The Force: Behind the Line comes to a close on Tuesday May 19th with its final ever episode for the Seven Network.
An important utility player for Seven (the dominance of factual programming at its height in the mid 2000’s) The Force dominated 2006 with a 2.295 million viewer average across the metro markets for its premiere episode. 1.5m+ audiences for the show were common and mixed with other factuals and overseas imports like Lost and Desperate Housewives, the Seven Network assumed the number one position.
Over time, factuals saturated the network with shows like Airways, Beach Cops, Coastwatch Oz, Crash Investigation Unit, Gold Coast Medical, and ICU, to name just a few.
The Force predominately followed WA and NSW Police officers and led to a surge in people applying to join up.
The series aired randomly on Tuesday with a single unaired episode that was held back due to legal reasons.
One of Seven’s longest remaining factuals, Border Security, which often teamed with The Force remains on air with plenty of episodes still to come.
That leaves unaired episodes of Surveillance Oz and Surviellence Oz: Dashcam, to still air this year and Seven is yet to make a decision on whether Highway Patrol and Motorbike Cops will be back, although all new episodes of both shows have completed airing, meaning we may have seen the last of them if the option is not taken.
So, not the glitzy buzz show that other programs enjoy, The Force, once a dominant factual has been an important and previously high rating player in the Seven Network arsenal. The factual genre will always be with us in one way or another, but this long running program heads us towards an end of an era. The era will remain with us until the eventual demise of Border Security.
Kudos to Seven on producing this important series showcasing the everyday life of police officers in our community, and we honour the police officers that not only participated in the show but continue to be valuable members of our community doing the important work of keeping us safe.