SundanceTV and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV) renewed the Aussie drama series “Cleverman” for a second season, after a successful, critical and commercially-acclaimed season 1, which launched in the USA on SundanceTV a year ago (June 2016).
The first season is currently streaming on Netflix, so check it out before season 2 premieres on SundanceTV (in the USA) this summer; the network has now set a June 28 premiere for the second season, airing at 10/9c.
Set in the near future, “Cleverman” is a startlingly original drama rooted in Aboriginal mythology. The series depicts a deeply conflicted and anxious society, fearful of a minority group living among them, endowed with extraordinary physical traits. One young man — The Cleverman — struggles with his own power and the responsibility to unite this divided world, but he must first overcome a deep estrangement from his older brother.
The six-part series, which reflects on topical issues of racism, immigration and border protection, is based on an original concept by Ryan Griffen.
“’Cleverman’ is that rare feat of a well-crafted genre series that reimagines what a superhero is, and a compelling character drama that also has something important to say about the world we live in today. Ryan Griffen’s use of Aboriginal mythology as a way into the larger issue of how we treat indigenous and immigrant populations makes for a very potent piece of storytelling from a very authentic voice that is both entertaining and relevant,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV in a previous statement.
“’Cleverman’ marks a new era for Australia’s production sector, inviting audiences to experience a bold new story-world where Aboriginal storytelling meets high concept genre drama. With an 80% Indigenous cast, ‘Cleverman’ sets the benchmark for diversity on Australian television, and its contemporary themes set in the near future will resonate widely amongst diverse audiences […] A global television event for an Indigenous authored show…we’re excited!” said Sally Riley, Head of Indigenous, ABC TV, also in a previous statement.
“I have a huge love of superheroes and comics. It got me thinking about creating something cultural that my young son could connect to on a superhero basis,” added Ryan Griffen, creator of the series. “I wanted to bring something Aboriginal, Indigenous, to that world. As the son of a light-skinned Aboriginal man and a light-skinned Aboriginal woman, it was important for me that my son had a cultural superhero that he could look up to as a young Aboriginal person…something he could connect to that was also entertaining.”
“Cleverman” features an ensemble cast led by Iain Glen, Frances O’Connor, Deborah Mailman, Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins and Stef Dawson.
The series is produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures for ABC TV Australia in co-production with SundanceTV and Red Arrow International, with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.
SundanceTV has premiered a first trailer for season 2 of “Cleverman” which is embedded below (watch season 1 streaming on Netflix currently):