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|Created by||Forrest Redlich|
|Written by||David Allen|
C M Covington
Louise Crane-Bowes as Louise Crane
Mary Dagmar Davies
C V Schofield
Steve J. Spears
|Directed by||Michael Ailwood|
|Starring||(see list of credited cast below)|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||1 x 2-hour pilot|
404 x 60-minute episodes
716 x 30-minute episodes (UK)
|Running time||60 minutes/30 minutes|
|Original network||Network Ten|
|Picture format||4.3 PAL|
|Original release||24 January 1989 –|
20 May 1993
E Street is an Australian television soap opera created by Forrest Redlich and produced by his production company, Westside Television, for Network Ten. It was broadcast twice a week, from Wednesday, 24 January 1989 to Thursday, 20 May 1993. The series was very popular for a short period in the early 1990's and won several awards.
E Street was set in a tough fictional inner-city district called Westside, and stories revolved around the local community there.
The moderately successful soap opera, Richmond Hill, which was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation was surprisingly cancelled by Ten to make way for E Street. Richmond Hill had also been successfully sold to ITV in the UK, and was rating in the high-teens in Australia, so it was a gamble by Ten to axe it and replace it with the untried E Street. Indeed, it would take 3 years for a UK broadcaster to pick up the soap and E Street initially rated somewhat lower than Richmond Hill in Australia, but audience research indicated that it attracted a significant proportion of the 14–35 audience and a large male viewership - a demographic highly prized by advertisers. Later, with improved storylines and characters, the ratings steadily climbed, eventually eclipsing the figures that Richmond Hill had attracted.
E Street ran for 404 one-hour episodes. Like many Australian soap operas before it, E Street was broadcast as two one-hour episodes each week and until the premiere of (unsuccessful) HeadLand in November 2005, it had been the last Australian soap opera to screen its episodes in this format. Notably, in the U.K, E Street aired as edited half-hour episodes, stripped 5 days a week.
About E Street
E Street was created and produced by Forrest Redlich. The structure of the cast and the format of the original episodes were modelled on A Country Practice, a highly successful serial Redlich had worked on as a writer for several years. The earliest episodes of E Street could be seen as an urban version of that soap, tackling human interest, issue-led stories over two weekly hour-long episodes, with continuing storylines carried by a small regular ensemble cast. Further similarities included setting much of the action around the local police station, the pub, and a doctor's surgery with the regular cast established as working at one of these key locations. Whereas in A Country Practice, the veterinary practice was featured regularly, in E Street, this was replaced with a legal-aid centre which opened in space at the local Vicarage, perhaps to provide some moral tone to the programme's trickier legal issues.
A more obvious comparison with A Country Practice was with the addition of Penny Cook as E Street's leading, anchor character, Dr Elly Fielding. Penny Cook had previously had a popular run as vet Vicky Dean in A Country Practice from the series inception in 1981 through to 1985. After a break of two years, it was announced in late 1988 that Cook would be returning to television in a brand series. Penny Cook would be the first of several popular actors to move to E Street in key roles from other successful soap operas of the time.
Another very popular member of the original cast was Tony Martin as 50's throwback, hip and trendy Reverend Bob Brown and his blossoming relationship with Dr Elly spanned much of the entire run of the series. Other regulars from the beginning included publican Ernie Patchett (Vic Rooney) and his teenage son, Chris (Paul Kelman) who ran Patchett's Pacific pub, a central location seen in virtually every episode of the series. Chris was romancing the pub's barmaid, Lisa Bennett, played by Alyssa-Jane Cook, who became one of the soap's most popular stars. Soap veterans Leslie Dayman as police sergeant George Sullivan, and Cecily Polsen as district nurse Martha O'Dare enhanced the community feel of Westide. Sarah McKillop (Katrina Sedgewick) arrived to re-open the legal aid centre at the very beginning of the series, and newlyweds police constable Paul (Warren Jones) and Rhonda Berry (Melanie Saloman) were settling into life on Eden Street when it began.
