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.