ZDF Enterprises, Werner Film and Wild Sheep team for On the Jellicoe Road | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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ZDF Enterprises, Werner Film Productions and Wild Sheep Content have inked a joint development agreement for young adult drama series On the Jellicoe Road based on the book by Australian author Melina Marchetta.

burcksen ZDF 2Dec2019The novel was first published in Australia in 2006, where it was awarded the 2008 West Australia Young Readers Book (WAYRB) Award for Older Readers. It was later published in the United States in 2008 under the abbreviated title Jellicoe Road and went on to win the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association.

The drama centres around 17-year-old Taylor Markham, leader of the boarding school underground community on Jellicoe Road. Taylor was abandoned by her mother when she was 11, and her only recollection of her father is a brief memory of standing on her father's shoulders. The only adult influence in her life is her mentor and guardian Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river, and writes stories about five kids who lived there in the 1980s and who has suddenly vanished into thin air at a time when Taylor really needs her.

The series, created by Melina Marchetta, will start development in December 2019 and writers Samantha Strauss (Dance Academy, H2O: Just Add Water, The End), Sarah Walker (Wentworth, Wonderland) and Angela Betzien (Total Control, Secret City) have already committed to the project.

Erik Barmack, CEO and founder of Wild Sheep Content commented: ”Young adult series have become truly global, and we are thrilled to be working on bringing this seminal Australian work to a global audience with Werner Film Productions and ZDF Enterprises.”

Fred Burcksen, president and CEO of ZDF Enterprises (pictured) added: “We are very proud of our long-standing and successful partnerships with both Joanna Werner and Erik Barmack and are really excited to be partnering with them on this outstanding new project. My team is very much looking forward to work with these experienced partners on the development of this amazing story.”