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A Country Practice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Country Practice
A Country Practice 1981 title card.jpg
Main title caption in 1981, depicting the Wandin Valley Clinic
GenreSoap opera
Created byJames Davern
StarringAndrew Blackman
Nicholas Bufalo
Brett Climo
Jon Concannon
Penny Cook
Jamie Croft
Annie Davis
Matt Day
Lorrae Desmond
Grant Dodwell
Maureen Edwards
Georgina Fisher
Gavin Harrison
Sophie Heathcote
Syd Heylen
Joyce Jacobs
Caroline Johansson
Anne Looby
Judith McGrath
Josephine Mitchell
Michael Muntz
Emily Nichol
Mark Owen-Taylor
Georgie Parker
Allan Penney
Michelle Pettigrove
Gordon Piper
Shane Porteous
Kate Raison
Mary Regan
Helen Scott
Diane Smith
Wendy Strehlow
Joan Sydney
John Tarrant
Anne Tenney
Brian Wenzel
Kym Wilson
Shane Withington
Theme music composerMike Perjanik
Opening themeA Country Practice (instrumental)
Ending themeReprise
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons14
No. of episodes1,088 (List of episodes)
Production
ProducerJames Davern
Running time48 minutes
Production companyJNP Productions
Release
Original networkSeven Network (1981–93)
Network Ten (1994)
Picture format4.3 PAL
Audio formatStereo
Original release18 November 1981 (1981-11-18) –
5 November 1994 (1994-11-05)

A Country Practice is an Australian television soap opera which ran from 18 November 1981 to 5 November 1994 on the Seven Network, airing at 7:30 pm on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Altogether, 1,058 episodes were produced. The show was made at both ATN-7's production facility at Epping, New South Wales, with exterior locations filmed in Pitt Town and in Oakville, which suburbs lie in the outskirts of Northwest Sydney, Australia.

Several of the regular cast members became highly popular celebrities as a result of their roles in the series. It also featured a number of native Australian animals, particularly the iconic 'Fatso the wombat' adding to its enduring appeal both domestically and internationally. After the series was cancelled by the Seven Network in 1993, a reworked version of the series ran briefly on Network Ten in 1994.

At the time of its cancellation, A Country Practice was the longest-running Australian TV drama; however, by the late 1990s, that record was surpassed by Network Ten series Neighbours. At the height of its popularity, the show attracted 8–10 million Australian viewers weekly (at a time when the population of Australia was a mere 15 million). The series was eventually sold to, and broadcast in, a total of 48 other countries.

Founding by creator James Davern (OAM)

A Country Practice creator and Executive Producer (EP) James Davern, of JNP Productions, had previously worked on a similar type of rural-based series as the producer and director of the long-running Bellbird, which screened on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (1967–1977).

In 1979 he entered the pilot episode for ACP to a script contest by Network Ten, who were looking for a new hit soap opera after the demise of Number 96 two years prior. Davern came third and won a merit award.[1] Although TEN turned the series down, rival TV station Seven Network picked up the series, stating that it liked the characters and setting.

Davern's contribution to the industry was recognised when he was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame in 1991 and he was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal in 2014.[2]

Production

Format

Though sometimes considered a soap opera, the storylines of the show's two 45 minute episodes screened over any one week formed a self-contained narrative block. The storylines were meant to have a primary appeal to adult and older youthful audiences, and in particular they had greater appeal to children from middle-class backgrounds.[3] As it did not have the open ended narrative of a traditional soap opera, it was technically a series.[4] Nevertheless, many storylines were developed as sub-plots for several episodes before becoming the focus of a particular week's narrative block. Overall, the program "so emphasized the ongoing storylines of its major characters as to make the distinction between series and serial more or less meaningless".[4]

Network Seven cancellation & Network Ten continuation

After its run on the Seven Network, just months after its demise, it was announced that the serial would be picked up by Network Ten with a mainly new cast and a few key cast members continuing from the Seven series. Unlike the Seven series which was produced in Sydney, the Network Ten series was produced in Melbourne with location shooting in Emerald, Victoria. The new series debuted in April 1994, but it was not as successful as its predecessor and was abruptly cancelled in November. The series featured actors including Paul Gleason, Jane Hall, Vince Colosimo, Claudia Black and Laura Armstrong, along with a select few actors returning from the previous Seven Network series.

