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Australian TV News
Second Half, 2001


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20th December, 2001

I hope you've been able to access Tripod more consistently than I have. It seems they're a bit busy, and very hard to reach from the 2nd World. Sorry. I'll see what I can do about a more permanent solution in the new year.

In the meantime, there's surprisingly few FTA scheduling changes next week. I'll flag that South Park will be a repeat episode, and that Gogs is starting up at 5:50pm next Monday to Friday on the ABC.

I also regret to inform you all that I missed the start of Time of Your Life on Ten. They've been stripping it at noon weekdays since Monday. Of course, with Party of Five losing its way, it's hard to imagine even its cutest star being able to hold together a spin-off. Might be worth a look, anyway.

On Foxtel, note the reappearance of Hercules on Fox Kids tomorrow night (it's a Callisto episode, so Xena fans might also be interested). Other than that, pick your favourite marathon and stick with it!

A Merry Christmas to all my visitors.



13th December, 2001

While Sofcom sort out their hosting problems, I'm pleased to welcome you to Tripod. The URL here is http://simpsonsgazette.tripod.com/tvguides.htm  Please ignore the "directive processing" errors on each page. I don't have an easy way of removing these without making the eventual return to Sofcom more difficult.

Read on for the news everyone missed while the site was down.



10th December, 2001

Hopefully the website problems have been sorted out now. It turns out the data-centre that was hosting this site in the US was shut down (and they didn't try very hard to let Sofcom know it was happening). If you're reading this, we've now relocated to an Australian server, which should make things faster for my Australian audience, and hopefully more reliable. I do apologise for the inconvenience in the meantime, and I hope you haven't missed any of your favourite shows.

There can be no doubt that ratings are over and the Christmas season is upon us. Australian shows are off the air, weird comedies are premiering all over the place, and all the networks are bringing back shows that just didn't fit, then filling any remaining gaps with some of their more popular repeats.

Probably the biggest news is that Nine is finally trying to catch up on Farscape. For Melbourne viewers, this means filling in the gaps from the earlier, Saturday run (though I reckon if they were really filling in gaps, they could build three whole episodes from all the bits that were cut!). Starting last Thursday night, episodes seem to be airing around 10:30pm Mondays (tonight), Tuesdays and Thursdays, though this may vary from week to week. In Sydney, it appears that the 10:30pm timeslots are being combined with a 5:00pm weekday strip to air the entire season. Frankly, I'm tempted to give Nine a miss completely and just wait for the episodes to reach Fox Kids, hopefully early in the new year.

Other things to note are: the arrival of Season Six of Third Rock From the Sun (what is such a popular show doing out of ratings?) on Seven Fridays at 7:30pm; the wrapping up of Season Four of Will & Grace (finally!) on Seven at 7:30pm over the last two Sundays (sorry if you missed it; the return of Season Two of The Games to the ABC on Monday nights at 6:30pm (well worth a look if you haven't seen it before), and Da Ali G Show at 10:00pm the same night (not for the faint-hearted). Nine also seem to be semi-stripping Star Trek: The Next Generation just before midnight, Sunday to Tuesday this week. And Seven's brought back repeats of The Practice (mid-Season Three) at 9:30pm and Buffy (also Season Three) at 10:30pm on a Monday night.

December on Foxtel

There's actually not a lot to report on Foxtel in December. Mostly, there's a few pre-emptions and a couple of Christmas marathons.

Before I start on that, though, I'd like to report an oversight on my part. It seems that Fox Classics (the evening incarnation of Fox Kids) has been stripping The X-Files in the early morning hours. The times vary from day to day and week to week, but every morning, starting somewhere between 2:00am and 5:00am, an episode has aired. They're currently nearing the end of Season Four. One reason to emphasise this, despite the inaccessible timeslot, is that the Fox Classics watermark is far less obtrusive than the coloured version on FOX8. So if anyone's in the position of wanting to later remove the watermark digitally, the colourless, transparent version on Fox Classics is a much better bet than that on FOX8. A bit esoteric, I know, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Holiday Marathons: A few channels are running Christmas Day marathons. FOX8 has "A Simpsons Christmas" from 9:00am to 5:00am Boxing Day. UK TV will show a Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em marathon from 8:00am, then Steptoe and Son all day Boxing Day.

