The US version of Rake, which stars Greg Kinnear as brilliant, womanising and self-destructive criminal lawyer Keegan Deane, will screen on the rebranded Universal Channel on Foxtel.

Due to a holdback agreement with the ABC, the US show cannot screen in Oz until after the third series of the Australian Rake airs on the public broadcaster. The remake premieres on Fox at 10 pm on Sunday January 19 with a strong lead-in, the NFC Championship Game, and will then screen on Thursday nights at 9.

Peter Duncan, who co-created the original series with Richard Roxburgh and Charles Waterstreet, tells IF the holdback agreement is not an issue, noting, “The ABC has been pretty generous. The US series won’t finish screening until April. I am not sure when the new series will go to air in Australia but I believe it’s late February, so it’s not going to be a massive imposition.”

The US Rake is produced by Fedora Entertainment and Essential Media & Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television. Duncan and Pete Tolan are the showrunners.

The Universal Channel, which moves to Foxtel’s Essentials Pack on January 1 with a new logo and look, bought Rake along with two other shows distributed by Sony.

The Michael J. Fox Show, which features Fox as a caring husband dealing with family, career and the challenges of Parkinson's,  loosely drawn from his own life, premieres on January 15.

Medical drama series The Night Shift, which is set in the ER unit at San Antonio Medical Centre, will launch soon after its US premiere, which is likely to be in late February.

A Universal Channel spokesman tells IF that a launch date for Rake is under discussion and “we would like to screen it as soon as we possibly can.”

Sam Raimi directed the pilot of the US Rake, which was scripted by Duncan and Tolan. There is a different director for each of the 12 episodes, including Raimi and Aussies Cherie Nowlan and Jeffrey Walker.

The cast includes, Miranda Otto as his ex-wife Maddy, Ian Colletti as their hormonal son Finn, Bojana Novakovic as Mikki, his favourite prostitute and de-facto love interest, John Ortiz as Ben, Keegan’s best friend since law school, and Necar Zadegan as Ben’s wife Scarlet, the assistant District Attorney and his frequent opponent.

The third series of Rake has wrapped, again starring Roxburgh as Cleaver Greene with regulars Matt Day, Danielle Cormack, Russell Dykstra, Caroline Brazier, Adrienne Pickering, Kate Box, Damien Garvey, Robyn Malcolm and Steve Le Marquand.

The guest cast includes Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby), Magda Szubanski, Dan Wyllie, Bruce Spence, Aden Young, and Genevieve Lemon.

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  1. RAKE-yes the ABC got this right-its witty ,honest,cruel,irresponsible–i could go on about its main character–cleaver green-a name charles thought-up, the most eye catching character and devilish which most barristers are.there are few great shows generally on our sets these days and this group has got it in spades,a huge lets not f— it up and forget about its viewers-guys KEEP to the script in the NEW series .

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