Season 2 of Doctor Doctor has had plenty of pre-publicity, but it was a much different case last year when Nine originally plugged Hyde & Seek for the post-Olympics season, before a change of heart to bring its new rural drama into play.
Luckily it was a move that paid off in droves, but those connected to the show were very nervous at the time.
“We were all very sceptical,” star Rodger Corser recently admitted to TV Tonight.
“You think there is going to be a 6 week run-up of PR and they would put some things on billboards and so forth. But it didn’t happen and we were wondering ‘Is there enough time to let people know the show is out there?’
“Of course when it rated pretty well, they renewed us after 2 weeks. So we thought, ‘Of course. What a genius move!’”
Indeed the escapades of Dr. Hugh Knight and his colourful Whyhope family found an audience promptly while Hyde & Seek, which aired late last year, is not returning.
In Season Two the full cast returns as Hugh tries to make it to the end of his probation. Joining the cast is Angus McLaren as ex-army medic Dr. Toke, pursuing Penny (Hayley McElhinney). Helen Thomson also joins as Hugh’s dangerously incompetent new boss Nora Gumbleton.
But programming Australian drama is sometimes contentious, especially when it is pitted head to head with rival networks. Last year Doctor Doctor took on TEN’s The Wrong Girl (and Deep Water) and won.
This year it is screening against TEN’s Offspring.
“It’s always a little bit disappointing. I’m not blaming any network but it seems to be a constant in Australian television,” Corser concedes.
“And of course you know other people from other productions. You want the industry to be strong, you want people to be enjoying our stories wherever they are.
“But (The Wrong Girl) is going again, like us!” he smiles.
Doctor Doctor returns 8:40pm Wednesday on Nine.