Viewers can feel the love this summer as TV channels aim to increase audience share, writes Colin Vickery
FOR years summer TV has been the dumping ground for failed shows, endless repeats and wall-to-wall sport. There’s still junk in the schedule, but the landscape is changing. This summer the commercial networks, their digital offshoots, plus the ABC, SBS and Foxtel will engage in a fierce battle to win extra viewers.
Channel 10’s new digital channel, 11, launches on January 11. Ten plans to use Neighbours, featuring staron-the-rise Valentina Novakovic (main picture) and The Simpsons to spearhead the new channel, aimed at 13 to 29-year-olds.
The recent share buy-ups at the network have many media commentators saying a cloud hovers over Ten’s plans.
Ten management insists it’s full steam ahead with 11 and the $20 million news revamp.
Neighbours executive producer Susan Bower says a potential new PG rating for the long-running soapie will give her the freedom to explore more hot-button topics.
Upcoming storylines include a fire and a lovers’ tryst and a star-crossed love affair.
‘‘Neighbours will be pushing the boundaries more, which we are excited about,’’ Bower says.
Ten has been hard hit by Nine’s GO!, which targets 16 to 39-year-olds. Ten is confident it has the strategy to boost audience share.
Nine and Seven will have new summer offerings on digital channels GO!, Gem, 7Two and 7Mate. So what should we be looking out for and avoiding this summer? A festive version of the hit music quiz show Spicks
and Specks. Kerry Armstrong heads this Aussie drama about three generations of women in a country town. Peter Helliar bombed as host of Channel 7’s The Bounce, but is back to host this sports quiz.
If you missed this saucy, bloody drama on Foxtel, see it on ABC2. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as King Henry VIII.
On the move: Rachael Finch co-hosts High Road, Low Road.