Lethal Weapon’s Legacy Weighs on 24’s

Most territories around the world will view 24: Legacy up to a week earlier than Kiwis.

NZ, Australia and the UK are among the minority that will lag a week or more behind a series that already is making headlines.

Given 24’s global rollout to more than 160 markets, and its post-Trump terrorism topicality, it’s surprising TVNZ 2 didn’t award it the same urgency it does The Walking Dead (which returns next week).

Indeed, it would seem a natural Monday night stablemate for the zombie drama — and originally it was pencilled in to be TWD’s lead-in.

But scheduling complications appear to have ruled this out. For one thing, it would have clashed with TVNZ 1’s traditional Monday night crime procedural hour.

Moreover, TVNZ 2 will want to maximise sampling of 24: Legacy.

And it’s hard to imagine a better launching pad for a new drama than the return of Aussie crowdpleaser My Kitchen Rules, which will be 24’s lead-in from today week.

Running episodes eight days after the US also will cushion TVNZ 2 against Fox TV pre-empting 24’s run for its own reasons.

The biggest risk with running US series so close to their domestic transmission is their momentum can be spoilt by US scheduling decisions beyond a local network’s control.

It’s easy to replace an original episode of a comedy like The Big Bang Theory with a re-run but fans of serialised dramas like 24 aren’t as forgiving if they can’t get their weekly fix.

That was apparent with shows like This Is Us and Lethal Weapon, which started strongly only to falter as their runs were interrupted.

Indeed, another reason why TVNZ 2 will be screening 24 8.30 Tuesdays rather than Mondays is so it can be the lead-in to new episodes of Lethal Weapon and help to rebuild its audience.

24’s US premiere was the most watched episode in the history of the franchise, because it followed Super Bowl LI (“one of the top four most watched TV shows in American history”), but mixed rating and early reviews justify TVNZ 2’s scheduling caution.

They have ranged from “mostly does its job” (The Hollywood Reporter) to “unfortunately, in classic bad-form 24 fashion, egregious stereotypes and caricatures abound” (Entertainment Weekly).

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3 Responses to “Lethal Weapon’s Legacy Weighs on 24’s”

  1. I’m boycotting the new 24 because there is no Jack Bauer, I want Jack back :(

  2. But Mr Trevor, with Corey in this series just see how he will do before you judge.

  3. This is another series that has gone way beyond its expiry date.

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