Upright

UPRIGHT

FOXTEL SIGNS MAJOR PRODUCTION DEAL

ANNOUNCES LANDMARK CO-PRODUCTION WITH SKY U.K.

TIM MINCHIN TO STAR

Foxtel, Sky UK, Screen Australia and Lingo Pictures today announced production of a landmark new series UPRIGHT, starring musician, comedian, actor and writer Tim Minchin.

The stellar team behind UPRIGHT includes the creator Chris Taylor, best known as a member of The Chaser team. Taylor and Minchin are writing the eight-part series alongside award-winning writer-actors Kate Mulvany (Fighting Season, Jasper Jones stage play) and Leon Ford (Offspring, No Activity). The Director is Matthew Saville (Please Like Me). Minchin will also write the music and is Executive Producer with Penny Win and Helen Bowden. Producers are Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens, Chris Taylor and Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love).

The series will be made in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. Screenwest and Create NSW are also investors.

A sharp-tongued and touching drama, UPRIGHT is the story of two misfits, thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, who forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other.

Lucky Flynn (Minchin) hasn’t spoken to his family in years. He’s broke, distant and damaged. He’s also a gifted pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction. When he learns that his mother has only days left to live, Lucky sets off in a hire car to drive the 4000 kilometres from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye to her, taking with him his only cherished possession in the world – a battered and scarred upright piano. But what should have been a straightforward drive across the Nullarbor soon becomes a test of Lucky’s emotional fitness, when he (quite literally) runs into Meg (Milly Alcock), a hilarious, tough-as-nails teenager, who we soon discover has plenty of scars and secrets of her own.

Production will begin in South Australia and Western Australia in October.

Foxtel’s Head of Drama Penny Win said: “As part of Foxtel’s commitment to telling great Australian stories, we are delighted to be able to bring this wonderful adventure to the screen. We look forward to working with Tim Minchin and Lingo Pictures on what will be a wonderful showcase of Aussie talent.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Production Sally Caplan said: “Foxtel have proven their commitment to the production of premium Australian drama with Wentworth, The Kettering Incident and most recently the iconic Picnic at Hanging Rock which has had fantastic success locally and with international sales.

“UPRIGHT is a project that will also appeal in Australia and to the international market, with the hugely talented Tim Minchin on board to produce and star in the series. What attracted us to this series was the well-crafted young female protagonist, and work of the strong writing team including accomplished writer Kate Mulvany, and comedic writers Leon Ford and Chris Taylor. I have no doubt this moving and quirky comedy will resonate with audiences.”

SAFC Chief Executive Courtney Gibson said: “UPRIGHT brings together an extraordinary combination of creative talents to deliver what promises to be outstanding television. South Australia’s stunning locations will provide the perfect setting for this landmark production for Foxtel, which will be based at Adelaide Studios.”

Morwenna Gordon, Commissioning Editor Sky Comedy, said: “Sky Comedy is always striving to work with the best talent and on the most surprising, unique and beautifully crafted shows, so we’re delighted to be collaborating with the world class Tim Minchin on UPRIGHT. Alongside Milly Alcock (and a battered piano), we’re sure this is a road trip Sky customers will never forget.”

Tim Minchin said: “From the moment I heard about the idea for UPRIGHT, I knew it was the show I’d been waiting to make. I like stories that make me laugh and think and cry, I adore the landscapes of outback Australia, and I love music, and homecomings, and characters full of flaws. It’s awesome to be writing with this extraordinary team, and I’m looking forward to acting alongside Milly Alcock, who I think is a really special talent.”

Jason Stephens, Lingo Pictures, said: “There are not many shows I’ve enjoyed developing as much as UPRIGHT. It’s been a joy having Tim back home and working with our talented team of writers scripting this beautiful and funny show. Matt Saville’s direction always delivers something special so I can’t wait to start shooting and bringing this story to the Foxtel and Sky audiences.”

Production credit: UPRIGHT is a Lingo Pictures production for Foxtel and Sky UK, with major production investment from Foxtel and Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. Financed with support from Create NSW and Screenwest. Rest of world sales are being handled by eOne.

FOXTEL AND SKY U.K. ANNOUNCE FULL CAST FOR UPRIGHT

Foxtel, Sky UK, Screen Australia and Lingo Pictures today announced the cast line-up for its landmark new Australian series UPRIGHT, starring musician, comedian, actor and writer Tim Minchin.

