In a surprising, if not shocking move, Channel Seven
has programmed the final shortened season of Blue Heelers on Saturday nights
starting 1 April at 8:30pm. The show will be wedged between British imports
Heartbeat at 7:30pm and the returning William and Mary at 9:30pm.

This move has public wrath written all over it.
Will the public accept the decision that Seven has made to run the
equal longest running Australian drama’s final episodes in the usually
lacklustre Saturday night schedule right before Easter holidays when people are
away and two weeks of non-ratings occur (which means most other programs will
take two weeks off or run repeats)?

A spokesperson for Seven says that the decision to
run the show on Saturday nights is a strategic and sensible move.
Saturday nights have been quite competitive with The Bill, AFL, Heartbeat, and
Funniest Videos attracting around, if not over, the one million viewer mark.

With
Blue Heelers skewing to an older demographic, coupled with Heartbeat and William
and Mary
, it makes for an engaging and alternative Saturday night
schedule.

Peter Fray

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