EXCLUSIVE: The team behind Binge‘s newly-crowned biggest original, Strife, are headed back to the writers’ room.

The drama series — from Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers and Anatomy of a Scandal producer Made Up Stories in partnership with Fifth Season — has quickly usurped Colin From Accounts as Binge’s best-performing original for its first day and first week, according to the Foxtel-owned Australian streamer. The writing team, led by Sarah Scheller (The Letdown), are now reteaming to pen scripts for a second season.

The show stars Asher Keddie (Nine Perfect StrangersOffspring) as imperfect, modern woman and magazine publisher Evelyn Jones, following her journey from lounge room blogger to becoming a force in women’s media. It launched on Binge on December 6.

In an interview with Deadline last year, Hurbert-Burns described the series as “the story of a woman in 2012 who gets spat out of the tightrope of running magazines… has a bit of a breakdown and goes and starts her own web publishing business.”

It’s loosely based on former Cosmopolitan Australia and Cleo Australia editor Mia Freedman’s memoir ‘Work, Strife, Balance,’ and the story partly mirrors her work in Australian publishing. Freedman, who launched the influential site Mamamia, is a consultant.

In a statement to Deadline this afternoon, Hurbert-Burns, Executive Director for Binge and Foxtel Group Content and Commissioning, said: “Strife has connected with our audiences, with Evelyn’s journey hitting a chord with viewers across the country.

“It has seen audience growth faster than any other Binge original, breaking records to become our biggest series launch for both first day and first week viewing and I am excited to see the writers, led by Sarah Scheller, back in the writers’ room to work on next season.” 

Season one featured a plethora of Australian acting talent alongside Keddie, including Matt Day, Jonathan LaPaglia, Tina Bursill, Emma Lung, Alex Dimitriades, Maria Angelico, Rhys Mitchell, Olivia Junkeer, BeBe Bettencourt, Bryony Skillington, Lucy Ansell, Darcy Tadich, Lincoln Younes and Willow Speers. Stuart Bowen was the director.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with how audiences have embraced Strife and fallen in love with Asher Keddie’s complicated, inimitable Evelyn Jones,” said Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky, Made Up Stories’ executive producers on the show.

“Thanks to our partners at Binge for supporting this story and bringing it to audiences across Australia and to our wonderful cast and crew, including the incredible Sarah Scheller and her writing team who are hard at work on season two.” 

Prentiss Fraser, Fifth Season’s President, TV Distribution, added: “It’s no surprise Strife is capturing a huge audience so quickly – it’s brilliantly fresh, beautifully shot and an authentic take on women juggling work, family, and relationships. The performances from Asher Keddie and the rest of the cast are incredible, and we’re thrilled people are engaging with our perfectly, imperfect characters.”

Binge’s most notable show to date, sitcom Colin From Accounts, has been a hit on Paramount+ in the U.S. after building followings in Australia and the UK, where it is on the BBC. Season two recently went back into production following a writing delay caused by the U.S. labor strikes.

Binge, Made Up Stories and Fifth Season will be hoping Strife can repeat the trick, as programs originating in Australia continue to attract global interest. Fifth Season has international rights.

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Source: DLine

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