TV1 Plays Scrooge Over Coro St

It will be a not-so-Merry Christmas — or Happy New Year — for Coronation Street fans.

TV1 will pre-empt the world’s longest-running primetime soap so much for seasonal specials that only one original hour of it will air from December 19-January 1.

An extra-long MasterChef Australia will oust Coro on December 19 while that week’s  two-hour Friday broadcast will one replaced by re-runs of Christmas specials featuring Miranda and Mrs Brown’s Boys.

There will be a Saturday hour-long broadcast on Boxing Day but screening instead of Coro on January 1 will be Royal Variety Performance 2015.

Moreover, TV1 has confirmed it has no plans to start screening the serial in HD.

The network’s attitude to this British institution is inexplicable given lesser soaps like Emmerdale and EastEnders trail their UK broadcasts by weeks rather than years while TV2 staples Shortland StreetHome and Away and Neighbours switched to HD long ago.

TV1 might argue Coro’s primetime ratings in other than the 5+ demographic make it a low priority for HD or catching up to UK telecasts.

But that would ignore Coro’s on-demand popularity and potentially how much more appealing it could be with up-to-date storylines (the “latest” storylines screening here coincide with the set being rebuilt in a new location two years ago).

The soap’s scope for growth certainly won’t be enhanced by being taken on and off air for programming as perfunctory as TV1’s Christmas and New Year’s Day fare.

Moreover, such cavalier treatment devalues the warhorse’s strategic importance to the network: whenever TVNZ’s ITV deal is renewed, losing Coro to the competition is non-negotiable.

Worthier of attention in the week starting December 19 are the premiere of David Attenborugh’s Conquest of the Skies (7.30 Sunday), the return of Born to Kill (9.30 Monday) and the documentary The Secret World of Lego (8.00 Tuesday).

According to the British Bird Lovers site, “Conquest of the Skies not only entertains and educates but also attempts to answer the age-old question of whether birds fly because they have wings or have wings because they fly.”

The series was shot in 3D for broadcasting on Sky TV UK but next month’s Blu-ray release of the series will be 2D-only.

Meanwhile, The Australian called The Secret World of Lego “a fascinating look behind the doors of the headquarters in rural Billund”, where The Express observed “there were all sorts of rules, from not consuming sugar to not leaving your stuff on a desk for more than 90 minutes.

“How strictly people stuck to them, though, and how they all amounted to a spiritual belief, was about as clear as the instruction book for my son’s Lego Death Star.”

Also new  in HD on TV1 for the week starting December 19 are The Chase Australia (7.00 Monday-Tuesday), Michael McIntyre’s [2014] Christmassy Christmas Show (9.05 Thursday, opposite Graham Norton’s 2015 Star Wars-themed show on TV3) and Gadget Man’s Guide to Christmas (7.00 Friday) while back for a stripped late-night re-run from 11.20 Wednesday is Nothing Trivial.

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6 Responses to “TV1 Plays Scrooge Over Coro St”

  1. I have the 3D Blu-ray of Conquest of the Skies (imported from Amazon UK) and the 3D quality is excellent.

  2. Thanks, Mark. It’s a mystery to me why the Australasian BDs of these Sky commissions are 2D-only. What a wasted opportunity to distinguish the BD from the HD version already broadcast.

  3. Guess the Coro fans will be writing to the editor and to their local MPs again as they’ve done in the past. Time for them to crawl into the real world of TV ratings like the rest of us …

  4. Fair point, Paul, except: name one other primetime series that’s as out of date as Coro St? It’s ridiculous in this age of same day/week as the US delivery that a peak hour staple should be two years behind other markets. TV1 should either get with the programme (literally), and catch up to the UK, or relinquish the rights to another broadcaster who would.

  5. If I was TVNZ I’d take the leap and fast forward two years. Film a special episode that catches up through the past two years and start afresh with week/month old episodes in 2016. Believe the Aussie networks did similar with US soaps about 15 years ago.

  6. Agreed. TVNZ should do it properly or not at all. From memory Coro St in Oz is on Foxtel but if it went to Sky here there would be another outcry.

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