Where is Episodes?

A year ago Nine promised it would fast-track Episodes with Matt LeBlanc. It still hasn't delivered.

Tonight TEN will make its 2012 Programming Launch to advertisers. Nearly a year ago its 2011 Launch included Don’t Stop Believing and prison drama Inside Out– neither of which will eventuate.

But TEN isn’t exactly alone in trumpeting projects that either don’t materialise or miss their mark.

In June 2010 Nine boasted about five new comedies, Hot in Cleveland, S#*! My Dad Says, Mike and Molly, Mr. Sunshine and Episodes. All were promised to be fast-tracked to audiences, to air in 2010 and into 2011.

The first three have screened with tepid results at best, but Mr. Sunshine featuring Matthew Perry and Episodes with Matt LeBlanc have yet to surface.

In the case of the Perry vehicle it premiered in the US in February but was cancelled after 9 episodes in May.

Episodes, which features LeBlanc playing himself in a sly parody of UK -US  TV adaptations, also premiered in the US in January. Received with more success, it has been renewed for a second by Showtime and LeBlanc has even been nominated for an Emmy Award.

But Nine is yet to fulfill its fast-tracking promise.

Meanwhile Nine was also silent on its plans for Dance Nation, a state by state dance contest it announced at its 2011 Programming Launch last December.

Yesterday a Nine spokesperson advised TV Tonight it had no immediate production plans on the show, based on a South American format.

They also clarified The Games: London Calling with John Clarke and Gina Riley would arrive in 2012 ahead of the Olympics. The update of The Games was also announced at its December launch to advertisers. Nine says it was always intended for 2012, not 2011, despite it being included in its December Press Release: “Nine Announces Exciting New Shows for 2011.”

Another show The Joy of Sets with Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee is currently shooting and still coming in 2011.

According to the Nine spokesperson, “Episodes and Mr Sunshine are still planned for 2011.  Stay tuned.”

28 Responses

  1. @ Casey – GO! was meant to screen the US Shameless, Justified as well as The Hard Times of RJ Berger,

    I think they are playing it safe by airing movies , repeats as well as just 4 new shows(Primeval, Voice, Bachelorette and Trouble in Thailand) rather than 8 or more like on 11. They (GO!) are only airing new shows one at a time to see if they rate first rather than releasing a whole bunch like 11.

    Hot in Cleveland got 660 thousand on Nine , it got a million most nights last year when the lead out was 2.5men, problem is we now have more channels. I think it could get high 100 s or 200 thousand on GEM.

    No idea about Episodes or Mr Sunshine they don’t really fit on Nine or GEM , perhaps they do fit on GO!

  2. Unless these shows get sold to Foxtel and/or are slotted to air in the summer recess, they’ll probably air in 3 years time. It’s a pity Nine onsold both Entourage and True Blood to Foxtel, as both would’ve been a good fit for Go.

  3. Saw it on BBC iplayer when it first came out and enjoyed it. It is not a channel 9 show though, its audience simply will not get it. Like “the West Wing” I suspect it got bought in a fit of absentmindedness and now they have no idea what to do with it. Wherever they put it, it simply won’t work. It’s the sort of show the ABC should be buying instead of wasting its money on Crownies.

  4. Mr Sunshine and Episodes in particular are both great but a poor fit for Nine. They prob realise their mistake in buying them and now don’t know what to do with them. Episodes would work best on Go! but it still won’t rate well.

    The other three Nine comedies mentioned weren’t that good and rated as well as they might, altho’ HiC wasn’t given a proper chance. I agree with Bazza that HiC would appear to be a really good fit with GEMs intended demo, and would mesh nicely with Golden Girls.

    If they don’t want to show them (Mr S and Eps) they should sell them to another FTA network (ABC or SBS if they find some more change down the back of the couch).

  5. The actor who did that promo especially for Go, for the Justified show, is Walt Goggins and it was nice of him to do that. This show could be slotted at a
    10.30 or 11 pm timeslot if it’s not seen as being that commercial.

  6. And the funny thing is, both Episodes and Mr Sunshine are heaps better shows than Mike & Molly, S#!t, and Hot in Cleveland which Nine did show.
    Didn’t even bother waiting for Nine. Mr Sunshine is great, so shame it didn’t get renewed. And Episodes is brilliant. Too good for Nine anyway.

  7. @ Geoff – sorry I forgot to write in the below comment that I do not see anything wrong with True Blood being shown at 8:30pm. If people have a problem watching vampire porn then use the parental controls to make sure you can’t view it. Pay TV is terrific in that a programs classification does not decide when it can be shown (as is the case of FTA where MA shows are shown 9:30pm+).

