IT HAS been revealed that a much-lauded biopic about Julia Gillard has failed to fire up the imaginations of television network executives. Back in 2013 it was announced Rachel Griffiths was to take the lead role and said: “I am thrilled to portray Australia’s first female prime minister and explore the private aspects of her remarkable term.”
Well that was in 2013, but in 2015 the project has stalled. Networks, cable broadcasters and digital streaming services have reportedly rejected the Gillard movie.
Richard Keddie, who had planned to serve as the project’s executive producer, is reported to have said: “They think the public were sick of the story and no one will watch this show. The networks think people still hate Julia.”
Now Mr Keddie could be absolutely spot-on with his assessment, but maybe the real reason is actually much more straightforward: Good old dollars and cents.
If you caught the first part of the ABC’s three-part series The Killing Season this week, you’ll know there was no reason for a network to pay actors to portray Ms Gillard or fellow former Labor PM Kevin Rudd.
The pair managed to produce riveting television by mostly dumping on each other, with awesome supporting performances by former colleagues including Jenny Macklin and Greg Combet.
Indeed, while many commentators suggested both Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd had been guilty of – how can I put this – gilding the lily, Mr Combet won plaudits for his take-no-prisoners assessments of his government’s failings.
Given that the interview series has two more episodes to screen, I suspect any remaining interest in a telemovie will be obliterated.
Of course, if there is one thing we can count on from our politicians, it’s that they provide more entertainment than a soap opera – and they provide it for free.
Just look at poor old Joe Hockey. One day he’s probably thinking Bill Shorten’s in for a tough week thanks to the Gillard-Rudd trip down memory lane, and the next day he finds himself in the media spotlight as people debate the appropriateness of his comments about housing affordability and wage levels.
I’ll say it again: Why would networks pay for a docudrama when they can use current affairs footage for free? - Jody Springett
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