TV Failed Australian Soap Operas

Chicago1

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Was chances the one with the dwarf in it?
Seeing the title "Chances" brought back a memory of the show but I had to look it up. How the hell could I have forgotten it? LOL

The show's early ratings proved disappointing, resulting in several cast re-shuffles that saw most of the original characters written out of the series, and new actors brought in, including Stephen Whittaker, Gerard Sont, Danielle Fairclough, Ciri Thompson, Kevin J. Wilson, Abigail, Lynda Stoner and Patsy Stephen.[3] Attempts to boost the ratings saw an increase in sex and nudity, including storylines involving bondage and lesbianism.[4] These sexual elements provoked considerable controversy, with some TV watchdogs attacking Chances as "teleporn".[4] The program's storylines also became increasingly bizarre and fantasy-oriented, with new stories involving the Asian Triads, ghosts, an angel on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, an Egyptian Sun Goddess, laser-wielding vampires, man-eating plants, and neo-Nazis hunting valuable Third Reich artifacts (in Melbourne, bizarrely).[5] The Age noted that Chances became "notorious" because of these elements.[2] These changes provoked much discussion and comment within the press and the public; however, they did not lead to a strong increase in ratings. Because of its "camp" elements, Chances did gain a small but devoted audience.[5]
 

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nobbyiscool

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Seeing the title "Chances" brought back a memory of the show but I had to look it up. How the hell could I have forgotten it? LOL

The show's early ratings proved disappointing, resulting in several cast re-shuffles that saw most of the original characters written out of the series, and new actors brought in, including Stephen Whittaker, Gerard Sont, Danielle Fairclough, Ciri Thompson, Kevin J. Wilson, Abigail, Lynda Stoner and Patsy Stephen.[3] Attempts to boost the ratings saw an increase in sex and nudity, including storylines involving bondage and lesbianism.[4] These sexual elements provoked considerable controversy, with some TV watchdogs attacking Chances as "teleporn".[4] The program's storylines also became increasingly bizarre and fantasy-oriented, with new stories involving the Asian Triads, ghosts, an angel on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, an Egyptian Sun Goddess, laser-wielding vampires, man-eating plants, and neo-Nazis hunting valuable Third Reich artifacts (in Melbourne, bizarrely).[5] The Age noted that Chances became "notorious" because of these elements.[2] These changes provoked much discussion and comment within the press and the public; however, they did not lead to a strong increase in ratings. Because of its "camp" elements, Chances did gain a small but devoted audience.[5]
How have I never heard of this show?!

And why don't I have the box set?
 

Bumpswithagrin

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Second season of Henderson kids was filmed in Williamstown unsure if it a ending tho.
It had an ending. I know because I recently watched the whole of the second series on YouTube :oops: Reason being that Nadine Garner was in Doctor Blake and I remembered her from Henderson Kids and was curious to take another look at it and once I started watching I couldn't stop!

Someone mentioned Carson's Law. That wasn't a failed soap, it was a highly successful one and ran for a number of years, it was a particular favourite of mine.

The two I remember were Holiday Island filmed at the freezing Channel 10 studios in Nunawading and Arcade which featured a very young Ada Nicodemou.
 

Bumpswithagrin

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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.
Reminds me of a story one of our teachers told us. He came here from America in the 1970s. He arrrived on a Sunday and thought he would catch up on the local news and so purchased the only newspaper that was available on a Sunday at the time, The Truth. Needless to say he was somewhat shocked at what he saw! He remembered thinking was this the truth about Australia :eek:

:D :p ;)
 

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IIRC the blonde second from left, back row, was the most evil- maybe her?
It was trey the curly haired guy at the front

"The soap opera opened with the murder of Sonia Kingsley and introduced all the characters via her murder investigation (the 4WD killer turned out to be her secret lover Adam). Daughter Amber Kingsley came to town and married her stepfather Trey in a bid to get her mother's fortune which was based around a radio station. But her bitchy ways pushed Trey over the edge and he snapped and became a serial killer, eventually murdering Callie, Sondra, Nick, Cameron and his sister-in-law Georgina. He was arrested while holding Amber hostage but was found innocent after faking multiple personalities and escaped the Drive with Bethany, only to electrocute himself while trying to drown her."

Australian Melrose Place
 

Chicago1

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Reminds me of a story one of our teachers told us. He came here from America in the 1970s. He arrrived on a Sunday and thought he would catch up on the local news and so purchased the only newspaper that was available on a Sunday at the time, The Truth. Needless to say he was somewhat shocked at what he saw! He remembered thinking was this the truth about Australia :eek:

:D :p ;)
LOL Exactly. It was a culture shock, but I gladly got used to it. :D
 

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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.

What about "Chances"?

