Beloved Aussie drama Packed to the Rafters has been renewed for a sixth season.
Seven announced today, “Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson, much loved as Julie and Dave Rafter, will find their lives ‘packed’ again, with returning family members and new faces.
“Angus McLaren, Hugh Sheridan, Michael Caton, George Houvardas, Hannah Marshall, Zoe Cramond, Brooke Satchwell, Ryan Corr, Merridy Eastman and James Stewart are all set to return for 2013, with further cast announcements to follow.”
The news comes despite key cast members departing including Hugh Sheridan (who will only appear in a handful of eps) and James Stewart and a softening in the ratings. That said, 1.2m viewers and a Logie as Most Popular Drama is nothing to be sneezed at and the show still rates ahead of other weekly local dramas.
“It’s a privilege to be in people’s lounge rooms each Tuesday night, and we are thrilled there will be more Rafters next year,” Gibney said today. “There is so much love for the show. Not a day goes by where someone doesn’t stop me to chat about Julie. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it in my career.”
Thomson added: “The show has cemented its place in people’s hearts. Everyone is emotionally invested in the Rafters and there’s so much more in store for them this year and next. The entire cast love making this show as much as viewers enjoy watching it.”
Seven’s Head of Drama, Julie McGauran, said: “In the next series, we’ll see more of the humour, love and warmth we’ve come to know from the Rafters. Everyone at Seven is incredibly proud of the production and what it has achieved. We’re very excited about where Rafters is headed in 2013.”
A key question for Seven will now be about whether to wrap the series next year, given the original premise of young adults living under the roof of parents has diminished with exiting cast members. Emotional storylines working their way towards a powerful finale would no doubt give the series a lift.
Seven says in coming weeks, Julie and Dave will enter a crossroads in their marriage.
“The scenes were very emotional for us, because we love Julie and Dave as much as the viewers do,” Rebecca said. “It’s very real and we believe the story will resonate with the audience. Life isn’t always easy, and Julie and Dave will find their relationship challenged in a way it hasn’t been before.”