800 Words

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800 Words
800 Words title card.jpg
Promotional title card for 800 Words.
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by
  • James Griffin
  • Maxine Fleming
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s) Karl Steven
Country of origin
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 32 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Kelly Martin
  • Chris Bailey
  • James Griffin
  • John Holmes
  • Julie McGauran
Producer(s)
  • Chris Hampson
  • Chris Bailey
Cinematography Fred Renata
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereophonic
First shown in Australia
Original release 15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) – present (present)
External links
Official Australian website
Production website

800 Words (stylised as 800 words) is an Australian–New Zealand comedy-drama television series, co-produced by South Pacific Pictures and Seven Productions for the Seven Network.

Production[edit]

The series was first announced on 29 October 2014 with the Channel Seven 2015 highlights.[1] The CEO of South Pacific Pictures, Kelly Martin said "Seven loved the scripts from the start and we're thrilled to have this project underway. It enables South Pacific Pictures to broaden our horizons and it'll open up some great opportunities for our local actors and crew."[2] Of the series' tone, the Program Chief of Seven, Tim Ross stated, "If you think this show has a bit of the same feel and vibe as Packed to the Rafters, you're dead right—and we make no apologies for that."[3] Filming for the series began on 2 March 2015.[4]

On 19 October 2015, the Seven Network and South Pacific Pictures renewed the show for a second season.[5] It premiered on 23 August 2016 in Australia.[6] On January 24, 2017, the Seven Network announced that the series had been renewed for a third season.[7] It screened from 12 September 2017[8] with a mid-season finale after 8 episodes.[9]

In December of 2017, the Seven network announced the show has been renewed for a fourth season.[10]

Plot[edit]

George Turner is a popular columnist for a top selling Sydney newspaper, writing a weekly column which he insists must be exactly 800 words. After his wife dies, he buys—over the internet and unseen—a house in a (fictional) small New Zealand seaside town called Weld, where his parents took him on holiday as a child. He then has to break the news to his two teenage children, Shay and Arlo. But the colourful and inquisitive locals in Weld ensure Turner's dream of a fresh start does not go exactly to plan.[4]

Cast[edit]

  • Erik Thomson as George Turner[4]
  • Melina Vidler as Shay Turner[4]
  • Benson Jack Anthony as Arlo Turner[4]
  • Rick Donald as Woody; an Australian expat builder who moved to Weld for the surf.[4]
  • Bridie Carter as Jan; George's former boss and editor in Sydney[4]
  • Emma Leonard as Tracey; an Australian expat and Shay and Arlo's form teacher at Weld High School.[4]
  • Michelle Langstone as Fiona; the owner-operator of the Weld Boat Club and a volunteer ambulance driver.[11]
  • Anna Jullienne as Katie; a part-Maori artist and owner of the Weld arts and crafts gallery.[11]
  • Cian Elyse White as Hannah; a surfer who works part-time at the Weld Boat Club and the local surf shop.[11]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Jonathan Brugh as Monty McNamara; a real estate agent who sold George his new home in Weld and a volunteer firefighter.[12][13]
  • Peter Elliott as Bill "Big Mac" McNamara, the financial king-pin of Weld and father to Bill Jr, Monty and Robbie.[12]
  • Paul Glover as Bill McNamara, Jr.
  • Manon Blackman as Lindsay McNamara, Bill Jr.'s daughter.[12][13]
  • Olivia Tennet as Siouxsie; Monty's daughter and secretary.[12]
  • John Leigh as Constable Tom; Weld's local police officer and photographer.[12]
  • Alex Tarrant as Ike, one of Zac's children and love interest of Shay[4]
  • Reon Bell as Billy, Katie and Zac's son[12]
  • Rob Williams as Zac; Katie's ex-partner and father to Ike, Hannah, and Billy.
  • Renee Lyons as Brenda.
  • Jesse Griffin as Sean.
  • David Fane as Smiler.
  • Tandi Wright as Laura Turner; deceased wife of George and mother to Shay and Arlo.
  • Jackie van Beek as Gloria; production manager of the local newspaper, News of the Weld (Season 2)
  • Millen Baird as Robert "Robbie" McNamara; Fiona's ex. (Season 2)
  • Ditch Davey as Terry Turner; George's younger brother who is a chef. (Season 2)
  • Jamaica Vaughan as Emma; Fiona's niece and summer love interest of Arlo (Season 2)

