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Sarah Christie is changing the face of Australian TV

Meet Prime Video's Senior Development Executive
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The entertainment industry in Australia has changed a lot since Sarah Christie started studying her combined communications and law degree in 2011. 

At the time, she couldn’t have imagined rising to such heights as being the senior development officer for a global streaming giant like Prime Video. 

“Creative development wasn’t really a career I even knew was possible,” she tells WHO. “It’s an industry that is definitely built on connections, and I’ve had a number of jobs along the way where I’ve been mentored and been given some great opportunities from really supportive women and men.” 

Watch Below: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart – Official Trailer | Prime Video

As the executive powerhouse behind local shows such as Deadloch and Class of ’07,  Sarah’s role involves overseeing all of the creative aspects of the development of Australian Originals programs.

“Every day is very different,” she explains. “I could be travelling to sets or reading a new script or working with marketing and PR teams to figure out the details for a new show that is coming up. What I love is being able to tell good stories.” 

It’s not surprising that the streamer has put more of a focus on making shows for women since one has been put in charge – but to Sarah, it’s just good business. 

“Our ambition is to curate programs for all Australians,” she explains. “That means it’s important to champion the best local talents and make sure that they are diverse enough to speak to all Australians, whether that is women or people from different cultures and backgrounds.”

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“It does take a leap of faith” – Sarah (Credit: Supplied.)

The success that Prime Video has seen from local shows on a global scale in the last 12 months is beyond impressive. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart has become the most successful Australian Original worldwide. The Class of ’07 has also established a loyal fanbase, particularly resonating with hard-to-reach young adult audiences and cracking the Top 10 list in the USA.

While she hopes everything she works on will become a massive hit, Sarah admits that sometimes it can be hard to tell how something will be received. 

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Visiting sets across the country is all in a day’s work for Sarah. (Credit: Supplied.)

Take the crime satire series Deadloch. Despite its quintessentially Australian ocker humour, it has fast found a place in the zeitgeist. Since its June launch, the series has reached the Top 10 TV shows in more than 165 countries and territories including the US, the UK and Canada. 

“It’s always the goal that we want to be creating a hit,” she says. “When I’m reviewing a great script, it really does stand out but what is exciting is that it does take a leap of faith to take a good idea and work together as a team to make it something great that speaks to the people in Australia or over the world.”

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Sarah at the Class of ‘07 premiere with the cast. (Credit: Supplied.)

Next up, we’ll be seeing her put a new twist on a classic. An Australian version of The Office will be hitting the screen in 2024, and in a world first, a female boss will be taking centre stage. Felicity Ward is taking on the role of the protagonist, Hannah Howard, the managing director of a packaging company. 

“Felicity is so phenomenal in that lead role,” she says. “She has great comedy chops but is also just as flawed in as many ways as her predecessors like Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and David Brent (Ricky Gervais). I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

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