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. 7Maaaate! Have started running the Sapronos again from start of season 6 (correct me if Im wrong). Wouldn’t you continue onto the next season episodes. Also, I have noticed that all the 7 channels after 11:30pm will show the same episode of Sons & Daughters or will start within 10minutes or so of each other. Likewise with Parks & Recreations and their Infocommericals. Also, ABC 24 like to show 7:30pm and some of their other shows on constant repeat during a 24 hour period. ABC 2 are just as bad as the commerical networks with repeats of repeats. They love showing the same shows after 10:00pm. Also, SBS2 likes to constantly repeat the same movies that were shown only a little while ago! It is also the same with all the digital channels with their movie repeats!

  2. Would the episodes we see have something to do with what dvd seasons are released in australia? For eg., when Go played The Partridge Family, they only played the first two seasons, which is what we have on dvd here. And with Charlies Angels, they have never played the last season, which is not even released in the US. As for Heres Lucy, have they really played all seasons? It’s just I havn’t seen (since the 80s that is) the episodes where she is in Niagra Falls or the one’s where she has a broken leg.

  3. Just checked the EPG and for reasons best know by Nine/GO!/GEM with Seinfeld they will be going back to the start of S3 and skipping S1&2, ditto for Friends in a week when GEM is done with S10.

    Why are they skipping those season, I know both shows have been converted to 16×9 and they the first season are in that format so why miss the foundation seasons of these shows?

    Also with Spin City on GO! which they are about to show they have skipped the first 4 season going strait to S5, WTF is up with that?

  4. this is annoying me i wake at 10 in the morning to watch 7th Heaven and i watch it everyday 11 showed inot season 4 finale (i think) and then they started back from season 1 its got me so annoyed but im still watching so i catch up to where i was.

    P.S. i am guy just felt like putting it out there and from my memory isnt there 11 season of it bloody hell i was enjoying it aswell

  5. its all about stretching the shows out. they do it at random seasons as well. sabrina got to s5 love boat s2 diagnosis murder showed up to season 5 but missed the last to episodes of the season why? because it connects with season 6. ch 11 thinks we are all dumb 3 month wait to see season 6. at least 7mate shows magnum,airwolf, rockford files plus more all the way thats how a channel should operate, tv1 use to do the same thing its pathetic.

  6. And David, this is a little off-topic, but do you know who is responsible for the EPG/guides stating that a program is Live (ie tonight’s Friday Night Football on Nine) when it isn’t? Doesn’t happen often, but they still seem to throw the ‘Live’ word in anyway? It seems like they really do like trying to fool people, but shouldn’t be allowed, as there are people who are fussy about it being Live and might just watch it on FOX later anyway. So no doubt it can have an effect on ratings.

  7. TV is an absolute disgrace in this country, both Pay TV and FTA. The government are too weak and let them get away with anything they want. The big bosses in the media cosy up to the governments. It’s ridiculous that FTA can be just like Pay TV repeating everything and how ever much they like, and then Pay TV can be just like FTA with the commercials, probably even worse. Foxtel will always be #1 on my blacklist because of their monopolistic stature charging through the nose for repeats and ancient programmes, but the repeating on FTA is actually third on the list. Second? It is my gripe with how FTA’s main channels are in useless SD, which means premiere movies and the footy is in old dreary definition. What is the point of having fancy full HD TV’s on the market when you can’t even get FTA’s prime content in HD? Instead, you get Antiques Roadshow SD (an old repeat?) instead of the footy in HD. Or one of those ‘encore’ presentations from a couple of nights ago instead of the premiere movie in HD. FTA got a discount on their license didn’t they? All they do is repeat more along with PayTV.

    Those media bosses have it so good here.

  8. When GO started playing The Nanny, they played about 1 or 2 seasons worth of episodes and then played the same 1 or 2 seasons again. Are they still looping the same episodes?

    More recently, Eleven has looped back to the start of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sabrina was one of the shows they played in the first week of Eleven going to air in January, and they played it in order for 4 seasons until a few weeks ago at the end of the 4th season they looped back to season 1. There are 3 seasons they haven’t aired..

  9. The Loveboat has over 200 episodes so there is no way we should be into repeats already. The networks are just too slack to offer decent programming as usual me thinks.

    PS I am very worried about the amount of people watching/enjoying 7th Heaven! 🙂

    PPS – I had missed one TBBT episode in its whole run and after searching the EPG for yonks I gave up thinking they only play a handful of eps it seemed and then lo and behold it was on last night and I managed to see the last 11 minutes or so. Damn you all to hell tv programmers!!

  10. Why doesnt one of the digital channels play some old Crawford series (eg. Homicide, Division 4 etc) late at night like Win TV have been doing in recent times?