Cast

Main Cast (Seven Network series) 1981-1993

Actor Role Episodes
Shane Porteous Dr. Terence Elliot (1981–1993) 986 episodes.
Brian Wenzel Sgt. Frank Gilroy (1981–1993) 937 episodes.
Lorrae Desmond Shirley Dean/Gilroy (1981–1992) 816 episodes.
Joyce Jacobs Miss Esme Watson (1981–1993) 805 episodes, Seven Network. Semi-regular cast member until episode 99 onwards, debuted in episode 1 as Norma. (Retained to Network Ten 1994 series (30 episodes))
Gordon Piper Robert 'Bob' Hatfield (1981–1992) 742 episodes (Debuted in episode 3) Returned as guest character during season 12
Syd Heylen Vernon 'Cookie' Locke (1982–1992) episodes 723 (Debuted in episode 14) Returned as guest character during season 12.
Joan Sydney Matron Margaret 'Maggie' Sloane (1983–1990) 453 episodes, Seven Network. (Retained to Network Ten 1994 series after appearing in the Seven Network series finale (30 episodes))
Shane Withington Nurse Brendan Jones (1981–1986) 367 episodes (Debuted in episode 3)
John Tarrant Dr. Matthew 'Matt' Tyler (Vet) (1988–1992) 349 episodes
Grant Dodwell Dr. Simon Bowen (1981–1986) 332 episodes
Penny Cook Dr. Victoria "Vicki" Dean/Bowen (Vet)

(1981–1985, returned as a guest in 1986, and the 1993 Seven Network series finale) 330 episodes

Anne Tenney Melissa 'Molly' Jones (1981–1985) 299 episodes (Debuted in episode 3)
Georgie Parker Nurse Lucy Gardner/Tyler (1989–1992) 266 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Barbara Gottlieb in 1988)
Josephine Mitchell Josephine 'Jo' Loveday/Langley (1985–1989) 254 episodes
Diane Smith Dr. Alex Fraser/Elliot (1986–1989, returned as a guest in 1993) 246 episodes later guest during 1989 (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Sharon Lyons in 1982)
Maureen Edwards Matron Rosemary Prior/Elliot (1991–1993) 243 episodes (Had previously appeared in guest roles as Yvonne McLean in 1983, and Katherine D'Angelo in 1990)
Kate Raison Cathy Hayden (National Park Ranger) (1987–1990) 236 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Darlene McCoy in 1987)
Andrew Blackman Dr. Harry Morrison (1991–1993) 236 episodes Seven Network (Retained to Network Ten series 1994 (30 episodes))
Michelle Pettigrove Nurse Kate Bryant/Morrison (1991–1993) 230 episodes Seven Network (appeared in Network Ten series 1 episode, 1994) (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Mary O'Connor in 1988)
Matt Day Julian "Luke" Ross (1989-1992), 227 episodes
Wendy Strehlow Sister Judy Loveday (1981–1986) 216 episodes
Nicholas Bufalo Dr. Benjamin 'Ben' Green (1985–1988), 206 episodes
Kym Wilson Darcy Hudson (1991–1993), 183 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Leanne Baxter in 1989)
Emily Nicol Chloe Jones (1983–1986) 174 epiosdes
Michael Muntz Dr. Chris Kourous (1989–1991) 164 episodes
Gavin Harrison Hugo Szreclecki (1992–1993) 161 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as J.J. Moffitt in 1987 and Mick O'Brian in 1990)
Jon Concannon Senior Constable/Sgt. Tom Newman (1992–1993) 160 episodes
Judith McGrath Bernice Hudson (1992–1993) 149 episodes
Allan Penney Perce Hudson (1987–1993) 114 episodes (Had previously appeared in guest roles as Arty Turner in 1981, Alf Trotter in 1982 and Alfred Hitchins in 1984)
Anne Looby Dr. Anna Lacey/Newman (Vet) (1990)(1992–1993) 148 episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Jennifer Rose in 1990)
Helen Scott Matron Marta Kurtez (1981–1983) 126 episodes
Brett Climo Nurse Michael Langley (1987–1989) 121 episodes (Had previously appeared in guest roles as Barry Hall in 1982, and Sandy Hughes in 1984)
Sophie Heathcote Stephanie "Steve" Brennan (1990–1991), 117 episodes
Jamie Croft Billy Moss (1992–1993) 111 Episodes. (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Ashley Baker in 1991)
Caroline Johansson Nurse Donna Manning (1986–1987) 98 episodes
Mark Owen-Taylor Peter Manning (Teacher) (1986–1987) (88 episodes) returned for a short time in a guest role in 87.
Mary Regan Matron Ann Brennan (1990–1991) 85 Episodes (Had previously appeared in a guest role as Wendy Allen in 1989)
Annie Davis Kelly Shanahan (Reporter) (1985–1986) 35 Episodes
Georgina Fisher Jessica 'Jessie' Kouros (1989–1991) 112 episodes
Brian Moll Councillor Alfred Muldoon itinerant 1982-1992

