Amazon Greenlights First Australian Original Drama ‘Back to the Rafters’

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The streamer has commissioned a reboot of the hit Seven Network family drama ‘Packed to the Rafters.’

Amazon Studios has commissioned its first Australian original scripted series, with a reboot of hit Seven Network family drama, Packed to the Rafters.

Back to the Rafters picks up six years after the original show’s final season on free-to-air TV network Seven, and will be written by series creator Bevan Lee and made for Amazon Prime by Seven’s production arm, Seven Studios. 

Following Dave and Julie Rafter, Back to the Rafters will feature the original principal castmembers 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).

Now Dave and Julie have created a new life in the country with youngest daughter Ruby, while the older Rafter children face new challenges. 

“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 James Farrell, vice president of international originals at Amazon Studios. “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.” 

Lee said it was a thrill to be returning to his most successful TV drama, which regularly had Australian audiences in excess of 1 million viewers over its 122 episode run from 2008 to 2013. 

"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 humor and heart that characterized the original series. In an increasingly dark world, it is wonderful to use the Rafters again to spread light,” he said.  

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

Production is scheduled to begin next year in Sydney with Julie McGauran as executive producer and Chris Martin-Jones as series producer.

Back to the Rafters will launch on Prime Video in Australia and around the world in more than 200 countries and territories.