SoHo Breaks the Good News to Bad Fans

All bad things must come to end, quips SoHo’s publicist of Breaking Bad’s last days — but when will the premium drama channel start to screen one of US TV’s best things?

SoHo has still to announce where it will schedule crime drama sensation Ray Donovan, which goes to air this weekend in the US alongside the premiere of Dexter’s final season.

Dexter will screen here 8.30 Monday and SoHo has confirmed the eight-part conclusion to Breaking Bad’s final season will air within hours of the US, 9.30 Mondays from August 12.

SoHo’s other announcements for August mean prime slots are running out for Ray Donovan: hit British thriller The Fall will screen 8.30 Thursdays from August 29, and seasons three of Strike Back 8.30 Tuesdays from August 20 and of Hell on Wheels 8.30 Wednesdays from August 21.

In the meantime, while Ray Donovan languishes, primetime slots are being overrun with airings of shows that already have screened free-to-air (Justified, Damages) or on SoHo (The Shadow Line, Line of Duty) and, in one case, a documentary series (Witness) that should have a lower priority than a top new drama series from the creator of Southland.

Delaying Ray Donovan for so long is inexplicable when, just having lost English Premiere League soccer, Sky should be reinforcing SoHo’s point of difference as the one channel that makes resorting to the Internet to watch the hottest dramas redundant — instead of diminishing its value with increasing re-runs and ad breaks between programmes.

Case in point: while TV One sits on Mr Selfridge and other outstanding British dramas that screened months ago in the US, SoHo should be bringing The Fall to our screens much earlier than three months after it gripped UK viewers.

The Fall is one of the best BBC dramas in years,” claimed The Guardian while The Independent said it “paints an alarmingly intimate portrait of a killer”.

Starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan (Once Upon a Time), The Fall was BBC2’s biggest hit in eight years and already has been commissioned for a second series.

Meanwhile, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has described the final eight episodes as a “rollercoaster ride to hell” and fans can see a Discovery Channel MythBusters special on July 22 that tests the validity of the drama’s science, including the effects of hydrofluoric acid on a bathtub.

Hell on Wheels showrunner John Wirth says season three will take the railroad drama in a new direction, focusing on how big business, big religion and Wall Street’s new role in the White House changed the frontier’s landscape.

Common, who plays freed slave Elam Ferguson, says there also will be more humour.

“The show has become more fun. It’s not all drama. Some of it has its own time for you to smile and laugh. You can expect a high level of drama.”

The publicity for Strike Back’s third season promises “a true global canvas, opening in Colombia with parallel missions in Beirut, Budapest, Russia and Germany.

“And as in the first two seasons, five separate adventures are being presented,each played out over two episodes, with an overriding season arc climaxing in the final two episodes.”

Ahead of their season debuts, SoHo will screen box set weekends of Strike Back S2 on August 3, part one of Breaking Bad S5 on August 10, and Hell on Wheels S2 on August 17.

Also scheduled are seasons one and two of Veep on August 24, and The Wire S5 on August 31.

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