Shortland Street

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vartroc Shortland Street is a New Zealand soap opera set in a modern metropolitan Auckland City hospital. It is New Zealand's longest running soap opera, and began screening on 25 May 1992. The program airs on TV2, one of TVNZ's free-to-air channels, weeknights at 7pm.

According to the TVNZ website the show has an audience of 700,000 per night, which constitutes about 17.5% of the population.

Many New Zealand actors' careers have been launched by, or included a role on Shortland Street. including Marton Csokas (Dr. Leonard Rossi-Dodds), who has since starred in xXx,The Bourne Supremacy, and Æon Flux; Temuera Morrison (Dr. Hone Ropata), who has since had roles in Once Were Warriors, Speed 2: Cruise Control|Speed 2, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and in the 2004 DVD release of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Martin Henderson, who has since starred in Bride and Prejudice, The Ring, Windtalkers and Torque.

Contents

History

The show's famous name has been hinted at by TVNZ to be associated with the TVNZ Shortland Street Studios in Inner Auckland City in the 1960s. 2007 sees the show celebrate 15 years, with old cast members coming back.

The first episode became infamous for having a kitu CRM iere scene between Chris Warner (Michael Galvin) and an aerobics instructor, Jill (Suzy Aiken). The first episode also included the line, "You're not in Guatemala now, Dr. Ropata" which has since become one of the most widely recognised lines in New Zealand television. While the show was initially criticised for bad acting and poor storylines, it was praised for its sensitive portrayal of a teenage suicide storyline later on in its first year. Ratings were initially high, but within weeks they had fallen considerably. However, the show was saved from cancellation by the fact that TVNZ had pre-ordered a years worth of episodes. By May 1993, the show was rating high enough that it was renewed, and later became the highest rating programme in the country for a brief period in August 1994. Since then, ratings have fallen somewhat, but the show remains in the overall top 20 highest rated New Zealand television shows, and still regularly rates number one in the 18 - 49 demographic, the target audience that advertisers most desire.

During this time it was well known amongst Shortland Street cast and crew of a young keen fan of the show who would send the cast Christmas cards and Birthday cards each year who was affectionately known around the cast and crew as 'country girl Claire', even going on to using her surname for a character who appeared on the show, as a kind of secret message of personal thanks for her unique support.

Over the years there have been a number of cast changes, with Michael Galvin, who plays Chris Warner, being the only remaining original cast member. In 2001, the show received much media attention in New Zealand when 14 cast members were either let go from their contracts or decided to leave. This was part of the revamp on the show which saw many new characters introduced, most notably the Hudson family, who were Maori. While Maori characters had always been featured on the show, the Hudsons were the first Maori family introduced into the show.

The producers of Shortland Street have tried to make the show reflect the current trends in New Zealand health services. As a result, the hospital featured on the show was originally under private ownership, which reflected the increasing privatisation of the New Zealand health services in the early 1990s under the National Government. After the current Labour government was elected into office in 1999, there was a renewed focus on public health services. As a result, in 2001 the producers of the show decided to have the hospital come under government ownership in order to reflect the renewed focus on public health. This change was part of the show's revamp in 2001, and coincided with the cull of 14 characters mentioned above.

In 2003–2004, the show introduced its first serial killer with the Dominic Thompson (Shane Cortese) storyline. Dominic was the brother of nurse Toni Thompson (Laura Hill), and was believed to be the illegitimate half-brother of Dr. Chris Warner, but after this was revealed as a lie, the pair became bitter enemies. Dominic's love affair with 17-year-old Delphi Greenlaw (Anna Hutchison) also created controversy and eventually saw the teenager leave town to escape him. He also killed two characters, Delphi's brother, Dr. Geoff Greenlaw (froze to death in chiller) and PA Avril Lucich (drowned in bathtub) who had threatened to get in his way, before being killed off himself in an explosion after trying to kill Chris in an attempted murder-suicide. The storyline created immense popularity that saw the show ranked once again in the top ten highest rated shows in New Zealand.

