House Husbands title card
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||36 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Playmaker Media|
|Original channel||Nine Network|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original run||2 September 2012– present|
House Husbands is an Australian television comedy drama series. Created by Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt, the show debuted on the Nine Network on 2 September 2012. Set in Melbourne, House Husbands stars Firass Dirani, Gyton Grantley, Rhys Muldoon and Gary Sweet as four fathers who stay at home to raise their children. The series also focuses on their interconnected families and friends. In 2013, House Husbands won Most Popular Drama Series at the 2013 Logie Awards. In July 2014, the Nine Network renewed House Husbands for a fourth season, which is set to air in 2015.
On 6 May 2012, the Nine Network announced it had commissioned House Husbands, a ten-part comedy-drama about the issues of changing gender roles. The series focuses on four modern families where the men are in charge of raising the children. Nine's director of television, Michael Healy, stated "House Husbands is a fresh and dynamic look at Australian family life, with a very modern twist. Audiences will fall in love with our characters as they deal with the challenges of raising families in today's hectic world." House Husbands was conceived by Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt. It was directed by Geoff Bennett and Shirley Barrett with Jo Rooney, Andy Ryan and Playmaker Media's David Maher and David Taylor serving as executive producers. House Husbands received funding from Screen Australia and filming on the series commenced at the end of May.
On 23 September 2012, Michael Idato from The Sydney Morning Herald reported Nine had renewed House Husbands for a second series. The network's director of television, Michael Healy, stated "I couldn't be happier that Australian audiences have taken House Husbands to their hearts and made it the number one drama in the country. I am thrilled to confirm a second series of House Husbands will go into production with the same acclaimed cast and crew." Filming for the second series took place from 4 February to 6 June 2013. Series two began airing from 8 April 2013.
In June 2013, House Husbands was picked up for a third season, which began airing in 2014. The Nine Network and Playmaker Media confirmed that all of the cast members would return. In July 2014, the Nine Network renewed House Husbands for a fourth season to air in 2015. The four male leads, as well as Morris and Saleeba will return.
Casting for the series was announced on 18 May with Gary Sweet, Rhys Muldoon, Gyton Grantley and Firass Dirani cast as the house husbands. Sweet stars as Lewis, a successful builder who has become a stay-at-home dad to Matilda, while his partner, Gemma, is a nurse at the local hospital. Sweet commented "When I first got the House Husbands scripts I just felt like this was something that had legs." Julia Morris and Anna McGahan were cast as Lewis's partner Gemma and daughter Lucy. Muldoon plays Mark and Natalie Saleeba plays his wife Abi. Grantley plays Kane who is in a relationship with Tom (Tim Campbell) and helping to raise his niece, Stella (Edwina Royce). Kane and Tom mark the first time that an Australian drama has featured a gay couple raising a child. Proffitt commented that Grantley was cast because of his comic timing and Campbell was cast because of his chemistry with the actor. Dirani plays Justin "a disgraced footballer" who has broken up with the mother of his three children, Nicola (Leah de Niese). Nicholas Coghlan was cast as Rodney, Nicola's new partner.
The main cast members from series one all returned for the second series. Jo Rooney and Andy Ryan, the heads of drama at the Nine Network commented "We are thrilled to have House Husbands returning for a second season. With such a strong cast and some great names joining the series, we're excited to be providing more fantastic local drama for our viewers." Series two saw Geraldine Turner and Madeleine West join the cast as Wendy Horne and Dimity respectively. Craig McLachlan began appearing as Damo from episode three. Rick Donald stars as new school teacher, Mr. Tuck, while Kane and Tom welcomed a foster child called Finn, played by Ben Crundwell, into their family.
On 14 December 2013, it was announced that Campbell's character had been written out of the show and he would not be returning for the third season. Campbell was surprised and disappointed with the decision, which came at the last minute. He commented "as a fan of the show I'm disappointed that a unique TV family is no more and Tom would leave his partner and children suddenly off screen. Don't blame me, I'm just the actor." A spokeswoman for Nine added that there would be other cast changes ahead of filming for the third season. The following month, it was announced that Lincoln Lewis had joined the cast as a "mysterious character that ignites tension" among the families. Actress Rachel Griffiths also joined the cast as Belle, a character "who brings friction to the series." While Darren McMullen was cast "a love interest who ruffles feathers".
Cast and characters
Of House Husbands, Graeme Blundell from The Australian wrote "It's a nice premise for a show, a kind of Aussie Modern Family and, while not as stylish, or stylised for that matter -- it's underplayed in a kind of low-key naturalism -- its producers similarly lace the family shenanigans with real emotion to balance the humour. Directed with flair by Geoff Bennett, it's a nicely paced character-based comedy-drama constructed from the comings and goings of, as one of the characters says, a bunch of 'useless parents having a crack'." Blundell went on to say that the show is "far removed from the childish shenanigans" of Two and a Half Men and is not as soapy as Packed to the Rafters, a show that it could replace as "TV's favourite family hour". He added "Sure, there's a blokey edge to House Husbands though, so far at least, it's never lascivious, sexist or plain dumb."
The first episode of House Husbands averaged 1.376 million viewers overnight, which was a ratings record. It also ranked first in the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54-year-old demographics. Holly Byrnes from the Herald Sun reported that the show became the number one new Australian drama and a popular subject on social networking site Twitter, where it trended in Australia and gained praise from viewers who dubbed it Underbelly: Dads. Siobhan Duck from the Herald Sun stated "Thank goodness for House Husbands. The Melbourne-made drama is one of the better Aussie shows on TV. And certainly the only drama launched in 2012 to resonate with the audience. That's thanks largely to its stellar cast."
In 2013, House Husbands won the Most Popular Drama Series accolade at the Logie Awards. Dirani and Morris were nominated for Most Popular Actor and Most Popular Actress, while Edwina Royce earned a nomination for Most Popular New Female Talent. The following year, Morris was again nominated for Most Popular Actress, while the show was nominated for Most Popular Drama Program.
In July 2014, it was announced that House Husbands was to be re-made in France and Italy, after ZDF Enterprises, which owns the international rights to the series, negotiated a deal with French and Italian production companies Made In PM and Publispei.
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