Would Nine ever make another serial?

"Never say never," drama boss says to the question of a serial in Nine's future.

For over 30 years 10 and Seven have had primetime serials in Neighbours & Home & Away, respectively.

Both are sold internationally, particularly strong in the UK, with Seven also owning the IP to Home & Away and producing through Seven Studios.

But the last serial on Nine was arguably Pacific Drive all the way back in 1996.

When Nine does soap well, it pays off handsomely. Nothing surpassed the iconic The Sullivans produced by Crawford Productions in 1976.

Would it ever consider an early evening serial again?

Andy Ryan, Head of Drama at Nine told TV Tonight, “It’s possible and we do talk about it a lot.

“There are a lot of challenges, commercially and programming-wise to get a serial up. You do have to commit to a large volume of episodes to get traction. I would never say never. There are different ways that could happen moving forward. I’m very open minded to it.”

With the changes in the Drama quotas, both Seven and 10 will see the majority of their 200 points delivered by their respective soaps. That leaves much of their primetime schedule available for Reality and Entertainment formats.

“Those two shows Neighbours and Home & Away are absolute icons of our industry,” Ryan continued.

“They are hugely successful overseas and that is a massive boon to their financial model. To get to that point, of being internationally successful to the extent that they are, that’s the hurdle.

“That’s the barrier to entry for a new serialised drama.”

These are the key Nine serials (5 x 30 mins per week):

The Young Doctors 1976 1,396 episodes
The Sullivans 1976 1,114 episodes
Paradise Beach 1993 260 episodes
Pacific Drive 1996 390 episodes

20 Responses

  1. Going back to the start of the 90’s (1990 infant), they had a show called Family and Friends which they produced to compete with E.Street which was wildly popular at the time.
    It didn’t work so was quickly stripped into half hour episodes and moved to 5.30 weeknights where it still failed.

  2. A shame that long running Dramas have slowly disappeared from our screens. Sadly, reality tv and sports have played a big part of that over the recent years.

    Doctor Doctor has 10 episodes a season for Nine. House Husbands had 10-13. With Drama Quotas changing, we will see even less drama, and cant see Nine airing a serial anytime soon.

  3. Wasn’t Comedy Inc used towards Nine’s drama quota points at one stage? Nine has always been about sport, variety and home renovation shows. If they can get away with not providing quality scripted programming, they will. It’s a shame,
    though, because reality tv/home renovation doesn’t have as much repeated viewing.

  4. Times have changed, long running formulaic TV serials and soaps still remain popular in America because of the surfeit of State linear TV channels and their subsidiaries and the money made from syndication, which can last for decades.
    Now we have the global streaming services who will need a constant supply of original content, but it’s a competitive world you cant expect tax subsidies and multi-year contracts guaranteeing funding, you must have something of quality worth buying.
    Nine is funding revenue earning projects and shows with advertising potential, Nines main competitors are all doing the same thing if they want to survive into the future.

  5. It’s a nice idea in thought but I don’t see where they would put a serial in the schedule. They wouldn’t want to push their reality offerings back half an hour.

  6. There have been rumours over the years of a Young Doctors reboot as a series but I am sure it would work today. Maybe get Fremantle involved & get sales in the UK to help get it off the ground. Set it on he Gold Coast to push the sunshine theme the Brits love about our soaps.

    1. Well considering carloemorrissey and maxxdue, both suggest a Gold Coast location. All you need is the State Government to encourage production with a funding boost and a medical serial 5 nights a week can begin planning….

  7. It’s a nice idea, but I think the days of people sitting down to watch a five night a week drama are well and truly over. Home and Away lags in that 7pm slot and is weak in the demos as well.

  8. Wentworth. Already has traction here and overseas. Yes, it would have to be in a later timeslot, maybe twice a week, like Prisoner used to be on 10.

  9. I loved paradise Beach & Pacific Drive. Now that I’m on the Gold Coast would love another show set up here. Get tired of everything being in Sydney & Melbourne.

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