So the day has finally arrived when John Barnaby takes over from his cousin Tom in trying to quell the bloodletting in Midsomer Murders.
Fans throughout the country will settle down tonight to see what kind of a job the new boy can do after 14 years of his predecessor's efforts.
They will also be keen to see if last week's furore about race in Midsomer will have had any effect (though the more sensible among them will realise this series was already "in the can" when the row broke).
Show creator Brian True-May was suspended following his comments about a Midsomer without ethnic minorites represented real England. But he has announced that he will step down next year.
Mrs Namibia England, chair of fan club Barnaby's Babes said: "Isn't it exciting? A new man in charge.
"There are bound to be subtle changes but we expect the changeover to be be smooth and for us all to come out after two hours satisfied."
Mrs England added that as long as the show stuck to a few simple principles, most people would remain happy.
"Well of course there should be more than one murder - and preferably at least one stiff before the opening credits.
"At least one character must interrupt the detective with the line, 'Can't this wait - I'm extremely busy.'
"And another character should look incredulously at Barnaby and say, 'Surely you can't think that I...'
"Stick to those rules and everything should be fine."