Say It Ain’t So, Homer … D’oh!

The Simpsons will be one of the biggest HD casualties of a revamped TV3 and C4.

This morning in Wellington, MediaWorks announced C4 would be rebranded FOUR early next year, and recalibrated to attract 18-49 year-olds, while TV3 will evolve into a TV One rival, targeting 25-54 year-old (see Onfilm for an in-depth appraisal of the changes).

Traditionally, TV3 has programmed for 18-49 year-olds and C4 for 18-39.

As a consequence, several of TV3’s properties will change channels, including The Simpsons, America’s Next Top Model and Top Chef.

Of these, the biggest loss from TV3 will be The Simpsons, because it will no longer screen in HD.

That’s right – despite MediaWorks chief executive Jason Paris declaring the new-look C4 will appeal “to anyone looking for great entertainment,” rather than just niche, youth-driven fare, the broadcaster still doesn’t plan to give the channel an HD makeover.

That means not just The Simpsons but a swag of HD shows will languish in SD for the FOUR-seeable future.

These will include such acquisitions as The Good Guys, Covert Affairs, Community and The Gates (you can see HD promos of these series on YouTube).

If MediaWorks is serious about repositioning C4 as a major player, then it needs to give it the market credibility of HD – otherwise, risk even its new, older demographic downloading these shows as HD torrents months before they screen here.

As Bart Simpson himself wrote on the school blackboard in the opening credits of the first HD episode of The Simpsons, “HDTV is worth every cent.”

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