Sunday, February 1, 2009

Primetime Preview: Thursdays

7.30 - 8.30
Ghost Whisperer vs The Celebrity Singing Bee (later Getaway) vs The Biggest Loser/Bondi Vet

Hmmm, a lot of new in this hour - its been years since Ghost Whisperer occupied a 7.30 slot, the show has a solid following that seems to follow it all over the dialso it should do well.

The Singing Bee has appeal and has been primed by Ten's summer skein Don't Forget the Lyrics laying the ground for some success - but rumour suggests that Getaway will make a quick return to this timeslot which will equal disaster for Nine, the show is on its way out.

The wild card is Bondi Vet, for two years running Ten has extended their Thursday Biggest Loser which has always done well, but invariably the show following it (Jamie Oliver in the second season, Saving Kids in the third) has washed out, that could change though with Ten's Bondi Fetish growing another factual, plus rescuing animals seems to be all the rage over on Seven - so it could work.

The Hot Tip...
The Biggest Loser will win it's slot - then the rest depends on the appeal of a vet, expect both Ghost Whisperer and Singing Bee to do well, but once Getaway returns Nine will sink.

8.30 - 9.30
Grey's Anatomy vs Adults Only 20 to 01 vs Law & Order Special Victims Unit

Seven move Grey's Anatomy to it's US equivalent slot in order to build up a night which has faltered for them in recent years, it will easily retain 100% of its ghostly lead in, the test will be whether it brings any absent viewers back to Thursday night, which has increasingly been eroded in a cycle of low viewers and old skewing programs.

Ten has the ever strong Law & Order which has a mortgage on this slot. For those wondering why Ten has chosen to run with SVU rather than last year's suprise revival Criminal Intent, the answer lies in behind the scenes problems with Criminal Intent which has delayed production of half of the 16 episodes which may not premiere in the US until their summer, so SVU it is.

Nine meanwhile has zagged while the others zigged with Adults Only 20 to 01 - no word on how permanent that will be - perhaps its only a special but we just don't know. There's something to be said for a revival of the bawdy tits n' ass channel Nine I knew back in the early 90's, back when every movie promo had a minimum amount of female nudity and their idea of compelling drama was Chances!

The Hot Tip...
I expect Grey's Anatomy to post some big numbers upon its return but these will eventually decline to level off with the stable SVU, I'm only basing this on declining US ratings and suggestions of a preposterous 'ghost sex' storyline which will probably succeed in driving away non sci-fi viewers.

9.30 - 10.30
Private Practice vs Kitchen Nightmares vs Life on Mars

If you've been within 300 metres of a television this summer you no doubt will have seen promotion of Life on Mars, a US version of a british show about a time travelling cop, Ten have even wheeled out their old 70s logo for the promo which suggests they see a future with this one

Seven meanwhile is following logic by skedding the Grey's Anatomy spinoff after the parent show - that sounds like a good idea because in stray viewing last year I couldn't see much to distinguish Private Practice from any other estrogen-fest on TV, be it Strong Medicine, Judging Amy or whatever, the logo in the corner says Seven but my head screams W.

Nine has decided to retry Gordon Ramsay - after completely botching his re-entry late last year with scant promotion they look set to do it again this year. When you pour over the ratings figures for 2008 the top Ramsay show was consistently the US Kitchen Nightmares, when they came back with new eps of same show they failed to promote it - instead running weeks of Hell Kitchen promos before fronting up with Kitchen Nightmares and not alerting anybody - just bizzare.

The 9.30 timeslot is a no-brainer - Nine got a rap over the knucles from ACMA for excessive uncensored broadcasting of the f-word (that's "fuck" for those keeping score at home) in an M rated hour so moving it back lets them classify it MA but it also creates a weird problem - what if its a success and in four or so weeks The Footy Show comes back?

Kind of summarises Nine's entire Thursday sked - no long term thinking here...

The Hot Tip...
Ramsay could always surprise but I'll be darned if Life on Mars doesn't storm all over the slot.

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