Network Ten cast (1994)

Only three of the original cast members from the Network Seven series were retained in the Network Ten re-launch: Joan Sydney, Joyce Jacobs, and Andrew Blackman.

Actor Role Episodes
Paul Gleeson Ian McIntyre 30 episodes (Appeared in the final 8 episodes of the Seven Network Series 1993)
Claudia Black Claire Bonacci 30 episodes (Appeared in the final 4 episodes of the Seven Network Series 1993)
Vince Colosimo Danny Sabatini 30 episodes
Jane Hall Dr. Jess Morrison 30 episodes
Laura Armstrong Georgie Wilkes 30 episodes

Recurring Characters

Actor Role Episodes
Katherine Murray Fred Bates 10 episodes (School friend of Georgie's)
Alyce Platt Sarah Wilkes 5 episodes (Georgie's mother)
Chris Lyons Miles Ferdenbach 4 episodes (School friend of Georgie's)
Clarissa House Dr. June Munroe 2 episodes (Doctor at Burrigan Hospital who oversaw Claire's treatment after being shot and admitted Esme after she had a stroke)

Celebrity guest stars

A Country Practice became renowned for its long list of guest cameos, totalling over 1000 stars, with well known mainly Australian actors (predominantly of the period) who would appear in each week's two part episode arc.

Some actors became more prominent during the series run, and were classified as semi-regulars, appearing as the storyline permitted, Famous stars included: Sir Robert Helpmann, Baz Luhrmann, Nicole Kidman, Simon Baker, Smokey Dawson, Ruth Cracknell, Henri Szeps, Pro Hart, John Meillon, Ray Meagher, Andrew Denton, Barry Crocker, Dr John D'Arcy, Paul Kelly, Toni Collette and Delta Goodrem. At the program's height even the then Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke, appeared as himself.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
11418 November 1981 (1981-11-18)31 December 1981 (1981-12-31)
2925 January 1982 (1982-01-05)17 November 1982 (1982-11-17)
3841 February 1983 (1983-02-01)16 November 1983 (1983-11-16)
49031 January 1984 (1984-01-31)8 December 1984 (1984-12-08)
5765 February 1985 (1985-02-05)6 November 1985 (1985-11-06)
6887 January 1986 (1986-01-07)31 December 1986 (1986-12-31)
7885 January 1987 (1987-01-05)22 December 1987 (1987-12-22)
8905 January 1988 (1988-01-05)9 November 1988 (1988-11-09)
9843 January 1989 (1989-01-03)18 October 1989 (1989-10-18)
10862 January 1990 (1990-01-02)27 November 1990 (1990-11-27)
119022 January 1991 (1991-01-22)26 November 1991 (1991-11-26)
128619 January 1992 (1992-01-19)24 November 1992 (1992-11-24)
139018 January 1993 (1993-01-18)22 November 1993 (1993-11-22)
143013 April 1994 (1994-04-13)5 November 1994 (1994-11-05)

