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Australian TV News
Second Half, 2003


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16th December, 2003

I hope no-one missed the extra episode of Tracker on Sunday night on Ten. I'm sorry that I didn't mention it before. Yet, as with Farscape on Nine, the lesson is to keep an eye out for extra timeslots.

This is most likely the last update for the year. I won't be able to provide any further information until around the 15th January. In the meantime, I hope you all have a happy Christmas.

Foxtel in January

FOX8: Not much to say. There'll be lots of Simpsons on the 1st January. And Earth: Final Conflict, having wrapped Season Five, goes back to the start of Season Four on the 10th January.

TV1: In contrast, lots happening here. Xena's already into Season Six, while the Mon-Thu Sci-Fi strip will see Season Two of Babylon 5 replacing Star Trek: TNG at 11:00pm from the 5th January, and two episodes daily of First Wave replacing Stargate SG-1 at 11:50pm from the 13th January. There's also a special screening of the first, two-part episode of Star Trek: TNG on the first day of the year (hence only one Stargate episode to follow).

Meanwhile, Sunday's Sci-Fi Sector sees Season Five of Deep Space Nine starting on the 11th January. It seems likely that Voyager will follow suit the week after.

Not much else to say, though I've only been able to check the schedule through to the 14th January, so far. Happy New Year!



4th December, 2003

With the ratings season finally over, there's a few changes to the FTA schedule, most of which are already in operation.

Seven is showing Season Two of That 70s Show (new episodes for both FTA and cable viewers) at 8:00pm Monday to Thursday, along with Scrubs at 9:00pm Tuesday and Wednesday. Yes, Dear (a big hit in the States) is airing at 3:00pm on selected weekdays, occasionally preceded by new, Season Five episodes of Dharma & Greg; Foxtel viewers will have already seen all of these.

On Nine, the schedule is dominated by Test Cricket (hooray!), but Season Four of Farscape is also on, seemingly at around 10:30pm Thursdays and Saturdays (though it's sure to move around somewhat); again, Foxtel viewers have already seen these (and the schedule may differ in the various states).

On Ten, Season Fourteen of The Simpsons finally wrapped in November, just in time for them to commence on FOX8. Fans of Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series and Highlander IV) might be interested in Tracker, airing around 12:45am Tuesday nights. It's an unusual series -- the basic premise involves an alien tracker hunting down a large group of escaped prisoners who have stolen human bodies -- with superb acting by Adrian Paul (each week, he discovers new powers and becomes more and more human).

Foxtel in December

FOX8: A number of series have been pulled after concluding their first run: Thieves wrapped on 27th November, and Now & Again lost its usual timeslot after the 24th November (the final episode aired in an unadvertised, once-off timeslot at 6:00am on Monday, 1st December -- I guess someone miscalculated). Dark Angel concludes on the 15th. It's not known if these series will return.

A few shows are being pre-empted, for various reasons: Farscape (2nd and 9th), The X-Files (2nd), Buffy (6th, 13th and 31st) and Angel (31st).

The Simpsons is expanding to a three-hour Summerfest weekdays from 7:00am, starting Monday, 15th (6-10am and 6-8:30pm on Boxing Day).

And The X-Files strip, after jumping ahead to Season Seven today, finally comes to an end on the 12th December.

TV1: Just Shoot Me! is airing Season Six for the first time on TV1, weekdays at 10:00pm (also at 2:00pm Tuesday to Thursday, though this timeslot disappears from the 23rd). First Wave has already concluded Season One and is gone from our schedules.

Sci-Fi Sector is airing Season Six of Star Trek: TNG at 11:00pm Monday to Thursday, followed by two episodes from Season Two of Stargate SG-1. The weekend version is now on Sundays only, from 7:30pm (repeated from around 3:00am), featuring The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Stargate SG-1. With Star Trek: The Original Series no longer scheduled at all, it may be that the rights to this series have expired.

