Best Children’s Television Program


Charmaine Ingram, Jen Wells-Scherrer and Claire Leeman


Sally Browning and Renee Kennedy


Emerald Films and Metamorflix


Five students with a passion for the environment have been recruited as Waste Warriors, to lead a sustainability mission at three Australian schools. Each week the Waste Warriors progress their major mission to reduce waste in all its forms while being thrown weekly surprise challenges.





ABC Commercial

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) today announced the finalists in the 19th Screen Producers Australia Awards. The Awards celebrate great Australian screen productions; honour the skill, accomplishment, and imagination of its production businesses; aim to increase awareness of the role producers play in creating Australian screen stories; and spotlight the importance of international trade to screen businesses.

This year, 54 production businesses have been recognised across 12 categories of film, television and interactive productions. Finalists in each category will now be voted on by the SPA membership, with the production receiving the highest number of votes declared the award recipient.

“The quality of Australian screen content produced by the independent sector continues to grow each year and I’m exceptionally pleased to see that the work our members are creating is being exported to audiences across the globe,” said SPA CEO, Matthew Deaner. “I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all our members who took the time to enter the awards and I look forward to celebrating with you at SCREEN FOREVER 2019.”

The Award recipients will be revealed at the prestigious Screen Producers Australia Awards ceremony which takes place at the Forum Theatre, Melbourne on Thursday, 14 November 2019 on the final night of SCREEN FOREVER. Entry to the Awards is included in a SCREEN FOREVER Gold Pass.

The full list of finalists in the Production Award categories are:


Animated Series Production of the Year

  • Dumbotz, Blue Rocket Productions
  • Bluey, Ludo Studio

Children’s Series Production of the Year

  • Drop Dead Weird, Ambience Entertainment & Air Pig Productions
  • Random and Whacky, Ambience Entertainment
  • Project Planet, Emerald Films & Metamorflix
  • Mustangs FC, Matchbox Pictures
  • Nowhere Boys: The Battle for Negative Space, Matchbox Pictures
  • Hardball, Northern Pictures

Comedy Program or Series Production of the Year

  • Mr Black, CJZ
  • Get Krack!n, Guesswork Television & Katering Productions
  • Squinters, Jungle Entertainment
  • The Family Law, Matchbox Pictures
  • How To Stay Married, Princess Pictures
  • Rosehaven, What Horse? & Guesswork Television

Drama Series Production of the Year

  • Doctor Doctor, Easy Tiger Productions
  • Wentworth, Fremantle
  • Five Bedrooms, Hoodlum
  • Tidelands, Hoodlum
  • Glitch, Matchbox Pictures
  • The Heights, Matchbox Pictures & For Pete’s Sake Productions
  • Bloom, Playmaker Media
  • Diary of an Uber Driver, Revlover Films

Light Entertainment Series Production of the Year

  • Grand Designs Australia, Fremantle
  • The Recording Studio, Fremantle
  • Restoration Australia, Fremantle
  • Australia’s Got Talent, Fremantle
  • The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Thinkative Television
  • Hard Quiz, Thinkative Television

Telemovie or Mini Series Production of the Year

  • The Hunting, Closer Productions
  • The Cry, December Media
  • Fighting Season, Goalpost Pictures
  • Lambs of God, Lingo Pictures
  • On the Ropes, Lingo Pictures
  • Les Norton, Roadshow Rough Diamond

Online Series Production of the Year

  • Patricia Moore, Cobbstar Productions
  • Location Scouts, Goalpost Pictures
  • Robbie Hood, Ludo Studio
  • A Chance Affair, Noble Savage Pictures
  • Superwog, Princess Pictures
  • Lucy & DiC, We Made a Thing


Documentary Program or Series Production of the Year

  • Blue Water Empire, Bunya Productions & Lone Star Productions
  • Body Hack, Essential Media Group
  • Family Rules, Metamorflix
  • Secret Life of Death, Mint Pictures
  • Magical Land of Oz, Northern Pictures
  • Employable Me, Northern Pictures
  • Outback Truckers, Prospero Productions
  • Australian Crime Stories, The Full Box