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1815 September 2015 (2015-09-15)3 November 2015 (2015-11-03)
216823 August 2016 (2016-08-23)4 October 2016 (2016-10-04)
831 January 2017 (2017-01-31)21 March 2017 (2017-03-21)
316812 September 2017 (2017-09-12)24 October 2017 (2017-10-24)
818 July 2018 (NZ) (18 July 2018 (NZ))2018 (2018)

Season 1 (2015)[edit]

No.
overall
EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateAus. viewers
(millions)
1Episode 1Pino AmentaJames Griffin15 September 2015 (2015-09-15)1.22[14]
Following the death of his wife, column writer George Turner breaks the news to his two teenaged children that they will be moving from Sydney to Weld, New Zealand. They arrive in the small coastal town to a half-finished home, nosy neighbors and run-away sculptures.
2Episode 2Pino AmentaMaxine Fleming and James Griffin22 September 2015 (2015-09-22)1.19[15]
Having written a column in the previous episode that referred to Weld as a "dead-end" town, George faces the full wrath of the locals. This causes friction for everyone, including Shay and Arlo, who struggle to fit in at school.
3Episode 3Mike SmithJames Griffin29 September 2015 (2015-09-29)1.17[16]
After refusing to reveal the cause of his wife's death, rumors run wild in Weld about George, and his concerns about the school bus driver exacerbate things. He traces the lies back to their source while Shay makes new connections with a local.
4Episode 4Mike SmithMaxine Fleming and James Griffin6 October 2015 (2015-10-06)1.06[17]
George considers the women of Weld and whether he is ready for romance after the death of his wife. He and Arlo learn more about the salacious history of Weld, while Shay's anxiety about her family affects her new relationship.
5Episode 5Mike SmithTim Balme13 October 2015 (2015-10-13)1.08[18]
The late Laura Turner's birthday approaches and her husband and children disagree on how to mark the day. George relives unpleasant memories from his childhood time in Weld, and Shay fights to protect a local camp ground from development.
6Episode 6Mike SmithNatalie Medlock and James Griffin20 October 2015 (2015-10-20)1.02[19]
Truths are revealed when George and Arlo play detective on two fronts: the case of the missing statue head and Shay's love life.
7Episode 7Pino AmentaMaxine Fleming and James Griffin27 October 2015 (2015-10-27)1.03[20]
Shay faces the legal and emotional consequences of her actions alone, despite offers of help from George and everyone else in town. George realizes his own limitations as a parent and writes an unusually personal column, leading Shay to a life-changing decision.
8Episode 8Pino AmentaJames Griffin3 November 2015 (2015-11-03)1.15[21]
Efforts to save the campground heat up. Jan arrives in town and helps George deal with the fallout from Shay's departure, with unexpected results.

Season 2 (2016–17)[edit]