Season Three of Mad About You also returns, 5:00pm weekends (usually only airing Saturday, depending on the Sunday "Groovy Movie").

Other Channels: The Tick is no longer on The Comedy Channel. Inside Cricket returns to Fox Sports 2 tonight at 7:30pm. Due South is probably airing for the last time at 3:00am on arena (still just Season Three episodes). Season Five of Dharma & Greg is stripping on Channel W (we've seen these before on FOX8, but only half the season on Seven). And there's a number of marathons and special screenings on the 25th, 26th and 31st December.

That's all for now. The episode lists and broadcast summary will probably be updated in the next couple of weeks.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. See you in 2004!



1st November, 2003

Urgent Earth: Final Conflict News: You might have noticed that Earth: Final Conflict was pre-empted on FOX8 last weekend at 5:00pm, but that the next episode was nonetheless aired today. The missing episode, "Atavus High", will air tonight at 2:15am. Set your VCRs, as you may not get another chance.

Also on FOX8, the third season of Andromeda kicks off on Saturday, 15th November at 6:30pm and 3:00am.

In other Foxtel news, channel W is replacing FX (part of the Entertainment Plus package). Amongst other shows in the new line-up are weekday strips of Dharma & Greg (8:00am & 7:00pm, starting with Season Four) and Ally McBeal (5:00pm & 2:15am, starting from Season One). This morning, the channel kicked off with three hours of Dharma & Greg, a selection from Season Four.

If you're a Star Wars fan, tune in to Cartoon Network from Monday, 10th November for Star Wars: Clone Wars, the cartoon (Monday to Friday, 4:30pm and 7:00pm, with the previous week's episodes repeated on Saturday from 9:00am to 11:00am and Sunday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm). Note that there's only ten episodes, each only 5 minutes long.

TV1: Another Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon (Season Six) will feature on Friday, 14th and Saturday, 15th November, with commensurate pre-emptions.

Hope you don't miss any of these changes.



20th October, 2003

I'm going mad with updates! Okay, not so mad, but perhaps a bit better than recent form.

I spoke to TV1 today. It seems the Saturday plus Sunday Sci-Fi sector in November is the precursor to a huge scheduling change in December, which will see the Star Treks move to Sundays. There'll be other changes, too, but those will become clearer closer to their introduction. In the meantime, they're looking into getting hold of further seasons of First Wave and reinstating weekday repeat timeslots, but no guarantees.

Meanwhile, arena confirms that they no longer have rights to the first two seasons of Due South and will lose the remainder by the end of the year. I let them know that I'd love to see the first season replayed (in part because there were significant cable interruptions during a couple of episodes in my area), but if you would too, don't forget to let them know through Foxtel's feedback channels.



14th October, 2003

I seem to be apologising every time I update. All I can say, is I am doing my best to bring this site up to date, but I couldn't tell you how long it's going to take. Sorry, yet again.    :)

Before detailing Foxtel's changes in October and November, let's have a quick look at free-to-air.

Season Six of Third Rock from the Sun has been stripping on Seven, two episodes each day, Monday to Thursday, from 2:00pm. Starting tomorrow, these are episodes that have never aired before in Australia.

Also on Seven, Seasons Four and Five of Futurama have been airing on Tuesdays at 11:30pm, but ironically not tonight (pre-empted by rugby). This is followed by The Lone Gunmen (the X-Files spin-off) at midnight, though there's only a few episodes left. Stargate SG-1 has mercifully returned to Melbourne screens at 10:30pm Thursdays. One can only hope that the double episodes we've merited from time to time will bring us closer to other states.

On Nine, the cricket's begun early, though a trip to India will mean a long break once Zimbabwe goes home. Friends is in repeats as of this week, Deep Space Nine is nearing the end of its final season, Enterprise wraps Season Two tomorrow night, and It's Like, You Know, a brilliant LA comedy, has been secretly airing at 3:00am on a Wednesday night (I only just noticed last week, but I think I've already seen the handful of episodes they've shown to date).