Feature Documentary of the Year

  • Sanctuary, Bunya Treehouse Productions
  • The Eulogy, Freshwater Pictures & iKandy Films
  • 2040, GoodThing Productions
  • The Australian Dream, GoodThing Productions
  • The Final Quarter, Shark Island Productions
  • Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, WildBear Entertainment


Feature Film of the Year

  • Storm Boy, Ambience Entertainment
  • Judy & Punch, Blue-Tongue Films
  • Animals, Closer Productions
  • Top End Wedding, Goalpost Pictures & KOJO Entertainment
  • Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, Red Dune Films & Deeper Water Films
  • Angel of Mine, SixtyFourSixty
  • Standing Up For Sunny, Ticket To Ride
  • Celeste, Unicorn Films


​Short Film Production of the Year

  • Chlorine, Dollhouse Pictures
  • First Day, Epic Films
  • Rebooted, LateNite Films
  • Strangers, Mad Ones Films
  • Judas Collar, No Thing Productions
  • Scout, Noble Savage Pictures
  • Elders, Typecast


Interactive or Game Production of the Year

  • Awake: Episode One, Start VR
  • RONE, StudioBento

We’re excited to announce that Ambience Entertainment’s, Air Pig Productions and Telegael’s children’s comedy series Drop Dead Weird has been selected as a finalist for the 18th Screen Producers Australia Awards.

Alongside many great productions, Drop Dead Weird has been nominated for Children’s Series Production of the Year.

Drop Dead Weird follows the hilarious antics of an Australian family who moves to Tubbershandy to save their family B&B. With three ‘fish out of water’ Aussie kids, one kooky Irish grandfather and two flesh eating zombie parents running a B&B in a remote seaside Irish village… Things are going to get weird… Drop Dead Weird!

We’re so proud to have worked with such a sensational team of talented cast and crew who created this series with enthusiasm, passion and integrity. They deserve this nomination and we sincerely hope they win!

We wish to congratulate all finalists for the Children’s Series Production of the Year. If you’re a SPA member we would appreciate your vote for Drop Dead Weird. Voting closes on Friday the 28th of September.

Award winners will be announced at SCREENFOREVER on Thursday, 22 November at The Forum Theatre in Melbourne.


Ambience Entertainment, Air Pig Productions and Telegael announced today that the popular children’s comedy series, Drop Dead Weird has been recommissioned for a second series.

It has been described as “Good fun” (The Sydney Morning Herald) and “a very funny television treat which could well become cult viewing” (Galway Advertiser).

Drop Dead Weird is a 26-part rollicking out of the box comedy series for children and families. Set in Tubbershandy, an isolated seaside village in Ireland, the series explores the adventures of the Champ clan, an Australian family who moves to Tubbershandy to help their eccentric Grandfather bring new life to the family’s struggling B&B. The three Aussie kids Lulu, Bruce and Frankie don’t only have to deal with the usual trials, embarrassments and #dramas of fitting into a new town, they also have to make sure that the locals don’t find out their parents have been transformed into zombies. Yes, ZOMBIES.

Each episode in Series 2 has a heightened level of chaotic hilarious humour and angst. With teenage crushes to worry about, social media profiles to manage, homework to do, a B&B full of zany characters to run and a cure for zombiism to discover, life in Tubbershandy can get pretty tough, but it’s never dull.

Created by Sally Browning and Dean Cropp, the series will continue to star the same protagonists who captured the audience’s attention in Series 1: Lulu Champ (Sofia Nolan), Bruce Champ (Jack Riley), Frankie Champ (Adele Cosentino), Maggie Champ (Amanda Bishop), Fergus Champ (David Collins), Bernadette Shanahan (Pauline McLynn), Grandad (Maeliosa Stafford), Dermot Shanahan (David Rawle) and Aisling (Lucy Maher).

