9:35pm Friday, November 16 on Prime

Drama Series

Tatum deals with a case of criminally transmitted HIV, and discovers that the area is a legal and social minefield. The victim is ridden with guilt when it emerges that her silence has put countless other women at risk. Richard faces up again to the formidable Judge Walker, but things still don’t go smoothly for him in court. This time, his witness refuses to co-operate at all, leaving Richard embarrassed. Janet is back to work on a case of a woman smothering her two sons, and is forced to question the woman’s mental state.

9:35pm Friday, November 9 on Prime

Drama Series

Erin finds herself digging deeper into the Stone/Mervich case. Discovering harrowing evidence of the physical abuse the sisters suffered at the hands of Ray Stone, Erin is forced to question her own principles. Despite Rhys’s insistence that she look at the case objectively, she wonders whether prosecuting against such battered women is unjust. Lina’s personal and professional lives intersect when Tariq gets in trouble with the police. Her brother’s activism forces her to examine her own Islamic identity. Still recovering from his grandfather’s death, Ben gets back to work on an emotionally testing case: the accidental death of a child left in a car by his parents. The DPP is put into an awkward position when an elderly computer expert comes forward having skimmed hundreds of thousands of dollars off subscribers to a hardcore porn site – his real intention being to generate publicity for his anti-pornography campaign.

9:35pm Friday, November 2 on Prime

Drama Series

Ben is devastated after his grandfather Alfred is killed – brutally assaulted and left to die over a parking space by the driver of the car, Cooper. Ben is angry when he finds out that Tony and Richard have been given the brief. When Ben fails to ID the culprit in a line-up, Richard is left with scant evidence to press the murder charge. But the discovery of a deleted app on Cooper’s phone gives them enough to prosecute. External barrister Rhys is brought in for the Stone/Mervich case, and chooses Erin over Lina as his instructing solicitor. Tatum listens to wire-taps for the Hammel drug case. But a potential lead turns out to be an embarrassing misunderstanding. Lina clashes with her brother Tariq over his activism. He in turns accuses her of abandoning her Islamic roots.

9:30pm Friday, October 26 on Prime

Drama Series

Richard’s first day in court is a series of disasters topped by his burqa-clad witness storming out and Tatum discovering that he’s been sleeping in the office. When Tatum invites Richard to live at her flat, Conrad is far from pleased. Ben’s dinner with his grandfather almost ends in violence, when his grandfather confronts an aggressive driver over a disabled parking space. Secret lovers, Lina and Andy, argue over the gruesome murder of Ray Stone by the ‘Boltcutter Babes’ – a case that will leave Erin questioning what justice really means.

9:30pm Friday, October 19 on Prime

Drama Series

Crownies follows five young solicitors, as they face the pressures and endearing madness of modern single life – in a fast paced workplace that highlights the moral dilemmas and big issues facing an apparently civilized society. In a world that exists solely to see ‘wrong-doers’ brought to justice, and where the average age of the solicitors is 27, there is a big divide between these young solicitors and the barristers at the top. Yet they are the initial point of contact with the police, and it is they who do most of the liaising with the victims and the witnesses – and recommend what goes to court. They are committed, idealistic and hard-working, but their lives away from the office are riddled with aspirations, explorations, fragile relationships and partying. In tonight’s episode, a top secret file is leaked after a wild Christmas party and all the young solicitors are under suspicion.

Prime held their New Season launch for 2012 on Tuesday at the Langham in Auckland and of the three networks, it was by far the flashest.  Themed around their hit Emmy Award winning series Downton Abbey, guests arrived to high tea complete with curtsying help at the door.

The Great Room at the Langham is an excellent venue at any time and it definitely suited the theme.

And the food was divine.

Unless you worked in advertising though, you weren’t really there for the food and the excuse to get out of the office for a couple of hours.

Before we were introduced to what was in store for Prime in 2012, Karen Bieleski, Prime’s programmer got up to say a few words.  Her speech was priceless and started off with a quote from Fox’s head of scheduling about what a programmer does.

Our job is to build the house so you can change the furniture once in awhile. You don’t want the furniture to get stale, worn and unattractive but nor do you want to buy a complete new set every few months.

It was a quote that set the tone for what was coming next; the not so subtle mocking of recent programming decisions at TVNZ.

Bold scheduling moves get all the media attention, yet I would argue that the best schedule is one that features the least amount of change: predictability is an audience’s best friend

One couldn’t possibly imagine what Karen was referring to.

Once we find a show and slot that work together, our preference is always to stick with it.  New Top Gear plays Sunday at 7.30.  Cooking shows play Tuesday 7.30 and 8.00.  Murders play Saturday 8.30.  If we start Torchwood Thursday 9.30, the series will finish its run Thursday 9.30.  If Downton Abbey performs well Tuesday 8.30 for series one, you can be pretty sure that’s where series two will be.

If we ever find something that works at 7.00, you know we’ll be sticking with it till the end of time!

And then there was the final dig at recent changes to Sunday and Monday nights on that other channel.

Without Prime, free-to-air viewers would have much more limited choices – like whether to sit down with the family to enjoy Embarrassing Celebrity Aircrashes or to switch over just in time to catch the premiere of Oh No! My Fat Pet Can’t Dance.

Very entertaining indeed.  But let’s take a look at what is coming to the Prime schedule in 2012.

Wild Boys


Downton Abbey
Paul Merton in Europe
Expedition Impossible
Junior Masterchef Australia
Case Sensitive: The Point of Rescue

Arctic with Bruce Parry
The Sinking of the Laconia

Case Histories

True Blood
Boardwalk Empire


New Tricks
DCI Banks

Upstairs Downstairs

Silent Witness
Midsomer Murders
Prisoner Wives
History Under the Hammer (Local Series)
Australia’s Got Talent
Masterchef USA
The Restaurant Inspector

Country House Rescue

Antiques Roadshow
Top Gear USA
Shearing Gang (Local Series)


Deal or No Deal
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Vacation, Vacation, Vacation
The Grand Plan (Local Documentary)
A Shocking Reminder (Local Documentary)
Secret War
True Stories
Prime Rocks
Prime Presents
Prime News: First at 5:30
The Crowd Goes Wild
London 2012 Olympic Games
Man vs Wild
Top Gear
Doctor Who
America’s Got Talent