Prime Pads Primetime With Pap

What’s wrong with Prime? The channel continues to make us wait for Planet Earth II and the latest series of Top Gear while littering its schedule with second-tier premieres and re-runs.

Top Gear post-Clarkson & Co may be running on the smell of an oily rag but it still deserves priority over yet another Best of Top Gear retread, which will air 7.30 Tuesdays from June 27 .

And premiering two days later are two of the worst reviewed newcomers of the 2016/17 season in the US: The Kennedys: After Camelot and Conviction.

The Hollywood Reporter dubbed the former, which will air in one-hour instalments 8.30 Thursdays, “a sequel that few people demanded and nobody involved really knew how to make … A two-night, four-hour mess lacking in dramatic structure or emotional and thematic beats.”

“Even Bravo has too much class for this four-hour misery,” quipped the Boston Herald in the Kennedy heartland while rival the Boston Globe said: “Turns out the best way to experience this absurd, horribly written, curiously acted soap opera is to keep your humour about you, to jeer-watch as the characters become tabloid parodies.”

After Camelot is being double-billed with Conviction, which succeeds another female-centric, politically-charged drama, Madam Secretary.

It stars Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell as an ex-President’s daughter whose mother’s White House ambitions complicate her new role in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

The Wall Street Journal thought it “not just compelling and topical, it’s a master class in TV-series construction” — but other mainstream verdicts ranged from “pretty standard stuff, part legal drama, part soap” (Los Angeles Daily News) to “a law procedural so paint-by-numbers it’s like everybody gave up halfway through and added terrible colours out of boredom” (The Hollywood Reporter).

Variety gave it the benefit of the doubt — “a fun watch, and a series that will likely resolve its initial hiccups” — but the New York Times argued: “It’s constructed of gimmicks and dynamics borrowed from other crime shows. The genre’s too crowded for a series that’s this unexceptional.”

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4 Responses to “Prime Pads Primetime With Pap”

  1. “Even Bravo has too much class for this four-hour misery,”

  2. Personally I think Prime should be closed down. No ratings, inability to attract an audience, its advertising revenue must be marginal versus costs = years of value destruction. Better to offer sports highlights, movie promos and delayed FTA sports. On another note, staggering that TEN has been paying Fox and CBS a combined A$150m pa for content. Ouch. No wonder it chose voluntary administration as FTA becomes increasingly marginalised.

  3. Mike: The problem is that Prime is also a FTA channel so what happens to the programmes it already shows. Go behind the Sky paywall. Also, what will happen to Primes UHF frequency, another ethnic or +1 channel?

  4. I’m not sure that Sky would be able to put the FTA content behind the paywall – that’d be dependent on whats in the contracts. But Sky could easily write off the value of the content and just not broadcast it.
    The UHF frequency becomes a promo, highlights, Prime News and FTA sport channel. In theory Sky could put whatever content it likes on it – it’s still being used as a frequency. Absolutely no need to create an ethnic or +1 channel (Prime +1 already exists on the Sky platform – goodness knows why). No different than MediaWorks turning 4 into Bravo – what happened to all the 4 content? Some went onto 3, some just disappeared.

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