Chris Lilley won a Rose d’Or for his previous show, We Can Be Heroes, and will no doubt garner even greater attention with these new distribution deals. And while various other Australian productions have made their way onto American television, this will certainly be one of the most high profile.
“Top-rating Australian comedy smash-hit, Summer Heights High has been acquired by HBO for North America and the BBC in the UK, in two landmark deals.
HBO, America’s premium pay television channel, plans to add Summer Heights High to its 2008 comedy line up.
In a separate deal, ABC Commercial has licensed the series to BBC 3 for the UK.
Courtney Gibson, ABC TV’s Executive Head Content Creation, “We’re over the moon that HBO and the BBC3 have picked up Summer Heights High.
“Mr G, Ja’mie and Jonah have been welcomed into the home of such immortals as Tony Soprano and Deadwood’s Al Swearingen in the US, and the home of groundbreaking comedy in the UK. In terms of transatlantic TV sales, it just doesn’t get any classier than this.”
Laura Waters, Executive Producer Princess Pictures, said “It’s exciting to be the first Australian program to sell to a major network like HBO. It shows that it doesn’t matter where you live, funny is funny! And everyone’s been to school.”
“Summer Heights High also broke records in the its DVD sales – in less than five months it became the biggest selling TV series DVD in Australian history.”
Summer Heights High was a hit with Australian audiences when it screened on ABC TV in late 2007. Its peak episode captured over 40% of the television audience under 40 years old. (Oz TAM data).”