The Seven Network has confirmed filming is underway on new drama series 800 Words, with Erik Thomson playing the lead character – recently widowed, George Turner.
Without warning, George Turner quits his job as a popular 800 word columnist for a top selling Sydney newspaper. Over the internet he buys a house on an impulse in a remote New Zealand seaside town. Turner then has to break the news to his two teenage kids who just lost their mum, and now face an even more uncertain future.
The Turners arrive in a most unlikely, distant new home in the fictional town of Weld. It is off the tourist trail and unaccustomed to newcomers. The close-knit community of colourful, secretive and inquisitive locals ensure Turner’s dream of a fresh start does not go to plan.
Thomson (Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, The Black Balloon) is joined by Australia’s Melina Vidler (The Arrangement, Mako: Island of Secrets) and Benson Jack Anthony (Underbelly Razor, Blood Brothers, Legend of the Seeker) who play his teenage children, Shay and Arlo Turner.
Rick Donald (Friends with Better Lives, The Doctor Blake Mysteries) plays George’s soon to be best mate Woody. Bridie Carter (McLeod’s Daughters) plays Jan, editor of the newspaper George writes for, and Emma Leonard (Home & Away) is local teacher, Tracey.
Seven Network’s Head of Drama Julie McGauran is Executive Producer for 800 Words. The series is a co-production with NZ’s South Pacific Pictures with Executive Producers Kelly Martin (Westside, Step Dave, Shortland Street, The Brokenwood Mysteries), and Chris Bailey (The Brokenwood Mysteries, Nothing Trivial, Go Girls).
Australia’s Pino Amenta (Wentworth, Winners & Losers, Packed to the Rafters) and New Zealand’s Mike Smith (Siege, The Brokenwood Mysteries, Underbelly: Lang of the Long Green Cloud) are directing the series.
800 Words was co-created by James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Westside) and Maxine Fleming (Being Eve).