BROWSING through the free- to- air program schedules looking for TV highlights this week was particularly difficult. Apart from a few diamonds in the rough, there’s precious little worth watching.
WIN is showing repeats of CSI, repeats of The Mentalist, repeats of The Big Bang Theory and repeats of Two And A Half Men.
Southern Cross’ schedule for the week is practically consumed by coverage of the Australian Open Tennis from 11am until after midnight each day, which is fine if you’re a sports fan, but limiting if you’re not.
The Ten Network appears to have seized this opportunity to roll out all of its new stuff when there is little competition from the other major networks.
Highlights on TDT this week include all new episodes of big favourites Glee, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU and Modern Family, a new series of The Biggest Loser Australia, as well as new series New Girl ( pictured), Homeland and Young Talent Time.
ABC and SBS are continuing to do what they do best, with an assortment of documentaries and quality dramas and comedies throughout the prime- time hours, most of them first- run programming.
However since these two networks always lag far, far behind the commercial networks in ratings, there’s no real reason to believe anything will change. Quality programming rarely trumps commercial mainstream, even at this time of year when commercial mainstream is a televisual wasteland.
Of course, TV programming always lapses into near catatonia over summer, so it is to be expected.
The traditional reasoning is that over summer, with longer daylight hours, people are more likely to spend their evenings out enjoying the weather, rather than huddled inside watching TV.
But if you do find yourself at home on a summer evening, this means there’s precious little to pick from on the box.
So I tend to treat summer as a time to catch up on all the stuff I didn’t have time for through the main ratings period, when the schedule tends to be full of overlapping programming.
Grab a box set of that really good TV series all your friends were talking about but you never got around to watching, and just watch an episode every now and then when you’re at a loose end, as you would a good book.
Or maybe get a few movies you’ve been meaning to check out and leave them sitting next to the TV so you remember to watch them on one of those wall- to- wall- stuff- all TV nights.
Or, and here’s a radical suggestion, just turn the tube off and do something more productive while you don’t have to worry about missing something good on TV.