Seven rules out Blake Mysteries for 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Seven is not proceeding with more of The Blake Mysteries in 2019, all but signalling the end for the Doctor Blake franchise.

The network has cited lack of time slots in its 2019 schedule as the reason behind its decision.

A Seven spokesperson told TV Tonight, “The Blake Mysteries performed very well. The numbers keep building and confirm the commercial success of the movie length episode. The cast delivered superb performances, developing the continuous story themes beautifully.

“At this stage, our 2019 schedule is firming up and we simply don’t have appropriate time slots for a series.”

Sadly the show, and indeed the network, has been caught up in events working against it.

After the December Media show was axed by ABC, Seven threw it a lifeline with a plan for 4 telemovies. But following headlines involving star Craig McLachlan it scaled back to one telemovie with Nadine Garner as the newly-wedded Jean Blake, testing the waters as the lead in “A New Beginning.”

Isolated on the final Friday in the ratings year the drama was certainly up against it.

It drew 450,000 in overnight viewers and another 143,000 in 7 day timeshifted viewing -a not-unexpected result given it had no series momentum and limited audience awareness. But it was a long way from the 900,000 plus who had backed the show on ABC.

Despite the initial backing of the franchise, Seven’s dilemma has been twofold: the unforeseen absence of its leading man at the same time as it greenlit another ABC spin-off in Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.

Suddenly the network found itself with 2 mystery dramas, both with female sleuths in Victoria in the 1960s. But only one was dogged by headlines.

The news will disappoint loyal “Blake Army” international fans whose passion for the show, with social media campaigns and petitions, was crucial to the show’s future at Seven. Their support for McLachlan, yet to face any police charges, has been unwavering. Despite being torn over their high regard for Nadine Garner it has only ever been McLachlan they want to see in the title role.

Now it appears untested allegations from a stage production in Adelaide have killed off any hope of either doing just that.

Garner will be seen in 2019 in 10’s upcoming comedy Mr. Black alongside Stephen Curry, while McLachlan’s defamation case begins in February.

Updated: Producers Tony Wright and George Adams  said, “What a personal privilege it’s been to bring you this show from Season one until now, and what a delight it was to create this telemovie for Channel 7.

“Nadine Garner and the entire cast and crew were indeed superb. Once again, thanks to all of you who got behind it.”

18 Comments:

  1. its a shame they have a real winner there. I live in Florida and loved the new show and was waiting patiently for the new shows to begin. Sad they don’t have the foresight to see a real winner.

  2. Seven only wants to show Murder Mysteries on Friday nights, when there aren’t AFL games or cricket (otherwise they air on 72). Dr Blake rated 900k on Sunday, with Dr Blake and without ads. The Blake Mysteries was never going to do that well on 7 a Friday. 400k just didn’t make it economically viable, when Seven has enough drama points without it.

  3. Umm.. doesn’t 7Two run a mystery show like 4 nights a week? How about instead of running endless repeats of Poirot, they just swap it out for this show?

  4. I suspect the show got caught up in it’s own politics much the same as Netflix’s House of Cards did, the irony is that the final abridged season of House of Cards did offer some promise if the producers had some courage to continue with Robin Wright, she did seem keen, not so sure about The Blake Mysteries though their dilemma could have been more imaginatively handled with a replacement actor as other well known long running detective series have done in the past when cast members move on. Another detective show will be ending soon too, Elementary will end on CBS after season 7, it will be missed.

    • Wasn’t a fan of the original Miss Fisher anyway so this new version doesn’t interest me much.
      I do like Geraldine Hakewill – she was terrific in Wanted, so might watch just for her.
      A real shame about The Blake Mysteries…unfortunately was always going to struggle without Craig, even though Nadine was more than capable stepping up into the lead role.
      Still, I would much rather watch TBM than Miss Fisher.

  5. The writing was on the wall when 7 programmed it on the last week of ratings as a one off . Having no Craig McLachlan did not help but the show was already on its last legs which is why channel 2 cancelled it in the first place

  6. “lack of timeslots”is the weakest excuse I ever heard! I just watched the Blake Mysteries on the weekend and really enjoyed how they had made it, with respect to the past and moving forward. I agree with other readers, that there are many timeslots, they just will not prioritise.
    will this go the way of City homicide and never be announced as axed?

  7. Seven’s reason is they can’t find a timeslot for it in 2019, but the reality is, if it did rate well, they would have no trouble scheduling it in

  8. As David would confirm, some of us did our utmost to support Blake, so are disappointed. Even if seven ‘can’t find a slot’ (sure), other providers, like netflix has oodles and are indicating they are looking toward Australia (eg tideland), so all is not lost for our locals.

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