On Ten, now that school holidays are over, we're all wishing for the return of new episodes of The Simpsons. After all, there's only two left in the season.

And on SBS, Season Seven of South Park premiered last night at 8:30pm.

Foxtel in October and November

I guess we missed a month, but then the schedule in September was pretty stable. Not so in October, and especially November.

FOX8: You'd have already noticed that Farscape (Tuesdays at 8:30pm and 5:00am) has moved into Season Four, airing for the first time in Australia. Yes, Dear (Thursdays at 8:00pm and 6:30am) is about to move into Season Two, and Thieves, starring Melissa George (Thursdays at 8:30pm and 5:00am), premiered recently with some fun interaction between the leads.

Both Buffy (Wednesdays at 7:30pm and 5:00am) and Angel (Wednesdays at 8:30pm) are moving into new seasons this week: Seven and Four, respectively.

Meanwhile, Season Nine of The X-Files premieres in a new timeslot tonight, Tuesdays at 9:30pm (sadly without a repeat). This is the final season, so join the final stretch of this journey of mystery and deceit.

Less critically, Roswell, Buffy and Angel have all been shifted forward an hour on Saturday afternoon, now airing from 2:00pm to 5:00pm and abutting Australian premiere screenings of Season Five of Earth: Final Conflict. Both Angel and Earth: Final Conflict are repeated from 1:30am.

Finally, a lone pre-emption has caused havoc with Futurama. The episode airing at 8:30am Saturday is now repeated the following week at 6:30pm Sunday, and again another week later at 1:30am Monday morning. Practically speaking, this means you can catch three sequential episodes of Futurama each weekend, but you'll have to wait three weeks to catch the next three.

TV1: The weekday Sci-Fi sector is progressively being watered down, while the weekend version is being expanded.

Specifically, all post-midnight repeat timeslots are now gone, and the 10:30pm screenings will be replaced by a Star Trek strip from 3rd November. That means Babylon 5 will reach the end of Season Two for the second time and then disappear, First Wave will only air at 1:00pm Tuesdays, and "new" episodes of Stargate SG-1 will only air at 7:30pm Fridays. I can't say I'm overly happy with this, but hopefully it won't last too long.

Starting last night, Season One of Stargate SG-1 is stripping two episodes each night from 11:20pm, and Season Two is airing in marathon form last Saturday and this coming Saturday from 7:30pm.

On the 1st November, Saturday and Sunday nights are going to be reshuffled to allow two new episodes of each science fiction series to air, as follows:

SaturdaySunday
7:30pmStar Trek: The Next Generation Season 77:30pmStar Trek: The Next Generation
8:20pmStar Trek: Voyager Season 48:20pmStar Trek: Voyager
9:10pmStar Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 49:10pmStar Trek: Deep Space Nine
10:00pmStargate SG-1 Season 310:00pmStargate SG-1
10:45pmStar Trek Season 2

11:30pmLexx Season 4

12:35amStar Trek: The Next Generation~3:30amStar Trek: The Next Generation
1:45amStar Trek: Voyager~4:15amStar Trek: Voyager
2:20amStar Trek: Deep Space Nine~5:15amStar Trek: Deep Space Nine
3:10amStargate SG-1

4:00amStar Trek

The episodes after midnight are repeats of those earlier in the evening, but TNG, Voyager, DS9 and Stargate all get two new episodes each weekend. Repeat times on Sunday night will vary from week to week.

This Saturday night, arena will air Season Three of Due South yet again at 3:00am each night. No idea why they can't start at the beginning.

Finally, on Thursday, 23rd October, Fox Sports will be showing the one-day cricket triseries between Australia, New Zealand and India from India. This explains why this summer's Test Cricket had to start so early.

That's all for now. Hope to see you all again in about a month.



