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Shortland Street
Shortland Street Logo, introduced May 2007
Genre Soap opera
Created by Patricia Morrison
Directed by Sam Scott
Angela Bloomfield
Caroline Bell-Booth
Britta Johnstone
Anna Marbrook
Geoffrey Cawthorn
Wayne Tourell
Jonathan Alvern
Renato Barlotomei
Katherine McRae
Starring Ensemble (list)
Country of origin  New Zealand
Language(s) New Zealand English
No. of episodes 4435 as of 2010-03-05[1] (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Simon Bennett
John Barnett
Producer(s) Steven Zanoski
Editor(s) Rowen Mackay
Running time 30 minutes (including advertisements-
24 minutes excluding)
Original channel TVNZ
Picture format 576i 16:9
Original run May 25, 1992 – present
External links
Official website

Shortland Street is a New Zealand soap opera/drama television series that was first broadcast on Monday, 25 May 1992. The show is set in a modern metropolitan hospital in the fictional suburb of Ferndale in Auckland City, and is produced by South Pacific Pictures. According to hints by TVNZ, the name may be associated with the former Shortland Street television studios in Auckland City, a mainstay for TVNZ in Auckland until the end of the 1980s.[citation needed] The real Shortland Street, in the central business district of Auckland City, has no connection with the program.

In New Zealand, the show screens on Television New Zealand's TV2 weeknights, with an omnibus edition on Sunday mornings and repeats on weekday afternoons. The series is now the longest running soap opera in New Zealand. Shortland street was canceled due to declining viewer ratings, the last episode will air on 2nd of April 2010



Shortland Street is mainly set in and around Shortland Street Hospital, a fictitious Auckland City public hospital (which had been a private clinic until 2001 when it was sold to the government by Dr Warner). The hospital gets its name from its location on Shortland Street in the fictitious suburb of Ferndale. The hospital also houses the Shortland Street Primary Care Clinic, and its own café.

There are several other locations, including The IV, a bar and restaurant, located opposite the hospital; Sugar, a café located somewhere in Ferndale; and Ferndale High School, the local state secondary school.

The exterior views of the houses featured on the programme are located around the North Shore, West Auckland and Auckland City - the interiors are filmed on sets in the studio. Camera angles suggest that Ferndale is somewhere on the North Shore looking towards the Sky Tower and port of Auckland city. Other shots are views of Henderson and other parts of Auckland.

From 29 June 2009, TVNZ 6 has started airing the 1992 episodes, dubbing it Shortland Street: From the Beginning [2]


The original core characters were:


Storylines are planned five months before they are due to be screened. Shortland Street has had a series of dramatic and scandalous storylines over the years.



The concept and format of the show was developed largely by NZ writer Ken Catran working with Fremantle Pictures. His scripts established the characters, setting and tone of the series.[citation needed] His first episode became infamous for having a sex scene between Doctor Chris Warner 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 year's 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 1993. Since then, ratings have fallen somewhat, but the show remains in the overall top 10 highest rated New Zealand television shows, and still regularly rates number one in the 18-49 demographic, the key target audience for advertisers.

Over the life of the series there have been many cast changes, but Michael Galvin, who plays Chris Warner, still remains from the original cast.


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.

2003–04, the show introduced its first double killer with the Dominic Thompson storyline. Dominic was the brother of nurse Toni Thompson 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 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 a 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. Martin Delaney also joined the cast as Samuel Whittaker for a brief period. The Irish actor played the loveable Scottish chef for a period of six months and left Delphi in search of broader horizons.

2005 saw the departure of the show's longest-serving cast member, Karl Burnett, who played 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 retains links with Shortland Street, behind the scenes as a sound operator. Original cast member Michael Galvin had a four year break from 1996 to 2000 before returning to the series.

In 2006 Shortland Street celebrated its 14th birthday and 3,500 episodes. 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. on November 22 2006 it was announced that actress Laurie Foell had decided to leave the series and that her character of Justine Jones would be played by Lucy Wigmore. This marked the first instance of recasting of a regular character. Child characters such as Lucas Harrison and Harry Warner had been recasted before, while the recurring character of Margot Warner (who was first played by Glynis McNicoll during 1992-1997), was recasted in 2003 with Dinah Priestly assuming the role for a storyline which included the character's death.

In May 2007 Shortland Street celebrated its 15th birthday, as a result there were many changes that have occurred such as a refurbished hospital, new uniforms, and a new logo. A television special celebrating 15 years was screened on 13 May 2007, and on Shortland Street's actual 15th birthday (25 May 2007), the episode featured photos of previous characters and settings, which "were found in the renovations", and a reworded edition of the infamous line from the first Shortland Street episode: "You're not in Hyderabad now, Nurse Kumari." (referring to Nurse Shanti Kumari's Hindu origins and reluctance to drink alcohol).

