ABC pulls Call the Midwife against Underbelly?

Looks like ABC1 has responded to Nine’s plans to launch Howzat! on Sunday August 19th.

It has withdrawn plans to premiere the critically-acclaimed UK drama Call the Midwife at the same time. Instead it will run a repeat of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

Last year ABC1 was criticised for not scheduling The Slap in the prime Sunday timeslot against Underbelly: Razor, instead screening it on a Thursday. Thankfully it still found an audience and reeled in the awards.

Ironically ABC was also set to replay The Slap following The Midwife but that’s now out too.

Last week ABC1 moved an Ab Fab episode away from the MasterChef finale, issuing an amendment that it would switch from Wednesday to Thursday.

As yet there is no new date for Call the Midwife.


  1. I agree with Ronnie about seemingly nothing interesting being on the ABC main channel on Sunday 8.30pm. I don’t get why. Because in the past the ABC Sunday night programme was my main priority as a viewer. That’s why I quit (permanently or temporarily ) so many shows or never tried them when they were put on Sunday from other channels. It included Supernatural, House, Smallville and so much more. By the way I would of tried at least the first episode of The Slap on Sunday. But missed it on Thursday. As a viewer I wouldn’t mind if they made it an important night again. Although SBS and sometimes Seven have been interesting.

  2. The ABC seems to be afraid of programming anything decent on Sunday at 830. There has been a decided lack of anything appealing in this slot all year. Where is all that new Australian drama for one? Call the Midwife would have been a perfect alternative to the blokiness of Howzatt so I think this is another programming blunder at Aunty and agree, there’s been too many of them this year.

  3. You raise a good point victor – I’d never watch any of the drama offerings from Nine, but I’d absolutely watch Call The Midwife. To me it’s no contest, and I’d imagine many (most?) of the people for whom Call The Midwife would appeal would say the same thing.

  4. You would have thought that the ABC, given its public service remit and its older leaning female demographic on Sunday nights would have not pulled this show and provided a great alternative to Howzat which looks so crass and blokey. But programming, commissioning and scheduling has become so bizarre and inept in the past year or so that nothing would surprise us these days. What is going on at the ABC? It does look like it is full of people learning on the job at the viewer’s expense.

  5. Really, ABC’s marketing has been poor on this. Call the Midwife rated better than Downton Abbey in the UK in its first season. Yet i reckon audience numbers will hover around 700,000 because they haven’t created “event-television”.

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