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Australian TV News
First Half, 2000


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29th June, 2000

Having reached the middle of the year, a lot of shows will soon be concluding their current seasons. Most will go by virtue of no more episodes, some will be pulled by inconsiderate programmers, still others will maintain their timeslots and feature repeats. On the up-side, a number of new shows will also grace our screens, and there's sure to be at least one or two gems.

The first new show likely to draw an audience is The Family Guy on Seven -- an animation that resonates with many recent prime-time cartoons, including The Simpsons, Dilbert and South Park. Definitely worth a look.

Bad news for Caroline in the City fans. It seems Nine has been stripping new episodes at 9:30am weekdays. That'll show me for never looking at the morning TV schedule. Looks like we're a few episodes into Season Four, so if, like me, you've only just cottoned on to Nine's bizarre scheduling, you've missed most of Season Three (actually 21 episodes). The only comfort is that FOX8 will probably pick up the rest of the series at the end of the year. If you want to catch up on the plot, I recommend the episode guide at epguides.com.

Due to Nine's commitment to the tennis (and possibly other reasons), both Farscape and Voyager are being pre-empted over the next week.

On Foxtel, don't forget the many timeslot changes, including the premiere of Frasier on TV1 (weekdays 9:00pm & 1:30am) and the stripping of Dharma & Greg (weekdays 6:30pm).

For those of you who watch Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place on FOX8, you'll realise that the second season concludes next week (sadly with a cliff-hanger that we're still waiting on Seven to resolve). Subsequently, FOX8 will be returning to Season One, but not to the beginning: they'll be picking up the series at episode number six (probably because earlier episodes have been used as fillers in the past).



27th June, 2000

Whoops! I forgot to amend yesterday's update before posting it. I do actually know what's happening at Seven and like most things, it's probably to do with the Olympics.

Two episodes of Futurama were skipped earlier in the year, pre-empted in Melbourne but not in Sydney (other cities can presumably be inferred). There are currently no plans to air these episodes earlier than next year. The reason given is that there's no space in the schedule. My suspicion is that they could make some if they wanted, but network headquarters in Sydney have locked the interstate schedule to a far greater extent than in the past, probably due to the Olympics deadline. I still don't consider this any sort of excuse, as the Melbourne affiliate should have seen it coming and taken appropriate measures.

As for Dharma & Greg, the episode skipped three weeks ago turns out to be M-rated. I pointed out that Ten had dealt with M-rated Simpsons episodes before, but there seems to be some doubt whether this episode will air at all on Seven! Again, a tight schedule and lack of foresight combine to discommode the viewer.

I'm not impressed, Seven!



26th June, 2000

Seven's mucking around with episode orders a lot this year: moving them around, cutting series short... The latest victims are Futurama, which Friday ended its run with two episodes, skipped earlier, still unscreened. And Dharma & Greg seems likely to suffer a similar fate, an episode having been inexplicably bumped two weeks ago. Surely this is behaviour more suited to the evil Nine Network?

Lots of changes on Foxtel in July, at least on FOX8 and TV1. For starters, Third Rock From the Sun disappears, replaced by Dharma & Greg, stripping weekdays at 6:30pm (starting with the first episode on Monday, 3rd July). The Tuesday 8:30pm & 1:15am timeslot for Dharma & Greg is expected to continue unchanged.

From Saturday, 1st July, The Simpsons gains two extra timeslots, weekends at 6:00pm.

From Sunday morning, 2nd July, the pre-screenings of Millennium and The Visitor are being pushed back to 4:30am and 5:15am, respectively.

On Sunday, 9th July, FOX8 are celebrating Vonda Shepherd's tour of Australia (presumably) with a special screening of Vonda's favourite three episodes of Ally McBeal, from 7:30pm (repeated 1:30am). As a result, The X-Files Double is being bumped back to 10:00pm (repeated 4:00am), pre-empting Millennium and The Visitor. These two shows will still screen in the early hours of Sunday morning, probably featuring repeats of the previous week's episodes.

Finally on FOX8, Friday's episode of The X-Files is to be replaced with The Secret KGB JFK Files (Part 1) on the 28th July. It's not clear what will happen the following week.

TV1 is also readjusting its stripping schedule in July, replacing Mad About You at 9:00pm with its newly-acquired comedy, Frasier. Mad About You will continue to screen in the new timeslot of 6:30am and 12:00pm weekdays (the morning episode repeated at noon the same day). Frasier will screen at 9:00pm and 1:30am weeknights (but with no repeat on Fridays). Frasier will also replace Mad About You on Saturdays at 6:30pm, but not until the 8th July.

From the start of the month on TV1, we also see the disappearance of all timeslots of Battlestar Galactica (it may return eventually, but not soon), and the return of Xena (Mondays 7:00pm, repeated Tuesdays 1:00pm) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (Fridays 7:00pm, but with no more repeat timeslot).

On Fox Kids, Starship Troopers (8:00pm Fridays) moves its repeat timeslot to 2:00pm Saturdays from the first of the month.

