The opening of this week’s City Homicide (Monday 8.30pm on Seven) was nothing short of magnificent. Just as Law & Order, the undisputed champion of police procedurals (vanilla version only), made an art out of the discovery of the body in the opening scene, so did Monday’s Australian-produced Homicide turn the most horrible crime into a spectacular, even glamorous, piece of high-concept television.

And then it topped it off with a cracking piece of cross-promotion (Seven are truly the masters) as a young (bound and gagged) boy was plopped down in front of Friday Night Footy (called by Bruce, of course) to distract him from the bloody gore-fest just outside the study door. Unreal.

Seven have been having terrific success with City Homicide in a year where it seems that everything they touch turns to 1.8 million viewers. Assembling a cast of some of Australia’s most popular actors doesn’t hurt – Shane Bourne, Noni Hazlehurst, Nadine Garner, Daniel MacPherson, Aaron Pedersen and Damien Richardson across the board do a wonderful job. But there’s more to City Homicide than a likeable cast and a big advertising campaign.