“We obviously want to keep going”: will The Heights return?

Producers keen to continue on Perth serial, but ABC is up against funding challenges.

Fans of The Heights last night took to social media after its Season 2 finale, all wanting to know one thing: will there be more?

The Matchbox Pictures serial reached a conclusion of sorts, but like many Australian dramas, writers were faced with an ending without ever knowing if it would be renewed.

Co-creator / Producer Warren Clarke tells TV Tonight he still doesn’t know if the Perth-made serial will return -especially given’s ABC funding challenges.

“We’re certainly hopeful that we get to go again, though are appreciative of the circumstances at the ABC and the challenges we would face,” he says.

“We obviously want to keep going”

“We obviously want to keep going but we understand those constraints they’re under, and that hard decisions are having to get made. Given the fact that we haven’t moved, obviously, that window starts to close.”

60 episodes were filmed in total, set in the fictional Arcadia Heights housing commission flats. With arguably the most diverse ensemble in an Australian drama, the show has won critical praise for its slice-of-life approach.

The BBC recently screened the series in an early afternoon soap timeslot and Clarke says the audience feedback has exceeded expectations.

“We got incredible feedback from the fan base”

“There’s such a long tradition of soaps there, so I was slightly nervous about how we’d be received. But we got incredible feedback from the fan base that grew over there. I think we caught a tail end of a lockdown as well, which gave us a great entry point into that market. We’ve been really pleased.”

Last night’s season finale saw a resolution for characters including Ash (Phoenix Raei), Kam (Yazeed Daher), Hazel (Fiona Press), and Renee (Saskia Hampele) amongst others. Clarke admits it was a juggling act to come up with an episode which could serve as a finale should the show not proceed.

“This isn’t a show that drags stories out for too long. It tells them in a timeframe that they should be told. We obviously had closure points to the stories that we were telling. I really feel like we reached those for the second season,” he said.

“Their lives don’t stop”

“In our view, these are real people, and their lives don’t stop. So we’ve given indications of the fact that these lives will go on, and there are more stories to tell.”

Sets in Perth were also sold off after S2 finished filming but Clarke stresses they could be rebuilt should ABC find room to renew.

“When that decision was made, it wasn’t a decision to end the show. We investigated how we would be able to come back and it is do-able. In reality it would be tricky to get some of the exact pieces together, but we certainly wouldn’t be the first show to rebuild from scratch.”

For Clarke and his team there is still good news to come with a guaranteed AWGIE Award, after the show swept all 4 nominations in the Serial category. It’s just a question of who amongst Peter Mattessi, Megan Palinkas, Romina Accurso or Clarke himself will take it out.

“It’s really nice, because those nominees this year are the core in-house team, and Hannah (Carroll Chapman) is the other addition to that team. She was nominated last year. So it’s a nice moment for those guys who have been so committed to this show for the last three years. Everyone was pretty thrilled. I’m not gonna lie!” he admits.

An ABC spokesperson confirmed no decision has yet been made on a third season.

A grateful Clarke added, “ABC have been so supportive of the show. We wouldn’t have had two seasons, if they hadn’t backed us.”

19 Responses

  1. 10 should pick it up and strip it 5 nights at 6pm. The concept of the show allows for endless storylines, and realistic ones at that. The diversity of the characters was outstanding, and being set in Perth gave it a fresh feel. I really hope we see mote of The Heights, or something similar, either on ABC or another Network

  2. Thanks David for the interview. Fabulous show, so much heart and plenty of humour. I think the writing team is exceptional, acting is great and I’d love to see more.

    Never thought I’d see Perth on my screens so that’s been a real treat as well.

  3. OI concur with people here, who enjoyed the series and felt that there was opportunity for further storytelling. However, since I am still waiting for another season of Janet King I doubt ABC will renew this either.
    I am lamenting the loss of drama points for the networks to not have to tell Australian stories.

  4. RTE1 in Ireland has also been showing The Heights recently. They show a double bill of episodes each weekday from 4.45pm-5.45pm.

    Surely if overseas sales are good then this will give ABC an additional reason to recommission?

  5. I got very teary in that final episode. I wasn’t expecting this show to pull the emotional punches it did throughout the 2 seasons. I hope it comes back for another round. The production quality was on point and I was often rewinding to Shazam music in the show. I’ve discovered some great artists through it. Bit trivial but it was funny seeing Ash and Kam drive off at the end into what is a dead end (Goderich)street in East Perth. So maybe they aren’t going too far hehe.

    1. Yes, I also got very teary while watching the last two episodes. A spin off about Ash and Kam’s new life would be interesting. At first I thought it was a creative out in case a third season came about, and these two up and comers wouldn’t be available, but I think my second thought of an Ash And Kam spin off is a better one 🙂

  6. An exceptional Australian program which I was fortunate to watch from the start several years ago.
    Wonderful production and acting from all concerned.
    Considering the emotion and high quality of the last 2 episodes, maybe it’s time we leave this diverse community and have great memories rather than fade into obscurity.

  7. Have so enjoyed the Heights.
    A wonderful mix of characters and believable storylines portrayed with real warmth and compassion.
    The soundtrack has been fantastic as well, featuring a great selection of lesser known local bands and artists.
    Really hope to see another Season..

  8. You never disappoint with keeping us in the loop David. Yet to see the finale but suspected conclusions of sort from the promo last week. I have enjoyed this series and mainly because of the diversity of characters and plot lines. Fingers crossed it gets renewed given some success overseas. Pity overnight ratings weren’t great but wonder if timeshifted numbers are better?

  9. A great program. I doubt a third series will happen. The biggest mistake was in ABC launching series 1 on a Friday night. Yes, a Friday night! It struggled up against AFL and NRL and any relaunch was going to be difficult after a whole series had already been wasted. Brilliant production though.

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