THE DISNEY CHANNEL ANNOUNCES FIRST MAJOR DRAMATIC SERIES, "FIVE MILE CREEK"
BURBANK: THE DISNEY CHANNEL has announced plans for its first dramatic series, a tale of the Australian frontier, produced by Emmy Award-winner, Henry Crawford. The show will first air in November.
"Five Mile Creek" takes viewers to the Australian gold country in the 1860's, when the stage coach was the most exciting and efficient means of travel; when "bushrangers" (outlaws) roamed the mountains, preying on unwary travelers; and when explorers faced the perils, heat and dust on the Australian desert.
The programs focus on two women enduring the struggles and hardships of the frontier. Kate Wallace, an Australian seasoned in the frontier way of life, and Maggie Scott, an American in search of her prospecting husband, run the stage coach station called Five Mile Creek.
As Maggie gives up her search and becomes part of the Australian frontier, she and Kate find a wealth of adventure, whether dealing with the bushrangers or helping stage line operator Con Madigan - the American who owns the new stage line with his fast-talking Australian partner, "Gentleman Jack" Taylor.
The characters were inspired by those in the Louis L'Amour best seller, The Cherokee Trail. For each primary American character there is a corresponding Australian. By examining the conflicts that arise between them, the series will expose and closely examine the Australian way of life.
The producer of "Five Mile Creek" is the award-winning Henry Crawford. Australian television production essentially began with the Crawford family and, as a family member, Henry has a very extensive background in episodic television. Among his television credits in "The Sullivans," a series so successful in Australia that the network scheduled new episodes twice weekly.
In 1978, Crawford moved away slightly from standard episodic television and into the area of mini-series. His first mini-series, "Against The Wind," demonstrated internationally that Australian producers, performers and technical crews were fully capable of creating high quality productions. "Against The Wind" was one of the most watched mini-series in Australia, ranking closely behind "Roots" and "The Holocaust." This served to create vigorous interest in Australian productions by investors in Europe and the United States.
In 1981, Crawford produced the Emmy Award-winning mini-series, "A Town Like Alice," again demonstrating the quality of Australian television production. Most recently, he completed work on his third mini-series, "The Eureka Stockade," and is now devoting his full attention to "Five Mile Creek,"
Executive producer for "Five Mile Creek" is veteran producer Douglas Netter. Netter's credits include the critically acclaimed Walt Disney television movie "The Cherokee Trail," and the feature film "The Wild Geese," which starred Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Hardy Kruger and Roger Moore. Netter also produced for NBC the western mini-series "The Sacketts" by Louis L'Amour, starring Tom Selleck, Sam Elliot, Ben Johnson and Glenn Ford. Combining the talents and expertise of Crawford and Netter, "Five Mile Creek" marks the first joint Australian/American television series production.
Filmed entirely on location in Australia, the series will be as authentic and picturesque as it is exciting. Over 500 hours of in-depth research will insure accuracy in all phases of the production from the choice of locations to the construction of the stagecoaches and sets to the dialogue of the characters.
As Ron Miziker, vice president of programming for THE DISNEY CHANNEL, says, "'Five Mile Creek' will recapture an era rich in its remarkable true-life drama. It's a project we are especially proud of because it exemplifies our commitment to new high-quality dramatic programming for THE DISNEY CHANNEL."
With the names Disney, Crawford and Netter associated with the project, "Five Mile Creek is destined success.
# # # #