From the network who won the 2009 prize for the most programming changes comes two changes for summer programming. While Ten was the first with a summer program change (honestly, did they really think anyone would watch the US version of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader) Nine is still the one when it comes to last minute programming changes and making fans of certain shows unhappy.
After having the season of Survivor Tocantins rushed through on GO at the rate of up to five episodes a week, Nine are at it again with Survivor Samoa. Left from Nine’s schedule since last summer, Survivor fans were rewarded with the launch of GO when Survivor Gabon aired on Tuesday nights. That quickly followed with Survivor Tocantins in November. Now we know, the haste in getting through the series was to clear the way for Nine to air the current Survivor series – Samoa on Tuesday nights on Nine.
Survivor Samoa in the US is up to the 12th week. Nine so far have shown one, with the second to follow next week. But from December 15 onwards. Survivor Samoa on Nine will be played out in double episodes. This will give Nine the chance to catch up to the US and minimise the chance of the winner of the series being leaked in Australia before Nine finishes the series.
But why must everything be done in doubles? While I don’t mind seeing more of some shows, I really find that showing double episodes is non creative programming. With so little worth watching on free to air during summer so far, why not put Survivor on two nights a week at 7.30? What about Tuesday and Wednesday nights? Give Two and a Half Men a break completely – put the new show the Middle (to be on Monday nights 8pm from Dec 6) together with What’s Good For You on Mondays, leave Two and a Half Men out altogether for a well earned summer break.
Survivor is Nine’s first programming change, the second is to dump ER in favour of a repeat of CSI: NY. As an ER fan, holding out since last summer to see the 14th season of the show, I find this change extremely frustrating. Not only is ER out of Nine’s schedule altogether , it is yet another first run show that is nearly two years behind the original US air date now being replaced by a repeat of a show. But not only a repeat, a repeat of the same show airing before it in one of these ridiculous doubles. As if a repeat of CSI: NY will rate any better than ER.
And the only reason ER no longer rates is probably because the fans have had enough. Never mind the fact that it was not on for the last two weeks, and its return this week may not have been noticed as shows outside of 6pm – 10.30pm seem never to be promoted these days.
Now that ER is two years old, Nine need to wither play them out late at night at the rate of at least three episodes a week – what is wrong with after midnight when the ratings don’t count (but don’t get me started on the contradiction of so called non-ratings periods and the fact that the networks mess with schedules still as a result of shows that don’t rate as well as they would have liked – not to mention the fact that ratings are still reported the same way they are all year) – or give up the rights so the show can go to pay TV and then onto DVD. Earlier this year, 111 Hits played ER seasons 9 – 13. Season 14 is where Nine is up to now, with season 15 being the last ever of ER.
Thursday Dec 10 – 10.30pm. ER replaced by repeats of CSI: NY. A new CSI: NY still airs at 9.30pm
Tuesday Dec 15 – 7.30pm. Survivor Samoa to air in double episodes. Tuesday night movies will start at 9.30pm.
Programming info from TV Tonight.