SEVEN TO AXE LONG RUNNING SOAPIE
Sons and Daughters, the big TV hit of the early 80s,
will be scrapped - but not before Rowena Wallace has made a
Channel Seven says it will close the show at the end of next
season and is confident the long-running soap will go out in
a blaze of glory.
The announcement late yesterday will be a complete surprise
to the industry.
When cast and crew headed off for the weekend, they did not
know the fate of the show on which many of them have worked
for seven years.
Official notification of the closure will now wail until Monday,
when Ian Holmes, managing director of the Grundy Organisation
which produces the show, returns from a holiday in Hawaii.
Filming at the Seven studios in Epping, Sydney, will end in
March, providing enough episodes to run the program until next
Seven has been banking on the return of Rowena Wallace to give
Sons and Daughters a much-needed boost in the ratings.
What Seven has not revealed is that Miss Wallace is only contracted
for 10 weeks.
This could mean a major incident is planned for the middle
of next season in which she could depart the show in spectacular
fashion and a blaze of publicity.
Rowena's agent and close friend, Barbara Leane, said last night
the contract would not be renewed.
"We have other, very exciting plans for 1987," she
Sons and Daughters was a big success for Rowena, who
won a Silver Logie in 1984 as best actress for her popular role
as Pat the Rat, and then went on to become the first woman to
win the Gold Logie.
Rowena could not be contacted last night, but she is not returning
to the show in her old role as Pat the Rat.
"I'll be a rat of a different color," she said recently
and it is understood she will return either as the step-sister
or twin of Alison Carr, played by Belinda Giblin.
While Grundys strengthened its scriptwriting department to
give Rowena's return the best storylines possible, the actress
has been unhappy with the scripts.
"I'm disappointed. I believe they still need to do a lot
of work," she said.
Seven's publicity director, Lindy Anderson, said Rowena's Wallace's
return would be the linchpin in a 'stunning finale'.