But after a much publicised launch in January 1989, and despite positive critical reviews, E Street did not initially perform well in Australian ratings. After three months of following the original format of gritty, hard-hitting storylines, it became obvious that this was not working, so Forrest Redlich immediately began to make changes to his creation.
After six months, the E Street underwent its first major revamp and, at first, the preachy issue-based, social commentary storylines were dropped and replaced by more comedy and upbeat plots and characters. The episode titles were also dropped and new characters were added to expand the existing cast. Costumes became more colourful and the music soundtrack was overhauled, brightening up the whole look and sound of E Street. However, there remained a dark undercurrent to the fledgling new series, and the violent demise of two original cast members (one was shot dead in a siege, the other was stalked, raped, and then strangled to death) enforced the original intention by the producers to shock and push boundaries. By the end of 1989, E Street had an entirely new look, redesigned titles, an upbeat and jazzier theme tune plus an expanded cast of more likable and younger characters. Comedy, colour, as well as drama, was now what E Street was now all about as it positioned itself as the hip and street-wise soap opera, edgier, and more trendy than the safe and established Neighbours and Home and Away.
In late 1989 and into early 1990, more new cast members were added to the established original line-up, and these characters included the dashing airline pilot Daniel Windsor (Chris Orchard) who moved his young family to E Street when he began a romance with Dr Elly. His eldest daughter, Toni (Toni Pearen), became particularly popular, and after Daniel eventually left the series with the rest of his family, Toni stayed in E Street and moved in with Elly for several years. Other young new characters, such as "Wheels" (Marcus Graham), 'Harley' Brown (Malcolm Kennard) and Alice Sullivan (Marianne Howard) all helped the soap become more and more popular, as did the expansion of the Patchett family, when Ernie met and soon married Abbey (Chelsea Brown), and Chris eventually married Megan Bromley (Lisbeth Kenally).
During the 1990 season, E Street's viewing figures significantly improved; the previous years' revamp had been a success and it was now on its way to becoming a huge hit for Network Ten, which itself had been through a turbulent time, having been saved from closure in the previous few months. The next big storyline in E Street followed the arrival of its newest bad-boy character, the ex-inmate Sonny Bennett (Richard Huggett), who was the brother of the established character Lisa Bennett. Sonny was a hit with viewers; written as having a slick, throw-back look, along with his snappy one-liners and tendency to cause as much chaos as possible, the character was introduced to shake up the series and signalled the next big overhaul of the cast, with five established characters disposed of during this period. Three members of the Patchett family perished in perhaps E Streets most memorable moment when the car in which they were sat exploded in highly shocking and harrowing scenes which were cut by some broadcasters in international territories, including the U.K. By the end of 1990, more new characters were introduced, music videos became a regular rather than occasional occurrence, and storylines became more and more unpredictable and ratings continued to grow; E Street was now near the top of Australian TV ratings.
A 'super-bitch' character, Sheridan Sturgess, arrived in Westside at the end of 1990, taking over the local TV station WTV8. The role was played by Kate Raison, another actress famous for her four-year run in A Country Practice as Cathy Hayden. Following the exit of Penny Cook as key character Elly Fielding, Sheridan became the new leading lady, central to E Street' and its next big storyline; the arrival of the serial killer Steven Richardson, a.k.a. 'Mr Bad' (Vince Martin).
The 1991 season was dominated by this extensive and convoluted plot. Forrest Redlich explained on a DVD release of these episodes that the storyline was meticulously planned to affect every character over the entire year. Those actors wishing to leave during this era of E Street became a victim of Stephen Richardson's murderous alter-ego 'Mr Bad' and were duly killed off. This storyline was a huge success, finally sealing the popularity of the series when it peaked at #1 in the Australian ratings as viewers tuned-in to see what Mr Bad was going to get up too next.