On Saturday, 29th July, Fox Sports airs a promotional cricket match, featuring Asia vs The Rest of the World from 7:30pm, from The Oval in London. The last match of this sort featured a spectacular knock from Michael Bevan, so we can hope for something just as exciting this time around. Highlights will air on Sunday from 9:00am.

Finally, Channel [V] has some great concerts in July, Saturday nights at 7:30pm.



20th June, 2000

Sorry about the belated update. We've just moved buildings at work, and we seem to have collided with an IT backlog, leaving us without a network all last week. I'm back now though.



1st June, 2000

Friends viewers might have noticed another repeat scheduled for next week. "Why?" you may be moved to cry, "Why yet another repeat?" Despair no more: I have the answer. Apparently, it's a directive from on high; NBC in the States intermingles repeats with new episodes, and now they want Nine to do it as well. So, sadly, no end in sight, but at least there's a reason. It does make you wonder why the producers bother with any continuing story-lines, though. Incidentally, repeat episodes are being taken, in order, from Season Four.

As for Slayerfest 3 next weekend, there's a misprint in the Foxtel Guide: the marathon will finish at 6:00pm on Sunday, same as Saturday. Then we have seven episodes Saturday and Sunday, eight on Monday. Here's the estimated running order:

Approx TimeEpisodeCode
Sat 12:00pmAnne3ABB01
Sat 12:51pmDead Man's Party3ABB02
Sat 1:42pmFaith, Hope and Trick3ABB03
Sat 2:34pmBeauty and the Beasts3ABB04
Sat 3:25pmHomecoming3ABB05
Sat 4:17pmBand Candy3ABB06
Sat 5:08pmRevelations3ABB07

Sun 12:00pmLover's Walk3ABB08
Sun 12:51pmThe Wish3ABB09
Sun 1:42pmAmends3ABB10
Sun 2:34pmGingerbread3ABB11
Sun 3:25pmHelpless3ABB12
Sun 4:17pmThe Zeppo3ABB13
Sun 5:08pmBad Girls (1)3ABB14

Mon 12:00pmConsequences (2)3ABB15
Mon 12:52pmDoppelgangland3ABB16
Mon 1:45pmEnemies3ABB17
Mon 2:37pmEarshot3ABB18
Mon 3:30pmChoices3ABB19
Mon 4:22pmThe Prom3ABB20
Mon 5:15pmGraduation (1)3ABB21
Mon 6:07pmGraduation (2)3ABB22



30th May, 2000

On Foxtel in June, FOX8 and TV1 are both running Queen's Birthday marathons, FOX8 has its Sunday nights rearranged, and TV1 strips The Mod Squad. Plus I've fixed an error in the dates for Mad About You's Saturday timeslot.

Queen's Birthday weekend, FOX8 is running Slayerfest 3: the entire third season of Buffy, starting 12:00pm on three consecutive days. I'll have a full listing closer to the event.

That same weekend, TV1 is running a non-stop Brady Bunch marathon, starting 11:00am Saturday, ending 7:00pm Monday. The Foxtel Guide has a full listing of all 117 episodes, but I'll let you use your own calculators to work out starting times.

On Sunday, 4th June, in the early hours of the morning, FOX8 readjusts its Sunday line-up somewhat, with The Visitor at 4:30am, repeated that night at 11:00pm. The following weekend, Cold Squad moves to 10:30pm Saturdays, repeated at 3:00am.

If you're watching the Friday night stream of The X-Files, there's a misprint in the June Foxtel Guide. It looks like Apocrypha has been skipped, but it will actually air this Friday, the other episodes bumped back one relative to the Foxtel Guide.

Finally, starting Monday, 19th June, TV1 is stripping The Mod Squad at 7:00pm weekdays for two weeks. Xena, Star Trek: TNG and all the other shows normally running at 7:00pm will return from the 3rd July.

Also worth noting on FOX8 in June are Millennium wrapping back to Season One, and Buffy wrapping back to Season Two in its weekend timeslot.



25th May, 2000

A few changes this week, actually starting tonight. In a last-minute change, Seven is bringing back Mr Bean at 7:30pm tonight (the series, not the movie). Next Tuesday, FOX8 is pre-empting Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place with their behind-the-scenes look at Mission: Impossible 2. Later that night, the World Music Awards are on Ten at 9:30pm (interesting to see what's going on with pop music in the rest of the world), and Buffy's been delayed half an hour to 11:00pm to make way for some sort of lifestyle show. Oh, and there's some pretty decent movies on (strange that there's so many in the middle of ratings season).



18th May, 2000

Another week without new Friends, though I'm told new episodes will return the following week (on the 29th May). Further to my report on FOX8, The Hughleys is moving to 8:00pm tonight, so it's The Nanny that's losing a timeslot. But that's okay, as it's still stripping at 5:30pm.

Finally, don't forget Farscape on Saturday, 8:30pm, Channel Nine.