Joining Tim and rising star Milly Alcock will be some of the country’s top talent, including:

  • Heather Mitchell (A Place to Call Home, The Great Gatsby, Palm Beach)
  • Daniel Lapaine (Muriel’s Wedding, Black Mirror, Catastrophe)
  • Ella Scott Lynch (Love Child, Janet King)
  • Daniel Frederiksen (Ghost Rider, Matilda the Musical)
  • Kate Box (Rake, Picnic at Hanging Rock)
  • Ningali Lawford (Mystery Road, Last Cab to Darwin)
  • Sachin Joab (Hotel Mumbai, Pine Gap)
  • Luke Carroll (Strangerland, Redfern Now)
  • Rob Collins (Secret City, Cleverman, The Wrong Girl)

UPRIGHT – which began production in South Australia this month and will conclude in Western Australia later this year – is the story of two misfits, thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, forging the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other.

Lucky Flynn (Minchin) hasn’t spoken to his family in years. He’s broke, distant and damaged. He’s also a gifted pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction. When he learns that his mother has only days left to live, Lucky sets off in a hire car to drive the 4000 kilometres from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye to her, taking with him his only cherished possession in the world – a battered and scarred upright piano. But what should have been a straightforward drive across the Nullarbor soon becomes a test of Lucky’s emotional fitness, when he (quite literally) runs into Meg Adams (Alcock), a hilarious, tough-as-nails teenager, who we soon discover has plenty of scars and secrets of her own.

Tim Minchin said: “From the moment I heard about the idea for UPRIGHT, I knew it was the show I’d been waiting to make. I like stories that make me laugh and think and cry, I adore the landscapes of outback Australia, and I love music, and homecomings, and characters full of flaws. It’s awesome to be writing with this extraordinary team, and I’m looking forward to acting alongside Milly Alcock and this incredible cast.”

The stellar team behind UPRIGHT include creator Chris Taylor, best known as a member of The Chaser team. Taylor and Minchin are writing the eight-part series alongside award-winning writer-actors Kate Mulvany (Fighting Season, Jasper Jones stage play) and Leon Ford (Offspring, No Activity). The Director is Matthew Saville (Please Like Me). Minchin also writes the music and is Executive Producer with Penny Win and Helen Bowden. Producers are Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens (Lambs of God), Chris Taylor and Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love).

The series is made in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, with investment from Screenwest and Create NSW.

Production credit: UPRIGHT is a Lingo Pictures production for Foxtel and Sky UK, with major production investment from Foxtel and Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. Financed with support from Create NSW and Screenwest. Rest of world sales are being handled by eOne.

UPRIGHT

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From Sunday 1 December at 8.30pm (AEDT) (Double episode) on SHOWCASE

On Sunday, December 1 at 8.30pm (AEDT), go on a wild road trip across Australia with UPRIGHT , the new FOXTEL original series starring Tim Minchin and Milly Alcock.

Written by and starring critically acclaimed musician, comedian, actor, writer and director Tim Minchin , Upright, follows two misfits thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, who forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other.

“Making Upright was a complete joy and a massive privilege. After living overseas for more than a decade, I couldn’t have hoped to come home to a more fun and inspiring project: an original Australian outback adventure story, full of heart and laughter, made by some of most talented and dedicated creatives in the country. It’s a unique but universal story about family, resilience, music, forgiveness, and learning how to find a moment to breathe out. And it’s full of silliness, action, and wonderful performances, and will make you want to go to the beach and/or ring your mum ” Said Tim Minchin .

When family outcast Lucky Flynn ( Tim Minchin ) learns that his mother is dying, he decides to drive to the other side of Australia to see her, packing nothing but an upright piano for the journey. But his plans are soon turned upside down when he meets the rogue teenager Meg ( Milly Alcock ). Together they forge an unlikely friendship, as they embark on a road- trip adventure across the Nullarbor Plain in a race against time.

UPRIGHT features a stellar cast including Heather Mitchell (A Place to Call Home, The Great Gatsby, Palm Beach), Daniel Lapaine (Muriel’s Wedding, Black Mirror), Ella Scott Lynch (Love Child, Janet King), Daniel Frederiksen (Ghost Rider, Matilda the Musical, Catastrophe), Kate Box (Rake, Picnic at Hanging Rock), Ningali Lawford-Wolf * (Mystery Road, Last Cab to Darwin), Sachin Joab (Hotel Mumbai, Pine Gap), Luke Carroll (Strangerland, Redfern Now) and Rob Collins (Secret City, Cleverman, The Wrong Girl).