Executive Producer, Monica O’Brien has stated “We are thrilled to have this fantastic cast back together for a second series, which is going to be even more drop dead weird than the first.”

Drop Dead Weird Series 2 began in Ireland this week, the 25th of June and is followed by a 6-week production in Australia.

Series 2 is set to launch in 2019 on the Seven Network and RTE Ireland. Distributed by Studio100 the Series is also continuing to expand into international markets with Series 1 currently airing on CITV every Saturday and Sunday at 7:55am.


Visit the offical Drop Dead Weird social pages to stay up to date with the latest announcements:




For more information, please contact:


Sally Browning | SALLY@AIRPIGPRODUCTIONS.COM.AU |+61 411 266 213

Paul Cummins | PAUL@TELEGAEL.COM |+353 91 558600


Ambience Entertainment, Air Pig Productions and Telegael had loads of laughs filming their brand new 26 x 24-minute series, which received production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW.

The series was commissioned by the Seven Network Australia and RTE Ireland. “Seven is delighted to have backed this series as the commissioning broadcaster.”

The Australian/Irish co-production Drop Dead Weird follows the hilarious antics on an Australian family who move to Ireland to run their family B & B in a remote seaside village. With three ‘fish out of water’ Aussie kids, one kooky Irish grandfather and two recently zombified parents … things are going to get weird … Drop Dead Weird! 

The three Aussie kids- Lulu, Bruce and Frankie are finding it hard enough fitting into a new hometown but now they have to harbour an enormous secret. Their parents are zombies … Yes, ZOMBIES.

The kids must invent on a daily (even hourly!) basis a way to keep the truth under wraps- or the local Head Mistress and town busybody Bunni Shanahan will be on to them. Their schemes and ideas nearly always result in unexpected outcomes which are a constant source of adventure and hilarity.

Drop Dead Weird was created by Sally Browning and Dean Cropp and developed with Ambience Entertainment.

Ambience Entertainment, Air Pig Productions and Telegael are excited to announce that Drop Dead Weird launched on RTÉ2 on Monday the 25th of September. The series will launch on the Seven Network in October.

KidsOn7: From Monday the 9th of October
7TWO: From Monday the 6th of November

If you can’t wait why not check out our fabulous Bruce Champ on his brand new YouTube channel BruceTube or play our game, Zombie Trail. Click the links below:



Some Drop Dead reviews:

An Irish-Australian co-production, Sally Browning and Dean Cropp’s comedy for young audiences makes a spry gag of Antipodean inversions, for which self-sufficient siblings must care for stumbling parents who can’t control sudden changes in their bodies. Irish Times

The series is beautifully written, it’s like Fawlty Towers for kids. Pauline (McLynn) was saying with Father Ted they never knew while making the first series if it was good but she said about Drop Dead Weird, ‘I already know this is great’. Galway Advertiser

We are excited to introduce our dynamic young cast members along with some very familiar faces starring in this new innovative kids show!


Lulu Champ is a 15-year-old born leader. She is the organiser in the family and once (before being relocated) a keen barrel-riding grommet surfer, but her true calling is to be the responsible one.





JACK RILEY– Bruce Champ
12-year-old Bruce Champ is destined for fame and fortune, spending most of his time filming clips for his BruceTube Channel and is seemingly a Grandad mini-me with his optimistic entrepreneurial spirit.




9-year-old Frankie Champ is the youngest of the family and is just an ordinary little girl except she also happens to have a brain the size of a planet and has personally taken on the challenge to find a cure for her zombified parents.




For former corporate high-flyer, Maggie Champ, thought moving her family to Ireland would be a relaxing sea-change. The changes were not quite as expected- she’s now a Zombie!

Zombie Mum is played by the renowned actor Amanda Bishop, who appeared in television programs such as: Law and Order, The Story of Us, Maximum Choppage, Wednesday Night Fever. Her most notable role was in the award winning mockumentary, At Home With Julia in which she co-wrote, assistant      produced and starred as Former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.