In Technicolor dream sequences, Sheridan reveals to viewers the murder of a little girl called Becky Campbell, seemingly by a young man with his face painted half black and half silver. That person was revealed to be Steven Richardson, Claire Fielding's Karate teacher, who had been slowly introduced to viewers over the previous few weeks. As Sheridan's nightmares about Stephen became more intense, she starts to become more fearful of him, and tries to warn her friends to stay away from him.
Mr Bad's reign of terror began with the shocking murder of Dr Virginia Travis (Julieanne Newbould) followed soon after by Sheridan's brother Michael (Graham Harvey). When Sheriden finally uncovers the truth about Stephen, Becky Campbell and the murder of her brother, Stephen is finally arrested. With the tension of the storyline now at its peak, and coming at the end of the 1991 season, Sheriden blew Mr Bad's face off with a shotgun whilst he was in remand at Westside police station.
E Street had undoubtedly moved on from its well-meaning inception. The opening sequence introducing the cast was eventually dropped, the pace and melodrama increased, and cast turnover became exceptionally high; however, these moves proved very popular and E Street topped the Australian ratings for the first time at the end of 1991. Viewers had seemingly accepted the radical changes in tone and content - plus the problematic re-cast of the leading character Dr Elly Fielding, after Penny Cook decided not to return and was replaced by Diane Craig. At the end of 1991 and most of 1992, E Street was the most popular serial in Australia.
E Street: The Music
As the series established its identity, several music videos and musical performances were incorporated into episodes to promote music released on the offshoot Westside Records music label, whilst some of the actresses, namely Melissa Tkautz and Toni Pearen, released singles which were hits in Australia. Tkautz had the biggest selling single of 1991 with her #1 dance hit "Read My Lips" and the follow-up, "Sexy (Is The Word)", made #3 the same year, all thanks to their inclusion on E Street. Bruce Samazan also released a single, a rap record called "One of a Kind", and artists such as the Maybe Dolls and Euphoria also had hits thanks to the show.
Peak of Popularity
E Street was now a recognised hit and had developed a look and sound all of its own. It eventually surpassed both Neighbours and Home and Away in the Australian ratings and popularity. At the 1992 Australian Logies, E Street won the coveted "Most Popular Serial" category, sealing the success of the series in its home territory.
Ironically, however, the popularity of E Street peaked in 1992 with the eventual conclusion of the truly long-running 'Mr Bad' storyline. Indeed, it was this plot that kept the show at the top of the Australian ratings, and even after the departure of Vince Martin, who originally played the sadistic serial-killer, and Kate Raison as his number one victim Sheriden Sturgess, the 'Mr Bad' plot continued with a new actor playing the part. Following Sheridan blowing Stephen's face off at the end of the 1991 season, at the beginning of the 1992 season, a new actor took over the role, his face wrapped entirely in bandages, with just one eye-ball visible. Soon, Stephen was telepathically communicating with his Nurse, Amy Preston, in a new story-arc for the serial-killer, reminiscent of the cult Australian 1978 film Patrick. Eventually however, Steven Richardson and his alter-ego 'Mr Bad' were killed off as the storyline reached its natural conclusion, but it was at this point the writers struggled to keep momentum, and E Street started to flounder.
Several high-profile characters departed at the same time many popular storylines were being wrapped up and the new characters and storylines seemed relatively tame compared to what had happened in the show before. A big loss to the series was Marcus Graham who completed 3 separate stints in the show as Stanley "Wheels" Kovac. Early in the series, he used a wheelchair, hence his nickname, although he was fully upright when he left E Street for good in episode 302, taking with him the popular character, Sheridan Sturgess.
