THE final verdict may be in on Manchester drama New Street Law – and things don’t look good.
There’s always been a feeling that the BBC schedulers have had it in for the show, filmed on location in the city and on a set near Bolton.
The first series, made against a tight deadline, showed promise but could have done with further development.
Even so, BBC bosses did the drama no favours by screening it in early summer, when fewer people are watching TV.
Series two was streamlined with the production team learning lessons from series one.
But having asked them to again produce New Street Law for a pre-watershed 8pm slot, the BBC delayed transmission for several months before finally scheduling it on Wednesday nights at…9pm.
The case for the prosecution doesn’t end there.
Fans of John Hannah, Lisa Faulkner, John Thomson, Paul Freeman, Penny Downie, Lara Cazalet and co faced further frustrations.
This week’s episode was postponed to make way for an edition of Whistleblower.
That story – the one involving Corrie stars Chris Gascoyne and Rob James-Collier in a death riddle – will now be screened on Monday at 9pm.
And it appears to be case closed for the tale of two rival city barristers’ chambers.
That’s because the last episode in the series has been shunted to a BBC1 graveyard slot of 10.40pm on Wednesday April 4.
It will end 20 minutes short of midnight, when all good barristers should be in bed, with their wigs on re-charge for the next day’s legal battles.
I’ve been on set during filming of both the first and second series and got a glimpse of just how much hard work went into making the show.
A few weeks ago I spoke again to John Thomson, who plays barrister Charlie Darling. He was just as perplexed about the scheduling as I was.
Not all TV dramas can be runaway hits, and ratings for both series of New Street Law have been disappointing.
But it does seem that, whether by accident or design, some are given more chances of success than others.
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