A stellar 1.4 million viewers tuned in for the premiere of Lost
on Sky One last Sunday and, although those of you without it have no hope of seeing it re-appear on Channel 4, you can watch the first two episodes online for free. And legally! Click here
for the details.
Meanwhile, the broadcasters are now starting to lift their respective lids on the Christmas schedules, so keep your eyes pealed for more gossip in the coming weeks. From the BBC we can expect the much-anticipated This Life
reunion, the final ever Vicar of Dibley
and, of course, the Doctor Who
Christmas Special. And from ITV, well.. erm, let's just wait and see.
Finally, a quick word to those of you who may have missed out on the iconic Dawson's Creek
first time around. There's another chance to catch the series, from the start, courtesy of Five Life beginning this Monday at 7pm.
On to the questions...
Stevie: "What's the deal with ITV cancelling Jane Hall? The one decent show they've had in donkey's years and they don't re-commission it!!! Cheers me dear, loving the work! xxx :o)"
I'm feeling you, Stevie. Unfortunately it was doomed before it made it to screen: it had been sitting on the shelf for two years before ITV saw fit to air it. Trying to get the cast back together again after such a time is understandably difficult. But totally their own fault. It may interest you to know that Sarah Smart is currently working on a new miniseries
for the BBC.
Steve: "Is there going to be another series of Harry Hill's TV Burp anytime soon?"
Neil: In the New Year.
Karen: "Are there any plans for Lost to be shown on Channel 4 or E4 maybe next year when Sky have done with it and they can buy it off them for tuppence/ha'penny, or am I clutching at straws?"
Neil: You're grasping, nay floundering, with all the indignity a non-Sky viewer can muster.
Lucy Brown: "Hey, Neil! As a relatively new conversion to the Atlantis world I just wondered if, one, it's still in production and, two, will the second series be released in a boxset anytime soon?"
Neil: It is indeed still alive and kicking. As for the S2 boxset, the provisional date I have is February 26 next year.
Claire: "I've been pleasantly surprised by the amount of improvement shown in the much maligned Robin Hood. It's becoming more enjoyable as the weeks go on and there's been some cracking stories. In interview Mingella said they'd hear about a 2nd series in November. Any news yet?"
As you may have seen
, the Beeb confirmed a second season earlier this week. At the launch of the programme a few months ago I nabbed a quick chat with the big bad Keith Allen who revealed that the cast is actually contracted for as long as a possible third season in 2008. And for all the criticism this show has had, it's delivered an impressive and solid audience week-on-week, despite going up against ratings juggernaut The X Factor
Daniel Jacks: "Scrubs season 6 kicks off in the States November 30th. But any idea when it will pop up on E4?"
Neil: Nothing confirmed yet, but most likely next summer.
Following last week's Robin Hood
disaster, ITV has come along to up the ante for this week's swag spot.
On offer from the stash of swag this time are two
copies of the new Vincent
DVD! And it's not just any old DVD - each contains every episode from series one and two in full!! And it has Ray Winstone on the cover!!!
Are you reading, Auntie?! Click here
Michelle: " Any word on when we should expect season 3 of House MD to hit our screens? I've got the first two season on dvd, and they're gettin a little worn... lol"
Neil: It's currently targeted for January 18.
Ric: "Hi neil I read your column every week and look forward to your scoops.. Keep up the good work. I was just wandering like many other people what the ratings were for lost on Sky One. Was it worth the investment for them?Thanks alot"
Neil: The last question is always debatable and the answer is, on the strength of direct ratings alone, probably not. But it's about more than that - getting people to buy Sky, getting people to tune in to Sky One and getting a significant brand association in the psyche. The premiere had 1.4 million viewers, with repeats on Wednesday and Friday pulling in an extra 390,000 and 100,000 respectively. That's around a 45% retention from Channel 4.
Mojo: "Hi Neil, im not a happy camper. Cant believe it looks like Sky have shelved showing Rescue Me until January, why did they do this? There was a 2 page spread devoted to its return in November's Sky mag and you told me a few weeks back that it would be November 28th, of course I'm not blaming you but what happened?"
Neil: You should blame me - I ordered the delay.
Rick: "Neil... I am absolutely gutted Justice could be axed next year! Why have Americans not taken to it? Can we not send some mean men round to Fox? This is a travesty. Use your contacts (You must have some), don't allow Fox to do it."
Neil: I'd blame Fox's slightly unusual Fall premiere strategy for its failing; I still insist that a January launch would have better suited the editorial of the show.
Anon: "Does anyone know when the second season of supernatural will be shown in the uk?"
Neil: I do! I'm sure a lot of you will be pleased to learn that season two finally kicks off Sunday, January 28 at 9pm on ITV2.
