Sea Patrol sets sail on final series

Channel Nine’s next season of Sea Patrol will be its final series.

Currently filming in Queensland, the series will bring to a close five seasons aboard the HMAS Hammersley.

The drama, starring Lisa McCune and Ian Stenlake, averaged 1.2m viewers last season.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a production tax rebate expires after 65 episodes. Next season’s 13 episodes takes the total number of episodes to 68. This year it had 16 episodes.

Sea Patrol has been a shiny success story for Nine, produced by McElroy All Media. With its Armidale-class patrol boat from the Royal Australian Navy, and mix of action and romance, it has sold to over 100 territories principally via the Hallmark Channel.

McCune and Stenlake both return for the final series along with Conrad Coleby, John Batchelor, Matt Holmes, Kristian Schmid, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Danielle Horvat, Tammy McIntosh plus Ditch Davey and Renai Caruso.

But some fans are already looking to save the series from ending.

Clint Rolfe who runs website SeaPatrol.com told TV Tonight, the show had been written off by some observers in its first season but has built a loyal legion of fans. A Petition to save the show is already gathering signatories.

“The fans all feel for the cast and crew, who still have to deliver Sea Patrol 5. That said, fans aren’t taking the news lying down,” he said.

“Athough it’s almost impossible to change a network’s mind, the Hey Hey fans did it, so maybe the fans of Sea Patrol will have some success. Even if Nine won’t fund another series, how about an explosive movie length episode to take the series out on a high? In any case, we’ve started a petition and would love more support.

“Although it isn’t the highest rating Australian drama on TV, and costs a mint to make, the quality gets better and better each series.

“The only bright light is we still have 13 solid episodes to look forward to.”

Reports of a final series follows news last week that Seven is yet to decide on the future of City Homicide for 2011. A 6 episode-arc will screen next year while the network promises a decision early next year.

Nine is yet to confirm the future for COPS L.A.C. while TEN has not announced any renewal yet for Rush.

24 Comments:

  1. A love sea patrol and it’s well acctided out a love how they all look after each other please dontry end it is watching it on repeat but would love more of it don’t end it

  2. I am a fan of Sea Patrol. I felt that some of the scripts were weak and there needed to be more character development , but still overall a good series.
    I see the series on Showcase, a Canadian TV Channel.

    I think the series is a great showcase for the Australian Military and I like the
    style of the Armidale Class Boats but I I think I would have stayed with the Freemantle Class 202 for Continuity ( This is a debatable point )
    The star of the Show is the ship, thus creating a Bond between audience and Cast and Program Production.

    As a Canadian and a Mermber of the Commonwealth , I salute Sea Patrol.
    My advice is to try for 100 episodes.

  3. It’s unbelievable that they would end an amazing show such as sea patrol. It’s basically the only reason I watch channel nine. They are gonna lose me as a viewer. I have enjoyed sea patrol since the very start and I don’t wanna see it end, especially with how great it has become. I am signing the petition. Sea Patrol season 6.

  4. I have watched all 4 series of Sea Patrol which is shown on Universal here in the UK. It have just got better and better, so why axe a well acted and produced programme after 5 series. I thought it was only tbe Brits that did this sort of thing. Obviously not. I lived in Australia several years ago and still have fond memories. I hope to visit Australia again in the near future. This programme is one of the best Australian exports yet.

  5. Well I am from NZ and have signed the petition -. Sea Patrol would be one of the
    best programmes and one of my favourite ones and it is sad to see that it
    all comes down to the almighty dollar and ‘ratings’ (whatever they are, no one has ever asked me) having the final say . Shame on you Channel 9.

    I also see City Homicide and Rush might also be getting the bums Rush, pardon the pun. They are also great programmes. The powers that be here in NZ only
    screened one series of Rush not sure if we saw the whole series) so when I
    was in Australia for Christmas and New Year I bought both City Homicide and Rush.

  6. I am from Canada and I love the show. The cast are completely believable and they function as if they were a crew of the navy. After watching 2 episodes I am hooked. I have signed a petition and will continue to write letters to let them konw that this show is worth saving and there are viewers all over the world.

  7. I believe that Sea Patrol marked the beginning of a turn towards Aussie drama. The recent years have been full of local shows (some arguably better than others), but now it looks like they’re all at risk. SP has a lot of critics. I won’t deny that the plots are a little obvious sometimes (aimed at a younger audience), but the acting is excellent and the characters really get into your heart.

  8. I hope Nine dosen’t axe Sea Patrol. That is a good show.
    And good idea on starting a petition on saving Sea Patrol.
    How about someone starting a petition to save City Homicide?

