Advanced Television

Fred Media strikes partnership with ITV Studios Australia

September 8, 2021

Fred Media has struck a new partnership deal with ITV Studios Australia (ITVSA), which will see it acquire two of the production company’s most high-profile new series, Inside Central Station: Australia’s Busiest Railway, which will premiere on SBS on 12th September, and Australia Behind Bars, commissioned by Nine Network.

These two access-driven documentary series will now spearhead Fred Media’s autumn launch slate, joining new titles from parent company WTFN as well as Stripe Studios, Tastemade, MWC Productions, CheekyMac Productions and Haciyatmaz Films.

Inside Central Station: Australia’s Busiest Railway (10 x 60) is an immersive observational documentary series that tracks the daily behind-the-scenes challenges in the operation of Sydney Trains. For the first time, cameras have been allowed inside the 2000 trains and 175 stations in the network, plus ITVSA secured access to all footage caught on the 12,000 CCTV cameras the company operates. Fascinating stories are told through the eyes of the staff, from trainee drivers at the control of their first train to station staff dealing with dangerous and volatile passengers.

Australia Behind Bars (8 x 60), dubbed ‘the real Wentworth’, sees cameras go behind the walls and razor wire to reveal what really goes on in three of the country’s toughest prisons. An Australian television first, the ground-breaking series had unprecedented access to prison officers and inmates – both male and female – and will bring incredible, eye-opening moments to the screen, as never before.

Roger Vanderspikken, Fred Media’s general manager comments: “We are very excited to be partnering with ITV Studios Australia to launch these two big new series. Both titles were made with incredible access, skilful storytelling, and great production values. They reveal new facets about life in Australia and I am confident they will have great appeal to international broadcasters as we formally launch them to the market this autumn.”

David Mott, ITV Studios Australia’s CEO adds: “We are delighted to partner with Fred on these new titles. Both Inside Central Station: Australia’s Busiest Railway and Australia Behind Bars have been real passion projects for our business and, while uniquely Australian, the themes and stories they convey are universal. I am delighted for them now to be starting their journey around the globe.”

Fred Media’s autumn slate also see the formal launch of Sydney Harbour Force (10 x 60), the now completed observational documentary series produced by WTFN for Discovery UK, Australia and New Zealand. It follows the struggles and triumphs of the dedicated team of men and women who control every aspect of the iconic Sydney Harbour, one of the largest and busiest natural harbours on the planet. The Circus (20 x 30) is a new reality series produced by Stripe Studios for NBCU (Bravo) New Zealand. It follows the lives of the Webers, a family of 10 who live together, work together, and play together under the backdrop of a Circus Big Top.

Joining them on the slate are five new design-led series from MWC Media: America By Design (12 x 30) New York By Design (5 x 30), California By Design (6 x 30), Heroes By Design (3 x 30) and Hotels By Design: Australia & New Zealand (8 x 30). The US-based series look at a range of innovations – from medical advancements to personal devices – coming out of each state, while Heroes By Design and Hotels By Design investigate the most inspirational and contemporary, design-led hotel experiences for discerning travellers, the latter in Australia and New Zealand. Also new for autumn is Beyond the Fire (7 x 60’) from CheekyMac Productions. Premiered by Channel 10, this moving documentary series follows the stories of Australia’s unsung heroes as they band together to create life from ashes after the Australian Black Summer bushfire crisis.

From existing partner Tastemade, Fred Media will launch 15 new food titles this autumn, including Lightened Up (7 x 30), which sees Erwan Heussaff make healthy versions of commonly loved dishes; Gamer Snacks (4 x 30), a unique food show about what to eat without spilling it over your console when gaming; School Night Dinners (4 x 30), where hosts Nic Chapman and Ian Haste show you how to spice up family meals and …With Laura Miller (4 x30), where the quirky host explores food and the natural world, taking us back to our roots. Rounding out the new titles are two new series from Haciyatmaz Films. Abandoned Places (6 x 30) travels the planet to explore everything from abandoned hospitals and fairgrounds to military installations and mansions, while Stories From Hidden Worlds (6 x 60) visits remote parts of the globe to meet the people that live and work there.

Finally, Fred Media is delighted to launch new series for two returning favourites: series three of Paramedics and series two of Emergency, both ratings-winning obs-doc series produced by WTFN for Nine Network. Paramedics films on the frontlines with Australia’s ambulance crews, while Emergency is a dramatic, high-intensity series following the medical heroe..s at the The Royal Melbourne, one of Australia’s biggest and busiest emergency hospitals.

Roger Vanderspikken concludes: “From dramatic and compelling observational documentaries to quirky travel titles, fantastic food shows and gorgeous design-led series, Fred Media continues to work with producers at home and overseas to expand its catalogue with top-quality factual programming with broad appeal.”

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