No.
overall
EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateAus. viewers
(millions)
Part 1
9Episode 1Mike SmithTim Balme and James Griffin23 August 2016 (2016-08-23)0.88[22]
While the rest of the town prepares for Guy Fawkes Night, George and Arlo enact a plan to get Shay back to Weld. Jan, Lindsay and Shay all make decisions about where they really belong.
10Episode 2Mike SmithTim Balme30 August 2016 (2016-08-30)0.74[23]
The limits of friendship are tested when Woody produces an invoice for George. Despite his best efforts, George finds himself employed several times over.
11Episode 3Michael HurstMaxine Fleming6 September 2016 (2016-09-06)0.79[24]
The discovery of a crash site reveals truths to Lindsay about her family and to George about pitfalls to avoid when you're the editor of a small town paper.
12Episode 4Michael HurstKate McDermott13 September 2016 (2016-09-13)0.62[25]
When George's dream Weld house comes up for sale, he considers another move. Shay's boyfriend from Sydney makes an unexpected appearance, much to everyone's chagrin.
13Episode 5Murray KeaneSarah-Kate Lynch and James Griffin20 September 2016 (2016-09-20)0.59[26]
George and Katie find the post-date rumor mill more difficult to navigate than the date itself. The campground development takes an unexpected turn.
14Episode 6Murray KeaneJames Griffin27 September 2016 (2016-09-27)0.70[27]
An accident lands Woody in the hospital and sends George on a crusade against the summer people. Shay, Tracey and Arlo make new strides in their love lives.
15Episode 7Mike SmithJames Griffin4 October 2016 (2016-10-04)0.80[28]
As the one-year anniversary of Laura's death approaches, her parents arrive in Weld and a fight about what to do with her ashes erupts. Fiona gets surprising news.
16Episode 8Mike SmithKate McDermott4 October 2016 (2016-10-04)0.73[28]
A game of cricket marks the end of some relationships in Weld, and the beginning of others.
Part 2
17Episode 9Michael HurstKate McDermott31 January 2017 (2017-01-31)0.80[29]
While Fiona tries to end her marriage, George deals with the consequences of their public kiss around town. Meanwhile, Jan finds it more difficult to keep her secret.
18Episode 10Michael HurstMichael Beran & James Griffin7 February 2017 (2017-02-07)0.74[30]
George and Fiona throw a dinner party for the couples of Weld, which turns into an ever escalating comedy of errors. Arlo takes on new responsibilities at the restaurant.
19Episode 11Caroline Bell-BoothSarah-Kate Lynch & Kate McDermott14 February 2017 (2017-02-14)0.65[31]
Arlo makes a surprising decision about his academic future, and Shay wonders what she will do with her own, while George worries about them both. Fiona wonders where she fits into the Turner family.
20Episode 12Caroline Bell-BoothTim Balme21 February 2017 (2017-02-21)0.72[32]
George and Fiona have a weekend away; while Shay's mural and Arlo's attempt at a quiet night with Emma go up in flames. Jan's secret comes out, and it is more complicated than anyone could have imagined.
21Episode 13Michael HurstJames Griffin28 February 2017 (2017-02-28)0.64[33]
Fiona and George struggle to find time to process Jan's news. Shay and Arlo's relationships suffer in the face of art fraud and distance. An unexpected Turner arrives in Weld.
22Episode 14Michael HurstSarah-Kate Lynch7 March 2017 (2017-03-07)0.59[34]
Terry charms Arlo and all of Weld with his plans for a new restaurant, and George has trouble convincing them his brother is not as trustworthy as he seems.
23Episode 15Mike SmithMichael Beran & James Griffin14 March 2017 (2017-03-14)0.59[35]
George works on an article about Terry's restaurant, and the changes that he sees in Weld since it opened. Katie has second thoughts about the art deception, and Shay has a decision to make.
24Episode 16Mike SmithJames Griffin21 March 2017 (2017-03-21)0.68[36]
George tries desperately to clean up Terry's mess in Weld, while finally coming to understand his brother. Shay deals with the consequences of her own actions.

Season 3 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateAus. viewers
(millions)
Part 1
25Episode 1Mike SmithTim Balme12 September 2017 (2017-09-12)0.70[37]
Weld mounts operation search and rescue for Ike, Zac and Steve. George contemplates possible fatherhood while comforting Shay. Jan goes into labour but there are more than paternity complications.
26Episode 2Mike SmithKate McDermott19 September 2017 (2017-09-19)0.63[38]
It's D-day for George and the two other prospective fathers. Shay struggles with the fallout from the sea rescue and there's a major surprise at Woody and Tracey's engagement party.
27Episode 3Michael HurstJames Griffin26 September 2017 (2017-09-26)0.59[39]
George is recruited as a reluctant accomplice in a secret mission involving Woody's past. Shay goes to the dark side after suffering from a broken heart and Katie resurrects a teaching career.
28Episode 4Michael HurstSarah-Kate Lynch & James Griffin3 October 2017 (2017-10-03)0.62[40]
George gets an unlikely message from beyond the grave whilst Woody's top secret divorce plan unravels. Meanwhile, Hannah has a challenge convincing Constable Tom she'd be a top cop.
29Episode 5Caroline Bell-Booth & Chris BaileyTim Balme10 October 2017 (2017-10-10)0.58[41]
George's fears about Operation Quickie Divorce are realised when Woody discovers something that can't be hidden.
30Episode 6Caroline Bell-BoothNatalie Medlock & Kate McDermott & James Griffin17 October 2017 (2017-10-17)0.51[42]
George longs for solitude but his plan to get rid of his unwanted guests backfires. Woody's relationship with Tracey is on the rocks whilst struggling in his new unexpected role.
31Episode 7Helena BrooksPip Hall & James Griffin & Kate McDermott24 October 2017 (2017-10-24)0.57[43]
George enjoys having the house to himself and declares war on punctuation. Woody fears for his safety at his stag party.
32Episode 8Helena BrooksKate McDermott24 October 2017 (2017-10-24)0.52[43]
George helps Monty write the best man speech and ponders his own wedding.

