TV One Goes Back to the Future

Wednesday nights on TV One are going back to the future with the return of quality British drama in primetime.

After using the mid-week 8.30-10.30 zone for forgettable US fodder like Code Black and Unforgettable for most of the year, it’s restoring programming integrity with a run of mainstream UK drama — a genre that used to distinguish it from its rivals.

The network’s following the multi-night stripping of the exceptional Happy Valley with another top thriller, The Secret, which will air in two-hour instalments tonight and next week.

And from June 29 it will screen the second series of Prey at 8.30 (on a double-bill with the returning Britcam: Emergency on Our Streets).

Ironically, TV3 will fill the void of dramatic pap with tonight’s 8.30 premiere of Chicago Med, the latest in the Dick Wolf stable that includes Chicago Fire (which tanked on TV3), Chicago PD (which didn’t fare much better) and the upcoming Chicago Law.

TV3 is teaming Chicago Med with the return of The Blacklist, which will resume from episode 18 of season three.

TV3 has botched this former hit’s prospects by shuffling it around the schedule, then abruptly pulling it mid-season and pledging to fast-track eps from the US to 3Now — only to reneg on this strategy.

While the show no longer has broad appeal, it’s a signature series with strong social media buzz that the network would be wise to nurture, hence trying to rebuild its audience on the back on a new medical drama ahead of The Blacklist’s reportedly darker fourth season.

Chicago Med is scarcely the next ER (let alone St Elsewhere) but it could develop a following among those who shun British drama and want something fresher than re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and an ageing 2 Broke Girls on TV2.

The challenge will be to pull enough viewers away from TV2’s My Kitchen Rules, which overlaps its start time by a quarter-hour.

Whatever Chicago Med’s fortunes, it’s heartening to see TV3 re-commit to drama, on the back of Sunday’s premieres of Westside and Thirteen, after months of swamping viewers with movies and reality shows.

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2 Responses to “TV One Goes Back to the Future”

  1. BOO, I just noticed on Netflix there is no mention of season 3 of The Blacklist as coming soon, I guess that’s because of TV3 🙁

  2. TV3 is run by idiots. Thx to their musical chairs on Blacklist, I watched it via other means.

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