All three commercial networks have made a fuss about airing episodes almost immediately after their American screenings. House, Life, My Name is Earl, Bionic Woman, Heroes are all aired here almost all within the week of their US release. Viva Laughlin will air just days after its US premiere later today and Damages isn’t too far behind. Even Foxtel is screening K-Ville while its still hot off the press. After years of delayed episodes, viewers are enjoying their favourite shows fresh and brand spanking new.
But it’s not all so rosy. Next week’s episode of Prison Break will be followed a week later by a Wednesday episode of Criminal Minds.
A common practice amongst American scheduling sees episodes frequently interrupted. The Australian tradition of continuous, regular episodes is actually something of a luxury. Up until now, it was also not much of a problem. But that’s before this year’s trend of rushing dramas to air, which Seven has coined as ‘fasttracking.’
Prison Break’s American / Australian schedule is as follows.
Ep Title / US airdate / Aus airdate
1. Orientacion / Sept 17 / Sept 26
2. Fire Water / Sept 24 / Oct 3
3. Call Waiting / Oct 1 / Oct 10
4. Good Fences / Oct 8 / Oct 17
US No ep Oct 15
5. Interference Oct 22 / Oct 24
US No ep Oct 29
6. Photo Finish Nov 5 / Oct 31 Criminal Minds
TEN’s House similarly had this week off in the US, which will result in TEN “catching up” and playing next week’s episode just one day after it has aired in the US.