October 4th: All systems GO!
What else does GO! have planned after its full launch? The Vampire Diairies, stunt programming, marathons, personalities, and a place on the Foxtel platform as Channel 129.
GO! will become a fully fledged channel on Sunday October 4th.
It follows the digital channel’s “soft launch” by Nine on August 9th.
As part of the completion of the channel, GO! will premiere the new US series The Vampire Diaries from writer Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek). The teen drama from the CW Network stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder. An airdate is yet to be confirmed.
Since its August debut, the channel has been considered a ‘work in progress’ by Nine. But already it is attracting numbers to smile about. On its first night of separate ratings, GO! took a 2.8% share levelling out to 1.7% by week’s end. By comparison, ABC2 had 1.4%, ONE had 1.1% and SBS ONE 0.4%. In its target demographic of 16-39 year olds it rose to a 3.2% share.
From October 4th GO! will also be able to provide breakout commercials in separate markets -it is currently airing national ads.
GO! still has more ideas up its sleeve to cement its place with younger viewers. Further encore screenings of favourite titles will emerge in late night slots. Currently The ARIA Music Show is filling the 1-7am block in one hour loops. It will make room for repeats of other GO! shows, while a more substantial ARIA show will unfold. Another ARIA show is also planned for Nine.
In true multi-channelling style, events such as the ARIA Awards will air on Nine while the Red Carpet will air on GO!
GO! has scaled back its two CSI nights to one, allowing for movies on Friday nights, most of which will have limited and brief commercial breaks. It will also introduce ‘stunt’ programming for special occasions such as public holidays and look at Pay-TV style marathons.
The channel is also looking to introduce new personalities as channel identities. These will be separate from Nine personalities, though they could graduate to Nine if their ‘off-Broadway’ tryout proves successful. Locally produced Interstitials will appear around youth-based interests such as fashion, bars, beach reports etc. GO! is also in discussions with producers for a locally-produced series, likely to be in lifestyle or reality, to add to its international content.
Around late October GO! will also be added to the Foxtel platform as Channel 129. At this stage, Nine was unable to confirm if it would only be to cable subscribers.
Other shows coming to GO! include the fifth and final series of The Wire, Weeds and Curb Your Enthusiasm. GO! is currently considering airing the upcoming Survivor: Samoa series following the Gabon series, which would leave Toncantins to air later.
While Nine is looking to separate its premium channel from GO!, it removed Australia’s Funniest Home Videos. But The Big Bang Theory and shortly, Drop Dead Diva, will air on both.
Les Sampson, Nine’s Director of Acquisitions, even boldly indicated while shows may have to move timeslots if they were head to head with a competitor’s audience, he wasn’t looking to remove them from the channel.