All your favourite shows for the year have finished. Large chunks of TV schedules for the three commercial main channels have transformed into almost unrecognisable lists of shows. Just about everything on is a repeat. New shows a few and far between – except on Pay TV, ABC and SBS.
To me, if you have seen a show, you have seen it. I have never understood watching repeats of procedural shows like Bones, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, City Homicide, Rescue Special Ops and the like as you already know what the outcome is going to be. You already know the twist or who the baddie is or whose bones were found.
There are some sitcoms you can watch more than once, but it depends on how well written the show is. A well written sitcom can be watched many times as one picks up stuff they may not have first time round. But – again – for the most part, a repeat is a repeat – you already know the jokes, you know what is going to happen, you know the story.
Same goes for movies. A great movie people will watch more than once, but others, no need to see again. To me, a repeat is something you don’t necessarily go out of your way to watch. A repeat you may have on in the background while doing something else. Whereas first run TV you may pay attention to and sit down and watch.
So as a result, when we hit summer non-ratings, less and less of Seven, Nine and Ten end up being watched. More attention turns to what is on Foxtel, ABC and SBS – who all still have first run content. There are a few first run shows on Seven, Nine and Ten, but only those that either do not do well during ratings or the networks thought would not do well and were not worth the risk.
Nine has Chase on Sunday nights, Better with You on Wednesdays. Seven has Outlaw while the Event has one more episode to go. Plus all those factuals – yes – they are first run but half are from NZ and others just didn’t cut it during the year. Ten has season two of White Collar on Wednesday night, and Rules of Engagement on Sunday nights. White Collar I look forward to – as for Rules of Engagement, I am not sure why it still airs on Ten as it rates so low. Rush and Neighbours defy the commercial trend and continue for a few weeks yet.
There is one commercial channel that delivers more first run content than any other – that is GO! The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Fringe, Nikita and new eps of Community to name a few. Yes, GO does have repeats throughout its schedule as well, but the number of new shows leave the main channels for dead. Any wonder it is the number one multi channel in Australia.
As for the other multi channels, 7TWO, there are plenty of first run lifestyle programs, a few movies not shown before on free to air, Jonathon Creek, Benidorm and Not Going Out. 7mate has Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Whacked out Sports, Australia Smashes Guiness World Records, The Shield, Punk’d, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and a number of its documentaries – actually, probably more of these shows are first run than GO – BUT – many have already been on Pay TV – especially the docos.
And finally GEM needs a mention. First run content on Gem includes Conan four nights a week, Southland, The Big C, Weeds, Rizolli and Isles, The Closer and Hotel Babylon. Let’s not forget Wild Caribbean and David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals on the weekends.
So there is definitely first run content around the free to air commercials if you look for it – the main difference now, is that it is spread over many channels. Having to spread content over multiple channels stretches what the networks can offer on each channel – this is the main reason there ends up being so many more repeats on the main channels.
Before the digital channels arrived, some of those shows seen on the digitals would have been seen on the main channels or not at all.