Midway through 2007 a serial killer known as the Ferndale Strangler became a popular storyline as five women associated with Shortland Street Hospital became his victim's. The killer's identity was revealed in the season's finale as nice guy nurse Joey Henderson set his sight's on attacking nurse Tania Jeffries. Other attacks on his female colleagues failed, including a random attack on a woman walking in a park. Joey's final victim to be adbducted was nurse Alice Piper on whom he performed surgery and then tried to kill. The strangler's reign of terror ended at the start of 2008 when he committed suicide by plunging to death from a storage building he had used for his macabre operation. The storyline resulted in a viewership rating surge, which at one point in November reached 60%.[3].[4].

Episode 4000 saw the return of series original Dr. Hone Ropata for a six week stint in 2008. The most significant storylines over the past few years related to a corrupt pharmaceutical company Scott-Spear and their involvement in the murders of CEO Huia Samuels killed in a car bombing and long-serving character Dr. Craig Valentine who was beaten to death by thugs and placed in his car which was torched. The dodgy drug company was also responsible for the death of another long-standing character, Toni Warner who died as a result of renal failure, contributed to a drug distributed by Scott-Spear. The storyline eventually saw the departure of Dr. Justine Jones who used a bomb placed in her car to fake her death and flee to Australia where she is currently in witness protection.

Midway through 2008 Ethan Pierce joined Justine Jones' surgical team but soon replaced her when she was put under police protection. Pierce was appointed Head of Surgery and soon began committing various evil deeds, such as stealing body parts from corpses, killing an elderly patient and provoking Maia into attacking him. Eventually in the 2008 season finale Ethan was shot by an unknown assailant.

The Who shot Ethan Pierce? storyline lead viewers into 2009 season, which premiered on January 19, 2009. To keep viewers interested in the storyline during the summer hiatus, TVNZ created an imaginary website dedicated to finding Ethan Pierce's killer: This site, Webisodes featured never before seen interviews that were uploaded on certain days of possible suspects and the audience are again left to decide who Ethan's killer is. Photo evidence also been uploaded of Ethan's Beach Road home where he was murdered, the gun and blood on the floor of his home where he fell, and where Ethan's body ended up (Ethan's body was not found inside his home, After being shot, he stumbled out to the beach not far from his home). Also in the season finale for 2008 Tania Jefferies and Kingi Te Wake who were kidnapped by The Whitetails and their gang leader, Kane Harvey.

As 2009 began seven people came under police observation while Tania Jefferies and Kingi Te Wake made their escape from the Whitetails gang leader, Kane Harvey who was arrested.

The Ethan Pierce murder was eventually resolved with a confession by Maia Jefferies who had a mental breakdown and had been sectioned by her sister Tania. While in the mental health unit Maia began seeing and talking to Ethan Pierce's ghost. Maia went to trial but the case was dismissed on a technicality.

Other major storylines in 2009 included Morgan's surrogate pregnancy, the return of Sarah's son Daniel (now played by Ido Drent), The Scott Spears Trial, Callum and Brooke's affair, Kieran and Sophie's romance, The Libby/Chris/Gabrielle love triangle, Shanti's death from Ectopic Pregnancy, hidden by Dengue Fever and the return of Rachel McKenna.

The 2009 season drew to a close with a number of major plot lines in progress and intersecting with one another. The most prominent was the hit and run death of Morgan Braithwaite by Kieran Mitchell, who ended up framing Rachel McKenna for the crime. As Kieran ran from the scene, the viewer was left with the eerie final image of Shortland Street for the decade - the expressionless, wide-eyed face of Morgan who lay dead in the undergrowth.


Current characters

Main characters

Actor Character Duration
Michael Galvin HOD Surgery Dr. Chris Warner 1992 - 1996, 2001 - present
Angela Bloomfield 2IC Rachel McKenna 1993-1999, 2001-2003, 2007, 2009 -Present
Anna Jullienne Charge Nurse Maia Jeffries 2004 - present
Amanda Billing HOD P.C.C Dr. Sarah Potts 2004 - present
Jarred Blakiston Daniel Potts 2004 - 2005, 2007
Ido Drent 2009 - present
Alison Quigan Yvonne Jeffries 2004, 2005 - present
Faye Smythe Nurse Tania Jeffries 2005 - present
Fleur Saville Libby Jeffries 2005, 2006 - present
Benjamin Mitchell Dr. TK Samuels 2005 - present
Peter Mochrie CEO Dr. Callum McKay 2006 - present
Lee Donoghue Hunter McKay 2006 - present
Kimberley Crossman Sophie McKay 2006 - present
Kiel McNaughton Nursing Manager James "Scotty" Scott 2006 - present
Adam Rickitt Kieran Mitchell 2007 - present
Harry McNaughton Gerald Tippett 2007 - present
Sarah Thomson Nurse Tracey Morrison 2007, 2008 - present
Beth Allen Dr. Brooke Freeman 2008 - present
Robbie Magasiva HOD Emergency Dr. Maxwell Avia 2009 - present
Shaun Edwards-Brown Paramedic Ben Goodall 2009 - present
Matt Minto Dr. Isaac Worthington 2010 - present

