Aunty yanks The Bill

Last
year it was Fireflies, now the Saturday evening episode of The Bill has been yanked by ABC TV management due to falling viewing numbers. But
hold on, I keep hearing from the National broadcaster
that ratings aren’t important when considering programming.

Here’s a choice quote from
a story on the decision in the Daily Telegraph:

ABC’s head programmer,
Marena Manzoufis, said it was only an eight-week break for the much-loved
drama. The show set in the London
police station of Sun Hill will continue to screen on Tuesdays. “It’s just
having a little rest,” she said. “We’ve often rested The Bill on a Tuesday night but this year
that audience had really strengthened but the Saturday night audience has
fallen away.

The Bill changed from being episodic,
self-contained stories to
a soap-opera style of character and story development, in an attempt to
stop sliding ratings. But it hasn’t worked and its end must be
approaching.

But the real reason for the ABC’s decision must surely because Inspector Lynley on Seven, which is a self-contained format,
has been taking viewers from The Bill.

Peter Fray

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