Richmond Hill (TV series)
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|Created by||Reg Watson|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||91|
|Production company(s)||Reg Grundy Organisation|
|Original network||Network Ten|
|Original release||27 January 1988 – 1989|
Richmond Hill was an Australian television soap opera made in 1988 by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Ten Network. It was devised by Reg Watson who also created Neighbours. It debuted on 27 January 1988 as a two-hour premiere episode on Network 10 at 7.30pm. The series was only moderately successful and was cancelled in late 1988. A total of 91 episodes were produced.
The series was set in a small fictional Australian country town and most of the scenes revolved around the local police station, a real estate agency, and the pub. The cast was made up of experienced soap actors such as Maggie Kirkpatrick, Amanda Muggleton, Paula Duncan and Gwen Plumb and young beginners like Ashley Paske and Emily Symons. Former comedy star Ross Higgins played the central role of the local police officer and family man Dan Costello.
Richmond Hill was broadcast in an evening timeslot 7.30 as two one-hour episodes each week. The programme was produced in Sydney; some location shooting took place in Mona Vale, New South Wales. Connie Ryan's house in the series was in Berryman Street, North Ryde NSW. The series emerged as only a lukewarm success in the Australian ratings, and was cancelled after only one year. Coincidentally, the series was axed during the very same week that it debuted on British television, having been sold to the ITV network.
The UK's ITV network decided to show Richmond Hill in a daytime Wednesday and Thursday 14.00 slot and its much publicised launch was 5 October 1988. In the wake of the success of Neighbours on BBC One, ITV decided to network an Australian soap opera for the first time (thereby each episode was shown on the same day and at the same time across the UK) and its launch also caused a small amount of controversy. British television schedules were becoming littered with Australian soaps and dramas, old and new, and the industry began to protest. In October 1988 alone, there were as many as 8 serials from Australia on Britain's two main terrestrial channels; Neighbours (BBC), The Flying Doctors (BBC), The Sullivans (ITV and Sky), Prisoner: Cell Block H (ITV), The Young Doctors (ITV), A Country Practice (ITV) and Sons and Daughters (ITV). There were even TV programmes dedicated to the subject particularly after ITV launched another Australian series, Home and Away (in February 1989), which ironically had debuted the very same week as Richmond Hill in Australia on Seven Network.
Ten's cancellation of Richmond Hill resulted in ITV losing interest in the series and not long after its debut, key companies in the ITV group, Granada Television and Central Television, chose to break away from the network screenings. Central fell behind the rest of the network and re-launched A Country Practice, the series it had screened briefly in 1983 but shelved for five years, while Granada also chose to screen A Country Practice in the Thursday slot instead. Yorkshire Television broke away from the network for the final episode in August 1989. The majority of regions resumed A Country Practice as its replacement, with regional UK viewers now considerably behind Australia and at varying parts of the storyline.
Richmond Hill was last screened in the UK in the mid-1990s on cable & satellite channel Wire TV (hosted by Femi Oke and co hosted Chris Stacey with guest presenters Darren Edwards, and Darren Gray), it was screened back to back with USA soap The Bold and the Beautiful, before Wire TV was finally axed in 1994.
Grundy also sold the soap to German television channel Pro 7, and Richmond Hill was dubbed into German. It was aired twice a week from 1991 to 1992.
- Warren Bryant - Tim Elston
- Janet Bryant - Paula Duncan
- Marty Bryant - Ashley Paske
- Dan Costello - Ross Higgins
- Anne Costello - Emily Symons
- Mum Foote - Gwen Plumb
- Ivy Hackett - Maggie Kirkpatrick
- Connie Ryan - Amanda Muggleton
- Andrew Ryan - Marc Gray
- Tim Shannon - Robert Sampson
- Susan Miller - Felicity Soper
- Jill Warner - Dina Panozzo
- Gary Turner - Dane Carson
- Mark Johnson - Warren Blondell
- Nikki Spencer - Danielle Carter
- Vince Comino - Manny Katts
- Mavis Roberts - Betty Lucas
- Frank Hackett - Robert Alexander
- Roger Lawson - Peter Kowitz
- Alice Costello - Rona Coleman
- Craig Connors - Michael Long
- Lawrie Benson - Tom Richards
- Evelyn Thomas - Jan Kingsbury
- Beatrice White - Moya O'Sullivan
- Mrs Jennings - Thelma Scott
- Jeff Wilson - Tim McCunn
- Fiona Matthews - Angela Kennedy
- Ben Brown - Dennis Grosvenor