Original favourite Lisa Bennett (Alyssa-Jane Cook) and long-running Alice Sullivan (Marianne Howard) had also left the series by this point, Melissa Tkautz departed to continue her music career, and many others were to leave soon after. The solution was a raft of fresh faces; 'lovable nerd' and city lawyer Jamie Newman (Scott McRae) joined the cast during the 'Mr Bad' revenge plot along with new police constable Sam Farrell (Simon Baker). A new much hyped bad-boy character arrived - Reverend Bob's long-lost gangster brother, Jack Brown, played by Andrew Williams from Neighbours where he'd spent 8 months playing Lou Carpenter's son, Guy. Melissa Bell, also ex-Neighbours, joined the cast as hippy Bonnie Tate, and fresh from her 6 month stint in Home and Away, Josephine Mitchell arrived as Penny O'Brien. These characters were met with limited success, however, and Penny was described as a clone of the departed character Alice Sullivan, and Jack Brown's gangster storylines were considered a low point of E Street's final few months - as was a much-derided dream sequence involving Max turning into a werewolf which was seen as a desperate attempt by the writers to hold on to a hastily dwindling audience.
In the UK, Sky Television bought the rights to the series in early 1992, some three years after its Australian debut and while the show was still a huge success on its home network.
The entertainment channel Sky One had already screened episodes of long-running Aussie serials A Country Practice, The Young Doctors and The Sullivans in the 1980s. In early 1992, the network was investing in newer continuing drama series and from Australia purchased both the Nine Network adult drama Chances and Network 10's E Street and Sky heavily promoted both series weeks before their subsequent launches.
Sky Television aired E Street in an edited 30-minute format. It was broadcast in an early evening timeslot, stripped Monday to Friday at 6:30–7pm, with a repeat the following afternoon at 1 pm. This format had also been used in the UK when broadcasting hour-long drama A Country Practice on ITV in the 1990s, however, due to the earlier timeslot, some episodes were edited to make them suitable for younger audiences. E Street launched on Sunday, 5 April 1992 and following the two-hour original pilot, Sky (confusingly) picked up the story from episode 46  on Monday, 6 April, completely abandoning the opening 45 episodes that had achieved poor ratings in Australia, with no explanation given as to the 6 month jump in storylines.
Sky heavily publicised the launch of their new Australian soap, and promoted it with the taglines "Meet Your New Neighbours on E Street" and "Your New Neighbours are moving in", clearly using the popularity of the BBC's Neighbours to lure viewers. This slogan could be seen across the country on double-decker buses, billboards and teen magazine advertisements. The actors Tony Martin (Bob), Alyssa-Jane Cook (Lisa), Marcus Graham (Wheels), Leslie Dayman (George), Cecily Polson (Martha) and Vic Rooney (Ernie) all flew to Britain to appear in advertisements promoting the launch of the soap. The Sun newspaper ran competitions based on the show, with first prize being a holiday to Sydney, Australia; runners-up received satellite dishes so they could watch Sky. During the first 12 months it aired in the UK, E Street became one of the highest rated programmes on Sky One averaging around 750,000–1 million viewers an episode. This was at a time when there was an available audience of only around 2.5 million, due to Sky only being available via the Astra satellite and selected cable areas.
During the storyline involving character Sonny Bennett (Richard Huggett) killing three characters in a shocking car-bomb explosion (episodes 170–171), in the UK, where E Street aired in an earlier timeslot, these episodes were broadcast between 19-24 March 1993 and were preceded by a warning to viewers that the episode contained scenes that some may find upsetting as well as removing the actual explosion of the car entirely. The 12.30pm repeat the following day was replaced by The Simpsons. Similarly, cuts were made during the "Mr Bad" storyline, particularly the murders of Virginia Travis and Michael Sturgess which were edited for UK screenings.
