The ABC has commissioned a third season of its hit legal drama Rake. The series, which stars Richard Roxburgh as criminal defence barrister Cleaver Greene, is delivering almost a million viewers weekly, inclusive of seven-day consolidated ratings data. Those numbers represent a lift on the first series and are particularly impressive when you consider most successful commercial dramas are within a few hundred thousand viewers of the million-viewer waterline. Despite reports the show would end after its third season, Roxburgh won't rule out a further series, saying he and the rest of the creative team were open to wherever Rake took them. Rake airs on Thursdays at 8.30pm on ABC1.

Rove's best guests

Rove McManus kicked off the second season of his American-based talk show Rove LA with a strong line-up: comedian Russell Brand, American Idol star Adam Lambert and actor-comedian Kristen Schaal. He will follow them this Sunday with The Office's Rainn Wilson, The Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies and wrestler Mike ''The Miz'' Mizanin (McManus is a wrestling buff). The series is filmed weekly on sound stage 12 of Warner Bros' Los Angeles lot, which is also home to The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Big Bang Theory. The show airs on Sundays at 7.30pm on Fox8.

Sam's latest Problems

Actor-comedian Sam Simmons will star in a new sketch comedy for the ABC. The national broadcaster has commissioned four half-hour episodes of Problems, a series that follows a ''minor annoyance [as it] spirals into a comedic adventure''. Problems will co-star Lawrence Mooney, Anthony Morgan, Claudia O'Doherty, Ronny Chieng, David Quirk and Laura Hughes. It will be directed by Trent O'Donnell and produced by Paul Horan. The head of comedy for the ABC, Debbie Lee, says audiences will ''get to meet some of comedy's strangest minds, creating characters to be set in a fondly offbeat cream-brick neverland that is the Australian suburban sprawl''.

Business not so sauer

Nothing ever dies in television - it just goes into reruns. Channel Nine's drama series Tricky Business, for example, may not have struck a chord with Australian audiences but the world could yet be its oyster. The series, produced by Screentime, has been picked up by German distributor Beta Film, which will launch it at MIPCOM, one of two major television markets held annually in Cannes, France. The series, about a family of debt collectors, starred Gigi Edgley, Antony Starr and Kip Gamblin. MIPCOM 2012 will be held from October 8-11.

Sony bags Baz

Australian producer-director Baz Luhrmann has signed a deal with US-based studio Sony Pictures TV to develop television programs. The projects would be developed for Sony under the umbrella of Luhrmann's film production company, Bazmark. ''I make films very infrequently and yet I have so many ideas and stories to explore,'' Luhrmann told US industry website Deadline last week. ''The idea that I can be creative in between films is energising and exciting.'' Sony has previously had an output deal with the Nine Network, but that expired earlier this year, leaving Sony content on the open market.

The view

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you will know Channel Nine is facing a perfect storm of shrinking revenue and growing debt. The once-dominant broadcaster, reduced to second place by an empowered Seven Network, is perched, reports say, on the brink of oblivion.

But in a risk-averse economy with a short institutional memory, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that when a network goes into receivership, its transmitter towers fall silent. Nothing could be further from the truth.

During the 1990s, the Seven and Ten networks went into receivership and emerged, phoenix-like, from the flames. Ten would go on to make the largest profits of any commercial network in Australia. And Seven would go on to topple the then-Packer-owned Nine from its perch.

To complicate matters, the stumble of an Australian commercial network has consequences. Australia is one of the few broadcast markets in which almost all US content is locked up in studio-output deals. In the past decade, outside Disney's Lost and Desperate Housewives for Seven, few studios have delivered as Warner Bros did in the 1990s when it gave Friends and ER to Nine. If receivership comes knocking, those output deals would be among the first casualties.

In some respects, Nine's position is unique. When Seven and Ten stumbled financially, they were also performing poorly in commercial terms. Nine, despite its debt woes, has had an extraordinary year. It has clawed back ownership of key demographics and owns some of the year's most successful programs, including The Voice, Howzat! and House Husbands.

Receivership can actually be a healthy thing, allowing an old business to strip off its scarred layers. In Seven and Ten's case, what emerged was leaner and smarter. Nine, a business weighed down by ageing infrastructure and a dated methodology, would benefit enormously from renewal.

Michael Idato is on Twitter: @michaelidato