Wanting to reconnect and introduce his family to his Irish heritage, laid-back dad, Fergus Champ finds he is reconnecting in an unexpected way. In fact, he is finding it difficult to stay connected to his limbs at all… now he is a Zombie!

Fergus is played by David Collins who is better known to audiences as one half of the Umbilical Brothers. David enjoys both dramatic and comedic roles, mostrecently being cast in Maya the Bee, working on Happy Feet 2 and appearing in Australian films, Thunderstruck and You Can’t Stop the Murders.





PAULINE MCLYNN- Bernadette Shanahan
Bernadette Shanahan- better known as Bunni and a former sweetheart of Fergus – is the secondary school principal, a local councillor, committee member,

minor celebrity, busybody and general town trouble-maker. Constantly trying to win “Chunky’s” (Fergus’) affections and steal him away from the “wallaby woman” she is eternally suspicious of the goings-on at the B&B.

Pauline Mclynn is one of Ireland’s national treasures, having starred in the internationally successful comedy series Father Ted playing the much loved character of Mrs Doyle. She has since gone on to appear in some of the UK and Ireland’s most popular and successful television series such as East Enders, Ballykissangel and Shameless, just to name a few…

Pauline is also a successful writer having written 8 best selling novels in 2012 published her first novel for young people, Jenny Q Stitched Up.

Grandad Champ, is the ever optimistic, cheerful and somewhat erratic entrepreneur constantly coming up with crazy new ideas to promote and expand his beloved B&B. The arrival of his son’s family brings much needed help… although Fergus and Maggie have developed some odd habits…

Highly experienced comedic actor Maeliosa Stafford, tackles this fun role. With an array of credits in both Australia and Ireland on stage and screen, he was most recently see in the Australian series ‘Rake’.




DAVID RAWLE- Dermot Shanahan
Dermot, is the sweet ever faithful friend of the Champ kids, particularly Lulu… who he may or may not have a crush on. Mr and Mrs Champ are the ideal parents- chilled, never tell him what to do and great listeners, offering comforting groaning support.. unlike his mother, Bunni Shanahan. It never strikes him as odd that they never actually speak, he really doesn’t twig they are zombies!

David Rawle, one of Ireland’s most recognisable up-and-coming young talents    stars as Dermot. Best known for his role in the popular TV series Moone Boy, his other credits include Song of the sea, Property of the State, and Time again. 



Local Tubbershandy girl, Aisling who has taken a shine to Lulu and loves everything that is Summer Bay. She’s often found around town shivering in summer dresses and insists on hanging out at the beach come rain, hail, or shine…and in Tubbershandy it’s mostly rain!

Lucy Maher is a talented music lover who has performed in numerous productions in theatres all over Leinster. Most recently she performed in a 1916 play ‘Whom We Deliver’.

With special guest appearances by Tina Bursill, Ada Nicodemou, Shane Worthington, Anne Tenney, Jonathan Biggins, Paul Livingston and The Umbilical Brothers’ Shane Dundas.



The talented writing ensemble includes
Stephen Abbott | Shayne Armstrong | Warren Coleman | Richie Conroy | Rachael Coopes | Edwina Exton |
Kitty Flanagan | Penny Flanagan | Kate Forster | David Hoey | Shane Krause | Paul Livingston | Tadhg Mac Dhonnagain | Greg O’Braonain | Joel Slack-Smith | Martin Threlfell

The series is led by an internationally experienced team of producers

Air Pig Productions
Executive Producer Sally Browning

Ambience Entertainment
Producer Kylie Mascord
Co-Producer Keaton Stewart
Executive Producer Monica O’Brien
Executive Producer Michael Boughen
Executive Producer Matthew Street

Telegael Productions
Producer Christine O’Connor
Executive Producer Paul Cummins


For more information, contact
Monica O’Brien | |  +61 412 414 044
Sally Browning | | +61 411 266 213
Paul Cummins | | + 353 87 2576 508

Ambience Entertainment, Air Pig Productions and Telegael are having loads of laughs filming their brand new children’s comedy series, Drop Dead Weird.