Mikey James: "Hey Neil, I love the column no matter how long it takes to materialise!! Was just wondering, I've really been enjoying the E4 spin off of 'Holyoaks In the City' and the recent new show to Channel 5 'Tripping Over'. Was just wondering how these programmes are fairing in terms of ratings and the possibility that they would be recommisioned for another series? From previous Holyoaks spin offs, the characters of Ben and Lisa seem to move around quite a bit!"
Neil: In The City has already been axed - with fewer than 100,000 viewers - around 4% of the Hollyoaks audience - it's just not economical to recommission it (but that probably won't stop them trying with a new incarnation). Tripping Over is sailing below a million, but it's doing better in Oz. A second series could happen but I wouldn't bet on it.
This week I had a natter with Michaela Conlin.
"Who?", you cry. Why, it's Angela from Bones
, you ignorant fools! The second season of this much-lauded drama kicked off on Sky One last week and, to mark its return, we quizzed Angela on what we can expect to see in the new season. The full interview will
be up shortly but click here
to download an audio snippet of Michaela discussing how her character has changed from last season.
Maria Williams: "Hi Neil, would you know if there's a slight possibility of people in Wales/UK being able to tune in to watch Ellen DeGeneres with her U.S. tv show 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show',please??Thank you"
Neil: Try tuning to Five Life every weekday between 4 and 6 (new episodes at 5, repeats at 4).
Chris Slinn: "Do you know if any broadcaster in the UK has picked up the excellent series, Heroes?"
As has been well documented already, Sci Fi Channel gets the first bite of this in Feburary - after which it gets an outing on BBC Two
. I'll be ramping up the excitement in the coming weeks and months - and look out for your chance to put your questions to the cast.
Karl Purdon: "Any idea when we can expect to hear whether or not torchwood has been recomissioned for a second series? Taking ratings etc.. into account whats the chance in your opinion of us getting one ?"
Neil: It won't be too long before the announcement comes through, and it's pretty much a cert. Put it this way - from what I'm told, the team is already working on the assumption that they have a second series.
Kyle: "Honestly. what do you guys do at Digital Spy Towers. Kris is always late and now you are slipping into a bad routine! Are you guys very busy or just plain lazy?"
Neil: Things always go to pot around the festive period because of something called "the Christmas pull-up", which is a pain in the festive ass for most media organisations. But yeah, we're lazy.
Cris: "Just got hooked up in yet another medical drama. I've just discovered "Saved" on the Hallmark Channel. I've noticed the first series is only 13 episodes long. Does that mean, it hasn't been picked up for a second season? How did it do Statewise?"
Neil: Don't read anything into the episode order. For broadcast networks (NBC, FOX, etc.) the initial order is thirteen episodes, then a decision is made on whether to pick up what is known as "the back nine" and complete the season. On the cable networks such as FX and USA the season length is traditionally just thirteen (for budgetary reasons). And you can rest easy, Saved has already been picked up for a second season by its US network TNT.
Matthew Hyndman: "10 weeks into the US season, I think it now safe to say Jericho is the break out hit of the new season, and why not it's fantastic. But my question relates to the UK broadcast right for this brilliant show. I know Hallmark have the first right and ITV have the second. But my question relates to ITV side of the deal. I know when ITV purchased the right, they attended them just to be for ITV4, with possible late night repeats on ITV1, but since the show now become such an breakout hit, and the US show purchased for ITV1 Six Degrees as well, bombed and been cancelled already, are ITV going to give Jericho a peak time airing on ITV1. Surely ITV can't turn down the chance to air such a brilliant successful drama when they have so much trouble making their own. Also how long does Hallmark have the first run rights to Jericho, I can see if it's only for one series or two a bigger competitor trying to take them after that."
Neil: I wouldn't count your chickens - although it's been a success Stateside, I'm unconvinced it will make waves here. A slot on peaktime ITV1 can't be ruled out, but it's pretty unlikely. Programming head Simon Shaps has cooled significantly on the possibility of putting acquisitions in prime - not surprising, since they picked a set of duds - including Six Degrees, despite its promise of a place in the heart of the schedules. Hallmark's pickup is a one-season deal, as far as I'm aware.
As always, select the area to the right of each programme to read the text - but be warned that you may well be spoiled.Next week on Torchwood: Another cracking episode next week that marks the return of Suzie. Remember that glove she abused in the first episode? Well, Gwen becomes its new master, employing it to help solve a case of murders that eventually point back to Suzie. Cue her resurrection with the glove - which, incidentally, has been given the supposedly more sinister nickname "The Risen Mitten" by Ianto - but unlike the other victims, she fails to die within the two-minute window. Suzie slowly starts to regain her strength and appears to assist with the case - but why? And why is she so keen to see her dying father?Torchwood airs Sunday nights at 10pm on BBC ThreeBonus Torchwood scandal: Has Captain Jack been having it off with Ianto?
Send your requests for shows to be featured in the Spoiler Spot to the usual place.
That's your lot for this week. Next week's edition is already in the works, so who knows, maybe it'll arrive on time!
Probably not.Additional reporting by Kris Green