  9. I know this isn’t always the most popular series, and people argue that ‘Water Rats’ and ‘Blue Heelers’ have done it better in the past, yada yada, but the problem is, that if Nine cheap out on this, they’re just going to go along to the next cheap thing till they get a hit, they want to outlay nothing, but get a big return. Sure this might work for other shows like ‘Packed to the Rafters’ – but let’s be honest here, Nine do the expensive dramas better – ‘Water Rats’ up until ‘Sea Patrol’ came along was the most expensive aussie drama ever produced.

    Australia does the quirky and different dramas much better than we do the ‘norm’ – Cops LAC is a case in point.

    As a fan I don’t want to just see another decent drama shafted, we’ve turned into Americans, watching wall to wall reality and I for one, need a good drama to escape the rat race.

  10. Secret Squïrrel

    Have to agree with Brad and Monica – it is pretty lame. Patrol Boat was much more authentic. Sea Patrol is neither believable nor dramatic. The writing is formulaic with really obvious plot-points so you know exactly what’s going to happen next and the direction is pretty ordinary. Most of the acting is mediocre, too.

    Still, if it rates over a mill, I say keep it. However, I understand that it costs about twice as much as average to make so maybe it needs to rate twice as highly now that the rebate no longer applies.

  11. David astutely points out it cannot get the 20% producer offset after 65 eps making the series financially unviable. This issue is now confronting a number of these returning series. I am glad to see Sea Patrol sail off into the sunset and join the heritage style dramas that I find too old fashioned. The really interesting question is what’s next for Nine drama? Ten and Seven are busy reinventing their drama slates and taking a few risks – I’d like to see Nine do the same.

  12. Monica, you must have a really short memory.

    Last Man Standing, Marshall Law, Rush are/we are turkeys. Sea Patrol might not be Australia’s best locally produced drama, but nowhere is it near the depths of Offspring, Rush or LAC.

  13. I was surprised this show lasted as long as it did.

    I always thought it a poor copy of Patrol Boat which aired 15-20 years ago.

    The plots were incredibly obvious and often left me incredulous that they could depict what, in real life, would be a major international incident and it was left by the Australian Government to a single patrol boat.

  14. I was saddened to hear that Sea Patrol was being axed. I understand that it costs a lot to produce, but the extra expense shows in the quality of the final product which is delivered on air. I know it’s a long shot, but hopefully with the support of the fans we can get this decision reversed. Channel Nine, I urge you to reconsider.

  15. Sad to see all these Australian dramas going. Makes you wonder why all the networks need to run 3 chanels when time is tied up with endless repeats of what was already on this week. Last night the 9 variants ran 2 hours of 2.5men. 7 and its variants run a saturday full of Home and Away. 11 will be the same with hours and hours of the Simpsons.
    If they just filtered the crap out of the equation they would really only need one HD and one SD chanel each.
    Just a thought.

  16. I cannot believe this show made it this far.
    Until Cops LAC came along this was the worst Aussie drama of the last decade.
    The premise of the show was good enough but they were never able to get a director who could increase the soporific tempo.
    Some very average actors also didn’t help.

  17. Tania Langford

    I was devastated to hear the tragic news that Sea Patrol is being axed after season 5. It is the best Australian show on tv and has outstanding stories and an awesome cast and crew. An all round winner in my books. I cannot understand why with such a highly rated show that is loved not only in Australia but worldwide, how Channel 9 can axe it. When Sea Patrol began Channel 9 said that they were looking at 10 seasons. What happened. Please save this awesome programme. Come on Channel 9 reconsider your decision to axe Sea Patrol, its not that hard to admit you’ve made a mistake. All Sea Patrol fans out there sign our petition please, help us to show Channel 9 how much we love Sea Patrol and want it to stay

  18. I am hoping Rush gets renewed. I enjoyed Sea Patrol, but again the moving nights lost me, as it then competed with an existing show I was dedicated to. When will the networks learn.
    There could be many new dramas next year, if all these are not renewed. Unless the local content quota gets reduced…..

  19. After a very shaky first season this show got very good and became one of my favourites! It’s been a quiet achiever, while panned by critics and many on sites such as this in the end the ratings never sank below one million!

    Nice to see that cost is ending the show rather than ratings – this way it’ll end with it’s main cast still there and quality high.

    Going to miss it but at least it will go out on a high! Hopefully the final season gets a good timeslot and hopefully Nine invest in some new drama to replace it.

  20. A pity that such a great series has to end because of the loss of a tax rebate. The government spends a fortune on promotions to advertise Australia abroad, ( some of which cost millions and fizzled) and yet, here we have a series that promotes Australia, and the RAN in over 100 countries and they won’t support it. I know of many, many people who have planned trips to Australia after watching Sea Patrol and who now have a very positive view of both the country, its people, and the forces which protect it.

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