Alan Bateman was executive producer of the first 215 episodes of Home And Away. His successor was Des Monaghan.
Alan Bateman trained as an electrician before starting a career in drama. He worked for many years at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He left that post in 1984 and moved to become Director Of Drama at the Channel Seven network in Sydney.
On the 3rd February 1985, The Sydney Morning Herald stated that Bateman had taken up an executive position at the network
Home And AwayEditIn late 1984 or early 1985, around the time he departed from the ABC Alan Bateman had an idea for a new TV series, and came up with a childless couple called Tom Fletcher and Pippa Fletcher. Alan Bateman was now Head of Drama by 1985, and other rival soap Neighbours, was axed in July 1985, Channel 10 had picked up the show. Looking for a new serial Bateman wanted a new program that would rival Neighbours which was doing really well on 10, Alan Bateman chose one of his existing projects which was to become Home And Away, a show which had been in development by 1986.
He had got the original idea for Home And Away while on a trip to a remote country town in the Riverina area of New South Wales. Being a hot summer day, Alan stopped in the town as he wanted an ice cream. He was speaking to locals about a new foster home being built for children from the city, (aka Sydney). Alan then had a brilliant idea for a new serial, which he worked on for a long time, to make sure it was realistic. He did case studies on foster children as well as return to the town to get more opinions on the foster home, which wa snot wanted in the small community. In August and September 1985, Home And Away, while in development, featured in a compiled photo album portfolio on current and future productions, proof sheets of publicity and production shots. This means the title of the show was chosen before August 1985. Such albums were made every couple of months as photos were taken of new projects.
In early 1987, Bateman made final preparations for the new upcoming serial "Home And Away" to be aired, which he had worked on for over 2 years already. At the end of February 1987, the show was ready to start casting, casting begun in March.
John Holmes was bought forward to produce the show. The pilot episode was rewritten by Bevan Lee in June 1987. Also in June 1987, Nicolle Dickson auditioned for the role of Bobby Simpson, who would become the Fletcher's sixth foster child. In July 1987, the pilot episode was filmed. Production for the new soap was well underway. In October 1987, Alan showed his boss Christopher Skase the pilot and was told to go full steam ahead. Home And Away began filming its regular 5 day a week episodes. The pilot episode was transmitted on the 17th January 1988 and the regular episodes started transmission on the 18th January.However after 4 weeks on air, in February 1988, the ratings were not doing very well and executives thought about axing the show but Bateman fought tooth and nail by having the series promoted, the cast going around shopping malls in Sydney promoting the series and within a month, ratings climbed high. The show was now on solid ground. Alan Bateman would serve as executive producer of the show.
In September 1988, Alan Bateman left his growing baby Home And Away to take over as Head of Drama at the Nine Network, knowing the brash young soap opera Home And Away was in good hands. Des Monaghan took over as executive producer of the show.
After Home And AwayEdit
Bateman took over as Head Of Drama at Nine Network in August 1988. He then formed a drama department at Nine and soon got the channel to adopt his time honoured way of creating shows. Network Seven were not that pleased that Nine had poached its drama king. Later on John Holmes and Bevan Lee joined Nine.
In 1996, Bateman was executive producer of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Alan Bateman died in August 2012 aged 76, after a battle with cancer.
Legacy of Alan BatemanEdit
- Home And Away Behind The Scenes (James Oram, published 1989). "What Vanessa Downing did in her spare time was of no interest to Alan Bateman and John Holmes as they strove to get the pilot of "Home And Away" to the screen. After three years preparation, the actual production was completed in the sort of time that would have bought a smile to the face of Sam Katzman, the master of Hollywood quickies".
- https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1300&dat=19880114&id=GZIyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9ZYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2503,1478690&hl=en (The Age, 14 January 1988)
- A Sydney Morning Herald article from January 1989, explaining how Bateman, who had recently moved to Channel 9 from Channel 7, likes honing and honing again when it comes to TV making, an article titled The Bateman Factor - http://newsstore.fairfax.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac?page=1&sy=nstore&kw=%22Alan+Bateman%22&pb=all_ffx&dt=enterRange&dr=1month&sd=01%2F01%2F1982&ed=01%2F12%2F1989&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=50&rm=200&sp=adv&clsPage=1&docID=news890109_0157_1957
- http://colsearch.nfsa.gov.au/nfsa/search/display/display.w3p;adv=;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=%22Home%20And%20Away%22%20Decade%3A%221980-1989%22;querytype=;rec=2;resCount=10 (August-Sep 1985 photo album of production and publicity shots of current and future Channel & shows, and Home And Away is listed)