas at Screen Forever, telling guests:
“There are no 40-part series left at all on Australian TV, there are no 22-part series left. Thirteen-parters are almost an anachronism. Partly this is a function of the ebb and flow, life and death of series, but there’s also a deeper structural reason. Starting a new series is high risk and expensive. Even the promo campaign will cost a million dollars or upward on commercial TV, leaving aside the set-up costs. Why wouldn’t the network opt first time around to go with say eight parts and have up to 40% taxpayer funded subsidy? It’s very understandable that this has become the predominant form. Because six and eight-part shows ordinarily cost between $1m and $1.2m per hour, and once those production structures and so on are in place, the problem becomes it’s very hard to bring budgets down, even if the number of episodes is increased in the future – we’re all both creatures of habit and justifiers of our situations. The million dollar-plus an episode series becomes ‘normal’.”
>> About John Edwards
John Edwards is one of Australia’s most successful television producers. He has produced more than 600 hours of television drama and holds over 30 production credits. A veteran of the one-hour series drama, Edwards is best known for his rich, complex character dramas that have gone on to become era-defining programs.
These include the multiaward-winning series Love My Way, The Secret Life of Us and audience favourite Offspring, which enters its sixth season for Ten in 2016. Love My Way was a landmark in Australian television production as the first high-quality in-house drama to screen on Foxtel, and The Secret Life of Us and Edwards’ six-time Logie Award-winning series Police Rescue remain the only two Australian episodic series ever commissioned for prime time in the UK.
Creating works for major national and international networks including Ten, Seven, Nine, ABC, Foxtel, New Line, BBC, Channel 4 UK and BSky B, Edwards’ further production credits include The Surgeon, Dangerous, Rush, Tangle, Puberty Blues, Party Tricks, and The Beautiful Lie, which recently screened on the ABC. Edwards has also produced miniseries and telemovies including the Golden Globe nominated miniseries On the Beach; Marking Time, winner of 7 AFI Awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, AWGIE Award and others; Do or Die; Children of the Dragon; Tracy; six telemovies in the Cody series; Beaconsfield and Paper Giants.
PHOTO: Producer John Edwards with producer longtime collaborator Imogen Banks