Setting and stories

The series followed the workings of a small hospital in the fictional New South Wales rural country town of Wandin Valley as well as its connected medical clinic, the town's veterinary surgery, RSL club/pub and local police station. The show's storylines focused on the staff, and regular patients of the hospital and general practice, their families, and other residents of the town. Through its weekly guest actors, who appeared in the series portraying differing characters, it explored various social and medical problems. The series examined such topical issues as youth unemployment, suicide, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS and terminal illness. Apart from its regular rotating cast, mainly among the younger personnel, A Country Practice also had a cast of semi-regulars who would make appearances as the storylines permitted. The program as well would also showcase a number of animal stars and Australian native wildlife, most famously Fatso the wombat. Fatso was played throughout the series by three separate wombats, the original actually named Fatso (1981–1986) was replaced due to temperament issues with the cast, a wombat George (1986–1990), he himself replaced due to early signs of wombat mange (a marsupial viral disease), and Garth (1990 through series end).

Highest rating episode

Anne Tenney played Molly Jones, who became one of the most popular characters, particularly in the series early years, Molly, was an unconventional fashion designer, farmer and Green-hugging local environmentalist, and after Tenney decided to leave the series, her character's death episode became the highest rating, and most remembered storyline. The series 13 week storyline arc dealt with its addressing of how a young woman, as well as her husband and local residents coped with terminal illness, after the popular character becomes diagnosed with leukaemia. The now iconic episode sees the character of Molly sitting in her back garden and waving while her husband, Brenden, is teaching his daughter to fly a kite. He sees Molly is fading, and calls her name as the screen fades to black[5]

This storyline arc, was originally written to be featured over a continuing 11 week script. A producer realised that the ratings were not being monitored during this period, so it was extended for 13 weeks, and hence 4 extra 1 hour episodes.

Iconic storylines over its 12-year run would also include the wedding of Dr. Simon Bowen (Grant Dodwell) to local vet Vicki Dean (Penny Cook) in 1983, the death of nurse Donna Manning in a car crash in 1987, and the off-screen death of longtime resident Shirley Gilroy, played by original Lorrae Desmond in a plane crash in 1992.

Logie Awards

A Country Practice is the third most successful television program after Home and Away (1st) and Neighbours (2nd), at the Logie Awards having won 29 awards during its twelve years of production.[6]

Logie Awards 1983

  • Best Supporting Actor In A Series: Brian Wenzel
  • Best Juvenile Performance: Jeremy Shadlow

Logie awards 1984

Logie Awards 1985

  • Most Popular Lead Actor: Grant Dodwell
  • Most Popular Lead Actress: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Male: Grant Dodwell
  • NSW Most Popular Female: Penny Cook
  • NSW Most Popular Show: A Country Practice
  • Most Popular Drama Program: A Country Practice
  • Best Lead Actor In A Series: Shane Withington
  • Best Supporting Actress In A Series: Wendy Strehlow

Logie Awards 1986

  • Most Popular Australian Actor: Grant Dodwell
  • Most Popular Australian Actress: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Female: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice
  • Most Popular Australian Drama: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1987

  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1988

  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1989

Logie Awards 1990

Logie Awards 1991

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Logie Awards 1992

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Logie Awards 1993

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Broadcast

A Country Practice originally aired on Seven Network Monday (Part 1) and Tuesday (Part 2) nights at 7:30. The unsuccessful 1994 Network 10 remake of the series aired originally at 7:30 on Wednesday nights, but then moved to 7:30 on Saturday nights a few weeks later. In late July, it moved to a low-rating timeslot of 5:30 Saturday nights, directly against Channel Seven's Saturday AFL coverage.

Seven also aired repeats of the original series at 9:30 weekday mornings from 1995 to 2002.

