Lisa McCune has been a staple of modern Australian television for over ten years now. The news that Ch10 were picking her up to star in their new 2012 drama series Reef Doctors was great news, and now as it goes into production we get to see the calibre of some of the other cast – Matt Day and Richard Brancatisano among them. Importantly, it means work for the Qld Film & TV industry, which can only be a good thing. From the press release:

With production commencing next week in Far North Queensland, an outstanding cast has been announced for the new Jonathan M Shiff prime time family drama Reef Doctors set to air on TEN in 2012.

Starring Lisa McCune (Sea Patrol, Blood Brothers, The Potato Factory, Blue Heelers) – who is also co-producing the new drama – the action family adventure will also star Rohan Nichol (Killing Time, Red Dog, South Solitary, Rush), Matt Day (Tangle, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Rake), Richard Brancatisano (Underbelly: Razor, Bait, Home & Away); Tasneem Roc (Crownies, East West 101, Spirited); Andrew Ryan (Not Suitable For Children, Tomorrow When The War Began, The Jesters), German actress Susan Hoecke (Sturm der Liebe, Der Lehrer, 18 – Allein under Mädchen), Rod Mullinar (Satisfaction, Shortland St, All Saints, Dead Calm), Kristof Piechocki (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and
newcomers Justin Holborow and Chloe Bayliss.

McCune plays Sam, a GP and single mother with a free spirit and determination. Running the Hope Island Clinic, Sam is an accomplished doctor, who with her team, looks after the residents of all the neighbouring islands, as well as the holiday makers and thrill seekers who visit the area. The young team of doctors and venomologists work out of a small remote-area clinic, capturing and handling creatures best known for killing – but whose venom also has the power to cure. The residents of the tiny island pull together through thick and thin, proving that there are many different definitions of the term ‘family’.

Renowned the world over for outstanding children’s television productions, Reef Doctors marks Jonathan M Shiff Productions’ move to family drama. Produced by Jonathan M Shiff, and co-produced by Lisa McCune, Reef Doctors is being executive produced by Jonathan M Shiff and Julia Adams.

Set on the picturesque Great Barrier Reef, the new 13 x 1 hour action adventure family drama series is being directed by Colin Budds (The Elephant Princess, H2O Just Add Water, Stingers, The Lost World) and Grant Brown (Rush, Crownies, Underbelly) and is set to premiere in 2012.

In making the announcement Jonathan M Shiff says: “With the production of Reef Doctors we are re-introducing a genre for Australia that is long overdue – family action adventure, with high production values and wonderful characters.” “Reef Doctors is a push from TEN into some broader family drama to complement an exciting and busy drama slate for 2012 including the return of Offspring, and the high end event series Puberty Blues and Brothers in Arms. We are naturally delighted to have Lisa on board.” says Rick Maier, Executive Producer – Drama and Production, Network Ten.

Lisa McCune added: “We have assembled a great cast for the series and can’t wait to start filming next week in FNQ. The humour and heart of this piece will resonate deeply with Australians as well as our international audiences.”

Reef Doctors is a Jonathan M Shiff Production produced in association with Network Ten, ZDF Enterprises Germany, The Post Lounge and with funding from Screen Queensland and assistance from Gold Coast City Council’s Business Gold Coast.