TV Failed Australian Soap Operas

emuboy

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With so many reality shows on Australian TV nowadays, there are some genres that haven't been attempted in Australia for some time. One is the soap opera, where there are just two soaps on air at the moment, the long running Neighbours (1985) and Home and Away (1988). No new Australian soaps have been attempted for years; dramas have been made with varying degrees of success, but not true soaps.

Years ago there were quite a few Australian soaps, some of which were very successful such as E Street and A Country Practice. However, there is also a mass grave of failed Australian soaps. Which are some of the failed soap operas from Oz over the years?

ARCADE (1980) - This legendary failed soap debuted on Channel 10 in 1980, and was quickly cancelled when rival networks increased their ratings after Arcade came onto the air.

HOLIDAY ISLAND (1981) - The most memorable aspect of this show was that it was set on a tropical island in Queensland, but filmed in Melbourne in the middle of winter and it was impossible to cover up the actors' breaths in the chilly air.

RICHMOND HILL (1988) - This was one of two Australian soaps debuted by Channel 7 in 1988, the other being Home and Away, but this show didn't really catch on and is largely forgotten. One unusual thing about this show was seeing the late Ross Higgins, well known for playing the bumbling bigot Ted Bullpit in Kingswood Country, in a straight humorless role as a police sergeant.

FAMILY & FRIENDS (1990) - At the start of 1990 Channel 7 had two successful soaps in Home and Away and A Country Practice, Channel 10 had two successful soaps in Neighbours and E Street, while Channel 9 had no soaps at all. Big money was spent on developing Family & Friends, which failed to rate from day 1. The show underwent a quick revamp but still nobody watched, and when it was gone before mid year there were few complaints.

PARADISE BEACH (1993-1994) - This Channel 9 show set on the Gold Coast was made specifically to break into three markets - Australia, Britain and the USA - and failed in all of them. Years later, Paradise Beach is fondly remembered as being 'So Bad It's Good', and at the time it was parodied on sketch comedy shows and breakfast radio programs. The show has never been released on DVD, but some clips are on Youtube. One comment on one of the clips stated that the viewer at first thought this was a non-erotic scene from a porno, and it is hard to disagree.

ECHO POINT (1995) - One of the major reasons this show which featured a young Rose Byrne failed was that it was pitted directly against Home and Away. However, one other reason was quite unusual, in that Echo Point had relatively realistic everyday plotlines and problems for the characters, and maybe viewers preferred the more outlandish, escapist plots of other soaps.

BREAKERS (1998-1999) - Another 1990s Australian soap set in the sun, sand and surf, and another flop. This show, remembered for some controversial storylines, aired at unusual times, mid-afternoon and late at night, which made it hard to find an audience in the essential 18-45 demographic, who were largely unable to watch it unless they bothered to record the show.

HEADLAND (2005-2006) - Channel 7 made the decision to debut this show in the summer non-ratings period during the summer of 2005-2006, which was apt as Headland was a commercial and critical failure.
 

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Bomberboyokay

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HEADLAND (2005-2006) - Channel 7 made the decision to debut this show in the summer non-ratings period during the summer of 2005-2006, which was apt as Headland was a commercial and critical failure.
The ads before it aired were pretty good (crucially they had fu** all footage of the show itself). Then you watched and it was Home and Away 2. fu** off.
 

Bomberboyokay

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OUT OF THE BLUE (2008-2009) - Technically a British show - made for the BBC after they lost Neighbours to Channel 5 - but set and filmed in Australia. Ten aired it here eventually. This was painfully shit. Basically a hybrid of Neighbours and Home and Away with what an English person in 1993 might picture Australia to be like. So white. And the show itself so lazy.


I don't know why the BBC even thought there was an audience for this. People who watched Neighbours weren't going to stop watching it and were unlikely to add another show to their daily viewing.
 
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Chicago1

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RICHMOND HILL (1988) - This was one of two Australian soaps debuted by Channel 7 in 1988, the other being Home and Away, but this show didn't really catch on and is largely forgotten. One unusual thing about this show was seeing the late Ross Higgins, well known for playing the bumbling bigot Ted Bullpit in Kingswood Country, in a straight humorless role as a police sergeant.
Richmond Hill has NOT been forgotten!



I just resumed watching Home and Away last May after a 17 year break while in the states. Nothing much has changed. Alf.
 

GreyPower

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Richmond Hill was ch10 not 7.

Emily Symonds was Ross Higgins' character's daughter in the show...I reckon she joined Home and Away as Marilyn, pretty much straight after Richmond Hill was axed.

From memory, they axed RH because they wanted something a little edgier, hence E Street the following year.
 

GreyPower

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The 2 shows I thought of immediately when I saw the thread title were Paradise Beach & Echo Point.

"Above the Law" on ch10 from about 8 years ago only lasted about 3 or 4 episodes.

Anyone remember "All The Way", a 60s drama with Dannii Minogue..

 

Chicago1

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Richmond Hill was ch10 not 7.

Emily Symonds was Ross Higgins' character's daughter in the show...I reckon she joined Home and Away as Marilyn, pretty much straight after Richmond Hill was axed.

From memory, they axed RH because they wanted something a little edgier, hence E Street the following year.
That's right. Richmond Hill was on Ch10.

 

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Chicago1

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OK. I will confess something. When I first started teaching here in 1975, my Form 3 students told me to watch a show called Number 96. They said it was what Australia was really like. Being the naive 23 year old at the time, I turned it on that evening. The first thing I saw was Abigail dropping her fur coat and being completely nude underneath! For someone who came from a country where even bras in ads on TV had to be on headless and armless mannequins and not on real women, well... The next day at school one of the girls asked if I had watched it and I turned crimson. Good times.
 

Chicago1

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I reckon that would have been relatively successful though. Im thinking with ch10 picking up Neighbours in '86, they decided to axe Henderson Kids as both were filmed in Victoria/Melbourne. Probably the reason Prisoner didnt continue much longer either.
Parts of an episode of Prisoner were filmed at my school's library in Box Hill one day. I stayed after school to fanboy on Lizzie and Bea. More good times.
 

rocker_oz33

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I reckon that would have been relatively successful though. Im thinking with ch10 picking up Neighbours in '86, they decided to axe Henderson Kids as both were filmed in Victoria/Melbourne. Probably the reason Prisoner didnt continue much longer either.
Makes sense why it was axed.It was filmed in Birregurra where Neighbors was filmed in Melbourne and some of the actors inc Minogue went on to star in neighbors.
 

Chicago1

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Add to the list: Punishment(1981) and maybe Glenview High(39 episodes). Damn I watched a lot of junk TV back then(and continue to do so.):p

Mel Gibson was in Punishment. (First episode.):D

Oh yeah, Taurus Rising - a Dallas/Dynasty ripoff that only lasted 21 episodes. How dare they!
 
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imadodgyumpire

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Paradise Beach lol I'd sprint home from school to make sure I didn't miss a glimpse of Kimberley Joseph in a bikini :hearteyes:

Having been reminded of it by the op. Heartbreakers is the show that featured Miranda Chance. Another chick I was into.
 

RolandF1

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Channel 10 had a bucket load in the 90s.

Sweat
Big Sky
Above The Law
Medivac
Some other short lived ambulance drama (might have been ch 9)

Wasn't Henderson kids more like a serial with an ending? The 2nd season was called Henderson Kids 2 which makes me think so.
 

footyfan78

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there are no other teams worthy
I think there is many more than what we listing. Just hard to remember the ones that did not even last a season.
 

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