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Author Topic: Television in Australia - the ugly
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Icon 8 posted May 28, 2005 08:17      Profile for Elvermere     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just have to vent somewhere. My poor wife has already copped more than enough of this (and I have the bruises on my shins to prove it - it's a good thing that she wants another child).

What is with the lack of consistency in the programming of television on the major TV channels in Australia?!? I'm sick to death of trying to watch my favorite TV shows in the legislation approved manner of one per week. However I am constantly thwarted by the necessity to "miss weeks due to other commitments" and "to be shown at a NEW special time".

Now I am most addicted to NCIS atm, a show that is of questionable content but where the characters just mesh really well and I find it a joy to watch. So Sunday nights I usually watch it right before I go to bed....at 2130. However the 2nd series that we are watching has taken well over 18 weeks to get to episode 11 - due to various reasons.

And it's been done to CSI, Battlestar Galactica any and all of the Law and Order's.

The only thing I have to be thankful for is that they warn you at the end of the episode that it will not be on next week - in most cases.

However there is no excuse for what I define as false advertising! This where NCIS runs as usual in it's normal timeslot. But while tuning in to it, it immediately becomes apparent that this is an episode from season one, and NOT SEASON TWO, the current season.

Now as an avid fan I have seen all the episodes up to the current one and it makes me really annoyed when I've already seen it.

So that's the whinge. Yes, I can avoid this stress by pursuing alternate sources of these shows but why should I? If a station picks up a series doesn't it have an obligation to show it in a timely fashion - one a week?

Please, comments and sympathy greatfully appreciated.

Duct Tape is like the force.
It has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.

Posts: 113 | From: Perth, West AU | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted May 28, 2005 09:31      Profile for ewomack   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do sympathize. I used to work in television in the states and quickly became appalled with the programming and scheduling hacks of the networks. Public Television was the absolute worst on this count. The first question they always asked was "If we run this show, who could it potentially offend?" If they could find one substantial group that might be offended by the spot, they'd pull it with no second thought. What resulted were bizarre inconsistencies.

So I went celibate. I've been 99% tv free for over 10 years now, and it feels like running naked out of a sauna into a verdant spring. Though I sympathize, I recommend dumping the bland rectangular uninteractive box for something more exciting. Your cortex will be grateful.

Ed Womack
Get Milked

Posts: 735 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted May 28, 2005 14:47      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Elvermere, you missed several really irritating things.

First, there's the fictional program schedules.

Most of the geek-friendly shows on aussie TV (Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Star Trek, etc) are shown in late timeslots, which might tempt the niave to tape it and watch it later.

This would be a big mistake.

It's not unusual for these shows to start 20 minutes (and sometimes up to 35 minutes) late, so if you've set the recorder for the advertised time, you end up with 20 minutes of some moronic ex footballer telling fart jokes, then the first half of your show, then the tape stops.

Of course, this late starting makes it even more tempting to record the thing, so you end up just setting the recorder to tape a 2-hour timeslot in order to be (fairly) sure you'll get the one hour show you wanted. Not so bad if you only intend to watch it once, but fscking expensive if you like to keep the tapes for posterity.

Then there's the irritating habit of showing the episodes out of order. Anyone remember season 1 of TNG? They just tossed all the tapes in a big box and pulled them out in random order. Riker grew a beard part way through the season, so it was really obvious, beard, no beard, beard, no beard.

And of course, because we have more advertising here than the US, they have to trim the episodes to make way for the ads, which can sometimes ruin the show completely.

And they wonder why Australia is the second largest user of bittorrent ......

If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10681 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted May 28, 2005 22:19      Profile for Elvermere     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yup, I had forgotten the ST:TNG debacle. When I saw the DVDs it made so much more sense.

I've been toying with the idea of a PVR to try and cope with the late night show taping issue, but have been stymied by the lack of a epg available. For those of you not in the know, this is the electronic program guide, the tv guide that is kept accurate up to the minute (supposedly).

Thus, if one of the channels is running late, your program doesn't start recording until the actual program starts, generally as TFD says, 20mins late.

I just get so grumpy as we now have a little son and everything is about organisation at nights, trying to fit in tea, bath, baby feed and settling. And then to work your knackers off only to not have the expected program shown really bites.

I'm wondering if there isn't a precedent set by sport....where if one television station has the rights to the sport and decides not to show it, then another one can show it. I'd love that idea to kick in over here....i'd probably only end up watching SBS and the ABC.


Duct Tape is like the force.
It has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.

Posts: 113 | From: Perth, West AU | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged

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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2005 09:14      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know if it's still just as bad, but Hong Kong TV used to be pretty horrific as far as its programming went.

If they were showing a major film, they would put so many adverts into it that it would easily double in length. Ads would go in the title credits and in the end credits. I remember one of the Superman films being 4 and a half hours long once.

Another trick they would do is slow the playback of the film or programme down so that it would be longer and they could have more ad breaks. I used to work in a radio station and we would get people asking why the Thorn Birds theme tune we would play when requested sounded 'funny' ? The answer, the TV version had been slowed down so much that the theme tune was in a different key!

TVB Pearl were also the only TV station in the world not to donate the revenue they made from the ads in the Live Aid coverage to Live Aid. I think the official line at the time was that by broadcasting the event they were giving the charity major TV coverage, so they shouldn't need to donate money as well.

The Universe is entirely made up of elements.
The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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Icon 2 posted June 06, 2005 07:17      Profile for gustav_girl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I wasn't into anime and gaming, I'd surely consider dumping my TV. The only watchable stuff on TV gets taken off or lost amoungst awful programming. Seems the only way to deal with the damned ads is to tape anything decent and fast forward later on. And do we really need ads for thrush treatment at 3.00pm kiddy-show time...and ads for Bratz dolls at 3.00am adult movie time? The stations seriously need to re-vamp themselves...

At least the ABC has a few goodies, and SBS gives us a weekly dose of Mythbuster goodness, anyway.

Posts: 1 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged

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