Foxtel's Hallmark Channel broadcast the complete series twice (including the short-lived Network Ten series) in a 2-hour block at 3:30-5:30 weekday afternoons from 2002 to 30 June 2010.

In 2014 Channel 7TWO ran repeats at 02:00 on weekday mornings.

International broadcasts

United Kingdom

In addition to being broadcast in Australia, the series also had a successful run on the ITV network in the United Kingdom. A Country Practice began 27 October 1982, less than a year after its debut on Seven Network in Australia.

Originally, the series was partially networked (similar in theory to syndication) by Thames Television, the weekday contractor for the London area, to a cluster of six ITV regions; Anglia Television, Border Television, Channel Television, Tyne Tees, Yorkshire Television and TVS. These regions all aired one episode a week, on Wednesdays at 14:45–15:45, and in the original hour-long format. The remaining ITV regions – Central Independent Television, HTV, TSW, Granada Television, Scottish Television, UTV, and Grampian Television – all started later, and by the end of 1989, most of the ITV regions were now scheduling the programme at a day and time of their own choice and were at vastly different points in the storyline. By around May 1990 (regions vary), the ITV network decided to adopt the method established by Yorkshire Television (from 1984) of editing each episode into two half-hour editions which allowed the series to be stripped Monday to Friday, usually before, or after, the lunchtime edition of Home and Away. This format also resulted in curtailment of the full closing credits in certain regions. Scottish Television was the only exception, and they chose various days and timeslots, but always screened A Country Practice in the original hour-long format.

Due to the content of some episodes, a substantial amount were withdrawn from transmission by some regions as the content was considered unsuitable for daytime viewing and this inevitably led to considerable chunks of the story being skipped.

Considered a daytime soap and notably several years behind Australian broadcasts, A Country Practice was popular in the UK and achieved consolidated viewing figures of between 2–3 million which is good for daytime television. Some regions (HTV, Border, Grampian, TSW and Granada) moved the later episodes of the series to an early evening slot of 17.10–17.40.