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The series premiered in Australia on 15 September 2015 on the Seven Network[44] and premiered in New Zealand on 5 November 2015 on TV One.[45] In the United States, the series premiered on Acorn TV in 2016[46] and PBS in March 2017. The series premiered in Finland on YLE TV1 in June 2017.[47] In the UK, the first two series were broadcast on BBC One in April and May 2018.

Home media[edit]

Season one[48] along with part one[49] and two[50] of season two are available on iTunes in Australia.

Title Set details DVD release dates Special features
Region 1[51] Region 2[52] Region 4
Australia[53] New Zealand[54]
800 Words
  • Discs: 2
  • Episodes: 8
13 December 2016 (2016-12-13) 31 December 2017 (2017-12-31) 4 November 2015 (2015-11-04) 18 December 2015 (2015-12-18)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
800 Words – Season 2 Volume 1
  • Discs: 2
  • Episodes: 8
18 April 2017 (2017-04-18) N/A 12 October 2016 (2016-10-12) N/A
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
800 Words – Season 2 Volume 2
  • Discs: 2
  • Episodes: 8
22 August 2017 (2017-08-22) N/A 5 April 2017 (2017-04-05) N/A
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes: Melina's Tour of Weld; Interview with Erik Thomson
800 Words – Season 2
  • Discs: 4[A]
  • Episodes: 16
N/A 31 December 2018 (2018-12-31) N/A 11 May 2017 (2017-05-11)
800 Words – Season 3 Volume 1
  • Discs: 2
  • Episodes: 8
TBA TBA 7 March 2018 (2018-03-07) TBA

Compilations[edit]

Title Set details DVD release dates Special features
Region 2[55] Region 4
Australia[56]
800 Words – Complete Seasons 1&2
  • Discs: 6[B]
  • Episodes: 24
31 December 2018 (2018-12-31) 5 April 2017 (2017-04-05)

Region 4:

  • Romance and Women of Weld
  • Melina's Tour of Weld
  • Interview with Erik Thomson


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 2 discs in the UK.
  2. ^ 4 discs in the UK.

Viewership[edit]

Season 1 (2015)[edit]

No. Title Air date Overnight ratings Consolidated ratings Total
viewers
Ref(s)
Viewers Rank Viewers Rank
1 Episode 1 15 September 2015 1,219,000 2 131,000 1 1,350,000 [14][57]
2 Episode 2 22 September 2015 1,192,000 1 217,000 1 1,409,000 [15][58]
3 Episode 3 29 September 2015 1,170,000 1 233,000 1 1,403,000 [16][59]
4 Episode 4 6 October 2015 1,055,000 2 254,000 1 1,309,000 [17][60]
5 Episode 5 13 October 2015 1,082,000 1 225,000 1 1,307,000 [18][61]
6 Episode 6 20 October 2015 1,019,000 2 235,000 1 1,254,000 [19][62]
7 Episode 7 27 October 2015 1,027,000 3 219,000 1 1,246,000 [20][63]
8 Episode 8 3 November 2015 1,151,000 6 165,000 4 1,316,000 [21][64]

Season 2 (2016–17)[edit]

