Game on: Rake vs Rush vs COPS L.A.C.

Australian television is about to have three-way battle in local drama, with news that ABC’s latest series Rake will premiere at 8:30pm Thursday November 4th.

That puts it in direct competition with TEN’s police drama Rush and Nine’s COPS L.A.C.

The 8 part dramedy stars Richard Roxburgh as a self-destructive barrister, Cleaver Greene – “defender of the indefensible and champion of the lost cause…both in the court room and the bedroom.”

The Press Release indicates, “Whether it’s women, gambling or drugs, Cleaver can resist everything except temptation. His other addiction is the law – defending those who seem to be beyond redemption – society’s hopeless: our drug dealers, our murderers, our cannibals. As charming and as irresistible as Cleaver Greene is, when you let him into your world, be warned, trouble is bound to follow. He is the very definition of a Rake.”

The series also stars Matt Day, Russel Dykstra, Adrienne Pickering, Danielle Cormack and Caroline Brazier. It has an impressive guest cast including Rachel Griffiths, Hugo Weaving, Sam Neill, Lisa McCune and Noah Taylor.

Rush and COPS L.A.C. have already been competing in the Thursday night slot, arguably for a similar audience.

Now Rake will join the stoush, which is a curious move for an Australian drama product.

Having two Aussie dramas compete is not unprecedented. Rush has previously competed with Sea Patrol and East West 101 tackled Packed to the Rafters. While Pay TV dramas Tangle and Spirited have also been scheduled against Free to Air dramas, three will see viewers pushed to support local products.

ABC’s scheduling of Thursday 8:30pm  is also a shake-up from traditional its drama slots on Sundays, Saturdays and even (previously) Mondays. New Channel Controller Brendan Dahill took over ABC1 in August.



  1. Here’s the thing – Aussie drama costs about $800-$1M per hour and throwing them up against each other means there will be blood. This is one of Brendan Dahill’s first decisions as Controller 1 and I reckon it’s a bad one. There are plenty of slots for Aussie drama on the ABC – the amount of hours they are producing is nothing short of a disgrace, and here they are further fragmenting an already terminally fragmenting audience. 830 Friday, 730 & 830 Saturday and Sunday all wide open. They have a duty to think about the bigger picture – a duty to the producers and the audience. Nine and Ten are putting Aussie dramas into Thursday night because it’s considered a “soft” night, whereas the ABC needs to commission flagship drama, not series it has to sneak into a “soft” spot in the sked, towards the end of the ratings year. Even Midsomer Murders is going to end one day. Must try harder next time.

  2. Rake couldn’t be more different from Rush and Sopclack if it tried, though I’m sad that it’ll be more a situation akin to the Greens taking votes from both Labor and the Libs. Brilliant writing, acting, hilarious and thought provoking. A must watch.

  3. @ Tony H – so are the 5 million or so Australians who watch TV every night idiots then?

    Last time they had 3 Aussie dramas against each other was back in 2002 I think with Stingers, MDA and Marshall Law at 9.30. And Stingers was the winner.

  4. The ads for Rake look great. Thank you ABC!

    Tough luck Nine for being so unimaginative and churning out rubbish like Copslack. I predict Rake will smash it in the ratings.

  5. looking forward to “Rake”. ill be watching, looks far better than “Rush” and “Cops LAC” Rubbish

    what an impressive guest cast to, would have been better to have it on a different night though

  6. @ John Hunt, why do you think Ronnie’s comment was so silly? An Aussie show will surely be the winner, but that means there may well be two Aussie losers. How can that help the industry? Shouldn’t the ABC have more responsibility?

    As the article says, it’s a curious move, perhaps only (and especially) because it’s a move by our own public broadcaster, which should surely be supporting us, not working against us. Dontcha reckon?

  7. Only an idiot would watch anything live on a commercial network. The amount of ads is ridiculous. Thank God for IQ (except for Channel 9 regular viewers, who don’t have any).

  8. If it was to be another dreary procedural cop drama then maybe people could get their things in a knot about it competing, but its not. Just that fact that it is an Australian drama is certainly no hook to watch – it is the subject and tone of the program which draws the viewers. I would watch nothing before watching the other two, but having seen the ad and seeing the cast, this will definately be marked as a watch, at least once.
    By your reasoning Ronnie, there could only be one news service at night, because they are all Australian and all compete in the same time slot with the same material. It is about choice (in this case cast)

  9. What a shameful turn of events for the ABC! They shouldn’t put it up against other Aussie drama – someone has to lose and it’s probably going to be local actors and technicians when one of the series gets cancelled!

  10. That is just plain irresponsible programming by the ABC. They have hardly broadcast any drama this year – what is wrong with Saturday 830 when The Bill ends? (Has it ended – I’m not sure). The producers of all three Aussie dramas must be furious, and everyone involved in creating this work deserves better. They are all being betrayed. All the TV writers who read this blog need to make a huge fuss about this!

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