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Axed: Back to the Rafters ends at Amazon Prime Video

End of the road for a much-loved TV family as Streaming giant opts not to commission further.

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Prime Video is not moving forward with any further episodes of Back to the Rafters.

Six episodes reviving Packed to the Rafters debuted in September with original cast including Rebecca Gibney, Erik Thomson, Hugh Sheridan, Angus McLaren, Michael Caton and George Houvardas.

An Amazon Prime Video spokesperson told TV Tonight,Back to the Rafters was always at the top of the list of Amazon Australia Scripted Original series to commission, and we are proud to have partnered with Seven Studios to bring the much-loved Rafters back to customers.

“It was a well-rounded six-part season and the final episode left the Rafters family in a happy space.”

The revival by writer Bevan Lee not only brought back a favourite TV family six years after they left Australian screens, it also included the library of 122 episodes from 6 seasons on Seven -a strategic move by Amazon Prime to entice viewers longing to relive the original.

TV Tonight understands there were hopes for a movie for the Rafters clan, but it is not proceeding, which means cast are also being paid out from deals.

Amazon Prime does not release streaming numbers so it’s unclear how many new subscribers it attracted to the service and whether the feelgood series was an ideal fit alongside premium drama offerings.

But Rafters will always have a cherished place with Australian audiences for its evergreen storytelling led by a stellar cast reflected in ratings that often eclipsed 2 million metro viewers 22 weeks a year.

16 Responses

  1. As someone that (apart from the nightly news) only watches a few hours of TV a week (usually a movie without ads) Amazon would have been a waste of money – but thanks to the cast and crew for the great memories – I did watch the original on Seven!

  2. Wow when you think original was on for 22 weeks a year, now usually only 10 episode seasons for streaming type shows and even some network shows too, I miss when a schedule was set like that but I guess viewing habits have changed mine included where we would sit down same time each week for half the year to keep up with our favourite shows.

  3. I know a lot of people (especially the older people who grew up with PTTR when it was on channel 7 ) didn’t watch it as it was on a pay tv channel and many can’t afford even $10.00 a month for a pay tv channel. As a home care worker a lot of my clients would have loved to have seen it. They missed the mark putting it on Amazon Prime and not a FTA (Free To Air Channel) they could have aired it on both.

  4. I loved the first few episodes. I found it perfectly written. After a few eps, the main rafters characters felt like they were secondary, with Ruby and the climate being the main focus.

    1. My daughter was born the same time as Ruby in the original series, Ruby was going to be her name too, but we chose not to, thanks to Rafters. While Ruby Rafter reminds me a bit of my daughter, I struggled with the first episode, tried the second to see if it got better, but didn’t finish, haven’t been back.

      Yes, I agree with some other comments here, some things are best left in the past. Waaaay too many reboots now over original ideas.

  5. PTTR was great for its time, but the viewing appetite has moved on. Looking at the recent tv breakout hits – all of them have a very clear, strong premise – and sometimes very extreme subject matter, Squid Games, I May Destroy You, Ted Lasso, Succession etc. Australian audiences can handle heightened material and creators can create it. And that doesn’t just mean teenagers/twenty/thirty somethings being outrageous – let’s see more ‘out there’, really messed up adult behaviour – like The White Lotus. Banging the same old drum, but please, Amazon and all commissioning platforms – take risks – be odd, be bold, be brave.

  6. Amazon Prime certainly has a wide, varied, and eclectic range of programmes. If they’ve ended up with 128 eps of Rafters to play throughout their world platforms, then good on ’em. Rafters was of a very high standard.
    Speaking of Prime, I’ve been enjoying watching Colonel March of Scotland Yard – a series of 26 eps filmed in the mid-50s with Boris Karloff as the lead. Once described by TV critic Bernard Levin as “the intellectual content of which is the nearest thing to a hole I have ever seen”… Sure, but Karloff always rose above poor writing and direction to deliver impressive performances.

  7. Disappointing to read this news.
    I’ve only just managed to watched the 6 episodes – absolutely stunning Aussie drama.
    Hopefully Channel 7 will return this to free to air next year, such a shame to not continue with this.

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