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. Rake is by far the best production on Australian television at the moment. A bright and refreshing response to the sensationalised banality that is the Underbelly series. Long live Cleaver Green and death to bad television. *****

  2. In life there are frustrating people who tell you very little about themselves less they Give something away ,sometimes you have to watch a series like Rake to really understand family—this is tormentingly hillarious–and i should know!— i,ve learnt somethings of someone!

  3. I’ll be watching Rake. Cops lac is just pathetic to say the least and Rush does nothing for me…except it gave me motion sickness when I tuned in once (owing to that horrid swaying camera style of fulming…..

  4. Armchair Analyst

    Just saw the trailer or promo on this page and it looks very good and let me just say this as a legal drama fan i am looking forward to this. Rake is similar to Boston Legal. A bit of serious and a bit of Fun i like it. Personally i have had enough of the police or medical drama crap we havent had i good legal drama or dramady for a long time on free to air tv and i belive its about time to re introduce it onto austalian tv. Richard Roxborough looks good in this sort of an australian version of Alan Shore, i know i shouldnt make comparisons with Boston Legal but its had not to. Will give it a go

  5. Whilst I’d love to think the Australian drama industry is strong enough to support three Aussie dramas going against each other – it isn’t.

    ABC1 in particular is being irresponsible here.

    Considering they make – what – one drama a year, with tax dollars – they should be programming it where it can be seen by as many people as possible

  6. I like the look of Rake, but I don’t watch either Rush or Cops LAC (although I have seen the odd episode here and there). But Rake just looks cheekier and a lot more fun. And I’m a sucker for Richard Roxburgh – it’s that smile, no doubt 🙂

  7. Secret Squïrrel

    There will not be much audience overlap between Rake and the other two, especially the awful COPS – very different shows and target demographics.

    The stars in Rake (regular and guest) will not have just been dumped in to try and con people into watching. They will be backed up by a great script, snappy dialogue, and competent direction. And these stars have some gravitas. Richard Roxburgh and Rachel Griffiths make the likes of Kate Ritchie and co look like children.

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