Digital channels recycling too many episodes?

Lately a number of readers have been asking questions about the cycle of series on digital channels.

One reader asks, “ELEVEN has gone back to Series 1 with Everybody Loves Raymond among other programs, what’s going on? Why are they doing this?”

Another asks, “Why would Ch10 would start replaying JAG (on Ch11) from the beginning of the series again recently when they were into season three and suddenly just started from the first episode again. I know it’s an old show but I assume they have the rights to all ten series and cannot understand why they would start again so soon into the replays?”

And: “I have been watching the tv station GO! every afternoon for the last couple of weeks now and i find you have the same shows of Batman on every 2 weeks it is like some one has not changed the dvd over so you get the next lot of episode. I like Ben 10, and the show Just Shoot Me but i am going mad with Batman if you could fix it please.”

In some instances there were only limited episodes produced of shows in their original run. The Jetsons for example only produced 24 episodes from 1962-63.

Many digital channels are operating on a model similar to Pay TV of block programming, showing an episode in the morning and replaying again later in the day or overnight.

But as some channels are approaching their second year on air, the issue of building a channel on a limited stockpile of series is now beginning to bite with viewers.

So let’s hear it. Which shows are too limited in their runs on digital channels?


  1. I had been looking forward to following shows like Roseanne and Married With Children on the digital channels. Now I know they only have the rights to a limited number of series out of much longer runs, I no longer bother. The networks seem hell bent on driving viewers away when the pull this rubbish.

  2. The Love Boat is driving me crazy! Repeating already and they’ve not even got to the episodes with Stubing’s annoying daughter.

    Plus, worse, they’re now cutting the opening scenes so you don’t even see the setups for the stories. Suddenly it’s a mystery show, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. They weren’t doing that the first time round. What is ELEVEN doing?

  3. “Which shows are too limited in their runs on digital channels?”

    Simple, All of them.

    I was hoping that these channels would dive into the TV series vault and pull out some long forgotten stuff, ABC’s Patrol Boat (even now, better than Sea Patrol), Grace Under Fire, Becker, Picket Fences, Reasonable Doubts, these series are just off the top of my head.
    Also mini series that haven’t seen the light of day, such as Waterfront, Vietnam, and Backstairs at the White House.
    Hell, even Kenny Everett…’Cause its in the best, possible taste!’
    But so far it is not to be…I live in (little) hope that this might change.

  4. There just needs to be a bigger variety of content in general, plus more original content. There’s not much use in having digital channels if all that we see on them are repeat episodes.

  5. This happens on Gem/Go

    Recently The Nanny got up to the end of season 5 on GEM, then restarted on GO! from the pilot! No sign on season 6?!

    Murder She Wrote also only got up to the end of season 4 (out of 12) before starting back at season 1.

    I can only assume that other networks or Pay TV have the rights to the other seasons?

  6. Yer Roseanne is another that has jumped back to earlier episodes. So far, Cheers seems to be continuing through though. Craig Ferguson, Cheers and Roseanne have been a great late night line up.

  7. I’m talking shows on Eleven after 11:30pm every night.

    Cheers – still in “first run”

    Sabrina – into repeats – got to the end of the episodes which were on ABC in the US, and instead of showing the next logical episodes which would have been broadcast on WB, right back to the beginning.

    Roseanne – into repeats – think we got up to about Season 7 (when Roseanne was pregnant) now back to Season 3.

    Mork and Mindy – showed Season 1, then Season 2, then Season 1, 2 and now finally 3.

    Happy Days – still in “first run”

    Love Boat – Pretty sure the same as Mork & Mindy. showed Season 1, then Season 2, then Season 1, 2 and now finally 3.

    The only reason I can think is a technological reason. Because the sort of bastardry that has been going on with Simpsons repeats for years and years would just be pointless.

  8. 7mate began repeating The Sopranos before finishing Season 6, which still has about 6 episodes to go until the series finale. Have noticed digital channel repeats of That 70s Show, Get Smart, The Inbetweeners & The Wire for starters.

  9. 7mate began repeating The Sopranos before finishing Season 6, which still has about 6 episodes to go until the series finale. Have noticed digital channel repeats of That 70s Show, Get Smart, The Inbetweeners, The Wire for starters.

  10. Totally agree.. i had been watching 7th heaven and then a couple of weeks ago they began again from season 1 after the end of season 4.. Why would they start again on these shows when there are many more seasons to go.. 🙁

  11. Get Smart on GO only has the first couple of seasons – I think Ten has the rest of them (which they started to show on Eleven’s launch but got cut for some reason), so you get the same ones over and over. I think Hogan’s Heroes was the same kind of deal. At least they seem to have all 9 seasons of Seinfeld in the bank.

    Been watching the holy trinity of Baywatch-Xena-Hercules on 7mate of an afternoon and that’s going really well, they seem to have all the eps thus far and started from the start. Well done!

  12. I will be interested to see if Eleven turn back The Brady Bunch to Episode 1 in a few weeks when the entire series finishes or whether they will screen something else.

  13. Seinfeld has just gone through all its episodes in a year so I guess these will just start at the beginning again! But its the movies that get to me, you used to get the predictable 9-12 month cycles but I now seem to be bumping into the same movies every few months, sometimes between Gem, Go and Nine for example, anyone else noticing this?

  14. I noticed Channel 11 doing the same thing with Roseanne. Last week, we were watching episodes from Season 7 and now this week we are watching episodes from Season 4. It doesn’t make sense.

  15. Multichannels need to start producing more new Australian content. If they are still “alternative viewing” or “rerun” channels by this time next year, then they have failed in my opinion.

  16. I’m trying to keep track of MacGyver, looks like they are just starting season 3 again, hopefully when it ends they will go on to season 4 like they said they would rather than back around to the first episode again.

  17. The worst offender is without doubt Foxtel. Case in point: they played The Nanny, back-to-back for over 4 years…the term is “lazy programming”…..

  18. I guess it comes down to what they have the rights to, IMO if they have the season they should air them in order and like paytv go back to the start if they want to show them again. Just with GO! would do this for Top Gear. if they have the rights have it 5 nights a week from the first on of the modern series and play them through.

    Right now Friends on GEM is approaching it’s series final, just wondering what they plan on doing in a week or so, ditto for Seinfeld on GO! which is up to it’s series final.

  19. Oh Thank you.

    I want to vent my frustration about this

    I have been happily watching Roseanne being played on Eleven for the past few months. One of my fave sitcoms from the nineties. Imagine my disgust last week when I found out that it was not a mistake that the epsiode being played was a recent repeat, but all the scheduling has now jumped back three series! Not good form Eleven ! what is the reason for this , there are another 2 seasons after where they stopped. would they not have the rights to the whole series.? Arghhh!

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