One of Australia's highest rating dramas, All Saints is a Logie Award-winning Australian medical drama set in the fictional All Saints Western General Hospital in suburban Sydney. The stories originally focused on the nursing staff of Ward 17 run by Nursing Unit Manager Terri Sullivan. It was sometimes referred to as the 'garbage ward' because it took the overflow of patients.
In 2004 Network Seven producers overhauled the series in an effort to increase the show's gradually dwindling audience. They achieved this by closing down Ward 17 and transferring some of the staff to the Emergency Department managed by Frank Campion. Several other new lead characters were also introduced. The changes also saw the storylines begin to focus more on the lives of the doctors and nurses.
Another significant change to the series came in early 2009 when the producers introduced the Medical Response Unit. Central to this development was the helicopter which took doctors to rescue situations outside the hopsital and which in turn brought patients to the All Saints Emergency Department. The show's name was also changed at this time to All Saints: Medical Response Unit. The increased production costs created by having scenes shot on location played a part, however, in the series being cancelled mid-year. The series ended with the Emergency Department and Medical Response Unit teams having a dinner to farewell the last remaining original character, Von Ryan on her final day at All Saints.
All Saints was popular in many countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and Iran.
Set in a small, fictional, New South Wales country town called Wandin Valley, A Country Practice focused on the staffs of the town's medical practice and local hospital and on the families of the doctors, nurses, and patients. Many of the episodes also featured guest characters (frequently patients served by the practice) through whom various social and medical problems were explored. Although often considered a soap opera, the series was not built around an open-ended narrative; instead, the two one-hour episodes screened per week formed a self-contained narrative block, though many of the storylines were developed as sub-plots for several episodes before becoming the focus of a particular week's storyline. While the focus was on topical issues such as youth unemployment, suicide, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, and terminal illness, the program did sometimes explore culturally sensitive issues, including, for example, the Aboriginal community and their place in modern Australian society.
Among the show's principal characters were Dr Terence Elliott, local policeman Sergeant Frank Gilroy, Esme Watson, Shirley Dean Gilroy, Bob Hatfield, Vernon 'Cookie' Locke, and Matron Margaret 'Maggie' Sloan. In addition to its regularly rotating cast of characters, A Country Practice also had a cast of semi-regulars who would make appearances as the storylines permitted. Interestingly, while the series initially targeted the adult and older youth demographic, it became increasingly popular with children over the years.