SONS AND ...SHOCKS
The Seven Network's top-rating drama series Sons and Daughters
has reached its 500th episode despite scepticism when it was
launched in 1981 that it wouldn't last.
The TV WEEK Logie Award-winning Grundy Organisation-produced
programme has caused shock waves and introduced some of television's
most memorable characters, including Australia's biggest bitch,
Pat the Rat (played by Rowena Wallace).
The 500th episode goes to air in Melbourne on October 1 and
later in other states, with some unbelievable goings on.
Two unrelated and unexpected events are a wedding and a pregnancy.
Two characters who viewers would never have thought would marry
will tie the knot. But things don't go smoothly and there's
drama at the altar.
The pregnancy, too, is fraught with complications and has dramatic
and far-reaching effects.
Then, a couple of weeks later, there's a major catastrophe
in the show - a fire.
The extraordinary show's most awesome challenge was being wrenched
from its successful weekday timeslot in Sydney and put into
the toughest timeslot - 7:30 Sundays against 60 Minutes
and Mondays against Knight Rider and ABC TV comedies.
That the show didn't falter is a sign of its strength. It went
into its new timeslot with very high ratings - just a couple
of points below what it's getting now - 20s and 21s against
60 Minutes - and is winning its timeslot on Monday
Being the beast that it is, Sons and Daughters has
been inundated with highlights every couple of minutes since
High spots have been the implication, right at the start, that
incest could possibly happen; a host of weddings; a few births
and miscarriages; and the funeral of Patricia's sister Margaret
Shock-horror cliffhanger episodes, which sent the show's ratings
soaring, have centred on Patricia laying it on David that he
was not the father of the twins and the shootout when viewers
heard David screaming. The gunshot episode went to air in November
1983 and Channel Seven was flooded with calls from viewers wanting
to know what had happened.
The episode that scored the highest ratings this year was Margaret's
funeral, when Patricia behaved irrationally and attacked the
The whole show has concentrated on human emotions.
Producer of the Grundy series, John Holmes, said: "It's
a real blend of real and unreal aspects. We've never lost sight
of glamor because we've always wanted to entertain people. The
show's ratings have plummeted when storylines became too real.
"When we switched back to more unbelieveable, over-the-top
storylines, the ratings would go up and up."
Source: TV Week
Date: 29 September 1984