Born: Established: 17 Apr 1931 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 2015
After completing his education at Marist Brothers College in Randwick, Ted Roberts worked in advertising and sales promotion before commencing his career as a freelance writer for television and film.
Among his early writing assignments were episodes for several series from the late 1960s and early 1970s, notably Skippy (1969-70), The Rovers (1970), Spyforce (1971), Barrier Reef (1971-72), Homicide (1970-72), Division 4 (1970-72), The Spoiler (1972), and Boney (1972-73). He later wrote scripts for such shows as Elephant Boy (1973), Castaway (1974), Three Men of the City (1974), The Seven Ages of Man (1975), Rush (1976), The Outsiders (1976), Catspaw (1978), and Patrol Boat (1979).
During the 1980s, Roberts was a principal writer for A County Practice (1983-85); the mini-series Silent Reach (1983), Body Business (1986), and Cyclone Tracy (1986); Willing and Abel (1987); and Mission Impossible (1988-89). He also wrote scripts for Menotti (1981) and Bellamy (1981).
His credits in the 1990s include G.P. (1992-93), Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1993-94), Murder Call (1997), and Water Rats (1999-00). Since 2000, he has contributed episodes to All Saints (2002) and Blue Heelers (1994-2006).
Roberts's film scripts include Lindsay's Boy (1974), Polly My Love (1975), The Amorous Dentist (1982: part of the ABC's true-cime anthology series Verdict), A Descant for Gossips (1983), The Settlement (1984), Bush Christmas (1983), Just Us (1986), and The Territorians (1996).
In addition to his writing career, Roberts has been engaged as a producer for such shows as Mission Impossible, Snowy River, and Water Rats.
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.
Water Rats is an Australian police television series which was broadcast on the Nine Network between 1996 and 2001. The series was based around the men and women of the Sydney Water Police who fight crime across Sydney Harbour and surrounding locales. The show was set on and around Goat Island in Sydney Harbour.
A character-based television drama series about the lives of police officers in the fictitious Australian country town of Mt Thomas, this series began with the arrival of Constable Maggie Doyle (Lisa McCune) to the Mt Thomas station in the episode 'A Woman's Place'. Doyle and avuncular station boss Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon (John Wood) were the core characters of the series until the departure of Lisa McCune.
Immensely popular for a decade, Blue Heelers was cancelled in 2006 after thirteen seasons. The announcement was front-page news in Australia's major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney's Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Age in Melbourne, and Brisbane's Courier Mail.
On June 8, 2006 Ross Warneke wrote in The Age:
'It's over and, to be perfectly blunt, there's no use lamenting the demise of Blue Heelers any more. When the final movie-length episode aired on Channel Seven on Sunday night, 1.5 million Australians tuned in, a figure that was big enough to give the show a win in its timeslot but nowhere near big enough to pay the sort of tribute that this writer believes Heelers deserved after more than 500 episodes.It is unlikely there will be anything like it again. At almost $500,000 an hour, shows such as Blue Heelers are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of Australian TV.'