The cast of Packed to the Rafters.
The cast of Packed to the Rafters.

Packed to the Rafters will return in 2020

Australia's favourite family are making a return to our screens after six long years of absence.

In exciting news for thousands of Australian telly-watchers, Amazon Prime Video this week confirmed they will revive beloved Aussie drama Packed to the Rafters, after the Seven Network pulled the series in 2013 after six seasons.

Set to begin production in Sydney in 2020, Back to the Rafters will feature the return of original principal cast members Rebecca Gibney (Julie Rafter), Erik Thomson (Dave Rafter), Jessica Marais (Rachel Rafter), Hugh Sheridan (Ben Rafter), Angus McLaren (Nathan Rafter), Michael Caton (Ted Taylor) and George Houvardas (Nick "Carbo" Karandonis).

Commissioned by Amazon Studios and produced by Seven Studios, the lead Writer of Back to the Rafters will be Creator Bevan Lee, with Julie McGauran as Executive Producer and Chris Martin-Jones as Series Producer.

Earlier this month, actor Hugh Sheridan - who played Ben Rafter - also hinted at the comeback to Kyle and Jackie O, but said "nothing had been confirmed".

Hugh Sheridan seemed enthusiastic about a reboot in a chat with Kyle and Jackie O. Picture: Jerad Williams
Hugh Sheridan seemed enthusiastic about a reboot in a chat with Kyle and Jackie O. Picture: Jerad Williams

"I hope that it does work out because it is a beautiful show and it will be like 10 years on," Sheridan told the radio hosts.

"It's like a 'Where are they now?'''

RELATED: The real reason Packed To The Rafters ended in 2013

RELATED: Rebecca Gibney shares oh-so-80s throwback pic

 

Packed to the Rafter’s 2013 finale drew 1.5 million viewers. Picture: Supplied
Packed to the Rafter’s 2013 finale drew 1.5 million viewers. Picture: Supplied

According to Amazon Prime's press release confirming the revival, Back to the Rafters picks up six years since viewers last saw the Rafter family. Dave and Julie have created a new life in the country with youngest daughter Ruby, while the older Rafter children face new challenges and Grandpa Ted struggles to find his place. As Dave enjoys his new found freedom, Julie must reconcile her responsibilities to the family. They might not be under the same roof, but the same honesty, love and laughter bonds them more tightly now than ever before.

"What a thrilling opportunity to be able to revisit the family at the centre of my most successful creation, six years down the track," said Creator and Writer, Bevan Lee. "The world has changed so much in that time, and it is a writing dream to be able to explore how the Rafters have changed with it, while at the same time reconnecting with the life affirming combination of humour and heart that characterised the original series. In an increasingly dark world, it is wonderful to use the Rafters again to spread light."

Channel 7 revealed in 2014 that the reason Packed to the Rafters ended was due to key cast members Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson wanting to pursue other projects.

The revelation, from Seven's head of production Brad Lyons, came as the network was gearing up to roll out Gibney's Winter and Thomson's 800 Words in 2015.

 

It was Mr and Mrs Rafter – Erik Thomson and Rebecca Gibney – who wanted to move on from the iconic series. Picture: Supplied/
It was Mr and Mrs Rafter – Erik Thomson and Rebecca Gibney – who wanted to move on from the iconic series. Picture: Supplied/

In its heyday, the famed Aussie family drama averaged about 2 million viewers an episode across the five capital cities.

The death of Mel Rafter, played by Zoe Ventoura, was watched by a whopping 2.337 million, according to OzTam.

Australia collectively mourned the TV death of Mel Rafter, played by Zoe Ventoura. Pic Channel 7.
Australia collectively mourned the TV death of Mel Rafter, played by Zoe Ventoura. Pic Channel 7.

The show ended with Dave and Julie Rafter (Thomson and Gibney) and baby Ruby heading off for a trip around Australia.

During its first run, the family drama was nominated for 42 Logie Awards and won 14.


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