At New Year's Eve, UK TV is screening the first five seasons of Red Dwarf from 8:30pm and throughout New Year's Day. FOX8 is running The X-Files all New Year's Day from midnight. And TV1 is screening the pilot episodes of a number of their shows on New Year's Day, much the same as last year. All the details for these marathons are in the printed or online Foxtel Guides, though it's worth noting that FOX8's marathons have chosen episodes in a very random order.

New and Missing: Hercules returns to Fox Kids on Friday, 21st December at 7:30pm, picking up mid-Season Four, where it left off (with a Callisto two-parter).

The animated series, Clerks started last week on thecomedychannel, 8:30am and 7:00pm Fridays. It's not as good as the movie, but reminded me a bit of Dilbert in its feel.

Buffy on Tuesdays suffers further pre-emptions from the 25th December, at least to the 8th January.

Foxtel Guide Misprints: The printed Foxtel Guide erroneously ascribes the FOX8 5:00am repeat timeslot on a Thursday to Dharma & Greg rather than The Hughleys. And Earth: Final Conflict is not airing on Sunday afternoons in December.

New Seasons: Finally, looking a bit further forward, Season Four of Star Trek: TNG debuts on TV1 Saturday, 5th January, but Babylon 5 and Total Recall 2070 will return to the start of their first series' in the week following. Likewise for Voyager at the end of January.



21st November, 2001

As you may have noticed, the server that hosts this site has been having big problems. Hence, you won't have seen the 15th November update, as I was never able to post it. I apologise for the problems; I'm hoping they'll be resolved soon. In the meantime, if you can't get at one of my pages, try going directly to a different page, as the first has probably been deleted during an attempted update.

In the meantime, a few things I missed below. Boston Public wasn't on yesterday, but we'll be getting two episodes to wrap the season next week. Ten is airing a new "science fiction" series, The Lost World, at 10:30pm Thursday. Looks like it's a remake of a 1960s(?) series. I guess I'll be watching the first episode just to satisfy my curiosity.



15th November, 2001

I hope no-one missed the Season Five premiere for South Park on Monday night (SBS, 8:30pm).

On Foxtel, there's at least a couple of new seasons on the way. FOX8 brings us Season Three of Futurama before Seven, starting on Sunday, 2nd December at 6:30pm. And TV1 moves into Season Four of Xena the next day, Monday, 3rd December at 7:30pm. In case you haven't already noticed, Xena now has two repeat timeslots, at 12:30am and 12:30pm the next day, in addition to its main timeslot.

Then, on Thursday, 6th December at 11:00pm, Season Four of Lexx airs on TV1 for the first time in Australia!

Actually, TV1 is adjusting its entire Sci-Fi Sector in December, shifting it back half an hour on weekdays, to 11:00pm Monday to Thursday. They also seem to have finally scrapped Terrorvision. But FOX8 has also scrapped its Science Fiction zone (Saturday nights, after midnight), replacing it in part with another timeslot for The Pretender at 1:30am, and the FOX8 premiere of Season Four of Party of Five at 5:00am (how embarrassing!).

Other interesting premieres on TV1 in December are Just Shoot Me!, weekdays at 8:30pm (no repeat), and Charmed, Wednesdays at 1:00am, 10:00am and 7:30pm (all the same episode).

Exciting stuff!



5th November, 2001

I'm finally back from India, both mentally and physically. I hope you've missed me just enough to keep visiting the site now that I'm updating again. India was wonderful, and I highly recommend it! It reminded me in many ways of travelling in Europe. And although the culture is somewhat less familiar, it's much cheaper. On the other hand, you wouldn't want to go unprepared.

There's been lots of TV changes while I've been away, but I won't try to address them all. Hopefully, you've all been able to figure it out for yourselves while I've been away. I do have some good news that should interest many of you, and I hope to return to my usual level of detail over the next couple of weeks. Until then, keep in mind a lot of the dates and season status details on other pages haven't been updated since the end of August.

First up, on free-to-air, there aren't many changes that concern me. Probably the biggest is the return of Stargate SG-1 on Thursdays, followed by the sad demise of BackBerner, and the continuing stripping of The Pretender (not that kind of stripping, ladies) -- we're into Season Four, the most recent season, now. Apart from that, the Australian international cricket season starts this Thursday with the first test against New Zealand in Brisbane.

On Foxtel, things are more interesting. arena's picked up Will & Grace, stripping the first season at 7:00pm, repeated 9:00am the next day.