16th May, 2000

Two quick scheduling changes to announce. First, King of the Hill returns to FOX8 on Thursday at 7:30pm (instead of The Hughleys). Second, Farscape is finally coming to Nine, this Saturday at 8:30pm! I reckon the viewer-friendly timeslot somewhat compensates us having to wait.



11th May, 2000

No new Friends again this week -- this time it's pre-empted entirely. To make up for that (not really), I've updated the Friends episode list up to (but not including) the last episode of the season.



4th May, 2000

Next week on FTA, Friends is another repeat (Season Four) and Voyager will run 20 minutes later than usual.

On Foxtel, this weekend is "Monty Python Weekend," and FOX8 temporarily drops Caroline in the City from Thursdays. But Buffy's back on Mondays and Earth: Final Conflict starts next Friday.

I fixed a couple of dates for The X-Files and Friends -- I hadn't yet updated the guides for the school holidays. Sorry.



27th April, 2000

An interesting week on FTA, coming up. Apart from the return of new episodes for many series (the school holidays being over), there's a couple of cancellations and a few surprising visitors.

Dropped are Ally McBeal next Monday (at least in Melbourne), The Simpsons this Sunday (all timeslots), and Third Rock from the Sun this Sunday (with Dharma & Greg delayed half an hour to make more space for Popstars' big concert).

Returning to our screens are Sex and the City, 9:30pm Monday, and Star Trek: Voyager (although Voyager actually replaced Deep Space Nine a couple of days ago with an awesome conclusion to the cliff-hanger two-parter).

But it's the temporary visitors that are most interesting. First, Gogwana airs tomorrow at 5:30pm as a conclusion to the shorter-timeslot, Gogs, that finished last week (even though the ABC missed some episodes due to a programming stuff-up). Starting Monday, the 5:30pm timeslot will show the three Wallace & Grommit "movies", which are hilarious fun. Recommended for the whole family. Then on Thursday, the timeslot moves to the animated adaptations of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (enormously popular humorous fantasy, in case you didn't know), starting with Wyrd Sisters. I don't much like the animation style, but the story is exceptional, and if you can't be persuaded to buy the book, at least here's a chance to catch it on TV.

In movies, Mission: Impossible screens on Nine on Sunday, and While You Were Sleeping (for Sandra Bullock fans) on Thursday on Seven.



20th April, 2000

Not much to say about FTA this week. Just that both Nine and Ten are showing predominantly repeats this week and next. I'd also like to flag the Good Friday Variety Gala on Seven tomorrow night (8:30pm) -- seems like a great line-up. Oh, and South Park loses its second time-slot, at 9:00pm, next Monday in favour of a new, Australian sitcom (that sounds just a little too off-beat for me).

Melbourners, the Comedy Festival finishes this weekend, with most shows concluding on Sunday and a host of special events Sunday and Monday. From what I've seen over the last few weeks, I heartily recommend Lano & Woodley, Scared Weird Little Guys and Boothby Graffoe. I also hear great things about Greg Fleet and Sarah Kendall, who I'll be seeing Saturday night. If you like to laugh, don't miss this opportunity.

Back to TV, I received my May Foxtel Guide during the week (pleasantly early), and though I've not yet had time to update GEOS, I can tell you about the following scheduling changes next month. (Incidentally, GEOS has been having some trouble with their excellent scripts overwhelming the server's CPU, but hopefully this will be fixed by Easter.)

Before I start on that, a reminder of the Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon this weekend on TV1, screening all of Season One from 7:30pm Saturday.

Starting in May with FOX8, Buffy returns to Mondays at 8:30pm from the 8th May, from the start of Season One. Caroline in the City, meanwhile, loses its spot in the Thursday line-up from the 4th May (Season Two will show up in June or July, most likely). On Friday, 12th May at 7:30pm, Earth: The Final Conflict comes to FOX8 (repeated 12:30am). This show has been very popular overseas with science fiction fans, so I'm certain this comes as welcome news to many viewers. On Sunday, 14th May, The Visitor concludes its 5:00pm weekend run, to be replaced by Two.

Even better news is that FOX8 have renewed their license to all six seasons of Highlander, which will be returning to the beginning of Season One from the 14th May!

On TV1, Monday, 1st May, Battlestar Galactica regains its repeat timeslot, now airing 2:00pm and 11:30pm. Whereas on Saturday and Sunday, 6th and 7th May, the whole Space Cadets line-up gets a bit of an overhaul: Star Trek: The Original Series at 7:30pm and 9:30am, Star Trek: The Next Generation at 8:30pm and 10:30am, Planet of the Apes at 9:30pm and 11:30am, The Time Tunnel at 10:30pm and 12:30pm, and Battlestar Galactica at 11:30pm and 1:30pm. However, watch out for the Star Trek special on the 13th May and the pre-empted Battlestar Galactica repeat on the 14th.

