Axed: City Homicide?

3AW has reported that Seven has axed its police drama City Homicide.

The series in its fourth season has been challenged by a slip in audiences and tough competition in the 8:30pm Wednesday timeslot.

This week it pulled 1.03m viewers against The Big Bang Theory 1.18m, second in its timeslot. When it previously aired in its original Monday slot it was pulling figures around 1.8m viewers. Back in 2007 it had less competition from rival local dramas.

Last year the show also screened on Sunday nights.

Noni Hazlehurst recently spoke to TV Tonight about the challenges for the show when it was moved around the schedule, including with late starts.

“There are a lot things impacting on figures, but I don’t think shifting timeslots helps,” she insists.

“I truly believe once something is working in a timeslot you do not move it. But that’s not my decision to make.

“People like reliability. It’s not easy to change viewing habits and I think people get annoyed.”

It isn’t just the changes from Monday to Sunday to Wednesday that factor into the equation, either.

“I personally would like to see it start at 8:30 too but that’s not my call. That’s a decision made for a number of reasons,” she says.

The show has surely boasted a strong cast including Shane Bourne, Nadine Garner, Damien Richardson, David Field, Aaron Pedersen, more recently adding John Adam, Nadia Townsend, and Ryan O’Kane. But since its launch more police procedurals have joined the TV landscape including TEN’s Rush and Nine’s COPS L.A.C. In addition Nine now has its emergency drama Rescue Special Ops. The net result is that TV audiences are showing fatigue with the policing genre.

Unlike its competitors, City Homicide‘s premise has also seen it boxed in by its whodunnit premise, denied the opportunity to explore wider policing issues. This season it began to add more personal stories for its key characters as a way to compensate.

Meanwhile Seven has been expanding its drama slate, including the development of Winners and Losers under producer Maryanne Carroll, who left City Homicide to helm the new series which will air in 2011. The series had changed hands to new producer Richard Jasek this year.

The loss of City Homicide is significant, and follows the end of All Saints last year.

While Seven can boast an embarrassment of local drama riches with Packed to the Rafters, Home and Away and Winners and Losers, City Homicide was still able to deliver in stories and performances.

Seven is yet to respond to enquiries from TV Tonight.

UPDATE: Seven has now confirmed that principal photography on Series Four will wrap on November 12th.

A decision on the production of Series Five will be made in the new year.

Director of Programming and Production, Tim Worner said: “City Homicide is a gripping drama that has continued to improve and develop through each of its 84 episodes.

“In the days of old, its renewal would have been a no brainer.”

City Homicide will remain in Channel Seven’s prime time schedule until the end of the current ratings period with a six part mini series titled “No Greater Honour” guest starring Claire Van Der Boom, Marcus Graham, John Howard, and Graeme Blundell to air in 2011.

“But in this multi channel environment these decisions are not as clear cut as they once were.”

68 Comments:

  1. Haven’t missed an episode of this great Australian TV show since it started. It should never be cancelled. Over the years so many good Australian shows have been cancelled in replacement of reality TV garbage and American shows. Why???

  2. Absolutely do not understand why Channel 7 has axed City Homicide. Has to be in the top 10 ever of Australian TV shows.This last season has been the best yet. All those great actors out of a job! Move it to another time slot instead of axing it altogether. I am soooooooooooo annoyed. Would rather watch good “Home grown” television than most of eveything else. Channel 7 you suck #@!?/*&!!

  3. I was really sorry to hear that you have axed another really good show with soo much great local talent, first all saints now city homicide i do not find that channel seven has much in entertainment these days -, home and away, winners and losers, criminal minds and i would say that that is about it,winners and losers seems pretty good only time will tell, but that is it for me i find your station rather boring barr those three shows you really need to pick up your game channel seven.

  4. i am very upset i loved the show, and i am not happy that channel 7 axed all saints and now my city homicide channel 7 you are becoming a very disappointed with the axing of the shows and changing of times and days, you never run on time always late, and i think you better work your shit out,

    I am becoming a person to watch less of channel seven bring city homicide back, a australia melbourne show and you throw it away Wake up for f—— sake

  5. I find it discusting my favourite Australian show has been axed. Channel 7 has no idea how many people hate all the boring cooking shows. My family stopped watching 7 a long time ago, the only show left was City Homicide. Nothing ever starts on time always 10-15 min late with drivel of reality crap. Very Dissapointed.

  6. harrypotter1994

    No it shouldnt be axed. Great cast and expecially since ive seen this miniseries I cant wait for more.

    *And yes axing All Saints was stupid…they should of just got rid of the medical response unit if it costed that much. I miss cranky Frank

  7. Very sad. Clearly the best of the cops genre that we have had for a long time. Even better than Rush. Not quite up with the great and gritty Wildside, but it is commercial TV!! Great characters and performances, although there have been a number of unexplored “personality issues” You can’t just chop and change timeslots. Calling off CH will be cutting down a show of immense potential – the best should be yet to come.

  8. I am sick of all the stupid shows like winners and losers, the biggest loser, x factor, enormous amounts of cooking shows – At least you could watch Homicide and see something different each week that is fictional. Its getting so there is nothing at all to watch on television and i am constantly looking at the tv guide and seeing nothing worth watching so its backup dvds and video shops. How do tvs do ratings because I find it hard to believe that people enjoy watching live tv shows with everyday people doing the most mundaning things.

  9. Why does any network continue to produce shows that will be cast, time and again, with the same handful of faces that we have long grown bored with. Formula casting is supposed to be employed when the cast you have and the material you have is solid and a proven performer. When you cast the same tried hacks again and again, combined with material and acting that can border on embarrassing, you are signing up for failure. I just cannot understand why the networks and the production companies have not worked that out.

  10. The acting is excellent, storylines are good, characters are great.
    Why would you axe it? What a joke!
    Keep it going 7 it’s the only good Aussie cop drama left on tv.

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