Led by Tim Minchin, the brilliant creative team behind UPRIGHT also includes Chris Taylor, best known as a member of the satirical comedy group The Chaser and award-winning writer-actors Kate Mulvany (Lambs of God, Fighting Season, Jasper Jones stage play) and Leon Ford (Offspring, No Activity ) . Director is Matthew Saville (Please Like Me ). Minchin has also written the music for the series, which also features an amazing soundtrack of Australian songs, both new and old, featuring Tame Impala, INXS, Briggs, Paul Kelly, Baker Boy, Missy Higgins, and many more.

Upright is produced by Jason Stephens from Lingo Pictures, Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love ) and Chris Taylor are also producers. Tim Minchin is Executive Producer along with Penny Win , Carly Heaton (Foxtel) and Helen Bowden .

UPRIGHT is a Lingo Pictures production for Foxtel and Sky UK , with major production investment from Foxtel and SKY UK and Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. The series financed with support from Create NSW and Screenwest. Rest of world sales are being handled by eOne.

Stream all episodes of UPRIGHT from Sunday, December 1 at 8.30pm (AEDT) on FOXTEL or watch double episode premiere on FOX SHOWCASE .

*Ningali Lawford-Wolf’s family gave permission for the use of her name in this release.

Joss Whedon, best known as creator of Buffy and director of Avengers movies, has praised Upright on Twitter ahead of the drama’s Australian debut.

2 Likes

I’m surprised this hasn’t been sold to a US cable network. Such a beautifully crafted Australian production with plenty of laughs and moving performances. Up there with Fleabag and Mr Inbetween as some of the best television of 2019. I seriously believe it could attract Emmy noms in the same way Fleabag did if it got an airing in the US.

it’s amazing. We binged the whole series on the weekend. Wonderful story-telling

1 Like

Upright has been acquired by US streaming service Sundance Now.

Upright has been nominated for best comedy drama in this year’s C21 International Drama Awards. The winners will be announced during an online International Drama Awards Ceremony on December 2.

UPDATE: Upright lost to Fleabag in the category.


Upright has won best comedy programme at the 2020 Asian Television Awards, which was held virtually in mid January.

Upright has been renewed for a second season and has received production funding from Screen Australia.

UPRIGHT SEASON 2
8 x 30 mins
Lingo Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director TBA
Writers Tim Minchin, Niki Aken, Ian Meadows, Natesha Somasundaram
Producer Jason Stephens
Executive Producers Tim Minchin, Helen Bowden
Broadcaster Foxtel, Sky UK
International Sales Entertainment One
Synopsis
Trading the desert for the steamy tropics of Far North Queensland, Lucky and Meg hit the road – and the river – on a mission.

I’m a mix of excited or nervous about this. I was very happy leaving it where it was. It was absolutely perfect. I don’t know if another season can do the same, but I’ll be there to see it.

UPRIGHT RENEWED FOR SECOND SEASON

Tim Minchin and Milly Alcock to reprise their roles as Lucky and Meg

FOXTEL, Screen Australia and Lingo Pictures announced today the critically acclaimed comedy drama Upright – starring actor, musician and comedian Tim Minchin and rising global star Milly Alcock – has been renewed for a second season.

The eight-part series will be produced by Lingo Pictures for FOXTEL and Sky UK, with Jason Stephens ( Lambs of God ) returning as producer. Meg O’Connell ( Robbie Hood ) will also produce, with Lingo Pictures’ Helen Bowden ( The Secrets She Keeps ) as executive producer. Writers on the series include Niki Aken ( The Hunting ), Ian Meadows ( Seachange ) and Natesha Somasundaram ( The Unlisted ), with Tim Minchin also writing and executive producing the series. Executive Producers for FOXTEL are Brian Walsh and Lana Greenhalgh.

The hugely successful first season of Upright premiered to rave reviews in Australia, the UK and the US, and took out the key comedy categories at the 2020 AACTA Awards, winning Best Comedy Series, while Tim Minchin won Best Comedy Performer.

The second season will see misfit duo Lucky and Meg trade the desert for the steamy tropics of Far North Queensland as they hit the road – and the river – on a mission. The series will be made in association with Screen Queensland, with support from Screen NSW and Cutting Edge.

Returning to the role of 40-something musician Lucky, Tim Minchin – who will again co-write, star in and compose music for the series – said, “The experience of making Upright was such a joy, and audience reactions from all over the world were so incredibly positive and moving, we knew we had to send Meg and Lucky on another adventure. There’s a lot of story still to tell, and such a fantastic team of people lined up to tell it.”