FOX8 has replaced the midnight X-Files repeat with a short run of half the third season of Millennium (this may be your last chance to catch it -- it's also airing 12:45am Saturday nights and 1:00am Sunday nights). Futurama has moved from Saturday night to Sunday night at 6:30pm, followed by The X-Files Double from 8:30pm (the first episode is new, from Season Eight). And new, Season Five episodes of Buffy are back on Tuesdays at 7:30pm and 5:00am. Despite what it says in the printed Foxtel Guide, The Simpsons retained its daily 6:00pm timeslot throughout September and beyond, and the Thursday line-up still has Dharma & Greg at 8:30pm (the other shows haven't moved, either). What's new is the new, fourth season of Ally McBeal at 9:30pm Thursday.

TV1 has considerably expanded its Sci-Fi Sector, though Lexx wrapped up last week. On a Saturday night, in addition to all four Star Trek series, we now also get Babylon 5 at 11:30pm (lagging Mondays by around ten episodes; repeated at 5:30am), and Starhunter at 12:30am, before the repeats kick in. Xena has moved from double episodes on Saturday to a single episode on Sunday at 7:30am. And Mad About You has moved its strip to noon weekdays (no repeat), along with the expansion of the erstwhile 5:00pm weekend timeslot to include a 10:30am screening. They're kind of working through Season Seven, and keep in mind the 5:00pm Sunday timeslot isn't guaranteed. Then, too, the Thursday/Friday stream of Star Trek: TNG reaches the end of new episodes and switches to Voyager this week.

On Fox Sports, Inside Cricket is back, with a new, panel format (not unlike the World Cup panel in England in 1999). It usually screens Wednesday or Thursday night at 7:30pm, with a repeat the next day, depending on the sports schedule.

Finally, looking a bit further ahead, The Practice returns to FOX8 from Sunday, 25th November at 10:00pm. I expect this is the new, Season Five (keep in mind that "new" seasons are new to Foxtel, and mostly aired on free-to-air earlier in the year). Meanwhile, the third season of Futurama (which hasn't been shown by the Networks) premieres on FOX8, Sunday, 2nd December.



31st August, 2001

No viewer can have missed that this weekend is Jurassic Park weekend. Apart from the new, third instalment at the cinemas, Ten's playing the previous two in the series on Friday and Saturday night.

Monday, Ten's The Secret Life of Us is screening a double episode from 8:30pm. It's hard to understand why TV stations will slice up shows they produce themselves (I'm certain you won't see the end credits of the first episode), but Nine is still the winner in these stakes, with Farscape's laughable treatment on Saturdays. As for Ten, I think their supposed flagship may be foundering. Small wonder, if you compare the production values with the US competition -- and why are all Australian scripts so kitchy? (Maybe I just picked a bad episode.)

Wednesday night, Nine is showing the Season Five finale of Voyager and not moving on to the next series. I've decided I hate end-of-season cliff-hangers.

I also have news that Will & Grace won't be back on Seven until at least December.

Beyond that, I'm afraid you're on your own for a little while. See you when I get back.

Foxtel: Season Five of Buffy premieres on FOX8 at the end of October: Tuesday, 23rd October at 7:30pm.

On the 1st October, Slayerfest 4 pre-empts The Simpsons and also The X-Files. Season Seven of the latter will conclude and go back to Season One on the 26th October.

Fox Kids don't yet have the rights to Season Six of Hercules, the result of Ten's senseless selfishness (they still haven't aired most of the short, final season), so they'll be jumping back to Season Four from the 8th September.

That's all for now. Happy viewing, until I return!



25th August, 2001

I apologise, but the scope of this update (mostly behind the scenes) has delayed it a couple of days. I'll leave Thursday's update as it was, so for Foxtel September news, see the next news item, below. Today, I'll be looking further ahead.

On FOX8, Highlander's timeslot at midnight on a Sunday night will restart Season One on the night of the 28th October.

Anyone watching Earth: Final Conflict on a Saturday night (at midnight) would have noticed a sudden reversion to Season One episodes. This turns out to be the result of a simple typo. For now, this stream will run out Season One.

The Friday stream of Earth: Final Conflict moves into Season Three for the first time on the 7th October. The Sunday afternoon stream (4:00pm) will possibly do the same on the 25th November.

The X-Files' strip, at noon and midnight on FOX8, should move into Season Seven on Tuesday, 25th September. That will take us into October, but I'm not yet sure which season will commence on the 25th. I suspect it'll be back to Season One.

Dharma & Greg (Thursdays at 8:30pm) moves into Season Three on the 13th September.

