Ten puts Batavia on ice after being unable to secure funding

batavia-198x300Troubled TV drama Batavia appears to have been scuppered with Network Ten admitting it has been unable to secure funding for the eight-part epic, which was first announced two years ago.

Based on the Peter Fitzsimmons account of a shipwreck and subsequent massacre of a Dutch ship off the coast of Western Australia in the 17th century, the series was initially announced by Ten in its 2013 upfront presentation in October 2012.

However, in a statement today to TV Tonight Ten said: “Screentime was unable to finance Batavia in the timeframe we were aiming for, but we are not ruling out an opportunity with Batavia further down the track.”

Slated to launch ion 2013 the show ran into monetary problems from the get go, although last December Ten told TV Tonight the show would start filming in mid-2014 after Screentime, which optioned the rights for the series in 2011, had completed its financing.

The network has been undergoing a round of cost cutting in recent months after its ad revenue shares fell below 20 per cent for the first half of the year, with bosses axing breakfast show Wake Up and all but the 5pm news bulletins in a bid to slash costs. Recently CEO Hamish McLennan also indicated the network would be looking at a raft of cheaper programming, as well as live sport as a way to stem its ratings losses.

Ten has not responded to Mumbrella’s requests for comment as to whether it anticipates the filming going ahead or if there are other funding sources it can try at the time of publication.



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