NBCU Invests $103 Million in Australia-Shot Dramas


Universal Studio Group has committed to shooting three TV productions in Australia over the next 18 months: Young Rock from Universal Television, Joe Exotic from UCP and Irreverent from NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures.

Young Rock is being produced for NBC, while Joe Exotic will span three of NBCUniversal’s distribution platforms: Peacock, NBC and USA. Irreverent is being developed and produced for the global market. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will be handling international sales for all three titles.

The productions are projected to contribute at least $103 million (A$143 million) to the Australian economy and creative sector. More than 3,500 local cast and crew will be employed to work across the three shows and workforce development and skills programs will be implemented. Additionally, the projects will also invest more than $4.5 million (A$6.5 million) in the VFX industry and will draw extensively on the renowned creativity and innovation of Australia’s post-production houses.

“This initiative encapsulates all of the goals we had in mind when we aligned the three studios—Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios—under the Universal Studio Group umbrella,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of Universal Studio Group. “Not only are we leveraging shared resources and utilizing talent across our three businesses, we are also partnering with the Australian Government and Screen Queensland to make a significant investment in our global community and significantly upgrade the studio infrastructure in Brisbane.”

Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, commented: “This demonstrates international confidence in Australia’s world-class production sector and reinforces our country’s great appeal as a COVID-safe location that boasts high caliber facilities and expertise. This pipeline of exciting projects from the Universal Studio Group team has been made possible through our Government’s Location Incentive program and showcases the best that Australia’s screen sector has to offer.”

The Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “Bringing these three high-end television series, as part of my Government’s Production Attraction Strategy, will provide a multi-million-dollar boost to Queensland’s economy and create not only jobs for our talented TV/film workforce but also a ripple effect that will benefit numerous industries, including hospitality, tourism, transport and logistics.”