IT was the fictional death that almost pipped the Melbourne Cup in the TV ratings race.
Now Packed To The Rafters fans are bracing for the funeral for Zoe Ventoura's character Melissa after she was killed off in dramatic style on Tuesday night.
The shocking car accident and wrenching scenes that followed her death hit loyal viewers hard, with 2.3 million people tuning in to the Seven drama.
It pulled the biggest primetime audience, beaten only by the Melbourne Cup coverage, with the great race attracting 2.595 million viewers nationally.
Ventoura's decision to quit Rafters and try her luck in Hollywood has proved a bonus for the network, which will re-run the episode on Monday, before Tuesday's funeral episode.
Hugh Sheridan, who played Ventoura's on-screen husband Ben Rafter, warned fans there were more tears to come.