Written by TV

Scheduling Queries

If like me, you’re suddenly feeling the chill, then you’ll know that autumn is well and truly here. And with it comes what was once known as the “New Season” of TV programmes.
Sunday nights are interesting. The Guardian made much of the fact that the BBC has scheduled the final series of Spooks against the second series of ITV’s blockbuster Downton Abbey.
It certainly is unusual that Spooks airs on a Sunday – it’s not a night that it’s previously been broadcast on. But then again, I don’t think it’s Downton Abbey that will suffer (In any case, ITV Player and iPlayer aside, Spooks gets a Monday night repeat, while Downton gets Sunday afternoon repeats as well as ITV1+1).
In fact, I’d suggest that it’s Sky One’s action adventure series Strike Back that has most to lose with viewers preferring Spooks over it (Strike Back also gets several repeats on both Sky 2 and Sky 1 over the week).
The really odd bit of scheduling right now is, in fact, ITV’s placement of DCI Banks on Friday nights – an unusual time for a drama of this sort that you might think would sit happier on just about any other day of the week. Friday’s are the home of comedy on BBC1 (C4 having long ceded that night), documentaries on BBC2 (before QI at 10pm), C4’s last best hope for ratings success in Million Pound Drop, and C5’s reality night. I suppose a detective series is counter programming, but I’m still uncertain about this placement.
Oh, and why is More4 slipping the new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm out at the ungodly hour of 11.05pm on Sundays?