Still on TV1, a Seinfeld countdown has been scheduled for the week of the 22nd to 26th May (1:00pm and 7:00pm), pre-empting Xena and Star Trek: TNG that week, as well as Mad About You on Saturday, 27th for a one-hour Seinfeld special.

arena has a couple of interesting changes in May. Lexx returns on Sunday, 21st May at 9:30pm (repeated 9:00am Mondays) with Season Three! (I didn't even know there was a third season). And Drop the Dead Donkey returns, Tuesday to Saturday at 8:00am with repeats of Season Five.

Finally, on thecomedychannel, O'Loghlin on Saturday Night moves to 5:30pm Saturdays (repeated 2:30pm Sundays) to make way for The Big Schmooze, a new, Australian tonight show that sounds quite interesting. That starts the 13th May, the previous weekend being "Monty Python Weekend," starting at noon the 6th and 7th May.

Not a bad month at all!

Regarding my comments, below, about Hansie Cronje, I feel like I should add some sort of footnote to acknowledge more recent events but I'm not sure what. Suffice to say, media reports are always warped and often fail to consider the human side of things, but they do eventually get to some version of the truth. Let's hope that truth does win out once the dust has settled, and that those involved are punished appropriately for the sum of their actions. A lawyer will lie to the very last; a man of integrity will remember to tell the truth.



13th April, 2000

The Networks seem to be following NSW school holidays this year, at least insofar as screening repeats instead of new episodes for two weeks. This particularly applies to The Simpsons and Friends. For the latter, next week we get the last two episodes of Season Three, which Nine didn't quite reach when it earlier screened this season. (Incidentally, for those outside NSW, they've adjusted their school holidays because of the Olympics, ending up with four quadrimesters of 11, 9, 8 and 10 weeks, respectively -- the extra two weeks have apparently come through earlier starts to the last couple of years. Just a bit cynical to my mind.)

Despite what the guides say (including Seven's own, obviously not-updated, online guide), Stargate SG-1 will not air tonight in Melbourne. So feel free to watch The Simpsons with impunity. ;)

Hansie Cronje has More Integrity than Most: Although it has little to do with TV, I wanted to say something about Hansie Cronje. (If I ever get around to restructuring the site, there'll be a more appropriate place for this.) As you may know, Hansie has been accused of taking money from bookies to throw a cricket match. He initially denied these accusations, before saying he hadn't been completely honest. The media have naturally had a field day with this, condemning him universally. What worries me is that they seem to be both ignoring the facts and failing to read between the lines to the human being beneath.

My understanding on what actually happened is as follows. Hansie was accused by Delhi Police of taking money for match fixing. This was in gross breach of international protocol. Given that the Delhi Police have consistently refused to provide access to the allegedly incriminating tapes, and admitted they didn't have enough evidence for a conviction at the time the accusations were made (by claiming they did finally have enough evidence three days later), I believe they should be harshly disciplined for their actions and handling of this case. I realise that the boundaries of socially acceptable police behaviour are probably different in India, but this being an obviously international incident, local mores are no longer sufficient.

Hansie denied the allegations of receving money to fix matches. This has always been his claim, and his only claim. He never denied receiving money in tota. This may not seem relevant, but I believe it's important.

When Hansie saw the scale of the incident, he was forced to re-examine his own role and responsibility. I think initially he was relieved (though troubled) that he was being accused of something he could deny in good conscience. But once things escalated, he realised that not telling the whole truth was just as bad as lying (something he never actually did). He consulted his spiritual adviser, as appropriate to someone in moral turmoil, and as a result decided to come clean on a related incident -- an incident no-one had accused him of. In the end, I am in awe of this man's moral courage.

Accused of something he knew he hadn't done, Hansie admitted to a lesser evil in which he did partake in order to protect his fellow players, the UCB and his country. He did this not from fear but from courage and sacrifice. He knew his career would be over, yet he faced up to his responsibilities, to the consequences of his actions. Actions that were out of character for him and that must have weighed heavily on his conscience. Now there is a rare man.

As far as the media goes, they've been so horrified by this corruption yet they don't see the quality of the man beneath it all. They're happy enough to see corruption in other areas... Well, perhaps corruption is too strong a word. But it seems these days it is perfectly acceptable for politicians to lie and deceive, for television stations to disregard their viewers (anyone notice Nine didn't show us the wicket of Mark Waugh live?), for Microsoft to lie to a judge and behave otherwise childishly and irresponsibly, both in court and towards its customers. Instead, we punish the one man who made a mistake and had the balls to face up to it.

Having said that, it's naturally possible I may be wrong. After all, I don't know Hansie Cronje, I've never talked to him, and I'm reading the same news reports as everyone else. In addition, the one thing that still puzzles me is Hansie's claim that he didn't in fact admit to taking money at all, only to giving information to a book-keeper. The media has played down this denial and I haven't enough information to figure out the likely truth. I guess we might eventually find out, but I hope that the truth isn't sacrificed for sensation. In fact, I hope that Hansie plays cricket for his country again. If I'm right, he deserves it.



