Renewed: Packed to the Rafters

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.”


  1. Yes, it’s changed and while it may not have the spark it once had when it was in it’s infancy, Rafters still delivers well written and character focused episodes week after week. It’s obvious the cast and crew love making it, which translates on screen. And, if all is to believed, the old cast members feel that too, thus the alleged returns of some favourites. I’d much rather the investment in local talent and production staff than throwing a bag of money on some US network CSI spin off etc…

  2. It’s not too bad.I am not home on Tuesday Nights at the present time so can’t say too much but given a choice between this and the stupidity of two broke girls and a new 2.5 men I would for the sake of intelligence support home grown drama.pttr Does well given such competition for younger viewers not into whatever ABC gives us,Those Comedies as I have mentioned or the over done now NCIS crap.

  3. Seams weird they would announce this now when the 5th season has barely started, compared to the US where most renewal announcements come very late in the season.

    Will this become another ‘Always Greener’ and later be canceled?

    As for coming back I really don’t care, I’ve lost interest in the show this year, and much of last year when they dropped it for W&L, which I hardly watched anyway.

  4. @danny James and Jessica will be returning but for how many episodes, we will just have to wait and see – guess it depends on how long it takes to shoot the 2nd series of Magic City for Jessica.

    ‘Julie and David’ appeared on Sunrise this morning (a clip is available on the sunrise website) to announce the new Season which they start filming in September 2012. Both said that ‘some’ will return for the full season and ‘others’ like David said, maybe just for or a few episodes.

  5. Ratings are going down and so is the quality….this season so far feels drained of originality and the sparkle has gone elsewhere…..seson 6 will definitely be the last…..

  6. Sorry David, it doesn’t make sense to me.

    In your article it says ““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”.

    I know Hugh is going to be in the first few episodes and is then heading to his new place of employment at Network Ten. But James Stewart has also left the show to father his child with Jessica Marais. So is he coming back or not?

    Also, I agree with Nik C. Compared to the opposition, Seven are very loyal to their audience and local talent. It’s even more great news seeing a lot of production staffers will have jobs to go to.

  7. I’m liking the new Brooke Satchwell character and thought that last weeks episode were Coby narrated was the best in awhile. Glad it’s back but hopefully when it ends it can end on a high.

  8. What happened to John Howard’s character (which I didn’t like)? I’ve pretty well given up on the Rafters, it will need a big improve IMHO.

  9. Before all the naysayers so the show is over ect. I think Ch7 faith in their drama sends a clear message to toher netowrks. Even though the show has seen diminishing ratings, they will still invest another season.
    I must say the addition of Brooke Satchwell and loss of John Howards character has seen an improvement in storyline and my overall enjoyment of the show.

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