Matchbox Pictures

Matchbox Pictures is a film and television production company headquartered in Sydney with production houses in Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore.[1][2] It was formed in 2008 by Tony Ayres, Penny Chapman, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon and Helen Panckhurst. In 2011, NBCUniversal took a majority stake in Matchbox Pictures, and full ownership by January 2014.[3]

Matchbox Pictures is led by Alastair McKinnon (Managing Director), Matthew Vitins (COO), Debbie Lee (Director of Scripted Development), Penny Chapman (Producer), Helen Panckhurst (Head of Production), Michael McMahon (Producer), and Kate O'Connell (Finance Director).

Matchbox Pictures
GenreTelevision production
Area served
Key people
Alastair McKinnon
(Managing Director)
ServicesFilm and television program production
ParentNBC Universal International Studios


Current or upcoming productions are listed in bold text.



     Programs with a shaded background indicate the program is still in production.

Title Network Years Notes
Anatomy ABC 2008-2013
Darwin's Lost Paradise N/A 2009 Documentary
Saved N/A 2009 Tele-movie
My Place ABC3 2009—2011
Miss South Sudan Australia ABC 2010
Leaky Boat ABC 2011
Sex: An Unnatural History SBS 2011
The Slap ABC 2011
The Straits ABC 2012
Underground: The Julian Assange Story Network Ten 2012 Tele-movie
Next Stop Hollywood ABC 2013
Camp NBC 2013
Formal Wars Seven Network 2013
Zuzu & the Supernuffs KidsCo 2013
Nowhere Boys ABC ME 2013–present
Young, Lazy and Driving Us Crazy Seven Network 2014
Old School ABC 2014
Devil's Playground showcase 2014
The Real Housewives of Melbourne Arena 2014–present
Maximum Choppage ABC2 2015
Room 101 SBS 2015
Deadline Gallipoli showcase 2015 Limited series. Co-production with Full Clip Productions
Glitch ABC 2015–present Second season co-production with Netflix[4]
The Family Law SBS 2016–present
Wanted Seven Network 2016–present Co-production with R&R Productions
Secret City showcase 2016
The Real Housewives of Auckland Bravo 2016–present
The Real Housewives of Sydney Arena 2017
Australian Spartan[5] Seven Network 2018–present
Safe Harbour SBS 2018 Post-production


  1. ^ Groves, Don. "Matchbox Venture into Asia". If. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  2. ^ Groves, Don. "The Slap Producers Open Queensland Office". If. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  3. ^ Roxborough, Scott. "NBCUniversal Takes Full Control of Australia's Matchbox Pictures". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (14 October 2016). "'Glitch' Gets Second Season For Global Distribution On Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  5. ^ Carmody, Broede (3 August 2017). "Seven Network poised to capitalise on Nine's Australian Ninja Warrior success". Sydney Morning Herald (Online). Fairfax media. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
Australian Children's Television Foundation

The Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF) is a national non-profit children’s media production and policy hub.

The ACTF helps develop children’s television policy; distributes and pays for Australian children’s television series; supports new children’s media; and develops screen resources for the education sector.

The Australian Education Council established the ACTF following recommendations to Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. It is supported by, and receives funding from, the Commonwealth Government and the governments of most States and Territories.

The ACTF provides funding and support to independent Australian producers and writers of children's programs.

Australian Spartan

Australian Spartan is an Australian sports entertainment and reality competition television series which premiered on the Seven Network on 25 February 2018. The program is an adaptation of the American format Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge and is hosted by Edwina Bartholomew and Hamish McLachlan with Wendell Sailor as sideline reporter.

The series follows teams of contestants obstacle racing through courses based on spartan races.

Barracuda (TV series)

Barracuda is an Australian drama miniseries, first broadcast on ABC-TV starting 10 July 2016. The series is based on Barracuda, the 2013 novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, which explores a brutal clash of cultures, dreams and expectations and the relentless demands that are placed upon young athletes, their families, friends, schools and coaches.Barracuda is written by Blake Ayshford and Belinda Chayko and directed by Robert Connolly. It is produced by Tony Ayres and Amanda Higgs with Christos Tsiolkas as Associate Producer. The series is a Matchbox Pictures production in association with ABC TV, Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

Deadline Gallipoli

Deadline Gallipoli is an Australian television drama mini-series, first screened on Foxtel's Showcase channel on 19 and 20 April 2015. The two-part series explores the Gallipoli Campaign from the point of view of war correspondents Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch. The show was produced by Australian producer John Schwarz.

