TVNZ 1 Recruits Line of Duty

Season six of Line of Duty will screen on TVNZ 1 instead of Sky’s SoHo channel.

The network will use the top-rating BBC police drama to try to arrest its Sunday night audience decline, replacing Prodigal Son as the 9.05 lead-out from the season finale of National Treasures on Easter Sunday.

The latest season went to air Sunday in the UK, where it drew 9.6 million viewers to become the most-watched drama for nearly three years.

About a team of detectives in an anti-corruption unit (AC-12), the series stars Adrian Dubar, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and, for each season, a different big-gun guest star. For S6, it’s Kelly Macdonald.,

“The opener of the new series served up twists, turns and a classic rug pull – Is Kelly Macdonald’s DCI Davidson a victim or a villain?” wrote The Telegraph.

“After the more outlandish conspiratorial shenanigans of series five, the first episode of series six returns to what Line of Duty does best … the show’s unmistakeable brand of kinetic mayhem,” said the Independent.

S6 is a chance for TVNZ 1 viewers who haven’t seen previous seasons on SoHo or Netflix to start the series fresh, as a long-running narrative arc was resolved in S5.

It’s a big gambit for a network to drop viewers into the middle of a drama’s run but the risk will be mitigated by Line of Duty’s popularity elsewhere — TVNZ has the rights to stream S6 but not its predecessors, which will continue on Netflix and Acorn TV.

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