Meanwhile on TV1, Xena's Saturday morning double timeslot (7:30am) is pre-empted on the 29th September, then skips Vanishing Act to wrap up Season Three on the 27th October. I'm not sure what will happen to the timeslot in November.

All four Star Trek series will reach the end of their current seasons (Saturday nights) during November (near enough). That's after marathon-caused pre-emptions on the 29th September and the 27th October. After that, I don't yet know what will follow, but only Voyager seems at all likely to continue with more new episodes.

Finally, here's the line-up for FOX8's Slayerfest 4:

Slayerfest 4
29th September-1st October, 2001

Approx TimeEpisodeCode
Sat 7:30amThe Freshman4ABB01
Sat 8:15amCity of...1ADH01
Sat 9:00amLiving Conditions4ABB02
Sat 9:45amLonely Hearts1ADH02
Sat 10:30amThe Harsh Light of Day4ABB03
Sat 11:15amIn the Dark1ADH03
Sat 12:00pmFear, Itself4ABB04
Sat 12:45pmI Fall to Pieces1ADH04
Sat 1:30pmBeer Bad4ABB05
Sat 2:15pmRm w/a Vu1ADH05
Sat 3:00pmWild at Heart4ABB06
Sat 3:45pmSense and Sensitivity1ADH06
Sat 4:30pmThe Initiative4ABB07
Sat 5:15pmBachelor Party1ADH07

Sat 7:30amPangs4ABB08
Sat 8:15amI Will Remember You1ADH08
Sat 9:00amSomething Blue4ABB09
Sat 9:45amHero1ADH09
Sat 10:30amHush4ABB010
Sat 11:15amParting Gifts1ADH10
Sat 12:00pmDoomed4ABB11
Sat 12:45pmSomnambulist1ADH11
Sat 1:30pmA New Man4ABB12
Sat 2:15pmExpecting1ADH12
Sat 3:00pmThe I in Team4ABB13
Sat 3:45pmShe1ADH13
Sat 4:30pmGoodbye Iowa4ABB14
Sat 5:15pmI've Got You Under My Skin1ADH14

Sat 7:30amThis Year's Girl4ABB15
Sat 8:15amThe Prodigal1ADH15
Sat 9:00amWho Are You?4ABB16
Sat 9:45amThe Ring1ADH16
Sat 10:30amSuperstar4ABB17
Sat 11:15amEternity1ADH17
Sat 12:00pmWhere the Wild Things Are4ABB18
Sat 12:45pmFive by Five1ADH18
Sat 1:30pmNew Moon Rising4ABB19
Sat 2:15pmSanctuary1ADH19
Sat 3:00pmThe Yoko Factor4ABB20
Sat 3:45pmWar Zone1ADH20
Sat 4:30pmPrimeval4ABB21
Sat 5:15pmBlind Date1ADH21
Sat 6:00pmRestless4ABB22
Sat 6:45pmTo Shanshu in L.A.1ADH22



23rd August, 2001

Just a week to go until my holiday, during which time the site will be unattended. Below, is as much information as I have about Foxtel over the next couple of months; September information coming from the Foxtel Guide, subsequent information from other sources. Hopefully it will remain mostly accurate, but check the Foxtel Guides for more accurate information. I'll be back in October, in any case.

Free-to-air, on the other hand, will be mostly abandoned while I'm gone. There'll be one more update next week, but for now I'll just mention some changes for the next week.

On Saturday night, SBS is screening a documentary on the Hubble Space Telescope, Miracle in Orbit, which sounds very interesting from the write-up. On Sunday, Seven has replaced Will & Grace without warning, and apparently without a new timeslot. On Monday, South Park will no longer air on SBS, replaced by a new series of Pizza. And on Wednesday, Ten reveals its opinion on the popularity of Party of Five by bringing it back for the rest of the show's last season at 12:45am on Wednesday night.

Keep reading for news on Foxtel in September (by channel), followed by an explanation for the goings-on with some of TV1's science fiction.

September on Foxtel

FOX8: Buffy immediately moves its weekend timeslot to 2:00pm Saturdays and Sundays from the start of September. Also on the 1st, Season Four of Third Rock From the Sun premieres on Foxtel at 5:30pm.

The Saturday night science fiction timeslots change on the night of the 1st, The Visitor being dropped, bringing Millennium, The X-Files and Highlander forward 45 minutes each. The freed timeslot at 3:00am is filled by Highlander: The Raven, only FOX8's second screening of this interesting spin-off.

