Total Control

Black B*tch

Star power and power plays in new ABC drama Black B*tch (working title)

ABC, Screen Australia and Keshet International (KI) are thrilled to announce that Rachel Griffiths and Deborah Mailman will star in the upcoming drama series Black B*tch (Working Title). Made by Blackfella Films ( Redfern Now ) the captivating six-part drama Black Btch (W/T)* is a story of high stakes ambition, betrayal and treachery, playing out in the nation’s capital.

When Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman), a charismatic and contradictory Indigenous woman, is thrust into the national limelight after a horrific event, Australia’s embattled Prime Minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths), sees a publicity goldmine for her party. In a bold power play, she handpicks Alex for the Senate. But Alex wants to be more than just a political stunt: she wants to make a difference. So, when the Prime Minister’s cynical calculations betray her, Alex sets out for revenge that will send the political establishment into meltdown.

“Following on from our previous successes Redfern Now and Cleverman , ABC Indigenous continues its strategy to redefine how Indigenous people see themselves on the screen, with the impressive Black Btch (W/T)* . We look forward to working alongside the talented team at Blackfella Films to produce this invigorating series for our audience.” Says ABC Head of Indigenous Kelrick Martin.

Darren Dale from Blackfella Films and Executive Producer Rachel Griffiths says “This story is one that united us in our shared passion to tell stories about contemporary women and the challenges of leaning in and finding their voice in our times. Our exceptional writing team has created a thrilling story of two complex and gutsy female leads who vie for power in a male dominated world and we cannot wait to take it to a global audience.”

Black Btch (W/T)* promises to be a ground-breaking series and as such has received a significant funding investment,” said Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia. “For us this program represents not only an incredible story, but one that will be authentically told with Indigenous talent represented across writing, producing, directing and of course on-screen.”

Atar Dekel, Head of Global Content for KI adds ,Black Btch (W/T)* is a strong local story with the potential to resonate and connect with audiences around the world, which is why it immediately stood out to us. This investment not only demonstrates our belief in the team behind this compelling story of power, loyalty and betrayal, it also reinforces our commitment to bring more high-end dramas to global audiences via the KI Content Fund.”

Black Btch (W/T)* will film in Canberra, Queensland and Sydney and air on ABC in 2019.

Production Credit: Blackfella Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Create NSW with Screen Queensland and Screen Canberra. Director Rachel Perkins. Producers Darren Dale and Miranda Dear. Executive Producer Rachel Griffiths. Script Producer Stuart Page. ABC Executive Producers Kelrick Martin and Sally Riley. International Distributor is Keshet International, working alongside Endeavor Content in the US.

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Sounds good. Looking forward to it.

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That does sound but they need a better title.

Got your attention though, didn’t it?

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Yes but I don’t know if the shock value is enough to draw viewers in and keep them watching. I think a clever title would be more beneficial in the long run.

Do you watch a show for the title, or for the content inside? Surely the title is only an initial hook to get you watching. By the time it comes to episodes 2/3/4 you’ve made up your mind whether to watch the show or not regardless of what it’s called. I think it’s a clever title and the show sounds good.

It’s nice to think that people won’t care about a title but these days branding is everything. You want to appeal to the maximum number of viewers and not risk alienating any potential viewers.

I have a feeling that the ABC are nervous about running with that title because it will probably alienate some of their core audience. That’s why they have released details under a “working title” to test the waters. If they don’t cop too much flak then they’ll use it.

I agree, that’s why I think a strong brand like this works. Any viewers alienated by the name will probably be balanced out (if not more) by those intrigued by the title who wouldn’t have otherwise watched it.

Yep.

Talk about Star Power! I do hope Rachel Griffiths can perform a bit better than she has in her most recent roles, which have all been extremely underwhelming. I can just feel Deborah Mailman is going to have heaps of fun with this material!

ABC drama Black B*tch starts filming with first class cast on board.

ABC, Screen Australia and Keshet International (KI) are excited to announce filming is underway on the hotly anticipated drama series Black B*tch (Working Title). Made by Blackfella Films (Redfern Now) and starring two of Australia’s favourite actors Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths, the six-part series is a story of high stakes ambition, betrayal and treachery, playing out in the nation’s capital.

Also starring in Black Btch* (W/T) is an impressive line-up of stars including: Harry Richardson (Poldark, Dr Thorne), William McInnes (Deep Water, Rake), Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road, Jack Irish), Rob Collins (Secret City: Under The Eagle, Cleverman), Anthony Hayes (The Light Between Oceans, The Slap), Celia Ireland (Wentworth), Trisha Morton-Thomas ( Redfern Now, 8MMM ), James Sweeny (The Secret Daughter, Brock) , David Roberts ( Offspring, Please Like Me), Luke Carroll ( Black Comedy, Upright ), Adele Perovic ( The Code ), English actor Huw Higginson ( Secret City, Janet King) and introducing Shantae Barnes Cowan.

