MIA FREEDMAN: I'm producing a TV show based on my book, Work Strife Balance.

The thing about making a TV show is that it takes a lot of time. I did not know this before I started because I’ve not made one before. But for the past five years or so, I have been trying to make one and I cannot tell you how many times along the way I got bored and wandered off.

But today, I can finally announce that a TV show, based on my book Work, Strife, Balance, is actually happening.

This show actually started being made when I was 21 and I made a friend called Bruna Papendrea. It was one of those fast friendships where you are madly in love and do everything together and are partners in crime and get up to huge mischief and just have a sort of chemical connection and dependency. We were close.

Both at the start of our careers - me in magazines and Bruna in film - our friendship wound down when Bruna moved to London for work and the Internet didn’t exist and neither did texting. Can you imagine?

Suffice to say, we didn’t fax and we lost touch.

By the time we reconnected, decades later, I had started a media company called Mamamia to amplify the voices of women and Bruna had started a production company called Made Up Stories to produce women’s stories for the screen.

She had also been nominated for Oscars, won Golden Globes, and produced a couple of small things like Big Little Lies and Wild that had made her one of the most successful producers in Hollywood.

On a visit home from LA a few years ago, we reconnected, she came into Mamamia, we embraced like the sisters we are in that way you do with women you’ve walked through fire (and dancefloors) with and after reading my recently released memoir, Bruna said, "This needs to be a TV show".


And I assumed she was just being nice but she wasn’t because Bruna doesn’t pander. That’s how she has made the following movies and shows over the past few years - plus so many more it's ridiculous.

Wolf Like Me, Anatomy Of A Scandal, Nine Perfect Strangers, Penguin Bloom, The Dry, The Undoing, Luckiest Girl Alive, Pieces Of Her.


Over the years we've been working together with her producing partners Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky, I began to learn about TV and about patience. This was hard.

In digital media, you can have an idea in the morning and it’s online and out into the world by the afternoon. I do this not irregularly.

By comparison, Bruna’s most recent film, Luckiest Girl Alive, took her seven years of development before filming even began because the pace of her industry is just so different and the things she makes are so much longer lasting and involved so many more people and so much more money.

But Bruna is tenacious. And loyal. And driven. She is a singular force and when she wants to do something, nobody has any choice about whether or not to join her, you just do it because who the hell would miss out on that ride.

We explored what we wanted the show to be and decided early on that we didn’t want to make any kind of biopic, even though my book was a memoir.

I had no interest in making a show about myself and Bruna agreed. We wanted to tell a story about a complicated woman who starts her own business. About the complexity of ambition and motherhood and the force that is female friendship. About what it’s like working in a startup alongside women, creating intimate content that bonds you in ways that can be intense and problematic and wonderful.

About long term relationships and the time in a woman’s life - her 40s - when the world seems to open up at the same time as your fertility shuts down. It’s about choices and challenges and the dichotomy of being a public person who wants a private life even though that life is something that feeds her work.


It’s not a story about me but it’s inspired by aspects of my life and career during the time Mamamia started and began to grow.

Mia Freedman and Bruna Papendrea. Image: Supplied. 

The things I’m most excited about is, obviously, the costumes.


No. Well, actually yes. But also and even more exciting for me than that is the opportunity to work with brilliant women who are at the top of their game. The Executive Producers of the show are Bruna, me, Steve Hutensky, Jodi Matterson and, the star of our show... Asher Keddie.

Asher is a whole other story.

The short version is that when I heard she was interested in coming on board to star and produce, I was astounded. Asher Keddie? Stop it.

There’s more to tell about how we met, another time, but if there’s one thing I can tell you about Asher is that she has depth and humanity and strength and vulnerability all rolled into one extraordinarily warm and whip smart package. She’s all of it and then some. She is a true artist and I have already learned so much from her as we have forged our own fast friendship over the past few months.

So. You want to know where you can watch it and when.

The show-runner and writer is Sarah Scheller who wrote The Letdown on the ABC (now Netflix) and as soon as Sarah came on board, things started to go faster, and thank God for Sarah. 

Alongside me all the way and now writing on the show and also acting as Associate Producers are Clare and Jessie Stephens who are the funniest writers I know and who will bring their years of experience in women’s digital media to a team of other supremely talented writers.

We are making the show with Binge - we chose them because they understood this show innately and matched our excitement for bringing these characters to the screen.


The writers room has been happening for the past few weeks and we will begin shooting early 2023 for release later next year.

I am on the steepest learning curve creatively that I’ve been on for many years with this project and I am just the most eager and attentive student, watching some of the most talented women in their industry making shit happen. It’s a trip.

I really hope I’m going to get one of those chairs on set with my name written on the back. I will be so happy to just sit in it quietly and soak it all in.



Feature Image: Supplied.

It can be tricky raising little humans and that’s why we want to hear from all Parents in this short survey. Take our survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!