For producers looking to shoot new scenery and spend less greenery, Australia is the last frontier--literally.
"The Last Frontier" was the name of the recent CBS miniseries starring Linda Evans, the first Australian miniseries sold to a U.S. network. Now, NBC has at least three series projects in the works that would be shot Down Under if the network decides to move ahead with them.
Australia is caught up in the same cycle as Canada: Local film makers, often government-subsidized, get noticed (directors Peter Weir, "The Year of Living Dangerously"; George Miller, "Mad Max"; Fred Schepisi, "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith"); there's an increase in quality crews and support services; the U.S. TV industry moves in.
Though it's not as nearby as Canada, Australia shares the advantage of having a large pool of English-speaking talent. More significantly--especially after the success of " 'Crocodile' Dundee"--it has piqued Americans' interest in its unique national identity, which Canada has not done.