No return for Return to Eden

Nine has shelved plans to remake 1980s miniseries Return to Eden, despite being trumpeted as part of its 2013 drama slate.

2013-03-11_2302Nine has shelved plans to remake 1980s miniseries Return to Eden, despite being trumpeted as part of its 2013 drama slate.

The U-turn appears to be the casualty of Nine’s recent declaration to trim network costs with Fairfax reporting it was a financial decision.

“We won’t be proceeding with it at this time,” a Nine spokeswoman said.

The campy melodrama, about a businesswoman attacked by a crocodile, was to be rebooted by original producers Hal and Di McElroy as a six hour miniseries.

Nine’s other drama projects include House Husbands, Underbelly: Squizzy, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, Schapelle, a bio-project on Gina Rinehart, a rumoured new Underbelly for 2014 and a Gallipoli miniseries for 2015.

Andrew Backwell, Nine’s Director of Programming and Production, recently told TV Tonight of its 2013 projects, “We plan to have them all on screen this year.

“That’s the plan and I’m pretty confident we’ll have them all on this year.”

But Nine is not alone in having to re-think its annual production slate in recent years.

Seven cancelled plans to proceed with Australia’s Got Talent and The Marriage Ref while TEN cancelled Don’t Stop Believin’ and Inside Out in 2011, Foxtel shelved Got to Dance Australia while SBS abandoned its Dusty miniseries last year. Nine also did not proceed with Dance Nation and The Games.

But central to Nine’s statement is its wording that it will not proceed “at this time.”

That means it hasn’t ruled out revisiting the project should finances allow…

11 Responses

  1. The content on Nine looks quite bare. They need to spend some money on good local content to get the viewers and advertisers. Just look at what ITV in the UK has done of late, great first run dramas (enjoying Broadchurch and Lightfields) and its made ITV so tasty that its ripe for a take over. Commercial television is still viable and profitable but you have to spend a little, not rely on what the Americans make.

  2. This production was supported by Federal subsidy agency Screen Australia. So its approval will lapse. Nine must be only just satisfying its Australian drama content quota or is it going to fill it by picking up a batch of cheap Aussie movies and New Zealand dramas which it can run in the summer out of ratings season? It is a very bad sign for the Aussie TV drama business if they’ll only produce the bare minimum even when the productions will all get a 20% tax rebate under the Producer Offset.

  3. I also would have watched it out of interest, but it’s hard to imagine how they could have done it better than the first time. As they say in showbiz, if you can’t do it better, don’t do it at all.

  4. Typical! I knew it was too good to be true!! Shelving Return To Eden and continuing production on that ridicolously bad Houso Husbands??? Oh well…I have the full 1980’s version of Return To Eden on dvd….I’ll be watching that….

  5. Why don’t they just pay the original 2 part mini-series on Gem or Go or something, it was a really good story.

    Can’t comment on the spin off series as I never got to see it.

  6. Just goes to show that when fta’s announce their line ups, they should just be regarded as an estimate of what they might do.

    The finance aspect highlights how tight things are in the industry at the moment, despite all the bravado of various execs

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