Seven will proceed with a telemovie of The Doctor Blake Mysteries but without its title star, Craig McLachlan.
A 90-minute telemovie, retitled as The Blake Mysteries, will see Doctor Lucien Blake disappear in mysterious circumstances, with housekeeper & new bride Jean Beazley (Nadine Garner) to take on a more central role.
News Corp reports Seven, December Media, ITV Australia and Film Victoria decided to proceed to ensure it could retain the cast including Garner and Anna McGahan. Not continuing would have seen options on cast lapse.
McLachlan has reportedly given the new telemovie his blessing.
Whilst McLachlan has been cleared of any wrong-doing by producers, he is continuing with a defamation against Fairfax, ABC and actor Christie Whelan-Browne.
“This is a quality show which is incredibly popular with Australian viewers and employs so many talented cast and crew,” a Seven spokesman said.
“The story is beautifully constructed and the glorious cinematography around Ballarat makes for gorgeous viewing.”
Four telemovies have been planned by Seven.
This week the December Media drama and star Craig McLachlan were both awarded in the New York Festivals Film & Television Awards.