Sticky Pictures positions Ronny Chieng in the Showroom

Mon 11th April 2016

Article by Dan Barrett, published online at

One of the production companies seeking a spot on ABC TV’s comedy roster is Sticky Pictures. The team is obsessed with comedy and has established a body of work rooted in children’s comedy television.

With the ABC TV pilot Ronny Chieng: International Student, Sticky Pictures is looking to transition its output to include more scripted comedies from Australia’s leading comedy talent.

The pilot, written by rising stand-up comedian Ronny Chieng with Declan Fay, is based on Ronny’s uni years with the pilot focusing on his first day at law school. Sticky Pictures chief executive Donna Andrews was a fan of the stand-up: “I love that there is a lot of Ronny in there, the way he walks and talks, his banter. We really wanted to capture that in the pilot and I think we did.”

Chieng, who has been featured as an ongoing correspondent on the US satirical news show The Daily Show, began talking with Sticky Pictures after they produced the puppetry adult comedy Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane for the ABC. “He really liked that, so that got us talking about working together. He had this idea and had written an early-stage concept bible with Declan Fay, so they had a good solid concept already in mind,” Andrews said.

Working on Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane was a big step forward for Sticky Pictures as they pursued adult primetime projects.

“In an ideal world, I’d like to continue doing both. We’ve worked in kids’ content since Sticky Pictures started. It’s an important part of our business and a great love. We’ve been BAFTA nominated for our animation and had some good success in that world, so we’d like to continue to do that. But we do see primetime comedy as an important part of our future,” Andrews explained.

The success this year of Here Come The Habibs at Nine was seen as a promising development for Andrews and her team: “I’m so pleased that Habibs did well because it does open the door to comedy. It has been a long time since the commercials have played in the world of comedy. While the ABC is progressive and exploring the comedy world, it’s great to see one of the commercial networks do so well with it.”

Next up for Sticky Pictures is the animated adaptation of The Sapphires, which has completed development with the issue of financing now under way. Despite The Sapphires being so well-known, that doesn’t make financing easy. “It is challenging because out of Australia, we can only get part of an animation budget, so we have to secure money from overseas as well. It’s a true Australian story, but I do believe that it will travel as well as the film did. We will definitely get it going.”


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