Young guns join Crownies

By David Knox on January 18, 2011 / Filed Under News 21

The ABC has announced its youthful cast for its newest drama series about lawyers working for the Public Prosecution.

It includes Todd Lasance (Underbelly Files: Tell Them Lucifer Was Here, Cloudstreet, Rescue Special Ops, Home & Away), who will ironically be on the other side of the law to his previous drug charge case.

He is joined by Hamish Michael (Spirited, City Homicide, Lucky Miles); Ella Scott Lynch (City Homicide, All Saints, The Falls); Andrea Demetriades (Bell Shakespeare Company, All Saints) and Indiana Evans (A Model Daughter – The Killing of Caroline Byrne, H2O Just Add Water, Home and Away).

They are joined by Marta Dusseldorp (Burning Man, Blackjack, Hell Has Harbour Views, After The Deluge); Lewis Fitz-Gerald (Underbelly, Stingers, A Model Daughter – The Killing of Caroline Byrne); Jerome Ehlers (Sea Patrol, Packed To The Rafters, The Starter Wife), Jeanette Cronin (Rake, Headland, All Saints); Chantelle Jamieson (Underbelly Files – The Man Who Got Away, Panic At Rock Island); Peter Kowitz (Packed To The Rafters, City Homicide, Grass Roots), Chris Morris (Crocodile Hunter, The Surgeon, Fireflies) and Daniel Lissing (Cops LAC, Packed to the Rafters, Out Of The Blue).

The 22 x 1 hr series looks at eager lawyers who know the law backwards but who have a lot to learn about life.

It will centre on “five young solicitors fresh out of law school, as they face the pressures and endearing madness of modern single life – in a fast-paced workplace that highlights the moral dilemmas and big issues facing an apparently civilized society”

It will also draw upon the divide between idealistic young solicitors and the barristers at the top.

ABC TV’s Head of Fiction, Carole Sklan said: “We’re thrilled to be back in the business of long-run drama and to be working with such a dynamic, creative company as Screentime. They have assembled a wonderful cast and creative team for this exuberant and very contemporary show.”

Screentime’s Des Monaghan added: “We are delighted to be working with our friends at the ABC, and we are very excited about Crownies- which is an intelligent and entertaining insight into the extraordinarily fast and demanding world of the DPP.”

Produced by Screentime, Crownies is part of a major push by the ABC to restore its Drama output.

Written by Greg Haddrick, Jane Allen, Kylie Needham, Tamara Asmar, Blake Ayshford and Justine Gillmer, the legal drama will be directed by Tony Tilse, Chris Noonan, Cherie Nowlan, Grant Brown, Lynn Hegarty, Garth Maxwell and Jet Wilkinson.

Shooting commences in Sydney on Friday, with the series set to premiere later this year.

21 Comments »

  1. David a June 26, 2011 at 12:21 am -

    OK, having worked with both the NSW and Commonwealth DPP at an earlier time of my life, the promos certainly don’t bode well for anyone hoping to take the characters or the show seriously….and eh, ‘crownies’…..who uses that term…?

  2. ducko January 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm -

    @DC,
    What are the odds for Todd to be cast in Wild Boys?

  3. Michael January 19, 2011 at 11:09 am -

    Hey folks … lets not forget that to make a first class drama you start with a solid script. Next is the right casting followed by a great director with a vision from his or hers DOP. Last but not least is a brilliant Editor who can take the project to a new level. Thats what makes a high quality drama !

  4. TM January 19, 2011 at 10:44 am -

    @mst3k LOL! I happily stand corrected. Funny post.

  5. David Knox January 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm -

    2011 will be a big year for TL: Underbelly, Rescue, Cloudstreet, Crownies.

  6. DC January 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm -

    Is there a preresquisite that Todd Lasance must be cast in any role for a guy in his mid twenties on Australian Tv these days?

  7. Trix January 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm -

    I’m excited about the writers and directors attached to the project. For me they’re the two crucial aspects to drama – brilliant directors and writers can make even pedestrian actors look good (with the opposite being true at times, too). There’s nothing wrong with taking a risk with young actors, either. Todd Lasance is very good in the upcoming Cloudstreet, for example.

  8. dave January 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm -

    There’s a lot of talent both in front of and behind the camera on this one, and it is a committment from the ABC – so good on them for trying it. For some people they are damned if they do and if they don’t. Much criticism of their choices and paucity of output has been rightfully slung at them – i am happy to stay open and optimistic about their 2011 drama slate.

  9. Jayden January 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm -

    Young Lions was a cop show, not a law-based program. Saturation shouldn’t matter, so long as the show is good. There has to be somewhere that young actors/actresses can test themselves other than soaps.

  10. Mike January 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm -

    MST3k, if you’re going to rant, at least understand what you are actually ranting about. Facepalm.