  11. I was watching Macgyver & JAG, both of which went back to the beginning so I went to the Eleven forums to see if there was any explanation.
    There was a comment on a Mork & Mindy thread that they were behind in converting some of the series old tapes to 720p.
    It sounded like there was only one guy doing it & he’d been on holidays!

  12. I have been watching 7th Heaven on Eleven for the past 3 months and was pretty upset when they started the episodes again from season 1.

    I had a look around for an answer as to why they did this. I saw plenty of other people upset with Eleven’s decision on their facebook page. There are a lot of comments on the page asking why shows have started from the beginning again. Eleven’s answer is that they want new people to get into these shows and this time they will be playing the shows all the way through.

    I am pretty annoyed because I doubt that a lot of new people will get into these shows and now I have to wait 3 months to watch the show from where they left off.

  13. This is where the whole situation with ONE is interesting. The ratings were too low for the channel to survive as is BUT it had new content – something the other digital channels don’t so hopefully TEN find some middle ground although it doesn’t look like they will.

    A pity because the FTA networks are now just serving up the same old crap that Foxtel do – at least we don’t have to pay for it.

    It’s going to get interesting though with bidding wars between not only FTA and Foxtel for key shows but also between the FTA networks – some shows going now for $75k plus per hour on digital channels – something has to give….

  14. I enjoy South Park late at night on GO! But they only play certain series and they keep repeating them over and over and…thanks to this website letting the cat out of the bag, they still won’t show the episode ‘Bloody Mary’…

    Seeing the same movies over and over is also annoying.

  15. Cheers is the only old show I have been following on Eleven, and as each season finale approaches I am concerned about Eleven jumping back to the start. I wish they wouldn’t tamper with these shows.

  16. I watched that 70s Show from start to finish on 7mate at 7pm. Which was great because I missed it first time around.

    Once the show finished they just started all over again…. They at least could have mixed it up by moving it to 6:30 and starting a new show at 7pm..

    Now forced to watch Home and Away 🙁 and nobody wants that….

  17. This is a bit different, but the “new” America’s Next Top Model (cycle 7) currently playing on Eleven has already been shown on Channel Ten. Ten has broadcast cycles 5, 6, 7 and 8. So we should be up to 9! Or they just shouldn’t call cycle 7 “all new” in their promos.

  18. Some friends and I have been livetweeting episodes of Sabrina on ELEVEN on #latenightsabrina – We were mildly dissapointed/a little bit excited when they suddenly switched back to S1…

  19. I was wondering what was going on with The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. They seem to show the same 10 or so episodes over and over and over again. Why can’t they at least start-over from the very first episode if they are going to go with that strategy.

    There was a time when new episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold were having their worldwide premier in Australia, now we’re just stuck with the same old episodes on an endless repeat. Or Nine/Go could think about repeating Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Justice Legaue/Justice League Unlimited or even the older/classic Batman: The Animated Series and the Superman: The Animated Series?

    Also enjoying the repeats of Xena and Hercules and pleasantly surprised to find that they appear to be determined to screen both series in their entirety in order.

  20. It is frustrating when they will not play out a series. Its frustrating with pay tv too.

    Eleven have played out the Brady Bunch in full and still have first run Happy Days (TV1 only plays 1 season at a time every few months, many years ago 2004 and earlier it was 3 seasons at a time) and first run Cheers. Some repeat then continue with different ones later on like Mork & Mindy with running season 3 after reairing 1 & 2. Sabrina was best at the start anyway and I think Family Ties is still first run.

    Go have played some shows from beginning to end with no problems. I have seen Here’s Lucy in full from start to finish. Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanine are like that too and even Seinfeld and The Nanny get full runs as they do on pay tv. Green Acres gets full runs as well.

    I believe that older shows should get full runs and I feel there aare more classics that networks should show. These include I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Laverne & Shirley, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, Leave it To Beaver, The Cosby Show, All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Home Improvement, The Munsters and Adams Family. Dr Quinn and Gilmore Girls would suite Gem and Reba would be good for Eleven considering it never got much of a go on 7. There is plenty of content to fill up the digital channels and still enough new content as well. We do not need constant repeats!

  21. Even ABC2 is doing it. They just completed a run of Absolutely Fabulous and then they started it over again. Are there no other Brit sitcoms in their archive, or even some local material??

    And GO and GEM seem to be good at re-running movies at very high rotation. Apparently Mars Attacks is coming soon… again. But you see a movie on Nine and then it re-appears on GO or GEM just weeks later.

    For all the networks bragging about these massive output deals with studios (e.g. Nine with WB, Eleven with CBS…) they seem to have only come away with a very limited range of programming.

    Surely there are enough programs in the vaults including some Australian content that can be utilised for a bit of programming diversity.

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