Easter-ly wind blows all the top shows off air for un­holy break

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

AND all of a sud­den there’s noth­ing to watch. Six weeks into their work­ing year and the TV net­works are on a rat­ings break. They say it’s be­cause of Easter, like it’s our fault, as if we all just walk out on our job and take a fort­night off from life, but who does that any more, apart from school­child­ren?

Yes. School­child­ren. They’re the ones who are re­ally in charge of tele­vi­sion pro­gram­ming, with their dis­cre­tionary in­come and buy­ing power and unique po­si­tion to moan and whine and do their par­ents’ heads in. If the TV rat­ings weren’t run like an oil car­tel, what we’d see would be Seven on hol­i­day and Nine start­ing Celebrity Ap­pren­tice now in­stead of wait­ing un­til that neb­u­lous ‘‘ af­ter Easter’’ point in the fu­ture, when ev­ery­thing else starts.

If only they could have pre­dicted when they filmed it just how so­cially os­tracised Ja­son Akermanis was go­ing to be­come.

But no. In­stead we’re get­ting Easter With the Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly. Star­ring ev­ery­one on the Nine pay­roll, in­clud­ing Karl Ste­fanovic (left), who mis­read a clause in his con­tract that said ‘‘ Shows that last for 60 Min­utes’’ and ea­gerly went signed it.

Fin­gers crossed this is the des­per­ate year ev­ery show in the net­works’ bag is thrown at the wall in the month ‘‘ af­ter Easter’’. Ob­vi­ously the sec­ond half of the year will be a desert waste­land, but gee it should be a tremen­dous win­ter.

I don’t know why we don’t see the big­gest shows — Masterchef v The Block, for in­stance — go­ing head to head


and more of­ten. It’s a guar­an­teed way to bring out more peo­ple on the night, the same way hav­ing a row of restau­rants all in the one street does.

And they can now in­clude ‘‘ time-shift­ing’’ in their rat­ings, the part id­i­otic/part men­ac­ing term for what hap­pens when you record a show and watch it later. So no­body loses in this sce­nario. As­sum­ing, of course, you ac­tu­ally want to watch one of those shows.

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