30th March, 2000

Highlander starts to slip away: Most of my expectations for April on FOX8 have been confirmed, but with one notable, and unpleasant, exception. It seems the rights to Highlander are in the process of expiring. Hence, the weekend screenings will be jumping forward to Season Six this Saturday (sorry for the lack of warning). The rights to Seasons One through Five have all lapsed. There is "the possibility that they'll be renewed", but I wouldn't necessarily count on it.

Award-winning Kangaroos: In the meantime, the award-winning and evocative documentary, Kangaroos: Faces in the Mob, is airing again on the National Geographic Channel, tomorrow, Friday, at 6:00pm (repeated 12:30am, 6:00am and 12:30pm). This is definitely worth seeing, for the insight it provides into the lives of one our national symbols.

One final note: Third Rock from the Sun (on FOX8) loses its 11:30pm repeat timeslot in April.



23rd March, 2000

Two things to note on Free-to-Air. First, the amusing caveman claymation, Gogs, returns to the ABC, 5:55pm weekdays from next Tuesday, 28th March. Second, if you're at all into French adventure movies, SBS is screening one of the best, next Wednesday, 29th March at 10:00pm. It's called "On Guard!" (Le Bossu) and features lots of musketeerish swashbuckling, coupled with some light humour and the traditionally French eye for authenticity. If you've never seen a film of this genre, it's definitely worth checking out, as a more intelligent approach than Hollywood's grand explosions and Cornflake-packet dialogue.

I was very pleased to receive my April Foxtel Guide on Tuesday, and here's the low-down for the month.

Starting with thecomedychannel, this will be free for all subscribers in April, presumably celebrating the Melbourne Comedy Festival (which I recommend to anyone living in or around Melbourne -- don't forget to get involved in some of the after-show drinking). The only programming change to result is a Headliners marathon on Tuesday, 25th April, from noon to midnight. This is a great show with some great comics (and some not so good).

TV1 is also getting in on the comedy act, screening The Big Kahunas at 7:00pm weekdays the last week of April (24th-28th). I'm not sure exactly what this entails, but I think it's a selection of amusing and extravagant episodes from some of TV1's series. Either way, normal programming will be pre-empted.

Still on TV1, all 7:30pm weekday timeslots are moving to 7:00pm in April, displacing The Beverley Hillbillies and allowing room for Roseanne at 8:00pm.

In the marathon spirit, TV1 is showing a 24 hour Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon starting Saturday, 22nd April at 7:30pm. If you've missed any of Season One, here's your chance to catch up -- I recommend using a VCR (estimated screening times will appear at GEOS, shortly).

Finally, on the weekend of the 29th-30th April, Battlestar Galactica is being pushed back to 10:30pm Saturday and 12:30pm Sunday by Planet of the Apes. This may be just the first step in a more serious revamp of the Space Cadets line-up, as Star Trek: The Original Series is slated to start the following weekend.

Saving the most for last, FOX8 is making some serious changes, particularly to their weekend afternoons. From the start of April, Saturdays and Sundays will look like this:

12:00pm Baywatch
1:00pmParty of Five
2:00pmBuffy
3:00pmHighlander
4:00pmThe Visitor
Party of Five and The Visitor will presumably be starting with their respective first episodes. The remaining series should continue on from March. Meanwhile, Hercules has moved to 7:00am weekends, admittedly a less convenient timeslot for most of us, but then it was originally on Fox Kids and may be intended to compete with Saturday morning cartoons.

We're also seeing changes weekend nights after midnight. The X-Files has finally lost its additional (Saturday night) repeat timeslot for the "X-Files Double." And Millennium's prescient "repeat" timeslot is moving to 3:45am. Sunday nights, Ally McBeal gains a repeat timeslot at 1:15am.

Finally, Wednesday night, The Crow replaces Buffy at 9:30pm. This series arises from the movies. Judging from the ads, it looks pretty weird, but granted it's given more time than the movies ever had, perhaps some things might actually end up being explained.



21st March, 2000

Just a quick note. At the end of Tim Ferguson's lengthy interview with O'Hara on Saturday (hope no-one missed the end of the Star Trek episode), he mentioned that Star Trek: The Original Series is coming to TV1, starting Saturday, 6th May. I'm guessing it might even replace Battlestar Galactica at 9:30pm. Anyway, if you're into the old stuff (or just curious, I suppose), be fore-warned. And if you're keen to stay well away from hideous acting, collapsing sets and 70s values, also be fore-warned... :)



16th March, 2000

Stargate SG-1 returns to Seven (in Melbourne) next week, 7:30pm Thursday, sadly conflicting with The Simpsons' new timeslot, 7:30pm Thursdays on Ten, starting tonight.

Something of a preview of next month: as the weekend timeslot for Buffy on FOX8 moves into Season Three, the Wednesday timeslot reaches the end of the same season in two weeks and then disappears, apparently replaced by The Crow. More details when the printed Foxtel Guide comes out (but note that April information is already available at Foxtel's website -- if you're willing to hunt for it).



