Packed To The Rafters: articles


Packed To The Rafters' Rebecca Gibney on Channel 7's success

A SHOW about a regular family dealing with day-to-day life has become one of the highest-rating programs on TV this year ahead of more fancied US-produced dramas.

And according to its star Rebecca Gibney, the secret to the success of Packed to the Rafters is simple: "Everything that is going on is happening in everybody's lives".

The Channel 7 hit, which first aired just three months ago, has averaged 1.94 million viewers each week.

While Melbourne gangland series Underbelly captured viewers' lust for crime, the past three months has seen audiences choose heart-felt stories.

At the same time, American crime shows such as Law and Order, CSI, local drama The Strip and medical crisis drama House lost viewers.

Audiences are being captured by a show about three generations of one family moving back in together in Sydney. Gibney said the irony about the show was that the drama was accidentally ahead of its time.

Filming for the first series ended in the first fortnight of the global economic meltdown in September.

"It's weird and that's the thing people keep saying to us - all the storylines coming up on the show are storylines that everyone can relate to at the moment," she said.

"And it's not just financial crisis stuff, but family relationship dramas and everyday life. That's what people are relating to. Everything that is going on is happening in everybody's lives - and you can relate whether it's your father or grandmother, or brother or sister.

"It's not death, violence, cops and robbers or medical shows - it's a simple family relationship drama, and it seems that's what people want."

The first series ends next week, and a second will begin filming in 2009.

Gibney believes the family premise could keep it going for years.

"It's not about escapism and, at the end of the day, there is always an element of hope and coming together and supporting each other as a family," she said.

November 17, 2008
The Sunday Telegraph