HD Heads-Up: April 26

➢ Prime gets back into top gear when the return of the motoring show of the same name will help to launch a new line-up. The third season will screen 8.30 Mondays from May 7 and opens with a motorsports road trip across America’s Wild West in the new McLaren, Jaguar and Ford. Will it be third time’s a charm […]

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New to Blu: April 25 – May 1

  Darkest Hour, which fittingly dawns Anzac Day on Blu-ray, will shine even brighter next month when the 4K-UHD is released. “The 1080p Blu-ray offers a screen-commanding image that’s precise and true, even if the movie is often a contrast of shady and low-light locales,” Blu-ray.com said. “This is a terrific Blu-ray presentation of a […]

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Critical Condition: The Handmaid’s Tale (S2)

The Handmaid’s Tale | Lightbox, from Thursday ➢ “The spectre of freedom — how we gain it, and more crucially, how we lose it — looms over Handmaid’s this season, as the writers move beyond the borders of Margaret Atwood’s source material … As a cautionary tale, Handmaid’s is never moralising or hysterical, instead constructing a […]

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HD Ratings: Criminal Minds Still Going Great Guns

For the last few years TVNZ 1 has been trying to find a top-rating successor for its ageing Criminal Minds. But none has rated as well, and season 13 is proving as formidable as its predecessors. Last week’s season premiere didn’t win its slot but did out-rate the first hour of Three’s movie 21 Jump […]

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Idle Ratings Bad News for Idol

  Three is shifting both midweek episodes of American Idol to Saturday nights after weeks of persistently low ratings. The changeover happens Saturday, when the US talent quest will replace the network’s movies and screen as a three-and-a-half-hour block. Three was going to implement the strategy from May 5 but has just now announced it […]

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New to SoHo in May

A TV adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock and a true-life dramatisation of the travails of one of the world’s richest families head next month’s highlights on SoHo. Trust will explore the Getty family’s trials and triumphs over several seasons, with the first focusing on the 1973 kidnapping of oil fortune heir John Paul Getty […]

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Let the Programming Games Begin

With the Commonwealth Games over, TVNZ wants to capitalise on the bumper ratings the competition delivered, with nearly three million viewers tuning in over the 10 days. TVNZ’s sales arm reports the broadcaster’s average peak rating in 25-54 was 7.1, up 54% on the three-week period before the games. It also notched up 2.3 million […]

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Critical Condition: The Resident

The Resident | TVNZ 2, 8.50 Monday ➢ “Dr. Conrad Hawkins (The Good Wife’s Matt Czuchry), The Resident of Fox’s new medical drama, doesn’t play by the rules. He’s foul-mouthed, obnoxious, has no respect for authority but he gets results. We’ve seen him before. And we’ve seen him on much better shows. Resident (★½ out of four) is an exercise […]

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Critical Condition: Westworld (S2)

Westworld | SoHo, 1.00/8.30 Monday ➢ “As if we could ever forget. Westworld is an epic robot Western wrapped in multiple timelines and stuffed inside concentric Easter eggs — and its pleasures remain as extensive (and baffling) in season 2, which expands the world with new parks, new faces, new mysteries, and new details about […]

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New to Lightbox in May

Spark’s streaming service Lightbox will debut three exclusives next month and fast-track new episodes of a fourth. The highlight is the tense Sandi-noir hostages thriller, Below the Surface, about the hijacking of a Danish subway train, which can still be viewed on the BBC iPlayer. The Times thought it solid rather than spectacular and said […]

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Don’t Overlook … Seven Types of Ambiguity

Seven Types of Ambiguity | TVNZ 10.05 Sunday ➢ “Author Elliot Perlman’s superb, heavy-duty, Rashomonian novel Seven Types of Ambiguity unpacks an emotionally charged mystery – a case involving a child, which may or may not be a kidnapping – from seven highly subjective perspectives … The ABC’s adaptation is tame … but it retains some […]

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Critical Condition: Bancroft

Bancroft | TVNZ 1, 9.00 Sunday ➢ “After watching Thandie Newton’s meltdown in Line of Duty (to which this plot bore truly remarkable similarities, to the possible extent that lawyers might begin to rub their little hands), and that of Suranne Jones in Doctor Foster, it was poor Sarah Parish’s turn to play the driven, […]

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New to Neon in May

   Atomic Blonde and War for the Planet of the Apes can be streamed on Sky’s Neon from next month. The latter can be viewed from May 4 and the former from May 18. Other highlights include SoHo properties Hard Sun (May 12) and Mosaic (May 17), and seasons two of The Arrangement (May 26), […]

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Network Movies in HD: April 21 – 27

   Saturday  Love at First Bark | There, 12.00 Tarzan & Jane | TVNZ 2, 5.15 Inkheart | TVNZ 2, 7.00 Despicable Me 2| Three, 7.00 You, Me and Dupree | Three, 8.50 The Expendables 3 | TVNZ 2, 9.00 Dark Horse | TVNZ 1, 10.30 Purple Rain | TVNZ 2, 11.25 12 Feet Deep | Three, 11.50   Sunday Minions | Three, […]

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Don’t Overlook … People of Earth

People of Earth | TVNZ 2, 12.45am Saturday ➢ “TBS’s comedy hot streak continues with this new comedy executive produced by Conan O’Brien and Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation). Starring The Daily Show alum Wyatt Cenac, this idiosyncratic series centers on incredulous reporter Ozzie Graham (Cenac) as he probes a support group for alien abductees —sorry, I mean […]

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