Outrageous Fortune is one of the most popular and indeed seminal shows of New Zealand television. A comedy drama about the Wests, a family of New Zealand criminals trying to go straight under the leadership of their mother, Cheryl, while dad Wolf is in prison, it lasted six seasons and 107 episodes, making it the longest running drama series in New Zealand TV history. Without it, the New Zealand TV industry wouldn’t be what it is today as it launched the careers of many both in front of and behind the camera, and shows like The Almighty Johnsons, The Brokenwood Mysteries and The Blue Rose wouldn’t have been made at all.
In fact, the US TV industry would look a little different, too, as not only was there a US remake, Scoundrels*, but Banshee star Antony Starr got his big break in Outrageous Fortune as identical twins Jethro and Van West.
The show finished in 2010 but coming soon to its original home, TV3, is a prequel set in the 70s called Westside. Starting in 1974 and progressing to 1977, the six-part series will tell the story of safecracking granddad, Ted West, and his wife Rita - played again by The Blue Rose’s Antonia Prebble, who played both Rita and Rita’s granddaughter Loretta in the original series - as well as their son Wolf.
And here’s the first trailer! Fans of the original series might spot a few familiar faces, albeit with some fancy moustaches.
* In the UK, Sky Living aired the original series and ITV remade it as Honest, with Amanda Redman.
- June 4, 2015: Review: Westside 1x1 (New Zealand: TV3)
A review of the first episode of TV3’s Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside