My Playlists

My Playlists

ZDF Enterprises ZDF Enterprises Logo

ZDF Enterprises, Werner Film Productions and Wild Sheep Content sign development deal for young adult drama series 'On the Jellicoe Road'

Mainz, 2nd December 2019

ZDF Enterprises, Werner Film Productions (Joanna Werner) and Wild Sheep Content (Erik Barmack) have signed a development agreement for a young adult drama series, it was announced today.

The partners shall jointly develop a series based on the book 'On the Jellicoe Road' by Australian author Melina Marchetta, who is best known as the author of teen novels (Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca). The 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.

'On the Jellicoe Road' centers 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.

To top all of Taylor’s problems off, there is a territory war going on between the Boarders, the Townies (kids from Jellicoe Town) and the Cadets (Sydney boys who come to Jellicoe for a six-week training exercise every year). The leader of the cadets this year happens to be the very boy who Taylor ran away with when she was 14 in search of her mother. The one who betrayed her trust and she never wanted to see again.

The series, created by Melina Marchetta, will start development as early as 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.

Joanna Werner, Executive Producer at Werner Film Productions:”'On The Jellicoe Road' is one of my favourite books of all time and I am so thrilled to be developing this with Melina, Erik, Fred and all at ZDF Enterprises.  It is an enthralling, sophisticated, complex and gripping teen story which I can’t wait to see on the screen.”

Erik Barmack, CEO and Founder of Wild Sheep Content: ”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, ZDF Enterprises: “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.”


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in the year 1993 as a 100 % private subsidiary of ZDF, one of the biggest and most renowned television broadcasters in Europe. On behalf of ZDF, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for worldwide program sales, the implementation of international co-productions, license purchasing for quality programs, marketing online rights and the merchandising of strong ZDF program brands. During the course of the process of development and diversification to date, it has been possible to incorporate a large number of business activities within the television and media industry within the ZDF Enterprises Group. Consequently, today ZDF Enterprises can offer a comprehensive, full-service offer that covers every step in the process of creation and utilisation of successful TV productions, from material development in all genres to production and then on to the marketing of television licenses, merchandising and online rights.

Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, 55127 Mainz/Germany, phone +49 6131-9911130, fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:,


About Werner Film Productions
Werner Film Productions (WFP) is an award winning Australian film and television production company specialising in live action drama. Three time Emmy-Nominated and multi Logie and AACTA award winning television producer Joanna Werner established WFP in 2008 with the global hit teen drama Dance Academy. Since then, the company has produced the teen series Ready For This (2015) as well as Secret City (2015), Dance Academy - The Movie (2016) and the telemovie, Riot.

Contact Werner Film Productions
Joanna Werner, Werner Film Productions, Level 3, 145 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065 Australia, phone +61 3 9200 5529, email,


About Wild Sheep Content
Wild Sheep Content was founded by Erik Barmack, who created the international originals team at Netflix and was responsible for shows such as DARK, CASA DE PAPEL, and SACRED GAMES.  WSC has created a slate of 20+ projects intended to connect Hollywood to international production and international production to Hollywood.

Contact Wild Sheep Content
Erik Barmack, CEO and Founder,


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany