If you believed everything that network programmers tell us this week, by now you probably would have bought some swamp land at a very cheap rate and a shiny new car driven by a little old lady every Sunday.
But spin at this time of the year is nothing new.
TEN programmer David Mott says this is the week the ratings race really starts and the February 8 date is not relevant any more.
“We’re very happy with the new series of Loser and Dance,” he told The Australian. “They’ve come up a treat. We’ve added a whole other level with couples competing.”
He is also adamant that despite a lukewarm reception to the announcement of Masterchef Australia it is a very strong show with compelling stories.
“People are in for a huge shock about what this show is like when it launches in May,” he says. “It’s truly aspirational.”
Interesting that it already has ‘compelling stories’ when it is still in the casting process.
Meanwhile Nine programmer Michael Healy believes Nine’s line-up is ‘edgy and diverse’ and skews towards younger audiences than Seven’s, perfectly targeting the 25-54 and 18-49 demographic.
“With Sunday Night, I guess Seven has decided to go for an older audience, looking at their line-up,” Healy says somewhat provocatively.
“They’re looking for stability with an older audience.”
Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities will directly compete with Desperate Housewives but Healy is not worried.
“The reality is Underbelly is just one part of the schedule, a very important part, but the rest of the week has to line up. Underbelly is obviously going to launch extremely well.” Healy says the schedule is not packed with risky shows which would fall by the wayside quickly, like Monster House last year, for example.
“Our line-up is very considered and has everything from family shows to drama,” Healy says.
“We’re very fortunate to have international brands with proven track records, like Wipeout and Ladette to Lady and very high production values on all our shows.”
Over at Seven Tim Worner is “not relying on one or two shows to have an impact”.
“The Australian Open is a platform that’s worked for us,” Worner says. He has again chosen to roll straight out of the tennis into a “very big week of TV”.
Worner is also excited about taking on Nine on Sundays with the powerhouse double of Border Security and a new factual series, Triple Zero Heroes.
TV Tonight is encouraged by TEN’s schedule declaration so early, a confident move which completely contradicts Nine’s ultra-late schedule last week. So late that weekly guides in Sunday newspapers yesterday were rife with the letters: “TBA.” Seven meanwhile had declared most of its schedule, but notably held off announcing Sunday the 8th – day one of the race.
Here’s hoping ‘TBA’ doesn’t become the phrase of the year.
Source: The Australian