Devil's Playground (TV series)

Devil's Playground is an Australian psychological thriller television series which premiered on Showcase on 9 September 2014. It was created as a sequel to the 1976 film, The Devil's Playground. The series begins in 1988 and follows the story of Tom Allen, a recently widowed psychiatrist and a secular counselor to the Catholic clergy, who becomes entangled in political and theological intrigue. Simon Burke reprised his role as Tom Allen.

Maximum Choppage

Maximum Choppage is an Australian television comedy series starring Lawrence Leung. The six-part series premiered in 2015 on ABC2. It is directed by Craig Melville and written by Leung, Duncan Sarkies and Josh Mapleston. It is produced by Julie Eckersley, Sophie Miller and Linda Micsko with executive producers Tony Ayres and Debbie Lee. The series is based on the film work of Timothy Ly which was developed into the TV series by Matchbox Pictures.

My Place (TV series)

My Place is an Australian children's television drama series based on the award-winning picture book of the same name by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins. The series first screened on ABC3 weeknights 8pm from 4 December 2009 and is currently being syndicated in the United States on Vibrant TV Network.

My Place is produced by Penny Chapman and directed by Jessica Hobbs, Samantha Lang, Catriona McKenzie, Michael James Rowland and Shawn Seet. The series is accompanied by an interactive website for children that allows them to explore the house that is the series' main setting. It won the 2010 Logie for Best Children's Program.On 23 March 2010 Screen Australia announced they approved funding for a second series which will focus on the lives of children and their families from the time period of 1878 to before the White Settlement. Filming began on 21 September 2010 and the first of thirteen episodes began airing on 26 June 2011.

Next Stop Hollywood

Next Stop Hollywood is an Australian documentary television series that first screened on ABC1 in 2013.

The six-part series follows six ambitious Australian actors who embark on a journey to score a role in Hollywood. It follows the actors as they compete for roles during the frenzied and chaotic US TV pilot season. The series captures their excitement, frustrations, struggles, fears and tears as they compete with the world's best and try to navigate the travails of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles as they pursue their dreams of fame and fortune in Hollywood's dream factory. The series was directed by Gary Doust. The production company was Matchbox Pictures.

Nowhere Boys

Nowhere Boys is an Australian teen-oriented television drama series created by Tony Ayres. It was first broadcast on ABC3 (which is now officially named ABCME) on 7 November 2013. The first two series follow the adventures of four mismatched teenage boys – goth Felix Ferne (Dougie Baldwin), nerd Andrew "Andy" Lau (Joel Lok), golden child Sam Conte (Rahart Adams), and alpha jock Jake Riles (Matt Testro). Nowhere Boys was renewed for a second series which began airing from 23 November 2014. An 80-minute feature-length movie based on the show, titled Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows, premiered in selected Australian movie theatres on 1 January 2016. A third series of Nowhere Boys, titled Two Moons Rising, started airing in 2016 with a new cast and characters, replacing the original cast members. The fourth and final series, titled Battle For Negative Space, started airing on 3 December 2018.

Old School (TV series)

Old School is an Australian television drama series that screened on ABC1 from 23 May, 2014 to 11 July, 2014. The eight-part series follows the adventures of retired criminal Lennie Cahill and retired cop Ted McCabe. The characters were originally depicted in the short film Lennie Cahill Shoots Through by Paul Oliver.

Old School was created by Paul Oliver and Steve Wright and is directed by Gregor Jordan, Peter Templeman and Paul Oliver. The Producer is Helen Panckhurst with Executive Producers Tony Ayres and Penny Chapman. Old School was written by Belinda Chayko, Paul Oliver, Matt Cameron, Chris Hawkshaw, Gregor Jordan, Michaeley O’Brien and Nick Parsons, with script producers Tim Pye and Sarah Smith.The song accompanying the opening title is "Disguise" by Eleanor Dunlop.