On Monday, 3rd September, the X-Files double timeslot is replaced by the premiere of The Pretender at 9:30pm, a welcome addition to FOX8's line-up, if not assigned the best timeslot (Monday nights are pretty busy in my viewing schedule). If you haven't seen The Pretender before, it's a slightly out-there premise that makes for a great thriller of a series, fronted by a truly nice main character that I found to be a breath of fresh air when the show began. I certainly recommend it. The repeat timeslot of Premiere, previously on Tuesdays, moves to immediately after The Pretender, at 10:30pm.

The Simpsons also loses its 6:00pm weekdays timeslot, though 6:00pm weekends will continue from where it left off, and there's two other streams to keep Simpsons fans happy (8:00am & 7:00pm weekdays, and 9:00am weekends).

On Thursday, 6th September, we note the disappearance of Sex and the City at 9:00pm, replaced by the unfamiliar, Then Came You.

On Saturday, 8th September, all those Pamela Anderson promos are explained, with the arrival of V.I.P. at 7:30pm.

Two weeks later, on Sunday, 23rd September, The X-Files Double returns at 8:30pm, with new-to-Foxtel episodes from Season Eight, followed by a Season Four episode at around 9:15pm.

Finally, Buffy and Angel conclude their Tuesday run on the 18th September, but they're both back for Slayerfest 4 on the 29th and 30th. I'll have more info on the latter next week.

TV1: September seems to be the month for marathons, as TV1 is running a couple, too. The first features Season Two of Star Trek: The Next Generation, running from 11:30pm on Saturday, 8th September to 5:10pm on Sunday the 9th. The second marathon will screen every episode of Seinfeld, starting at 7:00pm on Friday, 28th and running, non-stop, into October (where my precognitive powers fail me).

Also on TV1, Xena gets an additional repeat timeslot at 12:30am on Monday night (the same episode now airs at 7:30pm Monday, 12:30am Tuesday and 2:00pm Tuesday, so there's no excuse to miss it). Interestingly, we'll be jumping back to the middle of Season Three on the 10th, the previous week seeing the end of the same season. That's to ensure a smooth transition into Season Four on the first Monday in December.

On Monday, 3rd, Mad About You gains an extra strip timeslot, Monday to Friday at 7:00pm (repeated 1:30am, except Friday). This will be starting from the beginning of Season One, and will replace the Thursday timeslot. As a further result, the other strip's 5:30am repeat timeslot is discontinued on Monday, 24th. This strip will be skipping over heaps of episodes from the 19th September, in any case, as it's going to be used to clean up unused plays from Seasons Five and Six. And a warning that Mad About You's weekend stream (5:00pm) will pick up a couple of Sundays, on the 9th and 23rd (both repeated at midnight).

Finally, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine replaces Star Trek in the Monday to Thursday strip at 11:30pm, starting Wednesday, 26th September. The Next Generation doesn't air the next day (27th), due to the Seinfeld marathon. And Deep Space Nine is used as filler at 1:00pm, Sunday the 2nd September, featuring a preview of a later episode.

FX: Caroline in the City and Ellen disappear from FX on weekends in September, but Ellen returns in a new timeslot, 6:00am weekends, from the 8th.

Fox Kids: At the end of September, Farscape's Saturday screening moves to Sundays at 7:30pm (from the 29th). The mid-afternoon Sunday repeat timeslots disappear.

What's Going On With Babylon 5 and Voyager

Astute viewers will have noticed that neither Babylon 5 nor Star Trek: Voyager began with their first episode. It turns out that the opening telemovie for Babylon 5 (that Seven seems to screen at noon on a weekday every year or so) wasn't available when the first season was purchased. Similarly, the first season of Voyager is firmly in the grasp of Channel Nine, and apparently they're not willing to share. The episode order for Voyager, as mentioned before, is as intended by the producers, one advantage of waiting so long after its initial screening.

And the reason Voyager is being shown before Deep Space Nine on Saturdays, despite being the later series, is that new episodes of the latter will run out first; it was felt new episodes should run earlier in the night than repeats. Fair enough.



16th August, 2001

The FTA schedule's starting to look pretty sparse in the winter season, at least from the point of view of my own interests. There's a few new shows, but I guess I'm trying to avoid watching too much that's new, especially with so much good science fiction on Foxtel. In the end, I can only recommend Boston Public. Of course, since I'll be away from a TV for a few weeks very soon (and also this website), it's probably a good thing. On that last point, I'll be trying to set things up here with as much info as I can before I go. But I'll be back before you know it!