Black Btch* (W/T) will film on location and in studio in Sydney, Canberra, and central Queensland over the coming months and will screen on ABC later in the year, before being taken to market by Keshet International.

ABC Head of Indigenous Kelrick Martin says “Deborah Mailman is a national treasure, and we couldn’t be prouder to be providing her with her first lead role in a TV series – it’s a long overdue opportunity for her. Along with the rest of this incredible cast, we also want to give a huge cheer to the team at Blackfella Films, who are once again working incredibly hard to achieve this landmark show for ABC.”

Darren Dale and Miranda Dear from Blackfella Films "It is testament to the power and relevance of this story that it has attracted such a stellar line-up of extraordinary actors. We are thrilled that Deborah Mailman has her first starring role in a major drama series and the chemistry between her and the inimitable Rachel Griffiths will be electrifying."

Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia says “The complex issues faced by the headstrong Indigenous female lead in Black Btch* (W/T) will push audiences to grapple with the harsh realities of both federal and community politics in Australia. With director Rachel Perkins and the renowned production team of Darren Dale and Miranda Dear at the helm, and Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths leading this high-profile cast I’m sure this series will resonate when it premieres on ABC later this year.”

Atar Dekel, KI ’s VP Global Drama says, “ Black Btch (W/T)* is already a strong local story and this diverse roster of high calibre acting talent will really help us connect this series with audiences around the world. We are loving working collaboratively with the teams at Blackfella Films and ABC and are really happy that we chose to support Black Btch (W/T)* with the KI Content Fund .”

Production Credit: Blackfella Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Create NSW with Screen Queensland and Screen Canberra. Director Rachel Perkins. Producers Darren Dale and Miranda Dear. Executive Producer Rachel Griffiths. Script Producer Stuart Page. ABC Executive Producers Kelrick Martin and Sally Riley. International Distributor is Keshet International, working alongside Endeavor Content in the US.

ABOUT BLACK B*TCH

When Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman), a charismatic and contradictory Indigenous woman, is thrust into the national limelight after a horrific event, Australia’s embattled Prime Minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths), sees a publicity goldmine for her party. In a bold power play, she handpicks Alex for the Senate. But Alex wants to be more than just a political stunt: she wants to make a difference. So, when the Prime Minister’s cynical calculations betray her, Alex sets out for revenge that will send the political establishment into meltdown.

ABOUT THE KI CONTENT FUND

Black Btch (W/T)* is the second title to benefit from financial support from the KI Content Fund , following its first investment in Ecosse Films’ six part series, The Trial Of Christine Keeler, for BBC ONE. Launched in 2018 by Keshet International with several of Israel’s largest holding and asset management companies, KI’s five-year content fund aims to bring high-profile projects with global appeal to a wider audience by also utilising KI’s worldwide distribution prowess.

looks incredible

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The series will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6.

ABC’s must-see drama of 2019

Renamed: Total Control

Sunday 13 October at 8.30pm

Off the back of its successful launch at the Toronto International Film Festival, ABC, Screen Australia and Keshet International (KI) are thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated six-part drama series Total Control (previously known under the working title Black B*tch) will premiere in Australia on ABC Sunday 13th October at 8.30pm on ABC and iview.

Made by Blackfella Films, the television event, Total Control is a story of high stakes ambition, betrayal and treachery, playing out in the nation’s capital and stars two of Australia’s favourite actors, multi-award-winning Deborah Mailman and the internationally acclaimed Rachel Griffiths.

Head of ABC Indigenous Kelrick Martin says, “Deborah Mailman absolutely shines in her leading role. With brilliant performances from the stellar cast and a cracking storyline, we hope this series is embraced by Australians all over the country. The series title Total Control , aptly describes our protagonist’s fight for power over her life and politics.”

Total Control also features an impressive ensemble cast including: Harry Richardson (Poldark, Dr Thorne), William McInnes (Deep Water, Rake), Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road, Jack Irish), Rob Collins (Secret City: Under The Eagle, Cleverman), Anthony Hayes (The Light Between Oceans, The Slap), Celia Ireland (Wentworth), Trisha Morton-Thomas ( Redfern Now, 8MMM ), English actor Huw Higginson ( Secret City, Janet King) and introducing Shantae Barnes Cowan.

Why renamed? Politically incorrect or crude?

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I didn’t think BB was a great title in the first place.

But I’m surprised they waited so long to come up with an alternative title though. It was being discussed everywhere by its working title for so long, that maybe some people won’t know this is the same show.

So looking forward to watching this, it looks amazing!

I thought the original title was great. This…not so much. Bland and generic. It has reminded me to give The Motels song by the same name a run though this morning.

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The original title was provocative and I can understand people objecting to it but the new title is just not suited to the content.

Maybe they should have just changed the title to “Racial Slur”. :wink:

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