Despite winning "Most Popular Serial" in the 1992 Australian Logies, plus actors Bruce Samazan and Simon Baker (then known as Simon Baker-Denny) both winning their respective categories in 1992 and 1993, E Street was cancelled by Ten early 1993. It was revealed by creator and Executive Producer Forrest Redlich on the DVD release The Best of Mr Bad Part 2 that the cancellation was more due to creative differences and the direction the network wanted to take the show, than falling viewing figures. A series of high-profile cast departures had also damaged the show's reputation, with long-running and popular characters Wheels, Sheridan Sturgess, Steven Richardson, Nikki Spencer, Claire Fielding, Toni Windsor and Craig "C.J" Jones all exiting during the show's final 12 months. A final blow was dealt when viewer favourite and a pivotal character from the start, Reverend Bob Brown, was dramatically killed off when Tony Martin quit the show, with the show's cancellation announced shortly afterwards. Storylines were hastily wrapped up, quicker than anticipated, and in the final episodes (403 and 404), the remaining characters were placed in life-threatening and cliff-hanger situations: Jo-Jo (Kelley Abbey) battled the attentions of a sleazy loan-shark; Ernie was electrocuted in the cellar of Patchett's Pacific, sparking a huge fire which then traps Elly, Laura and Sally as they try to rescue him; Max, Alice and Bonnie are lost in the outback as Bonnie relapses and slips back into a coma.
When the final episode began, time had moved on seven weeks and gradually it was revealed that all the characters are alive and well having survived the previous episodes various cliff-hangers. The remaining cast including Elly, Laura, Jack, Ernie, Sally, Nikki, Max, George, Martha and Alice gathered around comatose Bonnie's hospital bedside and each read a line from a poem Max had found in recently deceased Rev. Bob's prayer book. As the last line was read out by Max, Bonnie finally opened her eyes and said; "Max!". A final 10-minute montage of E Street's greatest moments was then played out to the closing credits, with Elly tearfully laying a single red rose on Rev Bob's grave as E Street's final scene, thus suitably signifying the end of the four-year series.
The final episode aired in Australia Thursday, 13 May 1993, with the UK run ending nearly two years later on Tuesday, 28 February 1995. A repeat run of the 1989 and 1990 seasons commenced on Ten in 2000, and was cancelled at the end of 2003. In the UK E Street has never been repeated.
Several cast members immediately went on to star in other Australian soap operas and drama serials:
- Simon Baker became the biggest breakout star of E Street. After meeting his future wife Rebecca Rigg on the series, they relocated to the U.S where Baker starred in the successful series The Mentalist and The Guardian.
- Penny Cook had a long-running recurring role in Neighbours as Prue Brown from 2007 to 2010. She died from cancer in December 2018.
- Bruce Samazan became a star through his role as Max Simmons in E Street. He immediately went on to star in Neighbours as Mark Gottlieb until 1995, when his character jilted Annalise Hartman (played by Kimberley Davies) at the altar to become a priest. In 1996, he joined Home and Away for a six-month stint as Brad Cooper. He now works in real estate.
- Josephine Mitchell immediately joined the cast of Neighbours as Katerina Torrelli, who stalked Bruce Samazan's character Mark Gottlieb.
- Tony Martin was immediately cast in gritty high-school drama Heartbreak High as pushy science teacher Bill Southgate, between 1994 and 1995.
- Diane Craig followed former co-star Tony Martin to Hartley High School, where she spent two years as Principal June Dyson between 1995 and 1996.
- Adrian Lee, Kate Raison, Melissa Tkautz, Malcolm Kennard and Virginia Hey all starred in cult mid-'90s soap Pacific Drive. This soap also had a long-running serial-killer storyline – the first victim ironically being Kate Raison's character, Georgina Ellis.
- Melissa Tkautz enjoyed popularity during her time on E Street and eventually left the soap to concentrate on touring and promoting her album which had spawned three hit singles. She was voted 'Hottest female on Earth' by a teen music magazine. She returned for the last few months of E Street in 1993. After E Street Tkautz went on to roles in Paradise Beach, Pacific Drive, Echo Point, Medivac and All Saints. In 2005 she released new music and has since appeared in Swift and Shift Couriers on SBS.
- Toni Pearen released an album featuring two Top-10 hit singles in the early '90s, later worked on film and television in the US and most recently has found success as a TV presenter hosting Australia's Funniest Home Videos for five years from 2003 to 2008. She later appeared in the 8th series of Australia's Dancing With The Stars (Sept. 2008).
