All Saints: articles

All Saints axed after decade on TV

IT'S a wrap for long-running Australian soap opera All Saints. The Seven Network has announced that production will cease at the end of next month on the popular hospital drama, which has been on air for more than a decade.

A spokesperson for the network cited a "combination of creative and financial reasons" for the axeing.

Series producer Bill Hughes, who has worked on the show for the past five years, said that while he was not shocked by the news, he was unhappy with the decision that "marks the end of an era".

Negotiations over the renewal of production crew contracts have stalled in the past six weeks, and this year the number of episodes was cut from 40 to 22.

Hughes said the show's average weekly national ratings figures of 1.2 million were "not shabby", even when compared with those of Seven's newer hit drama, Packed to the Rafters, which averages 1.7 million.

"It's a sad day for us but demographics change. Free-to-air television is changing. The whole spectrum of entertainment is changing and this is one step in the major changes I think we'll see in the next three to five years," Hughes said.

All Saints first aired in February 1998 and will mark 493 episodes by the series finale, which will screen in November. It has boosted the careers of actors Georgie Parker, Packed to the Rafters' Erik Thomson, and John Howard. Among its alumni who have achieved international success are John Noble (who went on to appear in US crime series The Fringe), Chris Vance (who recently filmed roles in US series Prison Break and Burn Notice) and film star Eric Bana.

By Bridget McManus
July 10, 2009
The Age