9th March, 2000

Perhaps in response to fans worried about cross-over episodes getting out of sync, Seven has decided to screen Angel this week after all, pre-empting Duckman tonight at 11:35pm. It returns to its Wednesday timeslot next week, but we can expect this to move around at the mercy of the AFL schedule. I guess we'll see just how committed Seven can be to loyal viewers.

Of course, this only applies to Melbourne (and possibly Adelaide).



2nd March, 2000

Quite a few things to report on Foxtel for March, and a couple of things on FTA.

Wednesday sees the return of The X-Files on Ten, at 8:30pm, with The Panel following straight after. To counter that, the AFL returns to Seven, pre-empting Angel hopefully for this week only, and prompting the removal of Stargate SG-1 from our screens for at least a few weeks. Naturally, our northern friends are unaffected by Seven's beloved AFL.

On FOX8, Millennium gains a repeat timeslot at the more friendly time of 10:00pm Sunday nights (from 5th March), bumping back Cold Squad by an hour. Relativity starts stripping weekdays at 10:00am, repeated at 2:00am. The Simpsons also gain a 6:00pm weekday timeslot, detailed in Simpsons News.

TV1 is holding a V marathon this weekend from 7:30pm Saturday the 4th, repeated 7:30am Sunday the 5th. This will run for eight hours each time, pre-empting Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and other shows.

TV1 is also moving the Thursday Star Trek: The Next Generation timeslot to 7:30pm Fridays. Fortunately, it retains its repeat timeslot, at 6:00am Saturdays.

More generally, TV1 is rearranging its repeat timeslots, effectively shifting post-midnight repeats to post-noon the next day. Hence, Mad About You now airs 9:00pm and 12:00pm weekdays (the noon timeslot repeating the previous weekday's episode), Xena at 7:30pm Mondays and 1:00pm the next day, and Battlestar Galactica at 2:00pm Mondays. All of this commences Monday, 6th March.

Finally, Red Dwarf returns to UK TV on Wednesday, 8th March, stripping weekdays at 11:00pm.

Oh, and a reminder that Daylight Savings ends on Saturday, 25th March.



17th February, 2000

It was pure serendipity (as featured in "Dogma"). I had the TV on channel 7 on Tuesday night when Profiler started up, and suddenly Jarod appears in the "previously" montage. Turns out, this was the conclusion, "Grand Master", to the cross-over two-parter started on The Pretender on Nine last year. My only regret is that I wasn't able to warn everyone in advance. My apologies -- I don't normally watch Profiler.

There's a couple of misprints in the Foxtel Guide next week on FOX8. First, The Practice is scheduled to air after Ally McBeal on Sunday, 27th February, but it will not be seen then (allowing The X-Files to retain their usual timeslot).

On Tuesday, 29th February, Ellen will in fact air two episodes -- a full hour, same as next week. The Guide shows NYPD Blue airing for a half hour from 10:00pm, but this is also a misprint. Apparently these two pairs of Ellen episodes are somewhat significant...

Caroline in the City is to be pre-empted by the Emmy Awards next Thursday, but will return the following week. The episodes scheduled for the next two Tuesdays are not actually a timeslot move, but rather will be repeats used to fill in a left over half hour.

Next week also sees the return of Sex and the City (9:30pm Monday on Nine, running for an hour) and BackBerner (9:00pm Thursday on the ABC).

Although belatedly, I heartily recommend The Universe, Wednesdays at 8:30pm on the ABC. We're half-way through the four-part series as of last night, but it's easy enough to jump in any time. I think it's by the same people who did The Planets, screened last year. The graphics are phenomenal, the presentation is instructive but interesting, and the research is up to date. I don't know about anyone else, but my knowledge of space seems to be largely stuck with the theories prevalent at the time I was in high school, so getting up to date is something of a revelation.

Back to FOX8, Hercules reaches Season Three on the 27th, next weekend.

Finally, on Valentine's Day, TV1 decided to air "love-themed" episodes. This included Mortal Beloved from Xena and (I think) Valentine's Day from Season Seven of Mad About You. My Season Six schedule for the latter has now been updated.



10th February, 2000

Although Seven last night announced the arrival of Angel next Tuesday night, they actually got it slightly wrong. Season Four of Buffy will air Tuesdays at 10:40pm, and Angel on Wednesdays at 10:30pm. Should be fun! It just occurred to me that if one show is called Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, shouldn't the other be called Angel: The Vampire?

The second season of Dharma & Greg concludes on FOX8 next week. The following Tuesday, the timeslot will return to Season One, but starting with the 5th episode (The Ex-Files). This effectively picks up from where the last screening of this season ended a few months ago.



3rd February, 2000

With the ratings season recommencing for 2000 this Sunday, there's understandably a lot of scheduling changes on the FTA channels. A lot of our favourites from last year return to our screens, some won't until later in the year. But most surprising is the almost complete absence of new, imported series!

On Seven, Duckman returns and maybe returns -- I'm not sure if the Saturday night 12:30am timeslot is new, but the Thursday 11:10pm timeslot is and will be screening new episodes. On Sunday, new episodes of Dharma & Greg return at 8:00pm.

