True test of psychic ability
HAS anyone seen Simon Baker recently?
The former Launceston lad was supposed to return to our screens in new episodes of The Mentalist a month ago and still remains missing in action.
The return of the popular series was promoted quite heavily over summer. But on the night of the new season premiere, everything on WIN changed.
Late changes to the schedule are usually fairly minor, but occasionally the whole night’s line- up will be picked apart.
On this particular night even the digital TV electronic program guide ( EPG) couldn’t keep up with the changes. And nor could Channel Nine’s own website.
When season four of The Mentalist ( in which Baker plays Patrick Jane, a former fraudster and fake psychic who now uses his observational talents to solve crimes) wrapped up last year, it was only eight episodes in, anyway, so the ‘‘ new season’’ this year was actually starting at episode nine. But I digress.
The new episodes were slated to begin on Monday, February 6, at 8.30pm, after the highly anticipated new season of The Big Bang Theory at 8pm.
But instead of a new episode of Big Bang at 8pm, viewers were given a repeat of an old episode. Then, at 8.30pm, another repeat of Big Bang.
Meanwhile, the EPG had been adjusted to reflect these two repeats. It noted the new Big Bang episode would actually be on at 9pm, followed by The Mentalist at 9.30pm. But at 9pm there was, you guessed it, yet another repeat of Big Bang, including a curious promo for ‘‘ all new The Mentalist at 8.30pm’’.
The Mentalist did indeed begin at 9.30pm, but it was a repeat from last year. The EPG was again amended to say a second – and presumably new – episode would go to air at 10.30pm. This, too, was a repeat. Checking the Nine website was also rather unenlightening.
The main image on the program page for The Mentalist still advertised a new episode at 8.30pm, while the mini guide had been adjusted to say 9.30pm and the ‘‘ tonight’s viewing’’ bar at the top read 10.30pm.
The new episode of The Big Bang Theory eventually aired a week later, but the new episodes of The Mentalist were never spoken of again. According to WIN, the late changes were made to open up the schedule for a new series, Alcatraz, which started the following week with a double episode. The return of The Mentalist has been delayed until April.
With WIN lagging in the ratings each year, the last thing they can afford to do is turn away viewers with this kind of farcical last- minute shuffling.