TV2 Swiftly Resurrects Dead But Guarded About SHIELD

TV2 will screen season four of The Walking Dead barely a day after the US, starting October 15.

But it doesn’t appear to be in a rush to fast-track one of the most anticipated new shows of the US TV season, Agents of SHIELD.

According to a new study by NewMediaMetrics, the superheroes spin-off is “sure to be a success”.

And across the Tasman, Channel Seven will launch it just days after the September 24 US premiere.

But it looks as if TV2 will be holding it back until its new season in January/February.

While the Joss Whedon production will be even more buzz-worthy than The Walking Dead, the zombie drama’s easier for TV2 to screen within hours of the US because it fits local scheduling needs better.

Season four’s 16 episodes presumably will be split into two runs, as happened with season three, which means TV2 can air the first half before the Christmas break.

If it started Agents of SHIELD in September, it would have to continue the series over summer, to keep up with the US, and the network would see little value in wasting such a valuable property when holiday viewership is far lower than the rest of the year.

Moreover, even Australian programmers aren’t convinced of the need to run dramas so close to their US airdates.

Indeed, it was Seven’s own head of programming, Angus Ross, who told TV Tonight in February: “In Australia the scoreboard for fast-tracking a show in its first season is an absolute zero at the moment.

“None of them have ever worked.”

Despite The Walking Dead’s ratings flat-lining in its second season here, and the show being relegated to post-10.30, chances are season four will air 9.30 Tuesdays in the wake of season three’s creative resurgence.

The network hasn’t confirmed a time slot but the promotion would fit in with Embarrassing Fat Bodies ending its run and reflect programmers’ enthusiasm for the series in the press release:

Zombie fans rejoice! TVNZ is thrilled to announce season four of The Walking Dead will launch October 15 on TV2 – just 32 hours after its highly anticipated US premiere.

TV2 programmer, John Kelly, says: “Given the overwhelming popularity of the show and its hit status, we’re delighted to be fast-tracking this season of The Walking Dead so closely behind the US.”

The Walking Dead receives an exceptional level of talkability worldwide and it will be exciting to see Kiwis included in that conversation.”

The Walking Dead is the number one show in America with record-breaking ratings in season three in key demographics adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of survivors as they navigate an uncertain post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies. Season three saw the introduction of the town of Woodbury and its malevolent governor (David Morrissey).

Anticipation for season four is at fever-pitch with executive producer David Alpert eluding that the promise of civilisation will play a large part in the new season. But, with evolved ‘walkers’ as well as living enemies to contend with, a search for humanity will not be without obstacles.

The critically acclaimed series has garnered two Emmy awards as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, with further accolades expected to come award season next year.

TVNZ also offers viewers flexibility, with episodes available on TVNZ Ondemand so fans can get their zombie-fix at any time.

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3 Responses to “TV2 Swiftly Resurrects Dead But Guarded About SHIELD”

  1. It’s a shame Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is not on TV3 🙁

  2. TV2 should just air Agents on TVNZ Ondemand in the meantime until their new season launch next year, and Trevor: why is it a shame its on TV2?

  3. According to Trevor, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is one of many to come to TV2 next year. You have got me so very excited, there is a god out there

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