Channel Seven is shaking up its drama department as of next year with Southern Star Entertainment’s Julie McGauran taking over from veteran John Holmes as Head of Drama.

Announced by Seven, McGauran – co-creator and co-producer of the latest series Wild Boys – will assist in the creation and development of new titles, while Holmes will take on a new role within the network, which will see him relieved of his day-to-day management duties. Seven said it would allow him to focus more on making TV drama. Head of Creative, Bevan Lee, will continue his role after signing an extended contract.

Holmes, who has been head of drama at Seven for almost two decades, has executive produced such shows as Home and Away, Blue Heelers and All Saints, while most recently overseeing Packed to the Rafters and Wild Boys. He will take up his new position in February.

McGuaran brings with her more than a decade of experience, starting out as series producer on successful soap Home and Away.  She joined Southern Star in 2006 and co-created and produced Out of the Blue and Rescue Special Ops. She will continue with Southern Star until December and will begin her new role with Seven in the new year.

”You only need to look at John’s credits to understand his gift for storytelling – his instincts are supreme," Seven's director of programming and production, Tim Worner, said in a statement.

“Julie’s arrival ensures that Seven will continue to be the country’s most successful producer of Australian drama. She has acumen, energy and skill and her leadership will enable John and Bevan to concentrate on finding and telling Aussie stories.”

The drama department currently delivers five-and-a-half hours of weekly primetime programming. Packed to the Rafters continues to be the network's biggest hit, pulling 1.85 million viewers when it made its triumphant return two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Winners & Losers has been another ratings success, averaging about 1.3 million viewers per week. The network's latest drama Wild Boys, starring Daniel MacPherson and Zoe Ventoura, had an impressive debut Sunday night, attracting 1.7 million viewers.

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  1. Wild Boys was the best series ever made, what a pity it wasn’t given a chance. Most people loved it. Luckily I have some memorabilia from it as I was a volunteer at the Pioneer Village Wilberforce where it was made.

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