Eight months after chief David Leckie said that an announcement of Seven’s digital plan was “imminent”, the network has told the public about their new channel to begin on Sunday 1 November at 12.00pm.
“It’s Time”, shouts the promos, for 7TWO (and yes, the promo is a light-weight take on the iconic political campaign of 1972.) Perhaps the promo should shout “It’s About Time”, as Seven is the last of the three commercial networks to launch a digital channel, following OneHD in March and GO! in August. Even SBS beat Seven to air when it re-worked its World News Channel to SBS2 in June.
The new 7TWO promises a raft of programming genres from classic Australian content (Sons And Daughters, Mother And Son and early episodes of Home And Away) to British and American comedies and dramas (e.g. Lost, Ugly Betty, 24, Heroes, Scrubs, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Gavin And Stacey, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat), plus movies, lifestyle shows (featuring presenters including Jamie Oliver and Martha Stewart) and footy flashbacks from AFL.
The new channel will be carried on Seven’s digital platform in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on digital channel 72. It is also expected to be carried via regional networks Prime and Seven Queensland and on pay-TV via Foxtel in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from dates to be advised.
The first week’s prime-time line-up looks like this:
Sunday 1: 6pm Scrubs, 7.30 Movie: McHale’s Navy, 9.30 Movie: The Ringer (premiere).
Monday 2: 6pm The New Jay Leno Show, 7pm Movie: Seabiscuit, 9.30 Movie: Master Spy – The Robert Hanssen Story.
Tuesday 3: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 Ugly Betty (Series 3 premiere), 8.30 Reaper (premiere), 10.30 Strike Force, 11pm Last Comic Standing.
Wednesday 4: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 American Gladiators (premiere), 8.30 Heroes (Series 4 premiere), 10.30 What About Brian, 11.30 Commander In Chief.
Thursday 5: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 Fifth Gear (premiere), 8.30 Stargate Atlantis, 10pm Strikeforce Fight Night, 11.30 Monster Garage.
Friday 6: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 Scrubs, 8.30 The F Word, 9.30 Fight For Life, 10.30 Escape To The Country, 11.30 Last Comic Standing.
Saturday 7: 6pm Destroyed In Seconds, 6.30 Air Crash Investigations, 7.30 Egypt, 8.30 Jamie’s Outdoor Room, 9.30 60 Minute Makeover, 10.30 How Not To Decorate, 11.30 Last Comic Standing.
Sunday 8: 6pm Scrubs, 7.30 Movie: Kate And Leopold, 9.30 Movie: Kill Bill, 11.30 Last Comic Standing.
The full program guide for 7TWO’s first week is online now at Yahoo7.
Seven’s approach to 7TWO as a broadly-based entertainment channel is in contrast to fairly focused efforts by Ten and Nine with their OneHD (sports) and GO! (youth-oriented entertainment) channels. GO!, in particular, has helped the Nine Network’s audience share and ratings for Nine and GO! combined have taken some weekly wins away from the stand-alone Seven.