Crownies spin-off for 2013

As first confirmed by TV Tonight, the ABC is proceeding with its spin-off to Crownies.

The legal drama will return as an 8 part series led by Marta Dusseldorp as senior Crown prosecutor Janet King.

Brendan Dahill, Controller of ABC1, said: “I’m excited with this fresh new direction as I’m sure our audience will be too. So many ingredients of Crownies resonated with our audience and Screentime has successfully combined those many positive aspects with a complex and compelling legal struggle to give life to a powerful new series.”

ABC TV’s Head of Fiction, Carole Sklan, said: “Screentime has developed an exciting drama series about the fabulous character, Janet King. The series looks at the dilemmas of a contemporary woman who returns to work after a year’s maternity leave and is flung into a shocking prosecution that involves layers of intrigue played out at the highest levels of power. Janet King’s case leads her through some astounding twists and revelations that impact on her life on every level.”

Screentime’s Des Monaghan added: “It was apparent to us at Screentime and to the ABC, that the audience had a great deal of affection for Janet King and the other key cast of Crownies. I am delighted that we have been able to build on this audience enthusiasm. In conjunction with ABC TV, we have developed an exciting legal political thriller which allows us to welcome back the brilliant Marta Dusseldorp as Crown Prosecutor Janet King.”

The series will be produced by Karl Zwicky, Jane Allen, Lisa Scott and Hilary Bonney, and be written by Greg Haddrick, Kris Mrksa and Shaun Grant.

Presumably the parts that didn’t work, such as the personal lives of rabid young prosecutors, are now out.

Dusseldorp also features in Seven’s A Place to Call Home.

Production will begin early next year.

20 Comments:

  1. Crownies is obviously trying to capture a modern, probably younger, audience. It’s not entirely fair to judge a show of this kind solely on broadcast ratings, as it is now becoming very popular to time-shift view shows in all sorts of internet-based ways. The only failure really here is a failure to capitalise and market to these viewers. And not just in Australia, but worldwide via iTunes, Netflix, overseas broadcast sales. Done properly, the show could have made a profit for Abc to spend on other shows! Look at the business models being developed in the US!

  2. Crownies is obviously trying to capture a modern, probably younger, audience. It’s not entirely fair to judge a show of this kind solely on broadcast ratings, as it is now becoming very popular to timeshift view shows in all sorts of internet-based ways. The only failure really here is a failure to capitalise and market to these viewers. And not just in australia, but worldwide via iTunes, netflix, overseas broadcast sales. Done properly, the show could have made a profit for Abc to spend on other shows! Look at the business models being developed in the US!

  3. It’s a bit of a stretch to decide that if half the comments below are positive then the other half are trying to deny the masses from seeing more of the cast.
    The unfortunate reality is it did not resonate with a large enough audience to justify further investment.
    Further it seemed to alienate a large portion of the ABC’s audience.
    Sure everybody has a right to their opinion – in fact everyone has different viewing tastes. The reality is however that not enough of an audience supported this show.
    Whether you liked Rake or not it did draw a substantially larger audience – a larger ABC audience.
    If you work out the difference in viewing audiences between the two and multiply that by the $29.20 quoted below – well you do the math.

  4. So wait- half the comments are positive, while the other half are critical. Many of the critical comments feel this is a waste of money. Do you think it’s your place to deny the people who liked Crownies a chance to see more from the same cast that they have grown to like?

  5. So is TV Tonight just turning into another PR arm of the ABC and other networks? I am disappointed David you would regurgitate such obvious crap from the ABC and the production company and bring no critical perspective to it other than one comment. Perhaps some information such as that Crownies probably cost the ABC well over 10 million to make, had no audience and was full of boring exposition and a level of script writing so poor that it put it into the deepest depths with Tricky Business. And what would then possess the ABC to reshape this mess into a sequel? The ABC has proved completely unable to find a series drama that can work mid week and the way it has gone about finding one has bordered on the amateurish despite a huge injection of taxpayers money into drama.

  6. I’m really pleased it is coming back. I loved the original series and am happy to see it in any shape or form. Oh and just browsing the comments, Rake is definitely not superior to it! I wish that rubbish would be left off the screen.

  7. I actually loved Crownies, as did the rest of my family. Its the only show we have watched on ABC in years. Im happy for my $29.20 a year to go to something like making Crownies.

    Have just seen an entry on ABC TV Blog. It sounds like the new series will be called Janet King and will be a “legal/political thriller.” Also “many of the established Crownies’ characters [will be] returning for this new mini-series.”

  8. Brendan Dahill, Controller of ABC1, said: “I’m excited with this fresh new direction as I’m sure our audience will be too….”

    Which audience is that exactly? Crownies was a ratings failure. An embarrassing uber soap. Do they think that if they pretend it wasn’t, we’ll all just go along with it? Just cut your losses, take the blame and make something else which people might watch.

  9. Finally lost my patience David. Have been living in hope that things may change for a while now.
    But how can they. Same dinosaurs in the networks’ drama departments (periodically moving from one network to another) commissioning from the same producers who utilize the same actors over and over ….
    I’ll end here for now. Maybe there is hope with SBS – if they commission more than one drama per year.

  10. I’ve been a reader of this blog for quite a while but this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to comment.
    When I first heard this some time ago I thought it may be the ABC and Carole Skaln saving face for such a monumentally poor decision (was this her first major commission David).
    The ABC is now pushing forward determined to spend more of the public purse on this nonsense.
    It didn’t work and they have a far superior “law” based show in Rake. More importantly every bad decision they make with our money (remember not only are the ABC publicly funded but this project will receive more of our money from screen Australia) means that a potentially good project from perhaps a smaller lesser known producer misses out.
    All in all in my opinion the ABC are producing more misses than hits at the moment. I don’t mind when a network tries something bold and new and fails however Crownies has failed miserably(I must say I don’t believe Crownies was either bold or new and was surprised it was commissioned by the ABC in the first place) Let it go and find something new.

  11. I disagree with dshan. I think there were many parts of Crownies which resonated. Unfortunately, there were many parts which didn’t. If they do this well, I believe it will be a worthwhile series.

  12. “So many ingredients resonated”? Uh, only of you had a tin ear for dialogue and a soap opera view of what TV drama for adults should be. From it’s embarrasing title onwards Crownies was one of the worst pieces of drama ever seen on the ABC.

    So now it’s evolving into what sounds like a localised version of Silk. Well, that might be an improvement, but it’s not exactly original now is it?

    I just hope they change the series name. It’s DOA if they don’t.

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