Screen Forever 2023: “If we could bring back All Saints I know a lot of people who’d be very happy”

Seven drama boss is quizzed as to whether long running series are now a thing of the past?

Seven Network Head of Drama, Julie McGauran, at Screen Forever this week was asked if the era of long-running local dramas such as All Saints was now over?

“Wouldn’t we all love to have another All Saints or Packed to the Rafters? Amazingly, they’re the most-watched show -Number 1 is All Saints, Blue Heelers, Rafters, I can’t remember…- on 7plus. It’s amazing,” she replied.

“I think we would all love to be able to do that. To be honest though, when we talk about it, will an audience commit to the same hour of television every single week? I wish they would. But again, unfortunately it’s a really big financial commitment as well.

“If we could bring back All Saints I know a lot of people who’d be very happy. I’m not quite sure what to do with Georgie (Parker, pictured) because she’s in Home & Away.”

McGauran said Seven is interested in 6 or 8 part local dramas, or alternatively,2 x 90 mins event dramas.

The are really great to spike our big nights when we have other new shows coming.

“Having said that, they’re great if they are returnable and we will do those like we are with RFDS.”

17 Responses

  1. If All Saints, Blue Heelers and Rafters do so well in 7Plus, why don’t Seven re-run them daily on one of their channels. There are still elderly people out there that don’t use the internet. This would be terrific for them.

  2. Don’t think All Saints would work now but when it was on it was my favourite show and what a great cast. Georgie played that role of Terri brilliantly.

  3. Now the stripped reality shows seem to have gone from 5 to 4 to 3 nights a week there would be the potential to do something more ambitious on that 4th night of the week, though the reality of making drama now is you need it to be co-funded by international broadcasters and aside from those brands with international recognition (i.e. Neighbours, Home and Away) it probably is tricky to get them on board for a long form series as opposed to a 4-8 parter.

    That said no reason Seven couldn’t commission a couple of 6-8 parters and then if they worked well enough look to expand them in their second year – although I guess for something like All Saints the lower the episode count the higher the upfront costs to get it off the ground.

  4. The issue today is FTA channels rather subject us to reality shows for 1.5 to hours then if they do have local drama air these after. Airing drama from 9pm onwards will never get a decent audience as us public go play on the internet or stream after 8.30pm. Many shows now go straight onto streaming…..

    1. Would be interesting to see how a show like RFDS would do if they gave it the coveted 7pm Sunday slot. I find it odd only the ABC tries drama on a Sunday now – and is mostly very successful in doing so.

      1. The ratings for Doctor Doctor when 9 moved it to 7.30pm during the covid era didn’t light the world on fire.

        That’s the only drama I can think of that’s aired in that timeslot for quite some time.

  5. That era ended 20 years ago. Shows like Blue Heelers and All Saints were made at 36 episode a season and 2m viewers used to sit down an watch them, that’s watch including the ads, rather than record them to watch when it suited them and skip all the ads. As viewers declined it became much cheaper to buy US and UK dramas but they don’t rate anymore either. So TV is hook-up shows every night.

    1. That’s a matter of option… nothing beats a good Australian drama/series it’s better than endless hours of reality rubbish including ads viewers are subjected to nearly every night of the week. As for the US drama not into them either except SVU which I’ve watch since the first episode in 1999 taped on VHS which had ads but there was FF which sorted the ad problem and I still tape on Foxtel and FF today because of the adds, but you can’t beat a good UK drama/series either because they have some of best and versatile actor just like our own industry has we should be supporting IMO. I’d be more than happy for a reprieve from finding love, blowing up balloons, playing with Lego and people getting hung up over which vegetable or salt to use in cooking, doesn’t get me started on the ones scrapping about the colour a wall should be either….I’m not into people being judged on their abilities.

  6. I would be over the moon if 10 could show E Street and Richmond Hill.
    Not sure if old series like Number 96 and The Box could be screened on huge screens nowadays but I would like to have the opportunity to see these shows on television.
    Long running dramas, Aussie sitcoms, Variety shows all gone.

  7. I also miss the long form drama, particularly from Seven (in the styles of Blue Heelers, All Saints, Packed to the Rafters and Winners & Losers).

    As for All Saints, was a great show. Great acting, and many Logies won. There’s endless stories that could come from the show like this (that’s why there’s lots of Medical-Dramas out there).

    Sadly, i think the once a week run for 30+ weeks a year is gone now. If shows like All Saints was to return, it would be a short run of 8-10 episodes a season, similar to what the ABC have been doing in recent years.

  8. Seven: “Will an audience commit to the same hour of television every single week?”

    Also Seven: plays the same reality show in primetime 3-4 hours a week

      1. Yes very ironic, the reason given or not proceeding with more weekly dramas… given Seven trumps fact it has an audience committing to the same half hour of television every single night with Home and Away.

  9. I sorely miss the era of long-form drama. 7plus is amazing in giving us access to all that legacy content – the nostalgia is amazing. The same airtime has been filled with reality rubbish. Linear FTA is a dying business model.

  10. It’d be great to have All Saints back, but you wouldn’t necessarily need to revert to the old 40 episode a year structure. You could easily do a great revival on less episodes.

    As for Georgie, she wouldn’t necessarily need to be the lead this time around. It could focus on Lucy, her stepdaughter and Mitch’s daughter, and Terri could be a recurring character fitting in with Georgie’s H&A schedule. It’d need to be a pretty different show anyway, given how times have changed since it ended. Von wouldn’t be around and Frank wouldn’t either, at least not as Head of Emergency. I could imagine Charlotte taking that role…

    But they’d still need interesting new characters and definitely more diversity. Towards the end of the run, the new characters were pretty pedestrian.

    I did always like the idea of a limited All Saints run dealing with COVID or a similar medical crisis as an ongoing storyline throughout a season’s run (again, not 40 episodes).

  11. Ugh I hate the two part 90 min dramas… they are simultaneously not long enough to tell a deep, complete story, feeling shallow and frothy as a result… and too long to create a really good movie because you have said scenes that are added to bloat it rather than it feeling like a short, sharp, concise film. Instead you end up with a three hour drama that is a chore to watch (how often would you go the the cinema to watch a three hour non-blockbuster drama movie..?).
    I much prefer the 6 or 8 part dramas. More so than the 10 hour dramas at times too… a good example is even the excellent Last King Of The Cross felt an episode or two too long. Should have been 8 and it would have been even better.

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