Nine buries Primeval. If you have a “hit program” which is supposed to be “perfect family viewing”, where would you put it in your TV schedule? Early Sunday evening would be the logical choice, so why then has Nine slotted “the incredible new series Primeval” into Saturday nights at 7.30pm? Saturday evenings are the dead zone: it’s where dying programs are sent to hang on to life or slowly disappear. Is it that bad that it has to be “buried” on a Saturday evening up against Ten’s AFL broadcasts, which means it won’t rate in Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth? From the trailers and promos seen on Nine it looks to be a bit of a “bodice ripper” of the “it was a dark and stormy night” variety: “Unexplained anomalies are starting to appear, ripping doorways in the fabric of time and allowing monsters from the wildest shores of evolution to roam through into the modern world – that’s where the action-packed adventure begins in PRIMEVAL. Nine says, “PRIMEVAL has had huge success in the United Kingdom since its premiere, with an average 5.9 million viewers tuning in each week, and a second series is currently in production.” UK network ITV aired the show on Saturday nights, which are more important nights for TV viewing in the UK than in Australia. — Glenn Dyer
Difference of Opinion set to continue. The ABC’s Difference of Opinion is about to be shifted from Monday night at 9.35pm to Thursdays in the same timeslot, and is likely to be kept in the schedule for most of the year. It seems ABC management likes it and there could be another 20 eps if host Jeff McMullen signs on. The program has been getting ratings averaging just over 400,000 on Monday nights (433,000 people this week) and it will finish up on Monday, May 7, to be followed a week later by the second two hour instalment of the Bastard Boys docudrama on the 1998 waterfront dispute (the first ep goes to air on Sunday, May 13). Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope is due to return around May 21 at this stage. The original series of Difference of Opinion was for a dozen programs but that has been stretched to 15 with three extra ordered to allow a slightly later start for the Denton program. Denton’s program will run from late May through to early December and will lift the ABC’s Monday night audience. The first five episodes are updates of previous programs, a sort of reworked best of list. Difference of Opinion hasn’t been anywhere near as successful as Enough Rope but has at least discussed current issues in a somewhat earnest style. The only other program in the space is Insight on SBS which suffers from being up against Dancing With The Stars on Tuesday nights for many weeks. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
Glenn Dyer’s usual rating report was not available before our deadline – it will return as normal tomorrow.