No. Title Air date Overnight ratings Consolidated ratings Total
viewers
Ref(s)
Viewers Rank Viewers Rank
1 Episode 1 23 August 2016 877,000 7 164,000 4 1,041,000 [22][65]
2 Episode 2 30 August 2016 742,000 11 209,000 6 951,000 [23][66]
3 Episode 3 6 September 2016 793,000 11 238,000 3 1,031,000 [24][67]
4 Episode 4 13 September 2016 618,000 14 228,000 8 846,000 [25][68]
5 Episode 5 20 September 2016 592,000 14 221,000 9 813,000 [26][69]
6 Episode 6 27 September 2016 695,000 12 175,000 7 870,000 [27][70]
7 Episode 7 4 October 2016 800,000 9 192,000 4 992,000 [28][71]
8 Episode 8 4 October 2016 728,000 10 169,000 8 897,000 [28][71]
9 Episode 9 31 January 2017 797,000 9 211,000 4 1,008,000 [29][72]
10 Episode 10 7 February 2017 737,000 10 198,000 7 935,000 [30][73]
11 Episode 11 14 February 2017 647,000 12 207,000 7 854,000 [31][74]
12 Episode 12 21 February 2017 718,000 11 176,000 7 894,000 [32][75]
13 Episode 13 28 February 2017 639,000 11 207,000 8 846,000 [33][76]
14 Episode 14 7 March 2017 594,000 13 225,000 7 819,000 [34][77]
15 Episode 15 14 March 2017 591,000 12 210,000 9 801,000 [35][78]
16 Episode 16 21 March 2017 681,000 11 212,000 7 893,000 [36][79]

Season 3 (2017)[edit]

No. Title Air date Overnight ratings Consolidated ratings Total
viewers
Ref(s)
Viewers Rank Viewers Rank
1 Episode 1 12 September 2017 696,000 10 159,000 7 855,000 [37][80]
2 Episode 2 19 September 2017 633,000 10 146,000 8 779,000 [38][81]
3 Episode 3 26 September 2017 587,000 11 163,000 8 750,000 [39][82]
4 Episode 4 3 October 2017 624,000 10 150,000 8 774,000 [40][83]
5 Episode 5 10 October 2017 580,000 12 172,000 9 752,000 [41][84]
6 Episode 6 17 October 2017 513,000 15 193,000 9 706,000 [42][85]
7 Episode 7 24 October 2017 567,000 13 171,000 9 738,000 [43][86]
8 Episode 8 24 October 2017 516,000 14 197,000 11 713,000 [43][86]

Remake[edit]

On 8 January 2018, Zomer in Zeeland (translated: Summer in Zeeland) premiered on the Dutch channel SBS6. The show stars Daniël Boissevain as Sjors Mulder, Pip Pellens as his daughter Fenna Mulder and Tonko Bossen as his son Jurgen Mulder. The remake follows the same storyline, but changes the setting to the Dutch province of Zeeland, after which the country of New Zealand was named.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knox, David (29 October 2014). "Seven 2015 highlights: House Rules x 2, Restaurant Revolution, Gibney / Thomson dramas". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Knox, David (7 November 2014). "800 Words co-production with Seven, South Pacific Pictures". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Channel Seven wants Erik Thomson's drama 800 Words to be the next Packed to the Rafters". News.com.au. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
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  49. ^ "800 Words, Season 2 Pt. 1". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  50. ^ "800 Words, Season 2 Pt. 2". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  51. ^ Region 1 DVD sets:
  52. ^ Region 2 DVD sets:
  53. ^ Australia DVD sets:
  54. ^ New Zealand DVD sets:
  55. ^ Region 2 compilations:
  56. ^ Australia DVD compilations:
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  82. ^ Knox, David (4 October 2017). "Timeshifted: Tuesday 26 September 2017". OzTAM. TV Tonight. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  83. ^ Knox, David (15 October 2017). "Timeshifted: Tuesday 3 October 2017". OzTAM. TV Tonight. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  84. ^ Knox, David (23 October 2017). "Timeshifted: Tuesday 10 October 2017". OzTAM. TV Tonight. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  85. ^ Knox, David (31 October 2017). "Timeshifted: Tuesday 17 October 2017". OzTAM. TV Tonight. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
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