2005 saw the departure of the show's longest-serving cast member, Karl Burnett (Nick Harrison), after almost 13 years. Burnett was the only cast member who had been with the show since its inception (although the character and the actor did take a sabbatical from the show in 2002). Burnett still has links with Shortland Street, however he is now behind the scenes as a sound operator.

While Michael Galvin (Chris Warner) has also been on the show since the beginning, his character left for four years, from 1996 to 2000.

Of late, Shortland Street has seen even more long-term cast members leave. In 2005, Daniel Potts (Jarred Blakiston), son of Dr. Sarah Potts (Amanda Billing), left Ferndale to live with his Dad, Tim (Millen Baird), in Samoa and Dr. Andrew Solomon (Paolo Rotondo) left to settle in England with pregnant wife, Robyn Stokes (Kirstie O'Sullivan). 2005 also saw the departure of popular Norman Hanson (Jacob Tomuri), who died in a car crash.

In 2006, Nursing Manager Judy Brownlee (Donogh Rees) left for Sydney with old flame, Mitch Gillespie (John Wraight), class clown Vinnie Kruse (Pua Magasiva) departed for London with pregnant girlfriend Jemima Hampton (Leisha Ward-Knox), teen rebel Jake Valentine (Calum Gittins) departed to reside in Australia, conman Hamish Flynn (Phil Brown) was sent to jail for scamming money from the hospital and former lovebirds Tama and Shannon Hudson (David Wikaira-Paul and Amber Curreen) went their separate ways: Tama left for a few months to Australia to cater for a tour, and Shannon took their baby Rangimarie (Mia Curreen-Poko) up north, to live with new partner Whetu (Taungaroa Emile). Ice queen, Dr Li Mei Chen (Li Ming Hu) died after contracting Stryker's Disease, and Scarlett Valentine's (Nicole Thomson) former flame, Eti Kawaka (Issac Bell) left for Japan on a Student Exchange. However, Eti surprised Maia and Jay by returning home suddenly from Japan. Also in 2006, Shortland Street CEO Huia Samuels (Nicola Kawana) was killed in a car-bomb explosion outside the hospital. She was carrying Craig Valentine's (Renato Bartolomei) baby. In the midst of the explosion controversy, Anthony Richards (Michael Morris), whom the car-bomb was actually meant for, left Ferndale and his partner Tania Jeffries (Faye Smythe). As of yet, it has not been revealed where Richards escaped to.

During June, Shortland Street not only celebrated its 14th birthday, but also 3500 episodes of New Zealand's favourite drama.

In November 2005, Shortland Street was the winner of Woman's Day TV Choice Award for Favourite New Zealand show at the 2005 Qantas TV Awards. They won the same award again in the 2006 Qantas TV Awards.

Shortland Street is now the subject of New Zealand's first interactive SMS game based on a soap where participants guess plot outcomes each night. The top points scorer at the end of each round wins a walk-on part on a future episode.

On November 22, 2006 it was announced that actress Laurie Foell had decided to leave the soap and that her character Justine Jones, would be recast with Lucy Wigmore. This marked the first instance of multiple actors playing the same role in the programme, excluding child characters such as Lucas Harrison and Harry Warner.

As the explosive Anthony Richard's scandal and Huia's death storyline happened recently, Shortland Street did not have a high-paced action storyline in the final Shortland Street week of 2006.

Cast

Original Cast Members (1992)

  • Paul Gittins (Dr. Michael Mckenna) (1992 - 1995, 1997, 1998 - 1999)
  • Michael Galvin (Dr. Chris Warner) (1992 - 1996, 2000-)
  • Temuera Morrison (Dr. Hone Ropata) (1992 - 1995)
  • Stephanie Wilkin (Dr. Meredith Fleming) (1992 - 1993, 1994)
  • Lisa Crittenden (Nurse Carrie Burton) (1992 - 1993)
  • Nancy Brunning (Nurse Jackie Manu) (1992 - 1994)
  • Danielle Cormack (Nurse Alison Raynor) (1992 - 1993)
  • Andrew Binns (Nurse Steve Mills) (1992 - 1994)
  • Rene Naufahu (Sam Aleni) (1992 - 1996)
  • Maggie Harper (P.A. Jenny Harrison) (1992 - 1998, 2002)
  • Karl Burnett (Nick Harrison) (1992 - 2005)
  • Elizabeth McRae (Majorie Neilson) (1992 - 1996, 1998, 2002)
  • Adrian Keeling (Tom Neilson) (1992 - 1993)
  • Martin Henderson (Stuart Neilson) (1992 - 1995)
  • Angela Dotchin|Angela Marie Dotchin (Kirsty Knight) (1992 - 1998)
  • Josephine Davison (Gina Rossi) (1992 - 1994, 1995)

Current Cast Members (2007)

  • Michael Galvin (Dr. Chris Warner) (1992-1996, 2000-)
  • Laura Hill (Nurse Toni Thompson/Warner) (2001-)
  • Renato Bartolomei (Dr. Craig Valentine) (2004-)
  • Amanda Billing (Dr. Sarah Potts) (2004-)
  • Peter Mochrie (Dr. Callum McKay) (2006-)
  • Lucy Wigmore (Dr. Justine Jones #2) (2007-)
  • Tim Foley (Dr. Mark Weston) (2004-)
  • Faye Smythe (Nurse Tania Jefferies Weston) (2005-)
  • Anna Jullienne (Nurse Maia Jefferies) (2004-)
  • Jamie Passier-Armstrong (Jay Copeland) (2004-)
  • Fleur Saville (P.A. Libby Jefferies) (2005-)
  • Benjamin Mitchell (Dr. TK Samuels) (2006-)
  • Toni Potter]] (Nurse Alice Piper) (2005-)
  • Nicole Thomson (Scarlett Valentine) (2004-2007)
  • Tom Hern (Nurse Baxter Cormack) (2005-2007)
  • Emily Robins (Claire Solomon) (2005-)
  • Lee Donoghue (Hunter McKay) (2006-)
  • Kim Crossman (Sophie McKay) (2006-)
  • Katherine McRae (Nurse Brenda Holloway) (2006-)
  • Alison Quigan (Yvonne Jefferies) (2004, 2005-)

Recurring Cast Members (2007)

  • Henry Williams (Harry Warner #2) (2006-)
  • (Ingrid Campbell) (2006, 2007)

Longstanding Cast Members (Served five years or more)

  • Michael Galvin (Dr. Chris Warner) (1992 - 1996, 2000 - present)
  • Maggie Harper (PA Jenny Harrison) (1992-1998, 2002)
  • Angela Dotchin (Kirsty Knight) (1992-1998)
  • Karl Burnett (Nick Harrison) (1992-2005)
  • Angela Bloomfield (Rachel McKenna) (1993-1999, 2001-2003)
  • Claire Chitham (Waverley Wilson/Harrison) (1994-1995, 1998-2005)
  • Katrina Devine (Minnie Crozier) (1994-2001)
  • John Leigh (Lionel Skeggins) (1993, 1994-1999)
  • Robyn Malcolm (Nurse Ellen Crozier/Kearney) (1994-1999)
  • Blair Strang (Rangi Heiramaia) (1995-2001)
  • Stephanie Tauevihi (Donna Heka) (1997-2004)
  • Laura Hill (Nurse Toni Thompson/Warner) (2001 - present)
  • Donogh Rees (Nurse Judy Brownlee) (2001-2006)
  • David Wikaira-Paul (Tama Hudson) (2001-2006)

Tribe Cast Who Have Appeared

Locations

Shortland Street is filmed in Auckland and produced by South Pacific Pictures at its West Auckland studios, with location scenes filmed around Auckland.

Ferndale

Ferndale is a fictional location in Auckland, New Zealand. It's exact location in Auckland is unclear, though it appears to be located around the City Centre.

Shortland Street Medical Centre

The majority of the action takes place in and around the medical centre.

The Coffee Shop

This is where the staff at the medical centre take breaks during their day.

Ferndale High School

This is a fictional school in Ferndale where teenagers whose parents using work at the medical centre attend school. It is filmed at Waitakere College in West Auckland

External links


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