Take a look at the homepage ( www.axn-asia.com/afterworld ) of AXN's latest offering, Afterworld (Mondays to Fridays, at 8pm), and you'll see a countdown of the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the launch of a strange little series that defies TV convention. Watching the seconds eat into the minutes on the otherwise static site recalls the paranoia induced in the minds of the masses on the eve of the new millennium - when the Y2K phenomenon threatened to erase all social security records, crash planes and eat your homework. Harnessing this piece of science fiction, writer Brent Friedman and filmmaker Michael DeCourcey created the story in 130-plus episodes. It begins the day before a quiet apocalypse - named 'the fall' by survivors - disables everything electronic overnight and causes 99 per cent of the world's population to - poof! - disappear. The series follows everyman Russell Shoemaker's 4,000km trek from New York, where he was attending a marketing conference when the fall took place, to his Seattle home in the hope of finding his wife and daughter. When you tune in for this CGI-format saga, you'll notice a couple of things: firstly, the animation is crude and barely three-dimensional (falling a long way short of the soon-to-be-launched Star Wars: The Clone Wars series); secondly, each episode is only three minutes long. That Afterworld was first conceived for an internet audience, having premiered on YouTube and Bud.TV last year, might explain the Lilliputian format. What isn't so clear is why AXN would bother putting it on TV - unless the three-minute-a-day air time is actually part of a viral marketing campaign that pushes audiences to the website, where - if they sign up for a SmarTone or Vodafone service - they can download the episodes and watch it all on their mobile. Ah-ha, mystery solved. Firmly planted on a single broadcast platform, Lead Balloon (BBC Entertainment; Fridays, at 8pm) is back for a second season, with Jack Dee (below far right) as Rick Spleen, a successful but world-weary stand-up comedian who spends his time drinking too much coffee and devising work-avoidance strategies. Pegged as Britain's answer to American ad lib comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lead Balloon snidely makes fun of Spleen's domestic life, where petty crimes spiral out of control and mundane exchanges take on hilariously exaggerated significance. Also this week, Edinburgh-born cycling and food enthusiast Nell Nelson peddles her way through her native land in The Woman Who Ate Scotland (Asian Food Channel; Tuesdays, at 10pm). During a 10-year period living in Hong Kong, Nelson contributed to a now-defunct food column, Grazing, in this magazine and wrote three cookery books. The series follows a very athletic Nelson on her tour of the high roads and cycle tracks of Scotland in search of the most scenic routes and the ingredients and recipes the Scots like to keep to themselves. There are no three-minute sprints here; each episode consists of a two-day excursion to one of Scotland's most attractive areas, where Nelson sits down to whisky-paired meals and encounters the likes of a B&B owner who makes her own organic sausages and a fiery chef of a four-star hotel.