Some advance notice on Foxtel: Buffy Season Five will be starting on FOX8 at the end of October. That leaves a few weeks' gap after the end of Season Four -- I'm not yet sure what will fill in, but I expect fairly large scale changes to the schedule in any case (for example, Monday's X-Files double is moving back to Sundays). Angel will strangely not be accompanying Buffy at this stage.

I've also confirmed the arrival of the third season of Earth: Final Conflict on Friday, 7th September. I hope to have similar information for TV1 by next week.



8th August, 2001

Looks like a double episode of Dharma & Greg on Sunday to finish the season, Friends is back to Season Four repeats on Monday, and Just Shoot Me! is over on Wednesdays.

Heads up for fans of The Pretender: it's back on Nine, Season Two stripping at 2:00pm weekdays from next Monday. I'll be glad to catch up on some episodes I missed the first time around.



2nd August, 2001

A new month on Foxtel calls for a new timeslot analysis. First, though, a few notes on the FTA schedule.

With many shows ending their seasons (most of the remainder from the U.S. finish in the next two weeks), I'm amazed at how few new shows have surfaced. In fact, about the only one worth watching (IMO) is Boston Public, screening in a two-hour block to fill space in Seven's Monday schedule (8:30pm). David E. Kelly's latest foray seems characteristically well constructed, and almost gives me hope that he might one day achieve the impossible and write an interesting and informative TV show about a group of professional engineers...

Elsewhere, the ABC is screening the previously unaired, Hair By Mr. Bean of London -- to date this has only been available on video -- at 8:00pm on Friday (ie: tomorrow).

Tuesday sees a new travel documentary from Jimeoin: Jimeoin's Teatowel Tours (Ten, 8:30pm).

Thursday sees the launch of the ABC's new, cheaper science show, Catalyst at 8:30pm. Should be worth watching if only because the genre is uncontested.

Ten also re-extends Grosse Pointe's timeslot, pushing out Just Shoot Me! repeats, presumably to get rid of the former as fast as possible (but who knows, maybe it rates better as a full hour).

There's another good French, period, action movie on SBS next week: On Guard! screens at 11:30pm Wednesday.

Finally, I apologise for missing the end of the season for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- in the sense that I didn't notice the return of Star Trek: The Next Generation last Tuesday on Nine. It's Season Four, in case you haven't checked yet. Strangely, I don't remember Nine airing the cliff-hanger finale the last time they screened Season Three, making last night's thrilling conclusion an odd choice.

Foxtel

Just in case I thought I 'd have some more time for other things, given the meagre pickings on FTA, August sees loads of new Science Fiction appearing on Foxtel. In fact, there's very little else to report (though never nothing at all).

TV1: "Sci-Fi Sector" starts on Monday, 6th August, as already reported. The 10:30pm timeslot will feature new series, Monday to Thursday, with (sadly) no repeats: Babylon 5, Total Recall 2070, Starhunter and Lexx (Season Three), respectively. I recommend watching (and persevering with) the first, checking out the second, and giving the last a try out for taste. I expect Wednesdays to remain free, however. Following on will be a strip of the first season of Star Trek at 11:30pm. (Note that the first episode of Babylon 5 is preceded by a two-hour pilot that TV1 won't be showing. If you haven't seen it or need a refresher, I suggest visiting your local video store this weekend.)

Not content to leave it there, TV1 is also picking up the final Star Trek series, so far missing from their arsenal. Voyager will premiere on Saturday, 11th August at 9:30pm, pushing Star Trek and The Next Generation up to 7:30pm and 8:30pm, respectively. The post-midnight repeats will still commence at 1:30am, but run through to 5:30am.

Strangely, they're starting with the 21st episode. This is the start of Season Two, though not according to the conventional screening order. As usual, TV1 is following the production order. What I don't yet know is why the nominal first season is being skipped (perhaps Nine still own the rights?). I'll write here as soon as I have an answer.

Finally on TV1, a "Groovy Movie Marathon" will be running on Sunday, 26th and Monday, 27th August, pre-empting the shows that would normally screen during this time.