- Briony Behets immediately followed her guest stint in E Street as Margaret Bennett with a three-year run in UK-based soap Families, playing Diana Stevens between 1990 and 1993.
- After E Street, Joan Sydney returned to Wandin Valley as Matron Maggie Sloane in the ill-fated Network Ten version of A Country Practice in 1994. She had a recurring role of Valda Sheergold in Neighbours from 2002 until 2005.
- Richard Huggett's character Sonny Bennett killed four E Street favourites and then himself. He subsequently played the thoroughly decent character Glen Donnelly in Neighbours, the long-lost son of Jim Robinson. Huggett also appeared in a few episodes of Blue Heelers as a boyfriend of Constable Maggie Doyle (played by Lisa McCune). Huggett was also DC Jeremy Piper in the BBC series Out Of The Blue.
- Melissa Bell spoke the final word in E Street, when she opened her eyes after several weeks in a coma, she looked up and said "Max!" as the rest of the cast looked on around her hospital bedside. She then immediately returned to her previous role as Lucy Robinson in Neighbours, her last appearance was in 2016.
- Serge Lazareff went on to become a script-writer on E Street, and later, as a writer on Heartbreak High, All Saints and Home and Away. He also worked as script editor at Neighbours.
Of the regular cast, Bunny Brooke, Vic Rooney, Chelsea Brown and Penny Cook have now died.
- Elly Fielding #1 (Penny Cook) 1989-91 (pilot, episodes 1-209)
- Elly Fielding #2 (Diane Craig) 1991-93 (252-404)
- Reverend Bob Brown (Tony Martin) 1989-93 (pilot-384)
- Sarah McKillop (Katrina Sedgewick) 1989 (1-50)
- Lisa Bennett (Alyssa-Jane Cook) 1989-92 (pilot-290)
- Chris Patchett (Paul Kelman) 1989-90 (pilot-171)
- Sergeant George Sullivan (Leslie Dayman) 1989-93 (pilot-404)
- Martha O'Dare (Cecily Polson) 1989-93 (pilot-404)
- Rhonda Berry (Melanie Salomon) 1989 (pilot-40)
- PC Paul Berry (Warren Jones) 1989-91 (pilot-198)
- Ernie Patchett (Vic Rooney) 1989-90, 1991-93 (pilot-200, 276-404)
- Claire Fielding (Brooke "Mikey" Anderson) 1989-91, 1991-92 (pilot-209, 235-320) †
Further Cast 1989-1993
- David Fielding (Noel Hodda) 1989-91 (pilot-209, recurring until ep 90)
- Miki Fallon (Peta Toppano) 1989-90 (16-51)
- Margaret Bennett (Briony Behets) 1989-90 (recurring 11-66, guest 112)
- Sam Bulmer (Serge Lazareff) 1989-90 (41-62)
- Daniel Windsor (Chris Orchard) 1989-90 (50-106)
- Toni Windsor (Toni Pearen) 1989-92 (52-368)
- Tom Windsor (Andrew Ferguson) 1989-90 (52-106, 150-155)
- Simon Windsor (Trent Newman) 1989-90 (52-106)
- Sally Windsor (Emma Scanlon) 1989-90 (52-106)
- Jennifer St. James (Virginia Hey) 1989-90 (54-105)
- Stanley "Wheels" Kovac (Marcus Graham) 1989 (55-86), 1991–92 (235-302)
- Alice Sullivan (Marianne Howard) 1989-1992 (58-290), 1993 (400-404)
- Megan Patchett (née Bromley) (Lisbeth Kennally) 1989-90 (66-171)
- JoJo Adams (Kelley Abbey) 1989 (74-86), 1991–93 (254-404)
- Harley Brown (Malcolm Kennard) 1989-92 (82-236)
- Abby Rossiter (Chelsea Brown) 1989-90 (89-171)
- Auntie Vi Patchett (Bunney Brooke) 1990-91 (98-220)
- Sonny Bennett (Richard Huggett) 1990 (109-172)
- Kim Talbot (Rebecca Saunders) 1990 (109-166)
- PC Max Simmons (Bruce Samazan) 1990-93 (114-404)