It was based on a family winning millions in the lottery, but quickly degenerated into soft porn with much naked t&a on display.
 

Bumpswithagrin

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Does anyone else remember Skyways? Not really a failed one as it ran for quite a while but had lots of bad acting in if IIRC. Always remember Gaynor Martin who later married Glen Wheatley. Also had Tony Bonner and that guy from Skippy, forgotten his name...
 

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Does anyone else remember Skyways? Not really a failed one as it ran for quite a while but had lots of bad acting in if IIRC. Always remember Gaynor Martin who later married Glen Wheatley. Also had Tony Bonner and that guy from Skippy, forgotten his name...
And a couple of kids called Jason and Kylie

Ken James
 

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Chicago1

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I remember Skyways but wasn't a big fan. Maybe it was on at the same time as another program that I used to watch. Best invention ever made was the VCR. It was like magic. Imagine being able to record a show and watch it whenever you pleased. I miss my corded Panasonic version that I paid something like $800 for back in the early 80s.
 

Catters 070911

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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.

Also, "The Henderson Kids" wasn't so much a soap opera. I was more a series.

Of the two seasons that it was on, each season went 12 episodes. But that was always intended from the start, so I wouldn't classify this as an ongoing soapie.
 

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Molly's death was one of the saddest moments I have ever seen on TV. I can still see in my mind the picture fading to nothing. Tearjerker for sure.

I remember reading somewhere that it was voted No.1 in a list of "Most Memorable Moments In Australian TV history".

Scott and Charlene's wedding on "Neighbours" (with Angry Anderson's "Suddenly") was voted No. 2.
 

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Does anyone else remember Skyways? Not really a failed one as it ran for quite a while
Yes, I quite liked it. Had a bit of a crossover with Cop Shop of same era. Sadly I think one of the popular main characters had a motorbike accident and died. It probably lead to show losing it's will for where it was going. Cannot remember how it ended but the death of a main actor really was a cruel thing to happen to a show that was doing ok for it's period. I was wrong. Just watched 5 minutes of episode on youtube. The writing was so bad it was terrible. Think the cast was popular so kept it longer than writers work deserved.
However my childhood memories of some connection to Cop Shop I can see was about the actor that died. His character from Skyways was brought over to Cop Shop when Skyways cancelled....

Wiki bit on this actor.
Stalker moved to Australia in 1979 and was a member of the original main cast of airport drama serial Skyways, playing Peter Fanelli, head of airport security. Fanelli soon proved to be one of the show's most popular characters, and when Skyways was cancelled in 1981 the character was quickly moved to the police serial Cop Shop, with Fanelli now heading Riverside CIB as a Detective Sergeant.

Death
After nine months with Cop Shop, Stalker was tired of both working in serials and of playing Fanelli.[3][4]He quit the show to explore various film offers. However, on 28 November 1981, during a weekend break between taping his final scenes for Cop Shop, he was killed when his motorcycle slid and collided with a car in wet weather in Toorak, Victoria.[5][6] His pillion passenger, then-girlfriend English actress Catherine Wilkin, suffered a fractured hip and leg injuries in the accident.
 
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Death
After nine months with Cop Shop, Stalker was tired of both working in serials and of playing Fanelli.[3][4]He quit the show to explore various film offers. However, on 28 November 1981, during a weekend break between taping his final scenes for Cop Shop, he was killed when his motorcycle slid and collided with a car in wet weather in Toorak, Victoria.[5][6] His pillion passenger, then-girlfriend English actress Catherine Wilkin, suffered a fractured hip and leg injuries in the accident.
Rode in quite a number of the annual Bill Stalker Memorial Rides.

The State Government later started billing the organizers for the Police presence.

The ride later morphed into the MRAA Toy Runs.
 

bungalow_bill

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That cop show filmed on the gold coast only had I think 2 seasons can't remember its name.
The Strip!

There was a show in the 70's called Young Ramsey, kind of an earlier A Country Practice. 12 episodes in 1977 and 12 in 1980. Not sure if that qualifies as a failed soap.

Loved Holiday Island and remember 10 re running it a couple of times in the 80's. Some well known names including the guy who plays Lou Carpenter in Neighbours.

E Street while being a hit surely had the worst villain in soap history
 

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IIRC the blonde second from left, back row, was the most evil- maybe her?
I reckon I watched every episode of this. At one stage it was playing on 9 at 5pm so was after school viewing.

That’s former Mrs Russell Crowe in that back. Also the poncie guy in the back with the red top played Rick, who went on to start up Vinomofo. He does business talks now. I’ve never been to one, but when I do I want to have the courage to bring up Pacific Drive.

Also in the blue and yellow stripes is the dad from packed to the rafters.

Tre in the front with the curly hair was the one who went crazy at the end, practically killed off half the cast
 

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