Amazon reboots Packed to the Rafters as its first original Australian drama

Amazon Prime Video is bringing back a rejigged Packed to the Rafters, announcing ‘Back to the Rafters’ as its first Amazon Original scripted drama commission in Australia.

Back to the Rafters will launch on Prime Video in Australia with original cast members Rebecca Gibney, Erik Thomson, Jessica Marais, Hugh Sheridan, Angus McLaren, Michael Caton and George Houvardas, as well as being shown in 200 countries around the world.

The whole Rafter family are coming back to Amazon

The show will explore the next chapter in the Rafter family story, picking up from the sixth season which aired in 2013 on Seven. The show, which began in 2008, regularly delivered over 1m metro viewers for the network. Back to the Rafters is a Seven Studios production.

The new series will explore the family dynamic following a move to the country and new challenges for the older Rafter children who are exploring the world on their own. Amazon Studios vice president of international originals, James Farrell, said the show has been high on the list for the streaming business.

“Since we began producing international originals, Back to the Rafters has been at the top of the list of scripted series we’ve wanted to commission,” said Farrell.

“Packed to the Rafters is among the most beloved Australian series and this revival will allow us to give our customers the locally relevant entertainment they want. We’re thrilled to be working with Seven Studios to bring back the Rafter family for Prime members in Australia and around the world.”

Seven Studios CEO Therese Hegarty said the opportunity to work with Amazon was one the business couldn’t pass up.

“We are hugely excited to be working with Amazon Studios on Prime Video’s first Australian drama commission, bringing back the iconic Rafters family for both Australian and global audiences,” said Hegarty.

“This is an incredible opportunity to showcase to the world a home-grown original drama series, brought to life by brilliant Australian creative talent.”

Creator and writer of the original series, Bevan Lee, who will be returning for Back to the Rafters, was also delighted to have another run at the program.

“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 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.”

Lee will be joined by Julie McGauran as executive producer and Chris Martin-jones as series producer.

The show comes on the heels of more Amazon Original content announced this year for Australia, including LOL: Last One Laughing with Rebel Wilson, The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team, a docuseries following the Australian men’s cricket team during the 2018/19 season, and a series of ten stand-up specials including Tom Gleeson, Tommy Little, Judith Lucy and more.

Titles to come from Seven Studios include Zumbo’s Just Desserts, created with Netflix, A Place To Call Home, Yummy Mummies and My Kitchen Rules.


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