Simpsons Spearheads Sitcom Resurgence on TV3

TV3 is taking back The Simpsons from sister channel Four to help anchor its strongest sitcom slate in years.

With comedies back in vogue on US TV, and TV3 beefing up local content to distinguish its programming, the network has lined up an unprecedented number of HD half-hours from the week starting February 2.

Homer and “guest star” Tom Waits.

The Simpsons, which will screen again in HD for the first time since 2010, will do double-duty, with back-to-back episodes in the 7pm Sunday hour.

It will be teamed with Family Guy at 8pm while Sunday night staple Modern Family will shift to 7.30 Tuesdays, as the lead-in to the new Matthew Perry comedy, Go On.

TV3 will follow TV2’s lead with Two and Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, and air new episodes and repeats of Modern Family within the same week.

First-run season four eps will air Tuesdays and season-three re-runs at 7.30 on Fridays, to help give new Kiwi comedy Sunny Skies a strong start.

Fridays also will introduce a 9.30 Jeremy Corbett-Paul Ego double-bill: the return of 7 Days and the premiere of the stand-up/sitcom hybrid, The Radio, based on the pair’s comedy festival hit of the same name.

Unlike Sunny Skies, however, both will screen in SD.

TV3’s refreshed schedule looks terrific, although it runs the risk of too much change for viewers while competing against established hits on TV2 — a dilemma that quickly saw its new-season ratings go belly-up last year.

Hopefully, the network will be rewarded for offering viewers a new and more rounded schedule, most of it in HD.

But don’t read too much into The Simpsons’ return to TV3.

The network says it doesn’t signal more SD shows on Four, like American Horror Story or Grimm, re-running off-peak on TV3 in HD. (So far that strategy largely seems limited to Survivor.)

Instead, with TV3’s renewed emphasis on primetime comedy, and Four’s strengthening ratings and ‘toon overload, the network can afford to mix’n’match signature shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy that have broad appeal.

On Sundays, it will pair season 23 episodes of The Simpsons, which first aired on Four, with season 24 premieres from episode nine (guest starring Tom Waits) while Family Guy will start its run from episode 10 of season 11.

Pre-season 23 episodes of The Simpsons will screen only as part of the show’s re-run loop on Four; similarly, TV3 will only reach as far back as season 10 of Family Guy.

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5 Responses to “Simpsons Spearheads Sitcom Resurgence on TV3”

  1. You forgot to mention about The Blue Rose , unless of course it’s not in HD … which I so hope not 🙂

  2. Yes, it will be in HD. I will be covering it and TV3’s other HD newcomers in a separate HD Heads-Up post. Stay tuned …

  3. “TV3, The same week as the States”??

  4. No, but it will be same month as the States. And with some shows, like Homeland and the upcoming The Americans, it will be same week.

  5. I wish TV3 would screen Community as well, it deserves a bigger audience … SO damn funny 🙂

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