ITV regional broadcasts

  • Originally starting in 1982, Yorkshire Television were the first region to break away from the network transmissions in October 1984 and began editing each episode into two half-hour episodes, screening on Mondays and Tuesdays at 15:30. This led to continuity problems as whenever a public holiday occurred (on Monday), the 15:30 slot would be unavailable. The series was moved to back to an early afternoon hour-long format in 1988 when Sons and Daughters was stripped five afternoons a week at 15:30. A Country Practice then replaced Sons and Daughters when that series ended in March 1989, being again split into half-hour episodes and now being shown five afternoons a week for the first time. It was then moved to an early afternoon slot, and eventually hour-long episodes were reinstated. The series concluded in March 1998 and the Network Ten series was not shown. When Tyne Tees Television merged with Yorkshire, a number of episodes were skipped. This was to allow an alignment of schedules for the two regions.
  • TVS and Thames Television followed Yorkshire in September 1988 and started showing three half-hour episodes a week, from Monday to Wednesday, at 12:30–13:00.
  • Central Television did not follow the other ITV regions and, unusually, it began A Country Practice in July 1983, airing weekly on Tuesdays, 11:10–12:00, during the summer of 1983, but by September, the series had been shelved. In early 1990 while all the other ITV regions were well into their respective runs, Central surprisingly re-launched the series and followed the rest of the network (except Scottish) and stripped half-hour episodes, Monday to Friday, initially at 14:00-14:30. In September 1990, this changed to 13:50-14:20. From January 1993, moves to 13:15-13:45, and then briefly switches to a mid-afternoon slot, 14:50–15:20 in September 1993, and then 15:00-15:30 until the end of the year. Returns to 14:50-15:20 until March 1994, after which, it is moved back to lunchtimes at 13:55–14:25. By 1997, Central was airing A Country Practice at 12:55-13:25, and in 1998, the network concluded the original series in April in the 13:00–13:30 slot, and then immediately commenced the short-lived Network Ten version, finally completing all the episodes on Friday, 31 July 1998.
  • Scottish Television started broadcasting the series in 1983 and always aired A Country Practice as hour-long episodes. Throughout the 1980s the programme moved about in time and day but was generally broadcast once a week in an afternoon slot. In January 1994, after (episode #486), it was dropped from the schedules for about 4 months until June. From episode 491 screened every weekday morning at 10:55 for the duration of the summer school holidays (around 6 weeks) until 2 September. It reverted to its old weekly Tuesday slot the following week. It was the dropped completely after episode #588, during 1996. Although the company took over Grampian Television, the series continued until the end, doing so by airing daily episodes during the summer of 1998.
  • HTV started the series on Wednesday, 26 October 1983, broadcasting 1 hour episodes until 1990, when the series moved to 15:25 Wed-Fri as replacement for Sons and Daughters in half-hour format. From September 1993, moved to earlier time slot, but from March 1994, began airing in the early evening 17:10–17:40 slot. By the end of 1998, the series had been reduced to being shown on Thursdays and Fridays only. From January to March 1999, the series was shown on Tuesday through to Friday until Friday 5 March 1999 when the final Channel Seven episode was reached. HTV were the last ITV region to complete the series (and did not show the short lived Channel 10 series).
  • Carlton Television, who superseded Thames Television, became the first region to conclude the series, followed closely by Anglia Television in the daily 13:50–14:20 half-hour slot in April 1996. Anglia Television then commenced a short repeat of the first 40 episodes shortly after reaching the end.
  • Granada Television, from January 1994, until they aired the last episode during the autumn of 1996, moved the series to the later 17:10–17:40 slot. Border Television had, by now, aligned with Granada's run of the series and followed suit.
  • TSW did not begin until 30 May 1989, and initially aired A Country Practice weekly on Tuesdays at 14:00–15:00. August 1989, an additional hour long episode was added on Thursdays (replacing Richmond Hill). In 1990, TSW followed the rest of the English ITV regions and aired five, half-hour episodes, Monday to Friday, at lunchtime until 1998.
  • UTV dropped A Country Practice in early September 1998. At that particular point, UTV had been airing episodes only once a week - on Mondays - at 2:45pm, in a 30 minute slot. UTV had reached episodes from early 1993, season 13.

Satellite and Cable broadcasts

  • In the mid-1980s, A Country Practice was a prime-time series on Sky Channel, airing twice a week at 20:00 from at least 1985. During August 1985, the series was screened at 19:20 and 20:10 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in hour-long episodes and by 1986, it was screened at 20:00. The channel also screened The Sullivans and The Young Doctors. When the Sky Channel was launched on the new Astra 1A satellite in January 1989, it became Sky1 and A Country Practice was dropped from the schedule. For a brief period, later episodes were shown in 1997 on the cable channel Carlton Select.

Only the first 40 episodes have ever been repeated in the UK, and that was in 1998 when ITV contractor, Anglia Television, were the only region to repeat any episodes. Unlike other Australian soaps, which became cult viewing due to multiple runs; Prisoner was broadcast twice, first on ITV, and then Channel 5; The Sullivans also had two full runs, once on ITV and repeated on UK Gold; and also Sons and Daughters, which had three runs, first on ITV, then UK Gold, and finally, Channel 5 – A Country Practice has never been repeated in the UK or achieved the cult status of other soap operas of the same era.

European screenings

France

A Country Practice was named "À Coeur Ouvert".

Germany

A Country Practice was named Das Buschkrankenhaus (The Country Hospital), and aired on Sat 1 in 1985, and then on ARD from 1989 to 1991.[7]

Italy

A Country Practice was named "Wandin Valley".

Ireland

Started in 1985 airing on RTÉ Two weekdays between 18:00 and 18:30. In October 1988, to make way for Home and Away, RTE moved ACP to the main channel RTÉ One airing weekdays at 17:30. RTE aired the final episode (1088) on 13 February 1997.[8] RTÉ stripped episodes into a 30-minute timeslot. RTÉ commenced a repeat in 1998 beginning with season 8 (1988) in a morning slot, usually around midday.