Safe Harbour (TV series)

Safe Harbour is a four-part Australian thriller drama series, devised by Belinda Chayko, that first broadcast on SBS on 7 March 2018. Produced by Matchbox Pictures, directed by Glendyn Ivin and written by Belinda Chayko, Matt Cameron and Phil Enchelmaier, the series follows a group of friends who travel from Brisbane on a sailing holiday of a lifetime to Indonesia, who cross paths with a fishing boat overloaded with asylum seekers en route to Australia, which alters their lives forever.The series was produced by Sue Masters and Stephen Corvini. Although critically acclaimed, the series did not perform well in the ratings, peaking at just 146,000 viewers. Outside Australia, the series was made available for streaming on Hulu in the United States, and was broadcast on BBC Four in the United Kingdom from 2 February 2019. The series was released on Region 4 DVD on 18 April 2018.It aired on television in Ireland on RTÉ2 from July 2019.

The Family Law

The Family Law is an Australian comedy television program created by Benjamin Law. The six-part series, loosely adapted from Law's 2010 book of the same name, was written by Law and Marieke Hardy. The series was produced by Matchbox Pictures and screened on SBS from 14 January 2016. A second season of the show premiered on 15 June 2017. The third and final season of the show aired on 12 January 2019.

The Real Housewives of Auckland

The Real Housewives of Auckland (abbreviated RHOAKL) is a New Zealand reality television series that premiered on 22 August 2016, on Bravo.

The show is developed as an international installment of the American The Real Housewives franchise and the second installment of The Real Housewives franchise by Matchbox Entertainment, following The Real Housewives of Melbourne. The Real Housewives of Auckland focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women living in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Real Housewives of Melbourne

The Real Housewives of Melbourne (abbreviated RHOMelbourne) is an Australian reality television series that premiered on 23 February 2014, on Arena. It was developed as one of the international installments of The Real Housewives, an American television series franchise. The series chronicles the lives of several women living in Melbourne, Australia.

The series originally focused on Gina Liano, Jackie Gillies, Andrea Moss, Janet Roach, Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello; the lineup of housewives for the upcoming fourth season consists of Liano, Gillies, Roach, Schiavello, Gamble Breaux, Venus Behbahani-Clark and Sally Bloomfield. Of the original housewives, Moss left after the first season, whilst Keebaugh departed after the third. The remaining housewives joined in later seasons: Breaux in the second, and Behbahani-Clark and Bloomfield in the fourth. Other housewives include Pettifleur Berenger (seasons 2–3) and Susie McLean (season 3).

Its success has allowed for the development of The Real Housewives franchise by Matchbox Pictures and similar spin-off series based in Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand.

The Real Housewives of Sydney

The Real Housewives of Sydney (abbreviated RHOS) is an Australian reality television series that airs on Arena. The show premiered on 26 February 2017. The series was developed as an international installment of the American The Real Housewives franchise and the third installment of The Real Housewives franchise by Matchbox Entertainment, following The Real Housewives of Melbourne and Auckland. The Real Housewives of Sydney focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women living in Sydney, Australia. The series was cancelled in 2019 after only one season.

The Slap (TV series)

The Slap is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on ABC1 from 6 October to 24 November 2011. The series is based on The Slap, a 2008 novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, which explores what happens when a man slaps a child, who is not related to him, at a suburban barbecue.

Filmed in Melbourne, Victoria, the series was produced by Matchbox Pictures' Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden and Michael McMahon, with Penny Chapman serving as executive producer. The directors—Jessica Hobbs, Matthew Saville, Tony Ayres and Robert Connolly—directed two episodes each. The writing team included Emily Ballou, Alice Bell, Brendan Cowell, Kris Mrksa and Cate Shortland.The series was aired on DirecTV's Audience Network in 2012, and an American adaptation of the series, also starring Melissa George, premiered on NBC on 12 February 2015.

The Straits

The Straits is an Australian television drama series for ABC1 filmed in Cairns, the Torres Strait Islands and other Far North Queensland locations.

The series is based on an idea by actor Aaron Fa'aoso and produced by Penny Chapman and Helen Panckhurst from Matchbox Pictures. It is directed by Peter Andrikidis, Rachel Ward, and Rowan Woods. It is written by Louis Nowra, Blake Ayshford, Nick Parsons, Kristen Dunphy, and Jaime Browne. On 19 October 2012, it was announced that a second series will not be produced.In December 2012, the show began airing exclusively on Hulu.

Wanted (2016 Australian TV series)

Wanted is an Australian drama television series which premiered on the Seven Network in Australia on 9 February 2016. The first season consisted of six episodes. It was renewed for a six-episode second season, which premiered with a double-episode on 5 June 2017. The series was renewed for a third season which premiered on October 15, 2018.

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