COVID claims iconic Aussie TV series

The global pandemic has seen Australians embrace the seachange like never before - but it may not have been enough to save the beloved TV drama.

Seachange star Brooke Satchwell told news.com.au that she doesn't think there are plans for a second season of the rebooted series.

"I don't believe there is," she said. "There's not any word on that at this stage."

It was hoped the Nine drama, which was the highest rating series in 2019, would be renewed this year but the show may have fallen victim to the slowdown in the arts due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Satchwell said it had been an incredibly quiet year.

"I was fortunate in that I was due for a moment's breath, but the uncertainty looking forward is quite concerning," she said.

While a number of international productions are heading to Australian shores, Satchwell said they may only generate a handful of local jobs across 165,000 who work in the industry.

"The numbers don't stack up," she said.

"It's certainly a strange time and a concerning time for the arts industry."

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Brooke Satchwell on the set of SeaChange in Brunswick Heads. Picture: Channel 9
Brooke Satchwell on the set of SeaChange in Brunswick Heads. Picture: Channel 9

While the rest of the year has been quiet, Satchwell has a number of projects in the works including shooting on the third season of Mr Inbetween and as co-host of ABC's Reef Liv e event starting tonight.

"All the work's happening this fortnight," she said. "It's gone from famine to feast."

The 40-year-old has also been developing some content herself.

"The space (this year) has allowed me to focus on that," she said, but couldn't reveal any further details.

Satchwell said the industry was at a critical stage and a Federal Government Green Paper setting out proposed reforms to support the media industry was important for the local film sector's future and the creation of jobs.

"So many things are at a critical state. I hope the great slowdown will give us pause for thought for our priorities," she said.

"We need to hear our own voices and have our own identity reflected back to us."

Satchwell pointed to the success of Mr Inbetween, which was funded by FX because of its local investment obligation with Foxtel, and has received acclaim among audiences worldwide.

"The show had been searching for a home for 15 years," she said.

"It fits so deeply with the Australian vernacular but also has a place and a power in international markets."

Interestingly Australia seems to have become a hotspot for celebrities during the coronavirus with many Hollywood productions being filmed locally.

Brooke Satchwell and Scott Ryan in a scene from season two of the TV series Mr Inbetween. Picture: Foxtel
Brooke Satchwell and Scott Ryan in a scene from season two of the TV series Mr Inbetween. Picture: Foxtel

Satchwell's decision to stay and build a career in Australia rather than heading overseas like her contemporaries suddenly seems like a good call.

"The funny thing is that anyone who has spoken to me in the last six months to two years, who has taken a leap of faith and followed their heart even if they have to take a pay cut, interestingly when COVID hit, they were the most insulated to continue their life," Satchwell said.

"It's very affirming. As scary as it is, following your heart is always going to put you in the right place so hopefully it bodes well for me in that respect."

While there are many uncertainties, Satchwell is staying optimistic about the "brave new world".

"It's pretty exciting. Some things only deconstruct under pressure so there's fertile ground ahead."

 

Brooke Satchwell hopes the Federal Government will support the local film industry.
Brooke Satchwell hopes the Federal Government will support the local film industry.

 

charis.chang@news.com.au | @charischang2

 

 

Originally published as COVID claims iconic Aussie TV series


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