It is only seven weeks into the ratings season as of this week, yet for the next two weeks (March 28 – April 10) we will be in non ratings mode again. The Easter non ratings period covers the two weeks that surround Easter, with the Easter weekend itself in the middle of the break.
With the exception of Victoria, these two weeks do not even coincide with school holidays. Most people over Easter are actually lucky to have any more than a four day long weekend at the time. Therefore it seems ridiculous for TV to have a non ratings period over two weeks. In fact, there should not be a need for non ratings at all.
During Easter non ratings, networks tend to swap normal programming for repeats or poor alternatives. Some new shows remain, but anything that rates well will be off. As always, the viewers lose out while DVD rentals and Pay TV usually benefit.
So next week and the week after, you won’t see new episodes of NCIS, House, Sunday Night and Good News Week to name a few. Expect to see a few extra movies that have already been repeated a few times too many such as The Devil Wears Prada on Ten on Easter Sunday.
In 2011, Easter Sunday falls on April 24 (giving the very unique situation of ANZAC day falling on Easter Monday – which may result in a 5 day long weekend in some states – the last 5 day long weekend was in 2000 when Easter fell on Sunday April 23, with Easter Monday the 24th and ANZAC Day on the Tuesday April 25). This means there should be 11 weeks of ratings before the Easter non ratings in 2011.