Miss Fisher draws them in

Last Friday night Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries was the ABC's top-rating show of the week.

Credit where it’s due.

Well done to the ABC for attracting a crowd to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries last Friday night.

The period drama pulled 992,000 viewers.

That saw it become the top-rating show on ABC1 last week. Even though ABC News pulled 1.04m on Thursday, its weeknight average slipped below the new drama at 979,000.

No doubt audiences are attracted to the idea of a tasty mystery on Friday night, and the local series by producers Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox has come up a treat.

It’s a shame The Straits isn’t doing as well on Thursdays, last week at 456,000.

ABC is certainly showing off a diverse Drama slate, and there is more on the way.

This week both dramas have excellent episodes, including major jeopardy for the Montebello clan, and a murder mystery aboard a train to Ballarat.

With international dramas Spooks and Great Expectations about to be added to the schedule, ABC1 might even be eyeing third place for the week very soon.

12 Responses

  1. Good grief….it is just a bit of light hearted fun….and just why I watch TV….
    If it stresses you that much…that you have to critique every inch of it….why bother watching…
    I just watched it on IView today…and personally I loved everything about it… 🙂

  2. @Ronnie An excellent point re: Mad Men and Downton Abbey. No matter how stylish, they feel ‘real’ – not a clunky construct as Oz period pieces do. This is what I meant about ‘click’. They just don’t seem to have the guts to go the whole hog and give Oz shows a unique style. And this, I believe, comes from a lack of vision from the top.

  3. I was very disappointed and understand completely why it cannot be programmed at 830 Sunday night. 70% of the audience was 55+ so it skews very old. It will be fascinating to see the figures for next few weeks. Essie Davis was radiant but it felt old fashioned and soft and just a little bit silly – not in a good way. Mad Men and Downton Abbey bring a modern sensibility to period drama and I was hoping this might do the same. Looking forward to a drama on the ABC that can play at 830 Sunday night.

  4. @victor – I don’t think that you agree with GuanoLad at all. He wrote that he found the show “to be decent”, lacking only a “tiny bit [of] …lustre” and requiring “just a hint of stylisation”. That’s not the same as saying that something is “well below par” which I think in this case is an overly harsh characterisation.

    Perhaps you’re just very selective when it comes to TV script writing but I wonder what sort of show you would consider the writing of to be merely at par.

  5. I couldn’t last the distance. The Art Direction was great – it looked the part. Some of the cinematography was good and it actually had a real music score. The CG was ok for TV – good on them for opening up the scale a tad (as opposed to Underbelly Razor)

    However, I found the script was stilted, as was a lot of the action. I think Essie Davis tried hard but lacked any cheek or humour – but this is due to the script. The biggest letdown is the Direction – it was ordinary, bland and lacked any distinctive style – and it’s this that made the whole show just not click. What is with Oz Directors? Do they not watch stuff from OS? Or is the Drama Heads? Who knows? But the Sherlocks, Misfits, Boardwalk Empires, Dr Whos, Deadwoods, even the Almighty Johnsons seem to elude us.

  6. I’ve said it before that I enjoyed it. As for The Straits I’m just not interested in the criminal POV plus I’m booked watching something else on Thursday. Although if I was interested I’d try it Friday. I’m not. But I do look forward to more Phryne Fisher.

  7. I liked it, and it’s nice to see the ABC doing a show like this. I know we have the last UB series set in about the same time but that was just to graphic for most, this feels more fun. I don’t mind some of it’s downfalls in CGI and acting. It was fun and that’s what you want on a Friday night.

    Also noticed they are running this late Sunday night as well but not on ABC2, they are keeping it on the main channel ABC1.

  8. I agree with GuanoLad. I’m afraid the writing of this series is well below par and with twelve episodes to go it does not bode well. The production and costume design was stylish despite some rather dodgy CGI work. Essie Davis is very good even when saddled with some terrible lines but none of the other actors have anything to do. Unless the story and plotting dramatically improve this show will gently decline and remain a mediocre imitation of British productions. This problem seems to be endemic across the ABC’s Australian series dramas (Crownies, The Straits, East of Everything etc). We have the technical expertise but seem to lack in the writing and editorial department.

  9. I found Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to be decent, but the performances of the actors outside of the leads were a tiny bit lacklustre. They need to put a bit more energy into their parts to match Essie Davis, Miriam Margolyes, and Ashleigh Cummings.

    It’s a slightly heightened and unlikely concept, so needs just a hint of stylisation to work. This isn’t Downton Abbey, this is Poirot. The Brits just seem to get it without even thinking about it.

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