‘Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries’ wins ratings

Geraldine Hakewill as Peregrine Fisher.

The first of four Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries telemovies won its timeslot on the Seven Network last night.

Produced by Beth Frey for Every Cloud Productions, the show was No. 1 across its two hours, although the first hour trailed Network 10’s Gogglebox and the ABC’s Escape from the City.

Seven claimed victory because the viewing figures averaged across the two hours exceeded those on 10 and the ABC.

Created by Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox and directed by Fiona Banks, the 1964-set drama-comedy introduced Geraldine Hakewill as Peregrine Fisher, who takes on the mantle of lady private detective from Phryne Fisher, the aunt she never knew.

Teaming up with a club of feisty women known as The Adventuresses, she went undercover at a department store to solve the murder of a Barbie Jones, a glamorous model who is found perched on a wedding cake prop during a fashion parade.

The cast includes Joel Jackson as Detective James Steed, Catherine McClements as the president and mastermind of The Adventuresses, Toby Truslove as Birdie’s brother Samuel, Louisa Mignone as Violette Fellini, who has an awkward relationship with Samuel, and Greg Stone as the corrupt chief cop Percy Sparrow.

The telemovie attracted 741,000 viewers nationally and 463,000 in the five metros. Gogglebox had 889,000 viewers nationally and Blue Bloods at 9.30 pm had 273,000.

Escape from the City had 696,000 nationally followed by Grand Designs Australia, which had 517,000.

In next week’s episode pop star Duane Gordon and his back-up singer Gidget Mitchell are electrocuted during their spot on a TV music show. Peregrine’s ex-boyfriend Eric (James Mason) is under suspicion for their deaths.

Seven executives are expected to evaluate the viewing figures for all four telepics before deciding whether to renew the show. The scripts were written by Cox, Samantha Winston, Chelsea Cassio and Jo Martino.

Acorn TV pre-bought the US rights to the series and the theatrical movie Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears from the distributor All3Media International. The investors include Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Fulcrum Media Finance.