Aussie programmers back with a bite

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It's only the second week of 2009 and already we have our work cut out just to stay on top of programming changes.

It may be "non-ratings" period but there have been plenty of changes in our schedules, and more to come before the return of official ratings on February 8th.

Still smarting over the loss of 90210 and Fringe? You better sit down for this.

Channel Nine has dropped Gossip Girl from its current schedule.

Nine was screening the first series, which has already aired on FOX8, in December. Considering the show's younger audience the 10:30pm timeslot was a rather odd choice, even more so when paired with ER which preceded it. The show was paused with both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve falling on a Wednesday with plans to resume it. Sadly, those have gone out the window in favour of double ER eps. So far, there is no indication if or when the show will return.

TEN has also been very busy in the programming department. It has removed America's Next Top Model from Sunday and Monday nights -- another season that has aired on pay television. Now the show will resume very late on Saturday nights at about midnight, beginning 12:15am Sunday January 18.

TEN will replace the Sunday edition with a movie and on Mondays it plans Simpsons/Rules of Engagement repeats.

Out of the Blue will also disappear after Thursday January 16th as TEN Late News returns to its 10:30pm timeslot. If you've been hooked on late night soap, so far there isn't any news of where the remaining episodes will land.

The Bold and the Beautiful is to return to 4:30pm from Monday January 19th, replaced by -- you guessed it -- The Simpsons.

Both Blue and Bold were something of a summer trial by TEN, considered fairly daring slots for the soaps.

TEN will even return Taken Out back to a late night slot for about two weeks, screening after midnight from Monday January 12.

And Seven, which hasn't been quite so frenetic as its rivals, will also return Britannia High to Saturday afternoons beginning 12pm January 31st. It will start the series from episode one -- the only one it aired.

Of course, by the time you read this there's every chance it could have changed all over again. It's gonna be a long year.

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