Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bait & Switch

Uh Oh – Ten’s getting jittery again, hot on the heels of Nine’s Schedule Announcement – Ten has made some changes to their sked, mostly for the better, no doubt there will be even more changes once Seven publish full details of their Summer line up – but for now let’s have a look at what’s changed

The big change is removal of perpetual rerun Thank God You’re Here, replacing it with the new 90210 on Sunday nights. This is a good thing – first of all we know that Nine has placed Two and a Half Men on Sunday nights – that would spell an embarrassing death for Working Dog’s precious project. By moving the 90210 sequel to it’s spiritual home (the original ran in this slot from 93-96 - Seasons 3-6) it might actually catch on with the viewers!

The little change late on Sunday night involves The Daily Show and The Office in the late night slots, why Ten does not give The Office a decent try in an early evening slot remains one of life’s great mysteries but on the other hand at least Ten is starting to recognise that the station is still running after 10.30 at night so it’s not all bad!

With 90210 only making a fleeting appearance on Mondays that opens up the night for Rules of Engagement to be given another go at 8pm, Swingtown gets the boot at 9.30 instead we get to see The Ex List which has already been axed by CBS after what was apparently an excellent pilot but a lot of creative difficulties between the network and producers since.

The other thing you’ll notice from Mondays is the weeknight lineup. First of all – although I didn’t include it on the chart – The Bold and the Beautiful, forever the lead-in to Ten’s 5pm news and the highest rating daytime show is promoted to 6pm – it’s an audacious move (see I didn’t say bold!) that should encourage a fair percentage of older women to ignore the 6pm news on the rival nets – whether it will do better than the Simpsons (currently around the 600,000 mark) we don’t know, but it’s a strong indication that ten realises it needs and older aud to sustain it’s operation. Judge Judy moves into 4.30 lead-in duty for the summer.

At 7pm Will & Grace makes way for Friends (yes again!) given that Seven will likely position reruns of How I Met Your Mother in this slot, Friends seems like a shrewd move – if only because How I Met Your Mother is a virtual clone of Friends and after a while viewers might prefer to watch the original.

No idea what will sit here on a regular basis (so far we have a Britney Spears special in the first week) I imagine it will possibly be more Rules of Engagement, once the summer sets in. After 8.30 Ten has snubbed Burn Notice and instead cranked up a second hour of NCIS. Given that show’s recent performance I say why not? But it would be good (without the heat of All Saints) to retry Burn Notice or another middling show in their lineup. With Nine putting movies on this night – Tuesdays is up for grabs this summer so any promotion ten can do on the back of their naval hit will be worth it.

Gone: Law & Order SVU, Back: House MD. Maybe someone at Ten read my blog last Friday (OK I doubt it) but it seems like they’ve opted for some consistency in their schedule rather than moving things willy nilly. That’s commendable, will reruns of House outmatch reruns of CSI? And will Seven keep Criminal Minds on Wednesdays? Will Wednesday night become a Mexican standoff with reruns?

The only change here is that SVU is back in its current 9.30 slot and the original Law & Order is off to…

Ahh Friday night – remember Fridays – that night at the end of the week that TV programmers didn’t know existed – well eureka Ten has discovered it! The Ice Road Truckers have been despatched back to cable TV and The Simpsons (always a reliable Friday night entrant) are back to fill another hole which frankly needs filling.

Now remember – there are two types of audiences on Friday nights – kids and old people, the kids are well catered to with The Simpsons – that’s a sound move and the old people just might discover the math related antics of Don and Charlie Epps on Numb3rs (one of the most interesting and underrated procedurals in recent times) and then go for some legal wrangling on the original (and best IMO) Law & Order.

They were going so well, outstanding in fact and then oooo – epic fail! Where the f&%# is MacGyver??? Why get people’s hopes up like that!! Instead we get BBC dross Big Cat Diary and I get to watch channel Nine which has the best Saturday lineup yet again!

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