Back to the Rafters confirmed for Amazon Prime

It’s official.

Packed to the Rafters cast are reuniting.

As first reported by TV Tonight, the series will be known as Back to the Rafters for Amazon Prime Video.

All principal cast members are returning: Rebecca Gibney, Erik Thomson, Jessica Marais, Hugh Sheridan, Angus McLaren, Michael Caton and George Houvardas.

Production for Amazon Prime will be undertaken by Seven Studios. Bevan Lee returns as writer of the series which was a ratings juggernaut from 2006 – 2013.

The project also marks the first scripted Australian Amazon Original series. Amazon is also understood to have back catalogue rights to the show.

“Since we began producing international originals, Back to the Rafters has been at the top of the list of scripted series we’ve wanted to commission,” said James Farrell, Vice President of International Originals at Amazon Studios. “Packed to the Rafters is among the most beloved Australian series and this revival will allow us to give our customers the locally relevant entertainment they want. We’re thrilled to be working with Seven Studios to bring back the Rafter family for Prime members in Australia and around the world.”

“We are hugely excited to be working with Amazon Studios on Prime Video’s first Australian drama commission, bringing back the iconic Rafters family for both Australian and global audiences,” said Therese Hegarty, CEO Seven Studios. “This is an incredible opportunity to showcase to the world a home-grown original drama series, brought to life by brilliant Australian creative talent.”

“What a thrilling opportunity to be able to revisit the family at the centre of my most successful creation, six years down the track,” said Creator and Writer, Bevan Lee. “The world has changed so much in that time, and it is a writing dream to be able to explore how the Rafters have changed with it, while at the same time reconnecting with the life affirming combination of humour and heart that characterised the original series. In an increasingly dark world, it is wonderful to use the Rafters again to spread light.”

Production is scheduled to begin next year in Sydney.

Commissioned by Amazon Studios and produced by Seven Studios, Back to the Rafters lead Writer will be Creator Bevan Lee, with Julie McGauran as Executive Producer and Chris Martin- Jones as Series Producer. 

29 Comments:

  1. People were complaining that the streaming services were not showing Aussie content. Now Amazon is funding a show that Seven clearly wouldn’t by pay for by themselves people are still complaining

    • People who don’t use streaming weren’t complaining about Aussie content there – they were (and still are) asking for more Aussie content on free-to-air. So now they take a show which is considered a Ch 7 classic, and putting it behind a pay wall. It is not surprising that there is complaints both ways.

      However, if it had been kept on FTA, nobody would complain, because all would be able to access it.

  2. Maybe Seven has an agreement now with Amazon prime and a lot more of their content will be appearing on their platform going forward. Similar to their previous agreement with foxtel’s short lived streaming service who’s name escapes me

      • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

        Or if you want it’s $59 per year ($4.92 p/m).

        Plenty of other Aussie content on there as well with older series like Rush, Blue Heelers, Heartbreak High, Round The Twist, Water Rats and etc., as well as Movies and Documentaries. With the amount of older Aussie content on there (350 or so titles) it doesn’t surprise me at all that Amazon Prime put the feelers out to do a Packed to the Rafters revival and that they may do more in time.

  3. As Rafters was a hit for Seven, I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want to keep it on their own network. I know a lot of older people who would watch the show, but still watch tv the old fashioned way and don’t stream (my self included).

    • Yep quite agree. Not o it is it cheap but the content is very good. One of my favourite tv shows Monk is on there with subtitles! The Monk dvds don’t offer subtitles.

    • I agree with this comment, but it depends on what the contractual arrangements are between Amazon and 7. To my mind, the trouble with rebooting a past hit show which was free to watch in the first place is that the reboot would have to be staggeringly good to make it worth to pay for these days. There are now so many streaming services that is very expensive to subscribe to all of them. Maybe a ‘cleansing’ will occur some time in the future when the business-models of some streaming services becomes unsustainable and they end up merging/bought out by the better performing streaming companies. Just a repeat of what’s happened so many times over the last 25 years or so in the ‘digital’ age.
      I very much liked Packed to the Rafters, but would I pay for it now? A resounding No.

      • Prime Video: $7 per month, no ads. In a commercial hour of drama on a free to air network there is about 14 minutes of ads, give or take. You’re already paying for your drama…its just a whole lot more annoying.

  4. Can someone plz explain why network 7 are giving away another drama inhouse to another service? First it was “a place to call home” and now “packed to the rafters”?

  5. Nine trashed the legacy of “Seachange” with that woeful reboot this year. Let’s hope Amazon doesn’t do the same to this beloved Australian drama.

    • Ouch !! I thought the SeaChange reboot was really good. It was never going to be ad good as the original without Tom Long and Kate Atkinson as the loveable Court Clerk and Police Prosecutor, as well as some of the other wonderful characters from the original. I was so happy though when Prahni turned up in Pearl Bay.

    • Okay, I’ve just noticed this story is in the Streaming section as well. Question answered. Now I need to decide if I’m interested enough to subscribe 🤔

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