  8. @ Geoff – Sorry, what I meant were shows that FOX8 had recently brought the rights to – hence me mentioning True Blood as they brought the S1 rights this year and are a couple of episodes in. I understand that FOX8 wanted to highlight their Australian drama by showing Dangerous following SLiDE, but they would have been better putting one of their more recent Australian shows on (e.g. Australia’s Next Top Model). Showing a series from 2007 is starting to make Australian pay-TV look like the American setup where multiple channels show the same outdated content (e.g. COPS being shown on borh G4 and truTV, Law & Order being shown on USA Network, TNT and Oxygen, etc.). Dangerous would have been better placed in latenight on 111 Hits or 3am on FOX8.

  9. wheres all of the other shows Nine promised? Justified was advertised by an actor on the show saying it was coming soon, and that was late last year yet it hasn’t aired yet! this year they’ve been advertising many other shows that are ‘coming soon’ but nothing! GO has plenty of free timeslots which are taken up by movies and repeats so why not just air them instead, get them out of the way!! they are just worried about ratings but Im sure they’ll air them during summer. they are worried that if it doesn’t rate well, then they’ll have to take it off and movies are safe.

  10. Yeah True Blood on Fox8 is S1 and with ad breaks. As David said the new season starts on Showcase soon without ads at the better time.

    I never saw Dangerous the first time around so I’m grateful for them showing it and yes supporting local drama’s!

  11. @ Josh,

    Do you really think True Blood is appropriate for an 8:30pm timeslot?

    Plus other then the Secret Life of the American Teenager, the other two things you mentioned (Fringe & True Blood) would be also be repeats. Go Fox8 for supporting Australian Drama (Dangerous was amazing back in the day!)

  12. What I don’t understand is why they don’t at least air them (by ‘them’ I mean first run programmes) in an off peak timeslot, instead of airing endless repeats? They all have at least three channels each these days, that’s 504 hours of programming a week to fill. Right now the bulk of that is repeats of shows that we’ve seen aired more times than I can recall. Why not at least get some return on brand new shows you’ve already paid for?

    I’ll never watch HIC, but I’d prefer they put that on instead of yet more Big Bang repeats. But forget Big Bang, why couldn’t it air on Gem, instead of even more repeats of Golden Girls. It even fits the mission statement that Gem launched with. Perhaps Nine are worried that HIC will have low ratings, but you can’t tell me they’d be lower ratings than high rotation repeats of 25 year old programmes?

    1. tmorgan: You can click on a show’s Tag at the end end of any story to read more about the show. Don’t hold your breath on Dance Nation, there’s clearly bugger all interest in it, as it is just a one-off event. My hunch is no Aussie version ever surfaces…

  13. David, what is the Joy of Sets?
    So pumped for Nine 2012- Voice looks amazing, Olymipics looks good, and if Dance Nation arrives, that too.
    Could 2012 be the year Nine beats out that trashy ‘other’ network in ratings?

  14. We can all learn from this. Whatever TV execs say at launch events can be treated with a pinch of salt and just regarded as possible future programmes. In commercial TV very few of these folk have got much credibility, especially when you consider many people on here can point out their bleedin obvious mistakes well in advance (I think it is called foresight). ch7 are the least worst offenders in this regard, well this year so far anyway and the ratings speak for themselves.

  15. Once again Australian networks are saying they will fasttrack shows in the global attempt to reduce internet piracy and buying seasons on dvd in foreign regions (reducing local movie sales) but have come up with excuses why they cant. I said this in one of my other comments yesterday but the same goes for Hot In Clevland being slowtracked (months late) and TENs Blue Bloods and Burn Notice which they placed in graveyard slots and are now months late. Have a look at FOX8 who last night played Dangerous (their 8 part series from 2007) in the 8:30pm slot after the premier of Slide when they could have put one of the new programs they own and got the ratings to remain high (such as Fringe, Secret Life, True Blood (which they moved to 9:30pm for some stupid reason), etc.)

  16. How spooky. I woke up thinking about this this morning. i was looking forward to this when you wrote about it last year, but I think the networks have trouble understanding what the audience likes

  17. I think the plans for Nine fast tracking those shows has long passed, and as you said David they didn’t rate too well the ones they have showed, HiC pulled after one outing. SMDS and M&M not doing much better.

    My bet is Nine will put Mr Sunshine and Episodes on in December, that’s still 2011.

    Personally I like both shows but I’m pretty sure neither will rate well and will likely be moved or pulled after just a few eps, mark my words. Nine should have just put them all on GO! or GEM and been done with it!

    David maybe it’s time to have another story one what shows the networks promised and what they actually delivered, to see who came out worst (so far) for 2011?

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