The Australian/Irish co-production follows the hilarious antics of an Australian family who move to rural Ireland to run their family B&B. With three ‘fish out of water’ Aussie kids, one kooky Irish grandfather and two recently zombified parents running a B&B in a remote seaside Irish village…things are going to get weird…drop dead weird!

The three Aussie kids- Lulu, Bruce and Frankie are finding it hard enough fitting into a new hometown, but now they have to harbour an enormous secret. Their parents are zombies……. Yes, ZOMBIES.

The children must invent on a daily, even hourly basis a way to keep the truth under wraps, or the locals will be onto them. Their ideas, schemes and inventions are a constant source of adventure and hilarity.

Drop Dead Weird is filming in both Sydney and Galway Ireland.

New series ★★★☆
From Monday 7pm, 6.25am, ABC ME

Making great television is really hard. Making great television for under-15s is diabolically hard. If you’ve tried having a face-to-face conversation with a person in that cohort you’ll get some idea of the degree of difficulty. Some things – seemingly randomly – completely capture their attention. Other things, not at all. And just when you think you’re in the zone, they’re suddenly out of it. Translate that in to having a remote conversation with tens of thousands of the critters simultaneously, and, well …

That’s exactly the challenge the national broadcaster set itself when it launched ABC3 in 2009 (following a suggestion floated at Kevin Rudd’s in/famous 2020 conference). This week it relaunches as ABC ME, and while the new brand might send shivers through anyone who thinks our younger generation are already way too entitled and self-involved, a look at the content will buoy your spirits.

In the past seven years the channel has chalked up some serious successes. Scripted dramas such as Dance Academy and Nowhere Boys have not only been hugely popular with local audiences (the young and the not so young), they have become international smash hits. In the past 12 months we’ve had Ready for This and a mini-series adaptation of Tomorrow When the War Began, both cracking pieces of television. All these shows have not just been great entertainment, produced with the intelligence and care we expect from our top prime time dramas, they have been a vehicle for an extraordinary number of talented young actors.

And this week’s relaunch is a showcase for a host of programs that speak directly and eloquently to the target audience, in an unmistakeable Australian vernacular. On the scripted front is You’re Skitting Me, a sketch show with an entirely teen cast that manages to be both age-appropriate and easily as funny as most sketch comedy on TV right now. From lame YouTube videos to spoofs like the deliciously absurd Teenager Tonight; kooky animation and natural to-camera pieces, it’s a delightful hotchpotch that reveals some seriously good acting.

The channel also has a strong line in factual programming that’s goofy and engaging without belittling its subject matter, and joining the ranks this week is a new series called This Is Me that, as the name suggests, simply has young folk talking a bit about themselves and their lives. That might be a kid who lives on a boat off the coast of Queensland, a chap in his first year of high school already actively involved in animal welfare, a young Indigenous boy giving us his take on culture, or the girl who speaks three languages and loves fencing (with a rapier, that is – not garden fencing).

Uplifting, educational, definitely multicultural and always surprising, it absolutely fulfils its key brief: to provide others in that age group with a window in to what their peers are thinking and doing. But, like any good TV show, it’s also bigger than that, creating a snapshot for the rest of us of our own country, culture and society that we see almost nowhere else.

People generally understand that we need careful, age-appropriate programming for preschoolers. As a result, they’re pretty well catered for. And both networks and audiences demand quality grown-up programming in prime time. Tweens and teens, though, too often have their intelligence and sophistication – and their sense of humour – gravely underestimated. Thank goodness, then, for something like ABC ME, which not only hits the sweet spot for its target audience, but in doing so gives us oldies every reason to be excited about the fabulous generations coming up behind us.