- Nikki Spencer (Melissa Tkautz) 1990-93 (160-404)
- Zac Spencer (Daniel Knight) 1990-91 (160-272)
- Michael Sturgess (Graham Harvey) 1990 (141-148), 1990–91 (171-262)
- Dr Susan Franklin (Anne Tenney) 1990 (171-176)
- Sheridan Sturgess (Kate Raison) 1990-92 (178-302)
- Craig "C.J." Jones (Adrian Lee) 1990-92 (186-368)
- Dr Virginia Travis (Julieanne Newbould) 1991 (203-254)
- Joey Valentine (Lorry D'er Cole) 1991-92
- Mary Patchett (Joan Sydney) 1991-92 (224-276)
- Steven Richardson #1 (Vince Martin) 1991-92 (248-290, Olav Evensen from episode 299-318)
- Sergeant Roy Harrison (John Clayton) 1991 (265-270)
- Jamie Newman (Scott McRae) 1992-93 (277-396)
- Penny O'Brien (Josephine Mitchell) 1992-93 (284-404)
- Charlie O'Brien (Prue McGuire) 1992-93 (286-404)
- PC Sam Farrell (Simon Baker) 1992-93 (293-404)
- Amy Preston (Rebecca Rigg) 1992 (299-320)
- Jack Brown (Andrew Williams (actor)) 1992-93 (321-404)
- Bonnie Tate (Melissa Bell) 1992-93 (347-404) ††
- Sally McKinnon (Joanna Lockwood) 1992-93 (369-404)
- Laura Fielding (Antoinette Byron) 1993 (361-404)
Wednesday 24 January 1989 - Thursday 13 May 1993
Wednesday and Thursdays
Repeated the first 184 episodes (1989 and 1990 seasons) during 2003 at 12 pm.
Pilot episode screened Sunday 5 April 1992 at 2 pm and 8 pm.
From Monday 6 April 1992, E Street commenced with episode 46 and screened Monday to Friday at 6:30 to 7 pm with a repeat the following afternoon at 1 pm.
October 1993, from episode 252, E Street was moved to weekend daytime slots and was shown as hour-long episodes on Saturdays 6–7 pm and Sundays 1–2 pm. This was briefly to accommodate Paradise Beach in the 18:30 weekday slot but ultimately was an unpopular scheduling decision.
On Tuesday, 4 January 1994, E Street returned to the 6:30 pm timeslot with the afternoon repeat now at 12:30 pm, thus creating an 'Aussie Soap Hour' with Paradise Beach which aired midday/6 pm.
E Street remained popular in the UK, despite its cancellation in Australia. During September 1994, a year and a half after it last aired Down Under, E Street was moved to the 7 pm slot and the final episode 404 screened on Monday 27-Tuesday 28 February 1995 as 2 half-hour episodes.
Sky One did not transmit Episodes 1 to 45 of E Street. Subsequent episodes were customised and heavily edited for transmission on Sky One. This included notable music soundtrack changes, major cuts of violent and unsuitable scenes (Episodes 170, 254 and 260 are examples) and a different closing sequence, removing advertising and replacing music credits.
E Street has never been repeated in the UK.
Theme and titles
The original episodes of E Street had a lengthy opening title sequence made up of clips from the pilot and first episodes and was accompanied by a slow, jazzy theme tune. However, when the series relaunched 6 months later at episode 46, the entire sequence, including the E Street logo, was replaced by a specially compiled montage of the contract cast, cleverly linked together with a paint-brush wipe effect. Episode 51 introduced a new pacier, upbeat and funky theme tune, replacing the previous version entirely. These changes were implemented to encapsulate the new 'cool' image the programme was trying to convey to attract a wider audience.
