Tony Ayres’ ‘The Fires’ Anthology Series Explores Australian Megafires

Bruce Haring
·3 min read

Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) is developing The Fires, a six-part anthology series drawing on the experiences of those directly affected by the Australian megafires of last summer.

The company, which has an exclusive deal with NBCUniversal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, has ABC already on board with the series in Australia.

More from Deadline

The creative team includes Tony Ayres (Clickbait, Stateless, The Slap), Andrea Denholm (Wrong Kind of Black, It’s A Date) and Liz Watts (The King, True History of the Kelly Gang). The writing team, led by International Emmy Award-winning showrunner/writer Belinda Chayko (Stateless, Safe Harbour) includes Jacquelin Perske (The Cry), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy and Punch), Steven McGregor (Mystery Road) and Anya Beyersdorf.

The Fires is a serialized anthology inspired by the stories of the people who survived last summer’s catastrophic fire season and continue to endure the aftermath. Each episode is based around character studies of ordinary people caught in the unimaginable, and the impossible choices they were forced to make.

The series captures the scale of the disaster by following the path of the fires, traveling from north to south of Australia, from September through February. In each episode, viewers will see the conflagration grow, consuming lives, homes, and farmland while destroying communities, bushland, and more than a billion native animals.

“Like the rest of the world, I watched in horror last summer as I saw the devastation caused by the megafires,” said EP Tony Ayres. “I wondered, “What can we do as artists?” So, for me, the answer was to tell the stories of some of the people who lived through this, so that we never forget what they went through and always remember our responsibility for change.”

Jeff Wachtel, President, NBCUniversal International Studios said, “The Australian Fires were among the most significant events of our time, calling us to action on the urgent issue of climate change. Even in a COVID world, climate change remains the most pressing long-term issue facing humanity. Tony and team have brilliantly dramatized its horrific consequences and the heroism often involved in the fight.”

TAP is the production company of Matchbox Pictures founding member and showrunner, writer and director Tony Ayres. Founded in 2018 with the backing of NBCUniversal International Studios and Matchbox Pictures, the company specializes in high-end scripted drama and feature films for Australian and international audiences.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.