Monday, Friends returns to Nine at 7:30pm, Spin City at 8:00pm, and Ally McBeal to Seven at 8:30pm (followed by The Practice and Profiler). Red Dwarf concluded last week on the ABC, at the end of Season Seven.

Tuesday, Just Shoot Me! expands to a full hour (from 7:30pm) on Ten and starts showing new episodes again. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine returns to Nine just before 11:00pm.

Meanwhile on Seven, the last two episodes of Season Three of Buffy will air at 10:30pm Tuesday and Wednesday nights, before moving into Season Four on Tuesday nights the following week. (I imagine the spin-off, Angel will either follow on a Tuesday or take the same timeslot on Wednesdays.) Sadly, Millennium won't return to Melbourne until some unspecified time in the future -- yet another example of intelligent science fiction being casually mistreated by uncaring networks. Ironically, FOX8 seems likely to air Season Three of Millennium before Seven in Melbourne, although FOX8's unflattering, midnight timeslot for the show is reminiscent of Nine's "commitment" to Star Trek, Babylon 5 and so on.

Finally, The Simpsons moves its Thursday timeslot to a single episode at 7:30pm Wednesdays, where it seems Season Nine repeats will air.

A strangely unexciting start to the ratings season. Hmmm.

I've also added a new link to the Due South page, leading to an info-packed fan site. The news page, in particular, keeps you up to date with what the stars of Due South are doing now and when the show is scheduled to air in the USA.



27th January, 2000

As we approach the return of ratings, we can expect some reshuffling of the FTA schedules, particularly, it seems, on Seven. Next week, Seven is repeating the Ally McBeal/The Practice cross-over episodes on Monday night from 8:30pm, Millennium returns to our (Melbourne) screens on Tuesday (with the tennis concluded), and Stargate SG-1 returns with new episodes on Thursday at 7:30pm. I'm told that Futurama will move to 8:00pm Fridays, so do not fear that it is lost. Also, though it wasn't marked "Final" last week, I believe Townies has reached its last episode -- certainly according to what aired in the States.

In case you've forgotten, Slayerfest 2000 airs this weekend. I've been remiss in not providing a detailed schedule earlier, but here it is now (the links take you to GEOS, times are estimated):

Approx TimeEpisodeCode
Fri 8:30pmWhen She was Bad (2)5V01
Fri 9:22pmSome Assembly Required5V02
Fri 10:15pmSchool Hard5V03
Fri 11:07pmInca Mummy Girl5V04

Sat 12:00pmReptile Boy5V05
Sat 12:50pmHalloween5V06
Sat 1:40pmLie to Me5V07
Sat 2:30pmThe Dark Age5V08
Sat 3:20pmWhat’s My Line? (1)5V09
Sat 4:10pmWhat’s My Line? (2)5V10
Sat 5:00pmTed5V11
Sat 5:50pmBad Eggs5V12
Sat 6:40pmSurprise (1)5V13

Sun 12:00pmInnocence (2)5V14
Sun 12:50pmPhases5V15
Sun 1:40pmBewitched, Bothered and Bewildered5V16
Sun 2:30pmPassion5V17
Sun 3:20pmKilled by Death5V18
Sun 4:10pmI Only Have Eyes for You5V19
Sun 5:00pmGo Fish5V20
Sun 5:50pmBecoming (1)5V21
Sun 6:40pmBecoming (2)5V22



25th January, 2000

Foxtel in February: Lots of changes on Foxtel next month.

FOX8: Next weekend, 4-6th February, The X-Files Movie premieres on Showtime. FOX8 is supporting this by bracketing the movie's first screening with the relevant episodes from the series. Hence, on Friday night we start with a two hour special on the mythology of The X-Files. This should be really worth catching! This is followed by Patient X (5X13), The Red and the Black (5X14) and The End (5X20). After midnight, Tunguska and Terma will screen, being the normal repeat from the previous Sunday, albeit a day early. On Saturday evening from 10:30pm, we have The Beginning (6ABX01), S.R. 819 (6ABX10), Two Fathers (6ABX11) and One Son (6ABX12), all core plot episodes. Finally, on Sunday night at 2:00am, a couple of classic episodes will screen: The Host (2X02) and Blood (2X03). I haven't included most of this information in The X-Files episode list; for a better layout, have a look at GEOS TV at GEOS.

Millennium is moving to a single episode each week, screening only at midnight. I think it's a bit unfair for new episodes to screen so late; hopefully FOX8 will make up for it later. Either way, a single episode of Millennium will screen at 1:30am on Saturday night, 5th February, then Saturday nights at midnight for the rest of the month. These are all Season Three episodes.

Buffy moves from Monday nights to Wednesdays at 9:30pm from the week of the 7th February. Sadly, there's no repeat timeslot.

