EXCLUSIVE: ABC legal drama Crownies will be getting a spin-off series.
The ambitious 22 part drama, starring Todd Lasance, Marta Dusseldorp and Lewis Fitz-Gerald, had a modest launch last year but while its ratings were disappointing it developed positive word of mouth as the series progressed.
Late last year ABC1 Channel Controller Brendan Dahill told TV Tonight he was weighing up a possible spin-off.
This week he confirmed a future for the show, by focussing on the legal aspects and not the personal lives of the young attorneys.
“We will be making a spin-off, and it will be coming back in a slightly different form that’s less soapy,” he said.
“We’ll be honing in on a much more solid narrative. We’ve taken on board some of the criticism we got from the first series about it being a bit unable to make up its mind if it was This Life or The Good Wife.”
Dahill says the series is also part of an evolution of ABC Drama and that audiences were not expecting a series of its style.
“I loved it and I loved the characters but maybe we were sending mixed signals to our audience, so we need to be more certain about the driving force behind the narrative,” he says.
“So it will become more about the cases and less about the people. That doesn’t mean we’re going to dropping entirely any reference to their back stories. You need to understand the back stories to understand the judgements that they make.”
Last year Producers Screentime issued a rare public statement on the series after some media reports questioned the new drama’s switch to a later timeslot in order to make room for The Slap. It noted the show had been created with the specific intention of appealing to a younger demographic.
At this stage it isn’t clear which characters will be featured or whether it will make it to screen in 2012.
“It’s still early days but I’m hoping we’ll have something more to say in the next couple of months,” he said.
“It won’t be the big 22 parter, but the characters in Crownies will be returning.”