Norway

A Country Practice (called "Hverdagsliv") was broadcast on TV2 during the 1990s.

Africa

Kenya

A Country Practice was also transmitted on Kenyan Television (VoK now KBC) during the 1980s.

Zimbabwe

A Country Practice was broadcast on ZBC state television in the 1980s.

Oceania

New Zealand

A Country Practice was first transmitted on TV2 on the afternoon of Thursday 13 February 1986. Whereas the series was produced as two episodes per week in Australia, it was shown once a week on Thursdays at 2.30pm before moving to twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm by 1987. By 1988, the series went back to once a week on Sundays at around 4pm, and by 1989 an additional episode was broadcast on Saturdays in the same timeslot. By 1990, A Country Practice screened on Channel 2 on Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm until it moved to TV One during the final months of 1991 replacing Fair Go, where it was shown once a week on Tuesdays at 7.30pm until the end of 1992.

North America

Canada

The entire series was broadcast, from start to finish, by CBC Television outlet CBET in Windsor, Ontario. Two episodes were broadcast daily, Monday through Friday, starting in the late 1980s, until they were caught up to contemporary episodes in the early 1990s. Its inclusion on CBET's schedule was out of necessity to fill a television schedule: because Windsor stations cannot carry programming licensed for broadcast in the United States. Most American programming that was part of the CBC schedule throughout Canada could not be broadcast by CBET and, thus, was replaced by programming imported from Britain and Australia. Many Australian soap operas, A Country Practice among them, have thus found loyal audiences in the Metro Detroit area, while they otherwise remain unknown in North America.

From 1991 to 1994, the show also aired on ASN, a cable network that served Canada's Maritimes. Four hour-long episodes aired each week, from Monday to Thursday with Monday's and Tuesday's episodes repeated on Saturday and Wednesday's and Thursday's episodes on Sunday. The station aired the show from episode 1 to somewhere in the early 700s.

ASN ceased carrying the show when specialty cable channel Showcase was launched on 1 January 1995, as they picked up A Country Practice for broadcast throughout Canada. It broadcast one episode daily, from Monday to Friday, and completed the entire series run (including the 30-episode Network Ten series) in June 1999. It began rebroadcasting the entire series on 28 June 1999, with promises that the entire series would be broadcast for those who missed the first airing. However, a single line of text scrolling across the bottom of the screen during 21 August 2000, episode announced that the show would be removed from the Showcase lineup as of Monday, 28 August 2000. According to the station's email autoresponse at the time, the decision was based on "declining viewership and a demand by viewers for more current programming". Sometime after that, Showcase changed their format to favour a less family-oriented and more adult-oriented viewership.

Novel

Series writer Judith Colquhoun, who also wrote episodes for other Australian serials, Blue Heelers, Neighbours and Home and Away released a novel in 2015. Called New Beginnings, it is based on the early episodes of the series from 1981. This was followed up by two further novels from the same author, To Everything a Season and Silver Linings.

DVD release

In late 2005, MRA Entertainment announced they had obtained the rights to release the entire series on DVD. In 2008, Magna Pacific Pty Ltd bought out MRA Entertainment, with plans to release Series 6, however the rights were then acquired by Beyond Home Entertainment which then re-released the first 5 seasons in 2007–2008, followed by Season 6 in 2010.[9] On 27 May 2020 Via Vision Entertainment announced they would be releasing season 11 on DVD on 26 August 2020.

