THE BIG ASK SHANE BOURNE

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - with DAR­REN DEV­LYN

Ci­tyHomi­cide has be­come a great lo­cal suc­cess story. You must be happy about that. It’s great. We started in Fe­bru­ary and we’re do­ing 22 episodes. It’s a big com­mit­ment for the net­work to make. You couldn’t do 40 episodes a year of a show like this (as was the case with Blue Heel­ers) be­cause this is es­sen­tially a mur­der-mys­tery. Struc­turally, our show is a puzzle ev­ery week and you don’t want to overdo it. The scripts for this sea­son are in­for­ma­tive and in­tel­li­gent and as much as I think it’s been a great show from the start, the scripts have taken an­other step up. That makes sense be­cause we— writ­ers, ac­tors and crew— now know ex­actly what kind of beast this is. We have an added con­fi­dence now be­cause we aren’t think­ing all the time, ‘‘are we do­ing the right thing?,’’ or ‘‘will it ap­peal to view­ers?’’ like we were at the start. Why is it so dif­fi­cult for cop shows to have both crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial ap­peal? That kind of ap­peal is a hard thing to pull off. Some of the gritty shows haven’t al­lowed the au­di­ence to re­ally con­nect with the char­ac­ters. Was there a par­tic­u­lar mo­ment where you re­alised this was not your av­er­age cop show, but some­thing spe­cial? There have been a cou­ple of those mo­ments. One was an episode with the armed rob­bery squad and we had Vince Colosimo and David Field Cast­ing is one of the strengths of our show. Look at the guest roles. We’re in the en­vi­able po­si­tion where top ac­tors are putting their hand up be­cause they want to work on the show. Tell us about some of the plots that have made an im­pact on you this sea­son. There’s a hostage sit­u­a­tion in the homi­cide build­ing. It’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent jour­ney for our char­ac­ters to go on. The stakes in this episode are very high. The show has de­liv­ered some dis­turb­ing plot­lines and graphic im­agery. and Wendy Hughes work­ing with us. If you were a footy team, you’d say that was a ‘‘solid win’’— that we were go­ing to have a good sea­son. Then there was an episode where Stan­ley’s god­daugh­ter was found in the tip. We ended up in a church for the funeral and there were pho­tos and mu­sic. It just hit me, brought me to tears. While you have gained recog­ni­tion forMDA and City Homi­cide, you’re no stranger to act­ing on the small screen. What was it like all those years ago star­ring in the Aussie ver­sion of AreYouBe­ing Served? It was enor­mous fun. It was 1979-80 and we did two sea­sons. Got paid cash, and not even given to you in an en­ve­lope. It was $400 (a week). Not too shabby back then. I used to get $50 for a stand-up gig, so $400 was great. So are you go­ing to take over from Daryl Somers as host of Danc­ing with­theS­tars? They did call me and I said thanks but no thanks. I think I have enough go­ing on with­out tak­ing on some­thing like that. I grew up watch­ing all the variety shows and I think Thank God You’re Here cap­tures more of what variety shows are meant to be about than any other show around.

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