City Homicide

For those of you who missed the premier of Australia’s latest cop drama, City Homicide, Seven wants to make sure that you get your chance to see it because they’re showing it twice in the days leading up to episode 2. Once was last Friday night and the next one will be midday on Monday.

Considering that TV shows are generally bought with a limited number of repeats, has Seven blown its repeat load already?

Are repeats mostly a thing of the past with exceptions for Seinfeld, Simpsons and Raymond (or any other half hour filler on Channel Ten)?

We’re still trying to get a network programming person onto the show to discuss these questions and more.


  1. Repeat or “encore” airing ? Perhaps they are playing the semantic game.

  2. catbrain says:

    Encore screenings kind of shit me, because it’s like someone telling me that I should like a particular show and that I obviously haven’t been on the ball enough to make sure I watch or record it. Perhaps if they made something a little different, such as NOT A COP SHOW, they might get more viewers.

    On the flipside, encore screenings are more preferable to constantly changing the timeslot in search of an audience.

    SBS and ABC still screen repeats, but that’s possibly to cater to an older section of their audience; younger (than 65) viewers are pretty much familiar with recording devices and/or downloading.
    Commercial networks seem to screen repeats – other than those mentioned – in the middle of the day occasionally.

  3. Catbrain, you hit the nail bang on the head.

    Aus dramas are unappealing because they’re just freaking copies of everything else. HBO is a shining example of how to capture an audience by being interesting. Its shows are utterly influential in the US and abroad.

    Here, they’re all hospitals and cops and boats, and they all invariably fail. As far as I’m aware Love My Way and Macleod’s Daughters are the only recent Aus dramas that have endured; the former gets massive overseas sales, while the latter is funded by subscriptions. And neither is about medicine, cops or boats.

    If one of our networks grew some balls and took a risk, people would be intrigued enough to watch. I’m convinced of it. Even dim bogans would have a look.

  4. Oh, and one of the biggest problems with City Homicide is the sheer number of recognisable names. As an audience we have a preconceived idea of every character based on the actor’s past work. Four months down the track it’ll be ‘look, Nadine Garner’s getting stuck into Daniel MacPherson! And Shane Bourne’s having sex with Noni!’ Same problem hinders Boat Patrol (or whatever it’s called, cbf looking it up) and every other contemporary Aus drama. Even All Saints lists the likes of John Waters and John Howard as regulars.

    If we had a decent drama industry with enough shows on the go at once, this wouldn’t happen, obviously.

  5. catbrain says:

    That’s a really interesting point you make, Adam D, about our familiarity with the actors, but I think it’s also down to the relatively small pool of (good) actors and jobs for a select few mates (or so it seems)… although, on reflection, I guess if you have a bigger industry you have to have a bigger pool of actors, ergo more faces etc etc

    Where does the money come from, though, to fund this industry – government? More advertising? And if it does come from government, should any of that money go to a commercial network, or should it all be funnelled into the ABC, given that they are considered somewhat of a training ground anyway? And does that then limit the nature of the projects, based on the ABC Charter and the types of programs the ABC broadcasts?

  6. You reckon there’s a small pool of actors? It seems to me that we’re losing some of our best to other countries, and the rest are taking whatever they can get. I can’t remember a time when one production would list the likes of Bourne, Hazlehurst, MacPherson, Garner and Pedersen as regulars. 10 years ago actors of similar status would be spread across multiple productions.

    Last week I read something about the Aus government trying to boost local production by — get this — reimbursing 20% of the production costs. What it effectively means is that a network can do exactly what it’s doing now and get given free money. It’s not going to boost shit.

    What the hell is George Brandis doing with the arts portfolio anyway? That’s like giving indigenous affairs to Fred Nile, or giving communications to Helen Coonan. Oh wait.

  7. catbrain says:

    That sounds a bit like the old 10BA tax break, although that was limited to film (I think) and didn’t have any particular eligibility requirement, which resulted in quite a lot of shit being produced.

    “The television offset will provide all producers of eligible productions*, whether in-house or independent, with a rebate on their eligible expenditure,” says a spokesman for Senator Brandis.

    It will be interesting to see what exactly is eligible: does it have to air/ be released within a specific timeframe? Employ a certain percentage of Australians? Meet specific content guidelines, ie: will there be a limit to whether it’s being used for drama, comedy or children’s shows?

    Yes, quite obviously not going to boost production if the example given by Chapman of a production company being “asked” by a network to amend their contract costs down after the announcement is anything to go by.

    * my emphasis

  8. There is no shortage of actors in Melbourne, but there is a huge shortage in production.

    There is just so little work that you end up with John Waters on All Saints.

    Something like City Hom comes along and big names jump at it – good work and paid work. For Seven it is no brainer, names sell it. More people will watch it because Daniel McPherson is in it, rather than if one of the many, many locals actors who could do it better but doesn’t have the name recognition had the role.

    But good luck to City Hom. Not my thing, but I definitely feel there is an audience out there who wants this.

  9. @Ross:
    More people will watch it because Daniel McPherson is in it, rather than if one of the many, many locals actors who could do it better but doesn?t have the name recognition had the role.

    Yep, and it’s my opinion that it harms the show in the long run*, because it’s too many well-knowns at once. You can do that with film but not serial drama. One or two big names is plenty, and developing familiarity with an unknown supporting cast can give the show longevity. When your also-starrings are veterans, however, the whole of Aus television feels like one big theatre company, with new productions by the same actors twice a year.

    There is no shortage of actors in Melbourne, but there is a huge shortage in production.

    A few are even popping up in kids’ productions (Blue Water High, Don’t Blame Me etc.). Not that I’m knocking these shows — some of our best drama is aimed at under-15s these days — but you can’t help wondering how they’re paying the rent.

    * like AUS drama even HAS long runs anymore

  10. @ Ross

    There is just so little work that you end up with John Waters on All Saints

    What do you mean by this Ross? Are you having a crack at his acting ability or a crack at the quality of All Saints? All Saints is my secret TV shame and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with either his acting or the show. With a couple of glaring exceptions I believe that the current cast of All Saints is exceptionally good.
    Tell me that the kid who plays Dan isn’t one of the best actors on Australian TV at the moment and I will throw down with you.

  11. catbrain says:

    All Saints is my secret TV shame…

    Not so secret anymore, it would seem….*grin*

    *skips away*

  12. Tell me that the kid who plays Dan isn?t one of the best actors on Australian TV at the moment and I will throw down with you.

    Mark Priestley? Bloody fantastic.

    Any Aus drama can potentially be excellent, given enough time. They’ve all got the right talent because (as above) there’s no other work.

  13. I am not having a crack at John Waters at all.

    At the risk of upsetting the All Saints brigade out there I would suggest that both John Waters and John Howard are completely wasted in the type of dross All Saints pumps out…

  14. Yep. But what else is there? City Hom? Boat Patrol? Wilfred?

    There’s still film and theatre. Well, theatre.

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