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In the first year of the show, it was decided that CEO Michael Mc Kenna's personal assistant, Jenny, should be a solo mother to help draw in that demographic, who statistically would be watching TV at 7 pm.
The show has had a reputation for being raunchy and controversial with the very first episode of the show featuring a sex scene between resident "Dr. Another early controversy was that of a lesbian kiss between Meredith Fleming and Annie Flynn with several complaints made to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) but it went no further.
Location scenes are filmed in Auckland, but other locations, including Fiji, Mt Ruapehu, Rotorua and Rarotonga have been used.
Originally, Shortland Street was filmed in North Shore City at South Pacific Pictures Browns Bay studios until their relocation to purpose built studios in Waitakere City in 2000.
After running through many name options, the original working-title was chosen and subsequently truncated to simply Shortland Street.
The name subsequently is a homage to the Shortland Street studios, which were home to New Zealand's first regular television broadcast in 1960, and were home to TVNZ and its predecessors' Auckland operations until TVNZ moved to its new purpose-built television centre on Victoria Street West in 1990. Shortland Street aired its first ever 90 minute episode on 2 August 2010.