The revamp of ABC2, while promising a range of new content, also appears to be bringing one or two titles out of the vaults.
Starting Monday 11 February, ABC2 will be commencing a re-run of the rural soap-drama Something In The Air, which originally ran on ABC between January 2000 and May 2002.
A production of Simpson Le Mesurier, Something In The Air was set in the small rural town of Emu Springs with most of the drama centred around a local radio station 3ES, operating from a disused railway station. Both the rural setting and its timeslot, 6.30pm weeknights as lead-in to the 7.00pm ABC News, inevitably drew comparisons to ‘Aunty’ ABC’s former long-running series Bellbird which ran from 1967 to 1977 in a similar timeslot.
The series featured experienced performers Anne Phelan (Bellbird, Prisoner, Neighbours), Ray Barrett, Kate Fitzpatrick, Frankie J Holden and Roger Oakley (Home And Away), joined by younger cast members including Danielle Carter (Richmond Hill, Neighbours), Ulli Birve, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor and Sullivan Stapleton. Eric Bana, formerly of comedy series Full Frontal and movie Chopper, was part of the original cast but was released from his contract when Hollywood starting calling. Bana’s role was taken over by Vince Colosimo.
Despite ABC’s best intentions when the series debuted, and modest though promising ratings for the series, things turned sour when new ABC chief Jonathan Shier was appointed, and drama chief Sue Masters, who had commissioned the series, consequently departed. The program was moved from its weeknight timeslot to a one-hour block on Saturday evenings where it never really struck up a rapport with viewers. It was later reinstated to the weeknight timeslot but instead slotted in at 6.00pm putting up against the news services on the Seven and Nine networks.
As a result, Something In The Air quietly wound up in mid-2002.
Something In The Air. Weeknights 7.30pm (from 11 February). ABC2
Picture: TV Week, 15 January 2000
Sources: IMDB, Australian Television Information Archive, Super Aussie Soaps
2010 and it's alive and well on the ABC at 5.00am weekdays in QLD.
The Australian public television network ABC1 should create and broadcast a soap opera at 6.30pm every weeknight that would lead viewers into watching their 7 o’clock news. Even though a high rating soap like Home and Away on the Seven Network would bring in the kind of audience the ABC is so desperate to look for in its early evening timeslot! Lets hope ABC1 make a soap and lets hope it happens soon!