Movies: Two great movies premiere tomorrow at 8:30pm: Being John Malkovich on Showtime (repeated 2 hours later on Showtime 2) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Encore. I highly recommend the latter to anyone who's only seen Buffy in her TV incarnation. The movie is where many of the show's ideas first germinated, but more importantly it's full of the cool, 80s humour that has faded in recent seasons. It may contradict the show, it may not be as tightly written, but this is still the essence of Buffy, and where it all began. Of course, if you're not into Buffy, have a look anyway, as it's a great movie of the 80s, on a par with Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Other Channels: The Games returns to thecomedychannel at 4:00pm, Saturday, 4th August. Meanwhile, Dilbert moves from Sundays to Tuesdays on the 7th, 8:30am and 7:00pm.

On Fox Kids, the Sunday repeat timeslots for Farscape and Hercules are pre-empted on the 26th August.

Thank You to those who pointed out the stuff I missed on TV1 last week, the result of changing jobs. Thanks, too, to all my readers who send their contributions and point out things that I inevitably miss. I know the site isn't brilliantly set up to foster a community, but I do have plans. Stay tuned; and if you have any suggestions, do .

Whoops! One final thing. It seems the screening dates for Foxtel's weekday strip on my X-Files page have been one day out since ... um ... March. Oh, dear. It seems I mistakenly marked 1X01 as the start of the season. I'm hoping for some time to build a better system to administer the site, which will help me eliminate such mistakes. In the meantime, since no-one actually pointed out this error, I guess no-one was actually affected. It also suggests I should split the episode list away from the screening dates and reformat the latter to be more useful. Don't hold your breaths, but I'll see what I can do.



26th July, 2001

Just a short update this week. On FTA, Boston Public starts next Monday on Seven with a double-length premiere at 8:30pm. Buffy and Angel wrap up their respective (and exciting) seasons, but I don't know what will be replacing them (I'm sure Seven will tell us). Just Shoot Me! on Ten moves its repeat stream to 8:00pm Thursdays, shortening Grosse Pointe to a single episode each week. It's also worth noting that the Wednesday stream of new Just Shoot Me! episodes will play the two episodes that were skipped previously over the next few weeks.

On Foxtel, the August Guide is very late, so I've very little idea of what's going on. There's more info at the website, but I don't have time to pore through that just yet. If you're a cricket fan, look out for highlights from the 5th ODI in India at 6:00pm Monday on Fox Sports Gold -- I hear it's a corker.

Administrative Note: For anyone who's been in email contact with me in the past via simpsons@sofcom.com.au, the email address from which I replied will cease functioning tomorrow. That means, if you want to contact me, please use the , and it will be automatically redirected to my new email address. Sorry for the bother.



19th July, 2001

Nine's Monday schedule goes out the door next week due to swimming championships (Seven could learn something for their handling of the cricket). This fortunately removes some clashes with other programmes, such as the Blackadder Millennium special (only a year and a half overdue) on Seven at 9:30pm. Earlier the same evening, at 6:00pm, the ABC is showing Gogwana, the half-hour adventure of a family of clay-animated cave-men.

On Tuesday, Buffy moves up to 9:30pm (Seven is claiming the earlier timeslot is in deference to viewers' wishes, but it seems a bit too convenient to me). This is the second-last episode in the season, so I presume the last will air in yet another timeslot. There's also a comedy debate on Ten at 8:30pm, and Deep Space Nine is a bit later than normal (12:10am in the schedule).

The final episode of Richard Fidler's, Aftershock, airs next Thursday on the ABC (8:30pm, repeated Monday at 12:30pm). This has been an interesting series, with the admirable goal of getting us to think about some of the possible implications, both good and bad, of where our technology is taking us. Unfortunately, I have doubts about how well it's achieved its aim. In the end, we were certainly exposed to some of the opinions of leading thinkers of our time, but there was little consensus and little that was new. Perhaps better to read some good science fiction.

Farscape: Following on from a story last week, this Saturday does, indeed, see the third episode of Season Two of Farscape. Of course, it's only airing in Melbourne, Perth and Hobart (I was sure I'd mentioned that -- my oversight has now been corrected). Viewers elsewhere in the country needn't despair: the early timeslot has forced significant cuts, removing anything that might be considered remotely violent or gory -- it's very bizarre to watch. Oh, and it conclusively proves that Nine's schedulers are indistinguishable from idiots.

