Networks Continue Primetime Purge

 

The networks and Sky TV are continuing to programme on eggshells in the wake of Friday’s horrendous mosque shootings.

Sensitivity to tragedy is to be commended but the overreaction to content with any vestige of violence or terrorism themes means virtually only the news is safe to focus on such concerns.

I thought the programming madness had peaked over the weekend when Sky dropped its Sky News Australia feed, just when the country was desperate to learn and understand more about what had unfolded and why.

It did so because Sky News Australia was running heavily edited footage of the killer’s live stream but the decision amounted to censorship and to replace a news service with a sports service beggared belief when Sky could have tapped into Sky News UK.

Sky’s latest pre-emption is to pull S1-6 of Justified from April and May’s Sky Box Sets because of “content that closely resembles the tragedy in Christchurch”.

And gone from SoHo this week is season six of Strike Back and from Vibe tonight the obscure thriller, Mother’s Day.

Meanwhile, the free-to-air channels are purging their schedules of remotely insensitive content. For instance, tomorrow night’s 20/20 profile of serial killer Ted Bundy has been replaced by the Coronation Street broadcast that ran late on Friday and which TVNZ didn’t update its EPG to reflect.

And instead of running the Bundy piece late-night Thursday, in 20/20’s repeat slot, the network has scheduled a 20/20 tribute to Aretha Franklin.

TVNZ 2 is pulling tomorrow’s episode of Kiwi black comedy Fresh Eggs for Michael McIntyre Happy and Glorious, Prime is pre-empting tonight’s FBI and the movie Faster for Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender and Queen: Live at Wembley and Duke is ditching Tuesday night’s Boyz N the Hood for Rock Star.

Three is replacing tonight’s The Rookie with the romantic comedy Couples Retreat and tomorrow’s NCIS with The Internship while its post-Newshub Late line-up of crime shows has been dumped for a stripped re-run of The Wrong Girl.

It will also re-instate the programmes that were pre-empted last Friday because of the mosque coverage this Friday.

Gone from Sunday night are the premiere of The Mummy, which will be replaced by a re-run of No Strings Attached, while the late-night repeat of The Rookie will be replaced by the movie, Admission.

No word yet on what TVNZ 2 will air instead of Wednesday night’s Whiskey Cavalier.

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