He11o-300x225The launch of Eleven is nigh and it’s first week of programing (tues -sun morning) is now available for perusal.

My initial thoughts are that there is a lot more US programing on there than I had expected and that the schedule is very reminiscent of Foxtel-channel TV1. There are a lot of catalogue TV classics on the schedule, which I don’t have too much of a problem with.

It is probably worth considering also, that this schedule may be representative of the non-ratings season and that we may see some changes come late Jan/early Feb.

The Good
As discussed previously on White Noise, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is getting a run weeknights on Eleven. With it’s regular timeslot of 10:30pm mon-fri, this will be regular viewing for many as they fall asleep on couches across the country. Following it with Cheers nightly is a welcome programing move.

Californication is scheduled for Tuesday nights at Ten. As long as Eleven are screening new episodes of the series, this should have it airing within 36 hours of it’s US debut, which is perfectly acceptable.

There is something charming about seeing 90210 scheduled in it’s ancestral home of 7:30pm on Friday nights. The original BH 90210 got it’s start on Ten in that timeslot, building it’s loyal fan base.

The Bad

One of the biggest flaws with Eleven is that it’s mon-fri daytime programing continues on through the weekend. This is a strategy that is also employed by 7Mate. For example, The A-Team maintain the same timeslot Mon-Sun. Weekend audiences differ to weekday audiences and for those following the show on weekdays, it is a disruption to the flow of the series. Also, it cheapens the appearance of the schedule not to provide a unique viewing experience for weekends. Even a UK-style omnibus of weekend Neighbours catch-up would be serviceable.

Couch Time seems a little useless. I’m not convinced that Tony Barber has ever added much of value to TV1 with the nightly trivia cash game and this has a similar air about it. I’d much rather see the resources go into a live weekly studio-based show. Couch Time is described as “Kick back with Labby and Stav as they present television’s greatest comedy hits! Including trivia, competitions and guest interviews, Couch Time is like drive time radio – for your TV!”

The Ugly
I don’t think this could be avoided based on the time constraints involved, but it would be refreshing to see Eleven make a serious go at ‘fast-tracking’ their shows where possible. For example, it is great to see The Office back in a regular timeslot, but it will likely be simply catching up through the several seasons that Ten/Eleven are behind. Hopefully they will have caught up with shows in this predicament by the time they launch new US seasons in late 2011.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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