Farewell to New Tricks


After 12 seasons, the last ever episode of New Tricks will air tonight on ABC.

Even after all this time, the show continues to be one of the top-rating shows on the broadcaster, frequently winning its timeslot. Its appeal to older viewers has made it a favourite on Saturday nights.

Since 2003 the show has undergone key cast changes including the departure of James Bolam, Alun Armstrong, Amanda Redman and more recently Dennis Waterman.

At its height in the UK it would draw some 9 million viewers.

As Radio Times notes, “It soon became the schedulers’ secret weapon. If the BBC ever needed to torpedo a new ITV drama – without sending a fresh offering of their own into battle – they would counter-schedule with a New Tricks repeat knowing their bunch of out-of-retirement coppers would nobble the ratings for them.”

But it also notes, “The tastemakers of the BBC were said to be embarrassed by a middlebrow procedural that played it safe and catered to an uncool demographic.”

In February BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore and then Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson said: “We are incredibly proud of New Tricks and would like to thank Roy Mitchell the brilliant creator, Wall to Wall and Headstrong, and all the cast and teams involved across the 12 series. However, on BBC One it’s important to make room for new series and continue to increase the range of drama on the channel, so it won’t be returning after the next series airs this summer.”

Tonight’s episode marks the final appearance of Larry Lamb as Ted Case, Denis Lawson as Steve McAndrew, Nicholas Lyndhurst as Dan Griffin and Tamzin Outhwaite as Sasha Miller.

In the ultimate series finale, UCOS is threatened with closure following their perceived mishandling of the Henway case. Their final case begins with the bloody murder of a political activist 15 years ago at The Madhouse.

7:30pm Saturday ABC.


  1. After Dennis Waterman left the show the last piece of it’s reason to exist left with him. Unlike U.S. ratings British TV tends to survive on the sentimentality of viewers as witnessed by their long running soaps. There’s never been a problem churning out the scripts only the longevity of the key actors. With the original cast gone the empathy of the show was not the same, so Waterman wisely decided his role in the show was concluded.

  2. On the day I watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, with the return of many of the original cast, I watched the final episode of “New Tricks”, featuring the final bow of one of the supporting cast who refused to appear in the film- Denis Lawson. Have fun in Sydney!

  3. Sad to see it go. Well written, great characters with just the right amount of irreverence and humour. We referred to it as ‘Angel’s Charlies’ in our house.

  4. The first 10 seasons rated well. S11 was under 6M, but S12 was back up t o 6.8M. Nothing wrong with a public broadcaster making some shows that target older viewers. More a case of they’d made 107 eps and run out of ideas.

    Rpts will run forever on the cable, Gem and the ABC.

  5. Maev....Sydney

    I am disappointed…I enjoy the new cast …just as much as the old….I do not feel it has lost anything…in fact it just gets better….It would be great if someone else picked it up…ITV?
    Can live in hope…..I think the BBC has lost its way in recent years…just my opinion.

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