REGIONAL TV viewers in Queensland and NSW will have to tune into digital channel Go! to see Come Fly With Me, the new comedy from Little Britain’s David Walliams and Matt Lucas.
On Friday, Channel 9’s regional affiliates WIN and NBN decided to pull the BBC comedy from its primetime slot at 8pm tonight, replacing it with repeats of The Big Bang Theory.
Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast viewers will be able to see the show at 8pm on Nine’s Brisbane signal but other regional viewers will have to stay up late to see the encore airing on Go! at 10pm.
A WIN spokeswoman said the broadcaster would be monitoring the reaction to the show in the major cities and that it would be added to the schedule in a few weeks “pending ratings”.
Come Fly With Me, which is set in the UK’s busiest airport and features Walliams and Lucas playing nearly 50 characters between them, has been well received in the UK and New Zealand.
NBN head of programming and publicity Kellie Hampton said the show was pulled because of its potential to offend regional viewers.
“The regional TV audience is different and although the show has been classified 'PG' we want to see the feedback and ratings first," she said.
Little Britain fans took to local radio and social networking sites to express their frustration.
On Come Fly With Me’s Facebook page Aaron Chad Hargrave posted: “is so mad that NBN willn't air Come Fly With Me outside major's city's. Newcastle and regional areas always misses out on the good stuff! Not happy NBN, interesting that its still advertised in TV guide, Not good NBN false advertising!!! “
Equally angered fan Linda Reid wrote “Control freaks who won't let us country folks see this are extremely OFFENSIVE!”.
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