Episodes Discs Licensed to Released
Season 1 1–14 4 MRA Entertainment 3 April 2006
Season 2, Part 1 15–44 6 MRA Entertainment 3 April 2006
Season 2, Part 2 45–106 12 MRA Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3, Part 1 107–148 12 MRA Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3, Part 2 149–190 12 MRA Entertainment 11 July 2007
Season 4, Part 1 191–236 12 MRA Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 4, Part 2 237–280 12 MRA Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 5, Part 1 281–318 12 MRA Entertainment 23 April 2008
Season 5, Part 2 319–356 12 MRA Entertainment 23 April 2008
Season 6, Part 1 357–400 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 7 April 2010
Season 6, Part 2 401–444 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 9 June 2010
Season 1 1–14 4 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 2 Part 1 15–44 6 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 2 Part 2 45–106 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3 Part 1 107–148 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3 Part 2 149–190 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 4 Part 1 191–236 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 4 Part 2 237–280 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 5 Part 1 281–318 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 16 April 2008
Season 5 Part 2 319–356 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 16 April 2008
Season 7, Part 1 445–488 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 October 2011
Season 7, Part 2 489–532 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 October 2011
The Early Years: Seasons 1–6 1–444 116 Beyond Home Entertainment 1 May 2013
Season 8, Part 1 533–576 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 2 January 2014
Season 8, Part 2 577–622 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 2 January 2014
Season 9, Part 1 623–666 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 March 2014
Season 9, Part 2 667–706 10 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 March 2014
Season 10, Part 1 707–750 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 28 April 2014
Season 10, Part 2 751–792 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 28 April 2014
The Middle Years: Seasons 7–10 445–792 87 Beyond Home Entertainment 28 April 2014
Season 11 793–882 22 Via Vision Entertainment 26 August 2020
Season 12 883–968 22 Via Vision Entertainment 21 October 2020
Season 13 969–1058 23 Via Vision Entertainment 2 December 2020
Season 14 1–30 8 Via Vision Entertainment 6 January 2021
Collection One 1-148 34 Via Vision Entertainment 17 March 2021[10]
Collection Two 149-280 34 Via Vision Entertainment 21 April 2021
Collection Three 281-400 35 Via Vision Entertainment 19 May 2021
Collection Four 401-532 33 Via Vision Entertainment 21 July 2021
Collection Five 533-666 34 Via Vision Entertainment 18 August 2021
Collection Six 667-792 32 Via Vision Entertainment 22 September 2021

7plus Streaming Service

As of January 2021 Channel 7's streaming service 7plus has made Seasons 01-14 available

Title Format Episodes # Release Date Streaming Status Special Features Distributors
A Country Practice (Season 01) Streaming Episodes 14 20 March 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 02) Streaming Episodes 93 20 March 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 03) Streaming Episodes 84 7 April 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 04) Streaming Episodes 90 14 May 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 05) Streaming Episodes 76 11 June 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 06) Streaming Episodes 88 9 July 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 07) Streaming Episodes 88 6 August 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 08) Streaming Episodes 90 3 September 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 09) Streaming Episodes 84 1 October 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 10) Streaming Episodes 86 29 October 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 11) Streaming Episodes 90 26 November 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 12) Streaming Episodes 86 15 December 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 13) Streaming Episodes 90 30 December 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 14) Streaming Episodes 30 24 February 2021 Currently Streaming None 7plus

See also

References

  1. ^ baybee. "A Country Practice (TV Series 1981–1993)". IMDb.
  2. ^ "Mr James Edmund Davern". It's An Honour. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  3. ^ Jacinta Burke; Helen Wilson; Susanna Agardy (1983), "A Country Practice" and the child audience: a case study, Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, Melbourne. ISBN 0-642-87073-X
  4. ^ a b Bowles, Kate. Soap opera: 'No end of story, ever' in The Australian TV Book, (Eds. Graeme Turner and Stuart Cunningham), Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 2000. ISBN 1-86508-014-4 p 127
  5. ^ "How Molly's death on A Country Practice touched the nation:'the writers' room was shedding tears'".
  6. ^ "TV Week Logie Awards – Past Winners". Yahoo!7 TV.
  7. ^ Das Buschkrankenhaus – fernsehserien.de
  8. ^ "RTÉ TV Listings 1981 – 1996". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  9. ^ "A Country Practice – Full Episode DVD Box Sets". www.acountrypractice.com. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  10. ^ "A Country Practice - Collection 1 - DVD". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 31 December 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 October 2021, at 18:46
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