Ally McBeal gains a third repeat timeslot, Thursday nights at 1:15am, from 10th February, corresponding to a move in the earlier timeslot to 8:30pm. This makes room for The Practice at 9:30pm, a move I presume is designed to allow the cross-over episodes from these series to air consecutively (I haven't checked). Ally will be pre-empted on Sunday, 6th, but will return the following Sunday.

On Tuesday, 22nd February, Caroline in the City moves to 9:00pm on Tuesday nights, bumping Ellen back to 9:30pm (the repeat timeslots correspondingly reshuffled). That day, two episodes of Ellen will air, the second probably the episode accidentally skipped in December. The following week, only one episode of Ellen will air.

The confusion with the episode order for Hercules has apparently been resolved. We'll be moving into Season Three towards the end of February.

TV1: The Sunday evening line-up seems to be changing on TV1 from 6th February, though I'm not sure as I don't watch anything then. On Monday, 7th February, Xena returns to TV1 with Season Two, 7:30pm and 2:00am. That same day, Battlestar Galactica commences a new stream at 11:30pm, starting with episode 7.

UK TV: Red Dwarf concludes Season Five this week. Next week, The A-Z of Red Dwarf will air in the same timeslot, followed in consecutive weeks by The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

thecomedychannel: Ned & Stacey concludes its run on thecomedychannel on Friday, 4th February, replaced by Newsradio on the Monday.

Whew!



20th January, 2000

Millennium will again be pre-empted next Tuesday; this will probably continue until the Australian Open tennis is over. Highlander starts what is probably its last run this weekend, Sunday 23rd at 2:00pm.

I received my February Foxtel Guide yesterday (I'm very happy to get it so early!), but haven't had more than a glance through it. Looks like big changes on FOX8 weekend evenings to accomodate the NRL. In addition, Ally McBeal moves to Thursday nights only, Buffy moves from Mondays to Wednesdays (sadly with no repeat), and the first weekend of the month will be packed full of X-Files due to the launch of the X-Files movie on Showtime. TV1 also seem to have a new Sunday evening line-up, Xena returns on Monday nights, and UK TV is replacing Red Dwarf with The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, though not before finishing off with The A-Z of Red Dwarf. Finally, Ned & Stacey is given a rest on thecomedychannel, replaced by Newsradio. More details next week.



17th January, 2000

Last Run of Highlander: FOX8 returns to the very first episode of Highlander this Sunday, 23rd January at 2:00pm. This is likely to be the start of the last ever screening of Highlander: The Series in Australia, so don't miss the opportunity to catch any episodes you haven't yet seen, or just to see old favourites. Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm on FOX8. (Note that Slayerfest 2000 will pre-empt this timeslot on the following weekend, the 29th and 30th January.)

Season Three of Millennium on FOX8: Despite Seven's dithering in AFL states, FOX8 has already secured the rights to Season Three of Millennium and will begin screening after the last episode of Season Two, this weekend. The second episode of the double timeslot on Saturday at 8:30pm will be the first from Season Three. If the double timeslot were to continue, FOX8 would actually catch Seven. But this is unlikely to happen, since FOX8's Saturday night football is slated to return in the near future. Once I know Millennium's fate thereafter, I'll post it here.

X-Files Specials on FOX8: Next Friday, the Foxtel Guide suggests that, although The X-Files timeslot is to be pre-empted by Slayerfest 2000, the repeat timeslot will still air Anasazi. In actual fact, The Pepsi Chart and Box Office will air from 1:15am. The following week, FOX8 will air an X-Files special, to coincide with the premiere of The X-Files movie on Showtime (more details to follow). Anasazi will air the following week.

Hercules oddities: I've missed Hercules the last couple of weeks on FOX8 and was very surprised to find the running order wasn't quite as I expected. If anyone can remember which episodes have aired when since the 18th December, please .



13th January, 2000

Mad About You completes its run at 7:00pm weekdays this week, replaced by Seinfeld on Monday, 17th January. And the tennis will pre-empt Millennium on Tuesday 18th.

Other than that, there's not much else going on in the schedule as I see it. Though I am a bit annoyed about Nine not showing cricket highlights on Sunday in Melbourne. The game is being played at the MCG, so the match won't be shown live here, but they really should be airing highlights for those who can't make it to the ground.



10th January, 2000

Welcome back everyone! Guess civilization survived another New Year's bash.

The episode lists have now been updated. Also, the problem on 3rd January (mentioned below) was alleviated by the last episode of Highlander replacing the Buffy repeat. Hopefully this didn't inconvenience anyone; the episode will probably be repeated later in the year.

Other scheduling changes in January include the end of Lexx on Monday, 17th and the end of Drop the Dead Donkey on Thursday, 20th, both on arena. I've already mentioned Slayerfest 2000 on the weekend of the 29th. Plus, Xena returns to TV1 with Season Two on Monday, 7th February.

There's also a few series reaching the end of their current seasons in January on FOX8. I'll hopefully be able to provide details on these changes soon.


Australian TV News Archive: Second Half, 1999.



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Last Updated: 9-October-2000