Seven tipped to revive Doctor Blake?

There is speculation Seven will pick up The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

Seven-owned newspaper The West Australian revealed Seven has been in “quiet discussions” with December Media. Those rumours were first reported in May.

TV Tonight hears whispers the show may be picked up for two seasons of 13 episodes. On a commercial network the show would feasibly run for around 42 minutes, down from its current running time of around 55 minutes, a significant cost saving.

Seven picking up the show would be a win for fans who mounted a campaign to rescue the show, and contrast that of A Place to Call Home, axed because it was too expensive and skewed old.

With ABC still home to the show there is probably little chance of any confirmation at its “AllFronts” event this Friday. Otherwise expect news after the season finale on November 12….

December Media declined to comment.

6 Comments:

  1. I hope so!

    Such a wonderfully executed drama, with high production values, fantastic cast and acting and each storyline well directed.

    It’s no doubt increase its reach and possibly total people via a major commercial network too.

    Ads will be the only difference and disappointment.

  2. Secret Squïrrel

    Everything I said before still applies.

    I think the ABC made a mistake when deciding not to continue with this. It has rated better than any of the mediocre new dramas they introduced this year.

    It’s ironic that Seven decided to dump APTCH because of its older-skewing audience but appears to be interested in Doctor Blake which has a similar audience profile.

    I don’t think shortening it to 42 minutes is a good idea. A better option would be to retain its current length and allocate it a 75-minute slot which would also have the advantage of retaining audience past a junction point.

    • It’s not the slight reduction in run-time that’ll be a problem – it’s the 5~7 ad breaks per hour any commercial FTA will jam in.

      For a programme that relies heavily on a measured pace – if you watch Blake carefully you’ll see that, despite being ABC, it’s very deliberately structured as a 3 act, 3 ad-break programme – that’ll be enough to kill it…

      (Then again, UK ITV / Ch4 stuff has found a home on 7 despite being sliced to incoherent ribbons by the 4 extra ad breaks cut into it…)

      • Secret Squïrrel

        Agree about the pacing. Despite the well-trodden, implausible premise of doctor/coroner/priest/writer/village busybody interfering in police work and solving the murder before they do, Doctor Blake eps are generally very-well crafted with lots of nice nuances.

        Don’t worry, I won’t be watching it broadcast live with ads.

  3. Wonder if the deal (if it happens) will include the broadcast rights to all previous Doc eps.
    If so, would they screen them complete (with ads stretching the time over to 90 mins) or trim each ep by 12 mins to keep them contained to one hour…?

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