Young Lions: articles

TV calls in the police

AUSTRALIA'S top young actors will go head-to-head in new television police dramas to be launched by the Nine and Ten networks next year.

Wildside's Alex Dimitriades, SeaChange's Tom Long and Flat Chat's Alexandra Davies head the cast of Young Lions, Nine's replacement for Water Rats.

Television veteran Penny Cook and newcomers Anna Lise Phillips and Katherine Slattery will also star in the new Southern Star production from Michael Jenkins (Blue Murder).

Network Ten announced last week that Peter O'Brien, Brooke Satchwell and Freya Stafford will star in their new cop show, White Collar Blue.

Both series will follow the lives of young detectives, but differ in location. Young Lions is based at an inner-city station, while South West 101 and White Collar Blue will be shot at Cronulla.

Nine's director of drama, Kris Noble, said Davies had proven hugely popular with test audiences and would be a star to watch in 2002.

He said Young Lions would not be "just another police show".

"Despite what the critics may think, police shows are never going to go away. We're doing a new one, Channel 10 is doing a new one, they are all doing them," Mr Noble said.

"Police and hospital shows provide a concentration of drama–they are hothouses for action. With a family show, you have to make things happen."

Dimitriades and the rest of the cast were shocked when informed late on Friday that production on a series of Young Lions would go ahead. A pilot was filmed earlier this year.

"Sure, they are taking a chance, but the level of enthusiasm and passion everyone involved with this show has will drive it through," Dimitriades said.

Noble denied that the hip young cast was brought on board in an attempt to woo the crucial 16-to-39 viewers that Nine has lost to Ten.

"No 16-year-old is going to watch the same programs as a 39-year-old. We want the 20s, 30s and 40s as well," he said.

By Kathy McCabe
December 09, 2001