Bad Mothers

New drama Bad Mothers began filming in Melbourne’s inner west this week, according to the Sunday Herald Sun. The cast includes Mandy McElhinney, Jessica Tovey and Shalom Brune-Franklin. They will soon be joined by Daniel MacPherson (Neighbours, City Homicide, Dancing with the Stars, Strike Back). Jessica Marais was initially announced to take part, but withdrew in September to concentrate on her mental health. Hopefully we will find out her replacement at Nine’s 2019 upfronts in Sydney on October 17.
The 8-part series is produced by Jungle Entertainment (Here Come the Habibs, No Activity, Mr Inbetween) and Filthy Productions, with funding from Screen Australia and Create NSW.


Melissa George in the cast announced during the Nine Upfronts.

From Upfronts

Bad Mothers, follows five very modern women juggling the big issues of love, family, careers, infidelity … and murder. When their lives collide following a series of shocking events, the Bad Mothers will learn that life can get a whole lot more complicated, more outrageous – and a whole lot more fun – than they ever imagined.

Bad Mothers boasts a stellar cast including Mandy McElhinney (Love Child, Hyde & Seek), Daniel MacPherson (The Bill, City Homicide), Don Hany (East West 101, Devil’s Playground), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Doctor Doctor, Our Girl), Jessica Tovey (Wolf Creek, Wonderland), Tess Haubrich (Wolf Creek, Pine Gap) and Melissa George (Grey’s Anatomy, The Slap).

Bad Mothers has principal funding from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria, with support from Create NSW.

Bad Mothers, created by Filthy Productions, is a Jungle Entertainment production for Nine.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

“(Bad Mothers) is Desperate Housewives meets Big Little Lies ,” says Nine’s programming director, Hamish Turner. “It follows five Melbourne women brought together by a murder; it’s full of intrigue and salaciousness but at the heart is a fantastic script and cast.”

Woo hoo. The cast is perfect now. No duds anymore. Love the cast and am really interested to see what Angel brings to it now.

I won’t lie my heart sank when I read infidelity and murder. Seriously that’s all new shows seem to be about now. It would have been better with some original concepts and not resort to cheap cliche storytelling. It also sounds suspiciously similar to Playing for Keeps and a rehash of Mistresses.

I’ll definitely give it a shot, but I can’t see it working or surviving. It’s more of the same on a network not known for strong female led dramas. Though hopefully it won’t be too sappy/saccharine on Nine.

Great cast and should do well. It is interesting that with Playing for Keeps and now this, commercial networks seem to be favouring female skewing drama projects over more traditional gender neutral or male skewing ones.

It’s an annoying trend, where they seem to be targeting one demographic.

Winners and Losers
Love Child
The Wrong Girl
The Secret Daughter
Offspring (although it was more family oriented)
Bad Mothers

Why do they want to alienate half the potential audience right off the bat?

I suspect women are worth more in terms of potential advertising revenue. More able to control the family finances, influence household consumption decision making on spending and spend more.

Seachange seems to mark a return to a broad skewing family dramedy with wide appeal. 800 Words sort of did but I think Seven really need to find something similar to Always Greener or Packed to the Rafters to rebuild their drama brand. Male skewing content isn’t the answer either I don’t think, their last attempt at that (Wild Boys) failed.

Well, that’s what they say when they create programming aimed at them, however, the show has to appeal to other members of the household, otherwise nobody will tune in.

They don’t need men to watch it in large numbers if they can get enough women watching. Shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Desperate Housewives etc. prove that.

I thought Wanted had very broad appeal myself. Two strong ladies getting involved in lots of action orientated plots. It was such a refreshing change to all the male dominated action type shows.

I agree, but Australian drama really isn’t firing on all cylinders at the moment and to alienate half your audience already means you’ve got an uphill battle.

Also the networks run the risk of permanently scaring aware a demographic if they focus too much on one type of genre, like Ten. What normal/stereotypical male wants to watch half of their offerings? It’s endless romance, dating, sex, female empowerment. Even Masterchef & I’m a celebrity tends to skew more towards the female side of things and they’re the broad types. Survivor does feel out of place on the network.

It also alienates quite a lot of women that also don’t fit their very narrow definition of female skewing content. Not all women want fuzzy feelings of romance and dating or a hunky guy to waste time drooling on.

I agree in theory but America is much larger so they can afford to cater to one type, but Australia is way too fractured and much smaller. America also produces quite a variety and at the moment there are a lot of similar type shows coming from the commercial networks.

Also Nine really isn’t known as female friendly. The last thing Nine wants to do is piss off the men watching when a Bad Mothers promo pops up in Rugby.

Love Child worked well and I would hardly call that male skewing. Romper Stomper worked on Stan and it wans’t very female friendly at all.

Let’s see how it goes.

You’re right it did, but I think it worked well despite the female skewing nature of the show and I think having respected actors and a period setting helped quite a bit in luring in other demographics. It also helped it came before a lot of other female led dramas too.

Ultimately if anything is well written it will appeal to a broad section. Fingers crossed it’s well written.

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TV Week reports Tess Haubrich took over the role that was intended for Jessica Marais, after she had to drop out.

They’re starting to show promos for this on Nine now. It’s very much like Big Little Lies and they’re trying to look all international with the slow walks and hair flips. Seems like Melissa George will be the main lead.

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It looked bloody good.


Why do they keep making shows that have already been done?

Because when a show is successful others look to replicate that success.

But a flat out copy cat show rarely works.


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