Since I failed to alert you all to the first episode, here's a community service for southern viewers. THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SPOILERS. PLEASE SKIP AHEAD IF YOU DON'T WISH TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FIRST SEASON TWO EPISODE OF FARSCAPE. The episode is structured in quite a complicated way, but it's actually pretty simple. Erin has made a deal with Krace to teach him to fly Talon. This allowed her to rescue John and Dargo. Moya turns around to come back for her baby, despite the protestations of the crew. John realises Erin is up to something and forces a confession. Unbeknownst to her, Krace is reporting back to Scorpio. Moya somehow gets past Scorpio to join up with Talon, and the others also return. John's not happy about Krace, but when Krace is shackled and brought back to Moya, Talon runs. Scorpio finally seems in a position to catch up and wreak some devastation, when Talon demands Krace as his captain (not Erin). Against expectations, Talon is able to Starburst away with Krace (who tells Scorpio he's off the payroll before leaving), and Moya leaves with the rest of the crew. Erin also manages to convince Xan that her spiritual excursions are premature, and that she still has work to do in the mortal plane. So, everything's resolved in a single episode, and the fascinating interplays of the conflict with the Peacekeepers simply vanish. Scorpio's avowal to find Kryten is little recompense. Pretty ordinary stuff, really.

Administrative announcement: The way I update this site is about to change. Hopefully, I won't miss any Thursday updates, but you may notice some changes to the timing. If anything more serious does go wrong, I apologise in advance.



12th July, 2001

In typical Nine fashion, Farscape is back, unannounced, in the unfathomable 5:00pm Saturdays timeslot (Melbourne, Perth and Hobart, only). It actually looks a lot like it started last weekend, but I've no way to confirm this before next week. You'd think they might have announced it at the end of another SF show! Very poor form.

Seven's movers include Buffy moving to 10:00pm Tuesdays and Angel moving up to 10:30pm Wednesdays.

Next Monday's South Park line-up includes the spoof special, Chef: Behind the Menu, on SBS (this never aired on thecomedychannel).

And Ten premieres a new show next Thursday at 7:30pm, called Grosse Pointe, that stands a passing chance of being interesting. It's written by Darren Star (90210, Sex and the City), so it could go either way.

TV1 Ups the Ante on Science Fiction: August will be a good month for science fiction fans, with TV1 recognising their status as Australia's de facto science fiction channel, and scheduling science fiction shows every night from 10:30pm in their new, "Sci-Fi Sector." From the 6th August, the 10:30pm slot will look like this:

MondayBabylon 5 Season One
TuesdayTotal Recall 2070 Season One
WednesdayStarhunter Season One
ThursdayLexx Season Three

This will be followed by a strip of the first season of Star Trek at 11:30pm, then a pre-repeat of the following day's 7:30pm series at 12:30am.

I absolutely can't wait, as I didn't pick up Babylon 5 until the fourth season. I hear the early seasons aren't fantastic, but things definitely improve, and it's hard not to get caught up in the epic story-lines.

Also on TV1, the weekday strip of Mad About You moves on to Season Three this afternoon. There'll be even more Mad About You screening in September, much of it the final screening on TV1 (for now), as the rights are coming to an end for the later seasons. Unfortunately, that means some episodes have already run out and will be skipped over.

And the Saturday morning Xena timeslot will move straight from Season Two to Three in mid-August.

Finally on FX, Caroline in the City goes back to the start of Season One, this weekend.



5th July, 2001

A few more series wrap up over the coming week on FTA, and a few return from pre-emption. Back are: Buffy and Angel, both Star Trek franchises, Sex and the City and Just Shoot Me! I noticed that Charmed and Dawson's Creek wrap up, and possibly a few other shows that I don't personally watch.

The First Test starts tonight, and for some reason, Seven are scheduling a mini-series to pre-empt Ally McBeal, The Practice and other shows rather than showing the first session of the cricket.

On Foxtel, I highly recommend the German movie, Run Lola Run (the German title, Lola Rennt translates simply as "Lola runs"). This is a stunning movie, high-paced and full of vivid imagery. Add a pounding sound track and it grabs you and won't let go. And unlike the Region 1 DVD, the subtitles are perfectly synchronised with the dialog. Run Lola Run screens on Showtime (and Showtime 2) on Monday, 9th July and most likely again in August.

Elsewhere on Foxtel, note the Saturday timeslot of Mad About You moves to 5:00pm this weekend, Farscape starts on Fox Kids (the other stream started on Tuesday), and Hercules is pushed back half an hour.


Australian TV News Archive: First Half, 2001.



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Last Updated: 14-March-2002