ABC2 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)