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Highway Patrol shows Aussies how to clock up a ratings winner

Greenstone Pictures’ latest foray into the Aussie market, the Melbourne-filmed factual series Highway Patrol, made its debut at number one in Monday’s Australian ratings collecting 1.7 million viewers across all age groups.

To have a number one show in the extremely competitive Australian market is “an outstanding result,” said Greenstone MD John Harris. “We are ecstatic.”

The show, a local version of the popular format which has been screening in NZ for several seasons, follows Victoria Police Traffic units. Seven commissioned the series of 10 x half-hour episodes. The Australian show has already been sold to TVNZ.

Harris noted the generous cooperation of the Victorian Police and the support given by the Seven Network. “They backed the idea, and we’re pleased to have delivered a hit show.”

Previously, Greenstone has sold a good number of its NZ shows into Australia, including Motorway Patrol, Serious Crash Unit, Neighbours at War, Rookie Vets, Emergency, The Zoo and youth drama The Amazing Extraordinary Friends. Greenstone has also made CIU: Crash Investigation Unit in Sydney for Seven. Series one has screened; series two is currently in post.

Highway Patrol’s first episode won all key demographics convincingly. Its 1.699 million viewers ranked the show number 1 in the following categories: Total Viewers 25-54, 16-39, 18-49, 25-39, and Grocery Buyers, who were presumably checking out the safest route to the supermarket.

News programmes took out spots two, three and four in Monday night’s ratings, with Nine’s Two and a Half Men coming in fifth with 1.238 million viewers.

Greenstone currently has seven factual series in production in NZ and Australia.

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