NBN & WIN decide Come Fly With Me might be too offensive for regional viewers

Come Fly With Me cast. Image from BBC

Last week I ranted about the poor offerings on Freeview, especially on the commercial channels. Today there’s even more reason to complain.

Tonight at 8pm the Nine Network (which these days also owns NBN Television) will begin showing Come Fly With Me, a new series by the guys from Little Britain. This was the highest rating new comedy series in the UK last year and a second series has been commissioned by the BBC.

After a run of comedic flops on Nine this year (Ben Elton, Mike & Molly and Sh*t My Dad Says) the eagerly anticipated Come Fly With Me offers a reason to finally flick over to the self-described “home of laughter” for a genuine laugh.

But NBN and WIN have decided not to run Come Fly With Me fearing it might offend regional viewers. Instead it will run repeats of Big Bang Theory.

Nine are running an edited version of Come Fly With Me they feel is suitable for the 8pm PG timeslot, yet NBN and WIN feel even this is too risque for our regional sensibilities.

If viewers in the NBN and WIN regions want to watch Come Fly With Me they can wait until 10pm and watch it on GO!

What’s more offensive, running a new program that’s already been a proven winner in the UK or deciding that regional viewers are somehow more sensitive than their capital city counterparts and would be happier with a safe old repeat?

At a time when free to air TV is under threat from Torrent downloads, subscription TV and a plethora of other entertainment options this decision is baffling and provides another reason for viewers to drift away from FTA as their first choice for entertainment.

As the principal of an advertising agency I want commercial television to be strong so clients have the opportunity to reach the best possible audience, but safety-first programming like this is actually harming the industry.

What do you think about NBN and WIN’s decision not to run Come Fly With Me despite it running in all capital cities on Nine?

Update: Somebody close to the action at NBN has just told me that the word is it was a directive from head office at Nine not to run Come Fly With Me in prime-time in regional areas, not a local programing decision. While Nine have been suffering badly in the ratings against Masterchef, NBN and WIN are still performing strongly. The thought is that Nine were willing to sacrifice Come Fly With Me against Masterchef as they have nothing to lose, however NBN / WIN would be better sticking with what has been working for them. If this is the case, and it hasn’t been confirmed, then at least it makes sense from a purely strategic point-of-view and is a much better explanation than what has been offered officially. Perhaps they should just come out and say it.

Update 17 May: Ironically Come Fly Turned out to be the best comedy premiere for Nine this year after the failure of Ben Elton, Sh*t My Dad Says and Mike & Molly. Its also one of the best performing shows for Nine at all this year. Come Fly With Me debuted with 1.488million viewers in the capital cities last night, not far behind the nights top program Masterchef (1.571m) and ahead of the much hyped Amazing Race Australia (1.258m). If the previous theory bout sacrificing CFWM against Masterchef is true then Nine must have been pleasantly surprised with the results. It once again begs the question, why aren’t NBN and and WIN showing it. I’ll post Newcastle results as a comparison when I get them.

Update 720pm 17 May: NBN General Manager Deborah Wright has just announced that they will now show Come Fly With Me at 8pm Mondays from next week following the success of the program. We observe that this might also have something to do with the fact Masterchef rated very well in Northern NSW against NBN while Come Fly With Me performed well in the capital cities for Nine.

Posted under Television, Television Shows

Written by Craig Wilson

17 Responses to “NBN & WIN decide Come Fly With Me might be too offensive for regional viewers”

As a regional Australian, I find this censorship highly offensive. The only person to choose what I find offensive is me!

I was really looking forward to this show. WIN have grossly underestimated the intellect of their audience with this one!

Comment by Belinda on May 16th, 2011

It’s yet another sign that this network has no interest in new viewers and has eliminated any reason to give that station another look. The commercials, from all appearances, have no interest in the quality of their broadcasting or programs that they run beside the number of ads they can overstuff into a program. Rendering them unwatchable anyway. What is irritating is that they have the cash to splash around and buy properties that they then fail to broadcast in a supportive way.

Thank goodness for Aunty.

Comment by Lindy Asimus on May 16th, 2011

Must be something about regional people unable to use the remote control to not watch something they don’t like.

Guess that NBN and WIN would rather that people torrent material, than turn the tv to another channel.

Comment by Wolf on May 16th, 2011

I’m offended that Nine thinks I’d be offended.

Comment by OzAz on May 16th, 2011

NBN says no :(

Comment by Wayde Christie on May 16th, 2011

I’m offended by the way OzAz is offended by the fact that Nine thinks this series may offend regional viewers.

Comment by James on May 16th, 2011

This decision is strange. Why do regional residents suddenly differ from the capital city residents now? I’ll be watching it on Go! at 10pm.

Comment by Alana on May 16th, 2011

A vortex of stupidity.

Comment by Siobhan on May 16th, 2011

Cheers WIN TV. I’ve just decided to add it to my weekly downloads. Dickheads.

Comment by Carrie on May 16th, 2011

So how do we know whether we are getting the censored version or not?

Can anyone say what has been removed so that I know whether I will have to go elsewhere to watch the whole episode?

Comment by Andrew Radke on May 16th, 2011

My understanding is that the edited PG version is what will be shown at 8am on Nine and the full episode on GO! at 10pm.

Comment by Media Hunter on May 16th, 2011

The program guide for the Cairns area shows nothing on Win tonight and the 10pm Go broadcast is rated PG so it seems we ONLY get the censored version this week!

Next week it is rated PG on Win at 8pm and M on Go at 10pm.

Comment by Andrew Radke on May 16th, 2011

What have we become? China?
So disappointed after all the hype – if they think Come Fly with Me is bad maybe they should switch over to Angry Boys on abc – I’d say that was worse, even thought I can see the satire and comedy in it.
In protest I will be switching off my viewing of win.

Comment by Kris on May 16th, 2011

I find this very very annoying because they didn’t even give the show a chance and there saying its stupid. I think is is stupid that people dictact what we can and cant watch. I am now not a fan of nbs and win.

Comment by Shania on May 16th, 2011

as a regional viewer, anticipating the debut of this show,i am disgusted that win/nbn decided not to show it!
considering the rubbish & reruns nine currently broadcasts, its no wonder this channel is losing in the ratings war

Comment by stevo on May 16th, 2011

After watching it last night…a blessing in disguise for regional Australia! As a fan of Little Britain I was very dissapointed in Come Fly with me. It was utter crap!!

Comment by Michael Fahey on May 17th, 2011

Very Pi**ed off that id did not air in cairns :(

Comment by KICKBUTTOESKI on May 18th, 2011

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