7th August, 2003

A few changes on free-to-air to look out for. New episodes of The Simpsons return to Ten on Monday, 11th August at 8:00pm. The Lone Gunmen, spin-off from The X-Files, finally comes to Melbourne, Canberra and other regions, next Tuesday night at midnight on Seven. And Friends is pre-empted next week.



31st July, 2003

Perhaps I should have drawn your attention to some stuff last week, as the impending final episodes of a number of seasons are causing instability in the schedule. Whatever, here's what's worth noting at the moment.

Tonight on Seven sees a second episode of Alias at 8:30pm, followed by the return of Stargate SG-1 in Melbourne at 9:30pm, then the final episode of Angel at 10:30pm (double episode of Stargate next week).

Tomorrow, one of the two skipped episodes of Two Guys and a Girl airs at 2:30pm on Seven -- not sure when the other will show up, but keep an eye on the 2:00pm weekday timeslot.

There's cricket one-dayers on Saturday (Nine), Sunday (ABC) and Wednesday (Nine) from around 10:00am.

New episodes of South Park may have concluded on Mondays, but repeats may be seen on SBS at 9:00pm Saturdays.

Mondays, Friends is finally back into new episodes (as is Buffy on Tuesdays), and a new Season of Alias precedes (at 8:30pm) the tail end of The Practice on Seven. The Simpsons is still in repeats.

But wait, there's more...

Foxtel in August

TV1 is making a somewhat regular thing of weekend science fiction marathons, with Season Three of Voyager on Saturday, 2nd August, and Season One of Stargate SG-1 on Saturday, 23rd.

FOX8: Despite being pre-empted in the printed Foxtel Guide, it looks like Angel will air as usual on the 13th August. Futurama jumps back to Season One (no luck on Season Four) on Sunday, 17th August, with the Saturday morning timeslot to follow a couple of weeks later.

More importantly, Earth: Final Conflict will be rolling straight into Season Five on the 9th August. But Dark Angel (Mondays, 10:30pm) is merely airing Season One again.

arena: Due South seems destined to end its run shortly. First, it returns to an ad-laden, one-hour timeslot from the evening of Monday, 4th. Then, it jumps to the middle of Season Two on the evening of Friday, 22nd August. These first two episodes may air in the opposite order to what's expected, so beware. Check the online Foxtel guide for details, but don't necessarily trust it 100%.

Also on arena, new (Season Four) episodes of Will & Grace commence on Monday, 18th August at 8:00pm and 11:00pm.

Happy viewing, all!



3rd July, 2003

Thought I should let people know as soon as I noticed: Seven is stripping Season Four of Two Guys and a Girl, starting tomorrow (Friday, 4th July) at 2:00pm. This is a very funny series, and only the second airing of this particular season, FOX8 having given it just a single run. Whether you're a fan who's been waiting for it on FTA, you missed a couple of episodes on FOX8, or you're completely new to the show, set your VCRs for 2:00pm to 3:00pm (two episodes most days), Monday to Friday for the next two weeks.

In other news, Seven is moving Angel to Thursday nights (10:30pm) as of next week, at least in Melbourne. They're also dropping Futurama, though that seems to apply in all regions. Oh, and Deep Space Nine is back next Tuesday, but not Enterprise (yet).

On Foxtel in July, here's a summary of the changes additional to what I've mentioned before. Total Recall has been pre-empted by double episodes of The Outer Limits for at least all of July (starting tonight). Both streams of Dharma & Greg have disappeared (Saturday mornings ending mid-season, I'm afraid).

The series Now & Again, about a synthetic human being with the brain of John Goodman (no, no, it's a good action series with lots of pathos), comes to FOX8 next Monday at 9:30pm. Straight after, the first season of Dark Angel returns to FOX8 the following week (Monday, 21st July, 10:30pm).


Australian TV News Archive: First Half, 2003.



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Last Updated: 16-December-2003