AMC Networks’ IFC and the targeted streaming service Sundance Now have acquired the exclusive U.S., Canada and U.K. premiere rights to New Zealand comedy Good Grief and have already co-commissioned a second season from Kiel McNaughton and Kerry Warkia’s Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions Ltd.
Co-created, co-written and starring sisters Eve and Grace Palmer along with co-creator/co-writer Nick Schaedel, the six-episode comedy series is set in small New Zealand town and follows two millennial sisters with very different personalities who inherit a funeral home from their grandfather. Good Grief, Season 1 will make its U.S., Canadian and U.K. premiere on September 30 as binge release (6×15) on Sundance Now followed by its North American broadcast premiere on IFC beginning October 4. Season 2 will go into production later in 2021 in Auckland city and premiere in 2022 with 6 episodes expanded to 20 minutes each.
Unsure what to do with the funeral home – or the oddball staff that keep the place running – Ellie and Gwen Goode (Eve and Grace Palmer) are thrust into a world of embalming, emceeing, and embarrassment. Recently fired from her teaching career, Ellie starts to warm to the job, but all Gwen wants to do is go DJ in Bali. By staring death in the face every day, Ellie and Gwen begin to confront the realities of their own life, and what they want to make of it. Good Grief finds light in the darkness, weaving both the comedy and tragedy of life into a rich emotional tapestry.
Good Grief, Season 1 is directed by Kiel McNaughton (The Legend of Baron To’a, My Life is Murder), produced by Angela Cudd (I Am Waru) and Kerry Warkia (Vai, Waru). The first season’s creative team and lead cast will also return for Season 2.
Eve and Grace Palmer said, “We’re honoured to be working with AMC Networks to bring our little kiwi comedy to an international audience. They say ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ but we hope that in watching this dark comedy about life and death, you’ll be able to do both.”
“Good Grief is a unique and quirky comedy that we’re excited to bring to audiences on both Sundance Now and IFC,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming, AMC Networks. “After watching the first season, we were so in love with the Goode sisters that we jumped at the chance to work with Eve, Grace, Nick, Kiel and Kerry to commission further adventures with them.”
Kiel McNaughton, founding partner of Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions noted, “We are over the moon to be partnering with AMC Networks to bring more unique and underrepresented voices to audiences around the world. We can’t wait to get going with season 2.”
Sundance Now has a successful history of experimenting with new formats and short form series, most recently with the series State of the Union, which was renewed for a second season earlier this year. Season one, written by Nick Hornsby and directed by Stephen Frears, starred Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd and swept the short form categories at the 2019 Emmy Awards, with wins as best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series and for both Pike and O’Dowd. State of the Union’s second season will match the format of the first, with 10 episodes, each 10 minutes long, and stars Brendan Gleeson, Patricia Clarkson and Esco Jouléy.