Amazon Prime commissions ‘Packed to the Rafters’ reboot

01 November, 2019 by Don Groves

‘Packed to the Rafters.’

Seven Studios is preparing to revive Packed to the Rafters, the first Australian drama commission by Amazon Prime Video.

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Bevan Lee, who created the family comedy-drama which ran for six seasons on the Seven Network, is overseeing the reboot which is in pre-production.

Katherine Thomson (Doctor, Doctor, A Place to Call Home) is among the writing team and there will potentially be three series, each six episodes, IF understands.

Virtually all members of the original cast including Rebecca Gibney, Erik Thomson, Hugh Sheridan, Jessica Marais, Ryan Corr, Jessica McNamee, Angus McLaren and James Stewart are returning, IF believes.

Yet to be announced, the deal for the new series which has the working title Back to the Rafters was first mooted in September.

Amazon Prime has also acquired the streaming rights to the original series which was produced by Jo Porter for Seven Productions. The two hour finale in 2013, which saw Dave and Julie Rafter (Thomson and Gibney) travelling around Australia in a Kombi van with their baby Ruby, drew 1.5 million viewers.

Last month Sheridan told a radio station he hoped the sequel would happen because “it is a beautiful show and it will be like 10 years on. It’s like a ‘Where are they now?'”

In September Amazon commissioned Guesswork Television to produce a series of stand-up comedy specials from 10 Australian comedians including Tom Gleeson, Celia Pacquola, Tommy Little, Judith Lucy and Anne Edmonds.

Earlier the streamer ordered LOL: Last One Laughing, a six-part series hosted by Rebel Wilson featuring 10 comedians trying to make each other laugh first, from Endemol Shine Australia.

Last financial year Seven Studios headed by CEO Therese Hegarty delivered pre-tax profit of $59 million, up 5.3 per cent, driven by deals to international broadcasters and digital platforms including Netflix, Twitter and Facebook.

Meanwhile Seven is yet to appoint a chief content officer, part of a revamp of the management structure orchestrated by CEO James Warburton. A firm of head-hunters is conducting the search in what could be a lengthy process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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