    I said, Young lawyer shows filled with rejects from Home and Away do not fit the ABCs demo. It seems better suited to GO or Ten/Eleven. Hell if they shoved it on ABC2 it would at least be a better fit than the main channel.

    Once the ABC said last year that they will be targeting a younger demographic (around 40) I knew that eventually it will get younger and younger, just didn’t realise so quickly. It seems my fears were well founded. I mean is the majority of forty year olds really going to find this appealing? It’s almost as bad as the old fogeys watching Skins and True Blood pretending to be young again.

    Anyway, for the fans I wouldn’t get too excited
    a) it isn’t in-house therefore the revenue does not go back into the ABC
    b) 22 episodes will make it very expensive and will need ratings to justify the expenditure; 600,000 viewers will not cut it
    c) With a lot more commercial competition this year ABC drama is going to struggle even more

  11. Jack January 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm -

    22 eggs is a lot for the ABC to put in one basket.

  12. Nik C January 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm -

    Hey, The cast sounds great wioth some diverse backgrounds

    “not another lawyer show”: If you don’t watch law & order franchise what is there? I clearly thought this was a fresh take on the law genre.

    Oh besuides Rake which this is definately different!

    Well DOne ABC on your commitment to Aussie Drama and TV :)

  13. Ronnie January 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm -

    I take everyone’s points on board – well said. However 22 eps x $4-500K per ep is still a $10-11M investment in one series from an already overstretched team, but I really hope it’s great.

  14. Homer January 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm -

    @mst3k Nice work.

  15. mst3k January 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm -

    oh for the love of god….

    Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About. Before. Post.

    @richoTB. What other lawyer show? We’ve got Rake, The Circuit…. um… that’s it… it’s not exactly a saturated market.

    @mike lawyer shows dont fit the abc demo? No one complained when North Square or MDA was on? or any of the countless BBC/C4 legal dramas…

    as for @ronnie and @tm. Long run shows are a way of building up an audience over time, giving the audience anchors to come back to. They are an important part of any on-air mix. They are just as valuable as short term shows which you can see the ABC has invested very very heavily in Laid, Woodly, The Slap, Redfern Now, Rake, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Dance Academy, 20Something and so on. All of those production employ a Vast array of other production companies too. Which is of course ignoring the ABC’s involvement in pretty much fostering australan production companies Zapruders, Chaser Broadcasting etc etc.

    oh and @tm – Young Lions was essentially a freaking cop show. it’s called google. use it.

    rant. over.

  16. Chris January 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm -

    I applaud the ABC for making a loing form drama that caters for a mainstream audience and a demo that isn’t the geriatrics.

    We need good solid dramas on the ABC not some niche bullshit that no one watches. The populist stuff is good for the ABC to broaden its audience.

    Looking forward to this. It sounds like a show a US network would commission and they make good legal dramas. And it’s not like we have another legal show on the air so it’s better than a crime or medical show.

    Also looking forward to The Slap and Angry Boys. The ABC is making some good shows in 2011.

  17. David Knox January 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm -

    Don’t forget ABC has quite a bit of diverse stuff coming: Laid, The Slap, Redfern Now, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Dance Academy, My Place plus to go into prdn: The Straits, Phrynne Fisher, Top Of The Lake, The Eye of the Storm. That’s without looking at Comedy.

  18. TM January 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm -

    As if we need another law drama. ‘Young Lions’ anyone? Didn’t 9 can that after a few eps? The ABC should be commissioning riskier stuff like Breaking Bad. Hopefully The Slap will be great, and Rake has been excellent, but this makes my eyes glaze over – I hope I am wrong, and it is a bit edgier than it seems from this press release.

  19. Ronnie January 18, 2011 at 11:10 am -

    I agree with RichoTB – the ABC has a responsibility to the independent production sector to commission from a range of producers. Doesn’t Screentime have enough to do? The Underbelly series gets progressively worse each year. The ABC Head of Drama needs to take responsibility for the outcome of this – whatever happens. If it is a success – great, if it fails, it’s a big failure, at the expense of diversity in commissioning. Isn’t it about time ABC had a head of drama who understands the responsibility the ABC has to the independent sector?

  20. Mike January 18, 2011 at 10:27 am -

    Yep, by the looks of it it is exactly as bad as it sounds. Populated with ex Home and Away alumni that couldn’t even act on a soap. Which leads me to say how the hell are we meant to take them seriously as lawyers?

    This might tank, well it should really, it doesn’t fit ABC1’s demo at all, but considering the success margin for scripted drama is at an all time low at the ABC, 600,000 is considered a success (Rake, Bed of Roses), this will probably be touted as a success story.

    I just hope this isn’t a trend that sees the ABC searching for the even younger demo under forty. The commercials already have that covered.

  21. RichoTB January 18, 2011 at 10:04 am -

    not another Lawyers show!
    And 22 episodes at that! Why not give it an initial run of 6 and try giving some different projects a go?

Leave A Response »

You must be logged in to post a comment.