Foxtel: Why Wentworth has ended
Fans are bereft it has ended, but Foxtel explains its decision to wrap Wentworth -and could a sequel be possible?
It was an explosive (literally) finale for Wentworth last night after 9 years of drama.
Wentworth has amassed a legion of fans in Australia and overseas with fervent websites, social media accounts, fan fiction, petitions, and conventions.
As the final credits rolled to the sounds of Lynne Hamilton’s “On the Inside” from the original Prisoner, fans took to social media to express both anguish and praise.
— Brandon (@BrandonMcKay6) October 26, 2021
This show has been the true definition of an ensemble cast and crew.
Every time I try to pinpoint a fave character and actor, I find myself splitting hairs over umpteen perfectly written and acted nuances.
There has not been a show like it for me ❤️ #Wentworth
— Colleen Lynch (@Killer_Coll) October 26, 2021
I can’t believe this is over! Best show ever made ❤️ #wentworth
— Cherry (@CherryPauline) October 26, 2021
Oh #Wentworth That finale has me sobbing. Beautiful. And Joan’s exit was brilliant. 👌🏻👍🏻❤️
— Lee Winter (@LeeWinterOz) October 26, 2021
OH MY FRICKEN GOD! 😢
What a finish end of an era with the original song “on the inside” from Prisoner gave me goosebumps! (memories) 😯
WOW best show ever can’t believe it’s ended 😩 #Wentworth great cast fantastic performances 👏👏👏 ♥️
— 🇦🇺 ♥🅐🅝🅝🅐♥ 🇬🇷 (@AnnaSerem) October 26, 2021
Perfect end to an absolutely incredible show #Wentworth
— Josh Sam (@Joshie_Will) October 26, 2021
That was the best ending .. to one of the greatest shows … I’m gonna miss my teal Tuesday’s .. I’m gonna miss my Wentworth family .. 💙 #Wentworth
— Lil (@BLilabuggurl) October 26, 2021
The show was formally axed at 7 seasons but fan frenzy demanded two more instalments, taking it to a mammoth 100 episodes -the most for any Foxtel original drama.
But the show’s success left the Subscription TV company unable to proceed with other projects.
“There are other stories we want to tell”
“There are other stories we want to tell,” says Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh.
“We’re running a commercial business here. We’ve got a finite budget. I’d rather the show go out on top. Wentworth could go on, but it’s time to tell some new stories.”
Producers Fremantle have not yet shut the gates on the Wentworth world, already exploring sequel ideas. And who can blame them, with a diehard fanbase and a hit series with Netflix around the world?
Foxtel has first rights of refusal on any further stories from the Wentworth universe, so would it entertain the idea of a sequel or spin-off?
“I think it’s an obvious question,” Walsh admits.
“But I think we need to have a break. I don’t think necessarily, we’d recreate Wentworth Correctional Centre but I think that world is still tantalising and attractive.”
Such a project would likely be years away with new stories to take priority.
Foxtel plans to replace the series with 10 part jury drama The Twelve, in mid 2022.
“Each season will be a different crime and a different jury”
“We are in final stages of casting for The Twelve which is going to be a big ensemble piece. It’s the replacement for Wentworth only in the sense that it’s a crime series. Our ambition is that it will be multi season. Each season will be a different crime and a different jury. We start filming on the 29th of November. That will be shot in Sydney and it’s a long shoot it’ll go through until May.”
Filming has also completed on Love Me starring Hugo Weaving and Bojana Novakovic. It is currently in post production.
“I’m thrilled with how it’s come up. It looks so cinematic, and so global. There’s something about Melbourne that really works on the screen as an international city,” Walsh explains.
“Hugo Weaving really doesn’t do a lot of television. Bojana Novakovic, who’s primarily worked in the US for the last decade, is a fabulous actor. We have Bob Morley, another great Australian actor, who’s largely worked in the US on The CW series The 100 and then the emerging stars that are coming through, William Lodder, Heather Mitchell, who’s acting royalty. It’s just a fabulous cast, a beautiful story, a multi-generational story.
“We’ve been looking for a show since A Place to Call Home and I really feel that Love Me in terms of reflecting a contemporary Australia, a story about three generations of a family who rediscover love at different stages of their life, will hit a nerve. I’m really thrilled about it.
“We’ve just announced a second season of Upright. We have Tim Minchin and Milly Allcock who of course will be a global star once Game of Thrones sequel House of the Dragon goes to air next year. We start filming mid January in Far North Queensland.
“And then we have another couple that we’re yet to announce.”