Rat­ings bat­tle is fast and fu­ri­ous

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shows. Even the ABC had to rush to air Bri­tish favourite Dr Who to coun­ter­act piracy.

‘‘ In the past, peo­ple weren’t able to down­load or get hold of copies,’’ Downs says.

Re­al­ity fans are livid when­ever Sur­vivor and The Amaz­ing Race aren’t fast-tracked, be­cause it is too easy to stum­ble across the shows’ re­sults on the web.

But Seven is buck­ing the trend by hold­ing its new US shows un­til next year.

Seven’s new US shows in­clude Re­venge, star­ring Emily Van­Camp and Madeleine Stowe, Good Chris­tian Bitches, based on the Kim Gatlin novel, and com­edy Up All Night with Christina Ap­ple­gate.

Seven waited six months to screen Down­ton Abbey and the de­lay didn’t hin­der the Bri­tish drama’s rat­ings per­for­mance.

‘‘ Our pref­er­ence is to launch the shows as part of an over­all plan that cov­ers all of the rat­ings sea­sons,’’ pro­gram­ming chief Tim Worner says.

He notes there can some- times be a back­lash against shows that are fast-tracked.

Char­lie’s An­gels, Prime Sus­pect and Ringer all ap­peared on a re­cent En­ter­tain­ment Weekly ‘‘ TV death watch’’ list.

‘‘ Aus­tralian view­ers are smart and they can sense lame shows from some dis­tance,’’ Worner says.

‘‘ I think we may be see­ing some shows now ( on ri­val net­works) that we won’t be see­ing very much of in 2012.’’

Downs coun­ters that hold­ing a show is just as risky.

‘‘ Not ev­ery (fast-tracked) show will work, but you’ve got to take your chances when you can,’’ Downs says. What a blast: Ka­ley Cuoco and her costars from the hit US sit­com

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