All Saints: articles
Four All Saints stars dumped
CHANNEL Seven's popular Australian drama All Saints is undergoing a major cast shake-up in order to stem softening ratings and prolong the life of the series.
Four regular cast members have been told their contracts will not be renewed next year, when the show returns for a sixth [sic] series.
In a shock move, Jenni Baird, who plays nurse Paula Morgan, Martin Lynes, who plays Dr Luke Forlano, Fletcher Humphrys, who plays probational paramedic Alex Kearns, and Henry Nixon, who plays nurse Sterling McCormack, have been dumped.
In an effort to add spice to storylines, missing since the departure of Erik Thomson last year, former Always Greener star John Howard has been signed to the Sydney-based production for the next three years.
Howard joins remaining cast including Gold Logie winner Georgie Parker, Judith McGrath and Tammy MacIntosh.
"I hope I can contribute something entertaining and worthwhile to the loyal All Saints audience," he said.
Howard will not be the only new face at the All Saints general hospital next year.
Recent NIDA graduate Wil Traval and Queensland University of Technology graduate Adrienne Pickering have also been signed, while producers are understood to be in negotiations with Alexandra Davies about a possible role.
By Fiona Byrne
All Saints' transfusion
SEVENS'S hospital drama All Saints is undergoing major surgery to breathe new life into the long-running television series.
With softening ratings this year, producers have decided to inject some fresh blood into the cast and cut some regulars.
Popular stars Jenni Baird, who plays nurse Paula Morgan, Martin Lynes, who plays Dr Luke Forlano, Fletcher Humphrys, who plays probational paramedic Alex Kearns and Henry Nixon, who plays nurse Sterling McCormack, have been dropped from the show's line-up.
While their characters will be seen when the series returns next year, it will only be until they can be written out—none of the actors have had contracts renewed.
Stepping in to the cast are Always Greener star John Howard, NIDA graduate Wil Traval and Queensland University of Technology graduate Adrienne Pickering.
Howard has signed up with Channel 7 for the next three years.
"I had a ball doing Always Greener and I'm delighted that John Holmes (Seven's head of drama) and Jo Porter (series producer) thought I was good enough to ask me to join All Saints—a great Aussie drama," Howard said.
"At a time when future Australian cultural product is in danger of being compromised by the free trade negotiations currently under way with the US, I am even more determined to try as hard as I can to make sure the dramas we do have are as good as they possibly can be.
"I hope I can contribute something entertaining and worthwhile to the loyal All Saints audience."
The series finale airs tomorrow night.
November 24, 2003
Saints' Emergency Surgery
There's drama on-set and off for Seven's Tuesday night Australian drama All Saints, with four regulars leaving next year as part of a major shakeup.
Original All Saints producer Jo Porter has returned to steer the show through a transition that includes a shift off All Saints Hospital's ward 17 into a new emergency department. Sets for the emergency department will be built over the series' Christmas break and will be seen on air from April. Several characters will be phased out, including those played by Martin Lynes, his on-screen love interest Jenni Baird, Fletcher Humphrys, and Henry Nixon.
Seven has signed former Always Greener star John Howard on a three-year deal to go play the head of the emergency department.
"It's a pivotal role, the character has to go head to head with Georgie Parker. We wanted someone with gravitas," Seven's drama chief, John Holmes, says. "We are trying to realign the show a bit and get it more to the pointy end of the hospital."
The idea for a drama based in an emergency ward arose in May when the network considered making a spin-off series, but sagging ratings for the original halted that.
"Some of the characters will go through into the new emergency department…but (financial restraints mean) we can't suddenly add six new people to the cast without others leaving."
Wil Traval and Adrienne Pickering join the cast and some actors, including Lynes, may return for guest appearances.
Most recently a regular on Always Greener, Howard says he looks forward to his role on All Saints. "At a time when future Australian cultural product is in danger of being compromised by free-trade negotiations underway with the United States, I am even more determined to try as hard as I can to make sure the dramas we do have are as good as they possibly can be." Series favourite is signed to the drama until the end of the year.
By Kylie Miller
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