Synergy
is a wonderful world in business: so much meaning, so little sense. It’s
a polite way of trying to exploit the popularity of another network’s hit
show.

And the Seven network is seeking a little “synergy” by riding the coat tails of one of the quiet success stories of the
year: Mythbusters on SBS. Produced
by the Beyond Group of Sydney and based in San Francisco, it
regularly gathers 800,000 to 900,000 people for SBS and is its biggest rating
program for sometime.

In
seeking its own “synergy” from the success of Mythbusters, Seven has snuck a segment from two Mythbusters stars
into its Beyond Tomorrow series, which is also produced by the Beyond Group. And now
Seven is looking for more “synergy” from Mythbusters, scheduling a 90
minutes special on sharks
next Sunday night at 7.30pm and styling it a “Mythbusters special”.

Meanwhile,
more program changes and switches than you can poke a remote control at among
the networks. Nine has finally killed of the chick chat show, The Watercooler,
which was supposed to be hosted by Liz Hayes of 60 Minutes.

Seven
is starting a short run of True Stories, its Australian Story clone, on August
9, hosted by Anna Coren. Can Nine’s buy-in be far behind? It commissioned a
pilot of a similar sort of program from Andrew Denton’s Zapruder’s Other Films.

Ten
starts the third series of Australian Idol this week, which will further
destabilise the patterns of the year. Idol starts Tuesday and continues
Wednesday. Ten
is confident that it will work from the first episode and there won’t be be hurt
by the flop that X-Factor was in February. With Big Brother counting down, it
will be rough at Seven and Nine for the next month or so.

Ten
also starts the second series of The 4400 Tuesday night after the first ep of
Idol. It was the surprise hit of last year and it will be on an hour before
the Spielberg mini series on aliens called Taken on Nine, which has been
losing viewers to, well aliens? Will The 4400 strip more viewers from Taken?
Where’s the off button, Scotty?

Peter Fray

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