Jason Daniel

Script Producer: 2011

Jason Daniel completed a journalism degree, and eventually moved into the Neighbours script department as the story editor in the 1989. In 1991, Jason moved to New Zealand to set up the Kiwi soap, Shortland Street. He remained with the series for the first three years.

In 1995, he joined the German soap, Verbontene Liebe (Forbidden Love) as the Dramaturge and a Storyliner. After leaving the series, he travelled Europe setting up several daily serials, including Skilda Världar (Worlds Apart) in Sweden, Baratok Kozt (Between Friends) in Hungary and Salatut Elämät (Secret Lives) in Finland with former Home and Away script producer, Greg Stevens. Jason was promoted to the head of drama development at Fremantle Media International in 2002.

After working in Asia, Africa and the USA, Jason returned to New Zealand in 2005 to take over from Katie Wolfe as series producer. Over his three years on the series, he was responsible for the wildly popular Ferndale Strangler storyline, which lasted 10 months. He also berated TVNZ for their censorship of a gay storyline, stating, “When we do the lesbian stories, everyone is very happy to point out that Shortland Street is a PGR [parental guidance recommended] programme, and it deals in adult themes, and it always has. When it’s two men, we have fraught discussions about corrupting the morals of a nation.” He left just a few months later.

He was praised by South Pacific’s then-head of drama, Simon Bennett, who said, “As producer of Shortland Street, Jason has revamped the look of the programme, introducing all new hospital sets and uniforms, a raft of intriguing characters, and has been instrumental in the development of such successful storylines as last year’s top-rating serial killer story. Under Jason’s stewardship, Shortland Street has consistently rated in the top five programmes in TV2’s 18 to 39 demographic. Jason has been a key part of Shortland Street’s many years of success for TV2. He played a pivotal role in establishing the show as story editor 16 years ago and after three and a half years in the producer’s chair, he leaves the show in excellent shape.

Jason was appointed as the script producer of Home and Away in June 2010. His first episode in the top job aired on 7th February 2011 (Ep#5226) and his final episode aired on 27th May 2011 (Ep#5305). Over his three months in the series, he introduced the River Boys, Brax, Heath and Casey Braxton as well as oversaw storylines such as April’s OCD, Angelo’s disappearance and Marilyn’s failed adoption of Nicole’s baby. He also re-established former script producer, Scott Taylor as a story editor on the series.

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