Recurring characters

Actor Character Relation Duration
Robyn Worthington Nurse Carol Beckham Long-serving Senior Nurse 2001 - present
Joshua Thompson Harry Warner Son of Chris Warner and the late Toni Warner 2002
Callum Campbell Ross 2002-2006
Henry Williams 2006-2009
Reid Walker 2009-present
Liam Farmer Jay "JJ" Jeffries Son of Maia Jeffries 2007 - present
Sophia Johnson Loren Fitzpatrick New love interest for Daniel, works at Sugar, studying to be a Psychologist. Revealed to be a vegetarian 2010 - present
Frankie Hull Anoushka Klaus New nurse that replaced Nicole. Has an obvious crush on Isaac. 2010 - present

Returning and new characters

Actor Character Appointment
Richard Knowles Doug Morrison Tracey Morrisons police man brother.


Shortland Street is produced by South Pacific Pictures, with assistance from FremantleMedia and Television New Zealand. In the first few years, the production was also assisted by New Zealand on Air.


Today, most of the filming for Shortland Street occurs at South Pacific Pictures Waitakere City studios, with Ferndale High School scenes being filmed at the nearby Waitakere College.[citation needed] The exterior shots of the North Shore Hospital is Central Hospital which is the other hospital mentioned in the series as the place where patients are sent. Location scenes are usually filmed in Auckland, but other locations, including Fiji, have been used.

Originally, Shortland Street was filmed in North Shore City at South Pacific Pictures Browns Bay studios until their relocation to purpose built studios in Waitakere City in 2000. The original Ferndale High School was played by a North Shore college until the studio relocated.

Also behind the scenes

  • Jason Daniel departed as producer at the end of 2008, he had overseen the 2007 Ferndale Strangler storyline which saw a surge in the ratings to over 60%.
  • Casting Director, Andrea Kelland also has small guest roles on screen. She has also appeared on Outrageous Fortune.
  • Katherine McRae who played murdered nurse Brenda Holloway has become a Shortland Street full-time director
  • Renato Barlotomei who played Dr Craig Valentine retained his off-screen status of Director.

International screenings

Shortland Street has been shown in Ireland on RTE One since 1996. It is broadcast in a morning slot usually around 11:30am and repeated late-night at around 2:30am.

In the UK Shortland Street is no longer shown, but was screened in various areas for a lengthy period from 1993 - 2003.

From 29 March 1993, Central Television were the first ITV region to screen the soap, beginning in an afternoon timeslot, 1520-1550. From 1994 to 2000, it was shown in an early evening timeslot, at either 1710-1740 and, later at 1730-1800.

Other ITV regions also screened Shortland Street at their own pace, usually during daytime although some (HTV and Granada) followed Central's early-evening example for a short time. Scottish Television have never shown Shortland Street. Central eventually moved the serial to a lunchtime slot, 1300-1330 from September 2000 and it remained here for over two years.

From January 2003, the Carlton-owned ITV regions including Central, Westcountry, HTV and Carlton-London networked Shortland Street in an afternoon slot, 1430-1500, Monday to Wednesday, with a Thursday episode added a few months later. A special programme was aired (presented by Michael Galvin and Angela Bloomfield) introducing new viewers to the show whilst viewers in other regions had to endure a massive jump in storylines to join up with Central who were considerably ahead (up to 5 years in some cases). Meanwhile, the Granada-owned regions, such as Yorkshire Television and Meridian dropped the series entirely, opting for local programming instead. However, Shortland Street failed to attract a significant audience in its new afternoon slot and it was axed completely by ITV and was last shown on 28 August 2003, finishing at episode 2367.[1] Central had shown the serial consecutively for over 10 years, leaving many fans in the Midlands very disappointed. So far, no other UK broadcaster has picked up the rights to screen Shortland Street despite its small, but loyal audience across the country.

The show is also viewed on Cook Island Television 8-8.30pm weekdays and is one of the most popular shows in the Cook Islands.

In Australia, the show was briefly screened by SBS TV between 1994-1995.[5][6] Subscription channel UKTV screened the series from 1997-2000. It now currently airs at 2pm weekdays on digital station 7Two, showing episodes that are exactly 1 year and 10 months behind those shown in New Zealand. In addition, repeats of programs originally aired in 2007 are currently being broadcast on the free-to-air station ABC1 at 4.30am weekday mornings.

In previous years, South Pacific Pictures publicity has claimed the show was sold to Bophuthatswana, which journalists have used to demonstrate Shortland Street's interracial appeal.[7][8]


External links

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