The Alice: articles

Networking - Alice the centre of attention

The Nine Network is expected to order 24 episodes of The Alice, to screen next year. Nine chief executive David Gyngell told Networking last week his decision to commission a series did not depend on viewer numbers achieved by the telemovie when it premieres nationally on Sunday night. While he refuses to reveal his decision, he says his mind is made up. “I don’t want (Nine head of drama) Posie (Graeme-Evans) making miniseries, I don’t want Posie making movies. With Nine it is all about consistency,” he says. Viewers liked to know when they turned on their TVs what they would see on regular nights of the week, he said, and this was what Nine promised. Set in Alice Springs, the telemovie, which was directed by Kate Dennis, features an ensemble cast including Erik Thomson, Caitlin McDougall, Roxane Wilson, Simon Burke, Andrew McFarlane and Jessica Napier. The project had a short and painless birth by TV standards—conceived a year ago by producer and former Nine Network script executive Robyn Sinclair and developed and written by Justin Monjo. Monjo, now adapting Tim Winton’s Dirt Music for director Phillip Noyce, hopes to write some episodes. Speaking at a launch function in Sydney last week, Graeme-Evans drew on Charles Dickens to describe the drama’s aim: “Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait.” She adds: “It’s big-stakes stuff for me and the Nine Network.”

By Kylie Miller
July 29, 2004
The Age