Tim will be joined by co-star Milly Alcock, who returns as feisty teenager Meg. One of Australia’s most in demand young actresses, Milly was recently cast in the hugely anticipated G ame of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon , which will premiere on FOXTEL in 2022.

FOXTEL Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said, “Tim Minchin’s Upright was a smash hit for FOXTEL and a subsequent breakout success when it was brought to BINGE audiences last summer. The series is uniquely Australian, brash and bold, full of fun and great heart. The story of Lucky and Meg, and their unexpected journey across the Nullarbor, won fans of all ages – and we’re set to take off once again on a memorable road trip with unexpected consequences. Foxtel is delighted to partner with the brilliant Tim Minchin and the team at Lingo Pictures for this much anticipated second season.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplan said, “We are thrilled to be supporting Lingo Pictures to bring Upright back for a second season. Viewers around the world fell in love with season one and with a standout creative team on season two, including writers Tim Minchin, Niki Aken, Ian Meadows and Natesha Somasundaram, we hope audiences are ready to hit the road once again with Lucky and Meg when it releases on FOXTEL!”

Jason Stephens, Lead Producer and Creative Director at Lingo Pictures said, “It’s so exciting to be producing Upright once more. Already the season two scripts have been generating a huge buzz so we can’t wait to get started. For those who loved the first season, I promise you will not be disappointed.”

The second season of Upright is currently in development, with filming to commence in Queensland in 2022.

Production credit:

Upright season 2 is a Lingo Pictures production for FOXTEL and Sky UK. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland. Financed with support from Screen NSW and Cutting Edge. Entertainment One (eOne) is managing international sales.

2 Likes

Again, cautiously excited for this.
I wonder how Millie will balance this with House of the Dragon?
I’d guess a December 2022 or Early 2023 release?

Season 2

FOXTEL and Lingo Pictures Commence Production on Upright 2 – starring Tim Minchin and Milly Alcock

Lucky and Meg hit the road again with Mirrah Foulkes to steer creative team as series director

FOXTEL and Lingo Pictures today announced smash hit comedy drama Upright – starring celebrated musician, comedian, actor, and writer Tim Minchin and rising Australian star Milly Alcock ( Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon ) – has commenced production on the second season.

Fans will once again tag along with misfit duo Lucky (Tim Minchin) and Meg (Milly Alcock) as they set off on another uniquely Australian road trip, this time with their sights set for Far North Queensland.

Joining the creative team as director for season two is multi award-winning actor, writer, and director Mirrah Foulkes. Raised in Queensland, Mirrah wrote and directed three award-winning short films and a movie, Judy & Punch , which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Series Director Mirrah Foulkes said: “I am very happy to be returning to Queensland to direct the second season of Upright . It’s great to be involved in this wonderful local series and to be working with an exceptional Queensland crew, the glorious Milly Alcock and Tim Minchin, and our passionate partners at FOXTEL."

FOXTEL Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh said: “We are looking forward to bringing Lucky and Meg’s next road trip adventure to the screen in what promises to be another epic Australian adventure full of humour and heart. Jason Stephens and the team at Lingo Pictures have once again put together a fantastic and dedicated team of creatives to embark on this next journey. We are thrilled to have Mirrah at the helm to bring Lucky and Meg’s story to life.”

The eight-part series will take viewers on a journey from Brisbane to the Far North with the scenery and diverse landscapes of Queensland providing the ultimate road trip back drop. The series will be made through major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland and support from Screen NSW and Cutting Edge.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Upright 2 cast and crew here and that Queenslander Mirrah Foulkes is returning home to direct this next chapter in Lucky and Meg’s travels.

Upright 2 will be an irresistible mix: local talent Mirrah helming a story where Queensland is a defining character at a time when our state’s screen industry is thriving.”

Upright 2 will be produced by Lingo Pictures for FOXTEL and Sky UK, with Jason Stephens ( Lambs of God ) returning as producer. Meg O’Connell ( Robbie Hood ) will also produce, with Lingo Pictures’ Helen Bowden ( The Secrets She Keeps ) as executive producer. Writers on the series include Niki Aken ( The Hunting ), Ian Meadows ( Seachange ) and Natesha Somasundaram ( The Unlisted ). Tim Minchin is also writing and executive producing the series. Niki Aken is Script Producer. Executive Producers for FOXTEL are Brian Walsh and Lana Greenhalgh.

Production credit:

Upright 2 is a Lingo Pictures production for FOXTEL and Sky UK. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland. Financed with support from Screen NSW and Cutting Edge. Entertainment One (eOne) is managing international sales.