After Crawford Productions suffered the indignity of having its three police dramas — Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police — axed within a year of each other in 1975, Cop Shop in 1977 represented a successful return to the genre.
Unlike the earlier dramas, Cop Shop also incorporated the increasingly popular soap opera element. Storylines relating to the personal lives of the police station staff were ongoing while the traditional police procedural stories changed from week to week.
Cop Shop‘s original cast were mostly familiar faces: George Mallaby (Homicide, The Box), Tony Bonner (Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, Power Without Glory). Peter Adams, Rowena Wallace and Joanna Lockwood from Number 96, Paula Duncan (Number 96, The Young Doctors), Patrick Ward (Class Of ’75, The Unisexers), Peter Sumner (Spyforce), and Terry Norris and Gregory Ross (Bellbird). Teenager Joanna Moore had previously starred in the movie The Getting Of Wisdom.
Other cast members over the show’s 582-episode run included Gil Tucker, John Orcsik, Lynda Stoner, Louise Philip, Terence Donovan, Liz Burch, Olga Tamara, Alan Fletcher, Nicholas Eadie, Alwyn Kurts, John Lee, Christine Jeston, Bill Stalker and John McTernan.
The premiere of Cop Shop on 28 November 1977 is one of the latest additions to Classic TV Guides:
- Monday 5 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Tuesday 6 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Wednesday 7 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Thursday 8 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Friday 9 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Saturday 10 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Sunday 11 November 1956 — MELBOURNE First week HSV7
- Friday 20 February 1970 — VICTORIA Opening Ceremony Ceduna Satellite Station
- Monday 21 June 1976 — VICTORIA Premiere Power Without Glory
- Monday 28 November 1977 — MELBOURNE Premiere Cop Shop
- Monday 12 February 1979 — SOUTH AUSTRALIA Premiere 60 Minutes
- Tuesday 14 September 1982 — VICTORIA US mini-series Marco Polo
- Tuesday 5 April 1983 — MELBOURNE Premiere Starting Out
- Thursday 30 October 1986 — CANBERRA The Movie Show begins