ABC2 coming soon: The Wire, The Beast & more

wireABC2 has announced some of its upcoming programming will include The Wire, the premiere of Patrick Swayze’s new series The Beast, plus repeats of ABC1’s  United States of Tara (starring Toni Collette), Cold Feet, and John Safran’s Race Relations.

The shows will comprise part of the channel programming in the next six months.

Viewers who have missed out on The Wire on Channel Nine will now have a chance to see what is frequently lauded as one of the best TV shows of all time -a strategy it took with re-screening The West Wing.

Nine actually has a the fifth and final series of The Wire starting next week in a low-level midnight slot (so far it hasn’t even bothered sending out DVD previews for the show).

Patrick Swayze’s newest show, The Beast, alas will be curious for all the wrong reasons. Also starring Aussie model / actor Travis Fimmel, the series has already been axed in the US.

ABC is talking up the appeal of its second channel, claiming that ABC2 achieved its highest ever five city average weekly reach at 2.1 million for the week ending Saturday June 20. A year ago the same measure was 700,000.

“Reach,” a term often used by the Pay TV sector, counts the number of people who viewed at least 5 consecutive minutes.

Spruiking the figures is an unusual move for ABC given it continually reminds media it isn’t interested in ratings results.

It nominates the children’s TV timeslot (Mon-Fri 10am-4:30pm) plus The Chaser’s War on Everything, Spicks and Specks and Scrapheap Challenge amongst its biggest drawcards on ABC2.

Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said: “ABC2 has seen significant growth in the last 12 months and is playing a key role in the take-up of digital television. This will be further enhanced when we launch our new digital free-to-air kid’s channel ABC3 later this year.”

(Footnote: ABC2 publicity should really check on whether their own talent is ‘John Saffron’ or John Safran)


  1. Matthew R: The Wire has only ever been shown in 4:3.

    Although interestingly, Season 5 (at least) was shot in 16:9. The “Previously on the Wire” segments on the S5 DVD are in widescreen and show more info in the frame than the show itself.

  2. ABC2 is a really nice alternative to the mainstream. The variety is there, and its obvious it has a clear “vision” about what it wants to be. Shows such as Scrapheap Challenge keep me tuning in, and knowing I can catch shows I miss on ABC1 a little later in the week, or the next week is great.

  3. Great news!
    Now, if I could just remember to check the ABC2 guide more often.
    I’m a shocker for missing stuff on this channel and it’s mainly your great source of information that gives me a heads up on things David.
    Thanks for the info.

  4. Toni Collette will be on Rove next week, so she might mention it then. The guy who plays The Wire’s D’angelo, guest stars in an episode of The Beast so I will be checking that out. The DVDs of The Wire aren’t in widescreen so I doubt ABC2 will have them.

  5. There’s some top quality programming in there. United States of Tara is a fantastic program as well, and it’ll be nice to catch The Wire in a somewhat respectable timeslot.

  6. ABC2 has from day one been a great little channel, and it looks like things are only going to get better!

    So does this mean John Safran won’t be seen on ABC1?

  7. Why is ch9 even bothering with The Wire S5?

    Good going ABC2, they are leading the way in alternate SD channels. SBS is catching up and yes we have Sport for TEN but not everyone is into that. As the other 2 ‘top’ networks we still have noting from them and not even a time line from Seven yet.

    So once again good going ABC!

  8. Excellent news on The Wire. I finally gave in to its consistent critical praise and started downloading this week. Good to know I can save my bandwidth and catch it in slightly higher (widescreen?) resolution.

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