This design of opening titles and music lasted until episode 134, featuring only minor alterations as characters came and went. From episode 135, however, the opening sequence with the cast credits was dropped and replaced with a re-cap of the previous episode, an aerial view of Eden Street with the E Street logo forming, followed by establishing shots of the area with writer and producer credits. The theme tune changed to a new mix of the previous theme but was of a noticeable softer arrangement. This style and music was soon dropped and replaced with a short 10 second saxophone riff edited from the second version of the theme, with two long shots of Westside and a return to the E Street title card used from episode 46 to 134.
The end title sequence remained unchanged, with credits rolling over an aerial shot of Westside during nighttime. The original theme for the closing credits was 2 minutes in duration, and was changed from Episode 51 to the updated version, an extended version of the music now used for the opening titles.
On the original Australian credits, there were several sponsorship credits that were removed from UK broadcasts. A different music soundtrack was also used on the international version of E Street, but can be heard uncut on the recent DVD release of the series.
E Street and the cast have won and been nominated for several Logies during the shows four-year run.
- Most Popular Series (in 1992)
- Most Popular Actor (to Bruce Samazan in 1992)
- Most Popular New Talent (to Richard Huggett in 1991 and Simon Baker in 1993)
- Gold Logie (to Bruce Samazan in 1993)
- Most Popular Actor (to Marcus Graham in 1992; Bruce Samazan in 1993)
- Most Popular Actress (to Kate Raison in 1992; Toni Pearen in 1993)
- Most Popular Series (in 1993)
- Most Popular New Talent (to Marcus Graham in 1990; Melissa Tkautz in 1992)
On 20 August 2006, several cast members were reunited on the Australian TV series Where Are They Now, broadcast on Seven Network. The cast members that appeared on the programme were Marcus Graham (Wheels), Alyssa-Jane Cook (Lisa Bennett), Melissa Tkautz (Nikki Spencer), Bruce Samazan (Max Simmons), Melissa Bell (Bonnie Tate) and Brooke Anderson (Claire Fielding). The studio guests were joined via a satellite link-up to Vince Martin who starred as the show's most memorable character, Mr Bad.
In August 2007, E Street was finally released on DVD, through Umbrella Entertainment, who have also released celebratory DVD sets of other Australian soap operas, The Young Doctors and Sons and Daughters. The first boxset called "The Best of Mr Bad Volume 1" is a 5-disc set and, unusually for this kind of release, features 20 consecutive episodes from 253 to 272, that originally aired in 1991 (1993-94 in the UK). The set tells the beginning of the notorious Mr Bad storyline which achieved massive viewing figures when they originally aired. Commentaries on episode 272 are provided by Bruce Samazan (Max) and Melissa Tkautz (Nikki) with Australian soap expert Andrew Mercado.
A second 5-disc DVD set, "The Best of Mr Bad Part 2" was released on 3 December 2007, and once again, contained consecutive episodes from 273 to 292, which continued the long-running Steven Richardson/Mr Bad storyline. Episode 288 features revealing commentary provided by E Street creator and executive Producer, Forrest Redlich.
The Belgian channel vtm reshot E Street in a Dutch version called Wittekerke. Wittekerke followed similar storylines during first seasons, although there were some minor differences due to cultural differences. It was the intention to only make 1 season with 32 episodes. However, Wittekerke became a success and 15 seasons (1067 episodes) were made. Wittekerke was aired between 1993 and 2008 and again from 2012 on.
- Albert Moran and Chris Keating, The A to Z of Australian Radio and Television Scarecrow Press, 2009. ISBN 0810870223 (pp. 149–150)
- SOAPS AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: Community and Family in Wittekerke and E-street Archived 6 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- E Street on IMDb
- E Street at TV.com
- E Street - The Tribute. Comprehensive site. Complete episode guide for episodes aired in the UK, extensive photo gallery, up to date DVD information and links to clips of the series on YouTube.
- Aussie Soap Archive: E Street. A detailed feature documenting the E Street journey on and off screen.
- E Street at the National Film and Sound Archive