Christmas HD Line-up Ho-Hum Rather Than Ho-Ho-Ho

T’is not the season to be merry if you’re an HD buff.

All of the free-to-air networks are taking a Scrooge approach to Christmas week programming.

The only 1080i highlight is TV2’s premiere of Falling Skies on January 28.

Otherwise, HD is largely limited to re-runs of movies like The Bucket List and The Family Stone on Christmas Eve, Die Hard on Christmas Day, Braveheart and Poseidon on Boxing Day, and Speed and Speed 2 on January 28 and 29.

There’s also TV2’s late-night Christmas Eve comedy special, A Feast of Funny, and TV3’s Christmas morning telemovie trilogy starring Peter Falk as an angel.

TV3 also is re-running Modern Family 7pm weeknights, TV One has a Christmas Day repeat of The Topp Twins and the APO, and TV2 is resurrecting season one of The Walking Dead as a curtain-raiser to season two’s premiere.

It will air 10.30pm Wednesdays, after two-hour instalments of the eight-part Falling Skies.

The Steven Spielberg production precedes TV3’s 2012 launch of another of the Hollywood titan’s TV series, Terra Nova.

All three have apocalypse or post-apocalypse themes but according to at least one analysis, are hampered by their family constructs: “Doomsday has been domesticated, to our loss.”

Nonetheless, despite such middling reviews, Falling Skies was US cable-TV’s highest-rating series launch in 2011 and as well as being renewed for 2012, sparked a graphic novel series.

Meanwhile, post-Christmas holiday HD viewing is looking equally grim, with the only HD premiere of note in the first week of January being TV3’s broadcast of Coraline on New Year’s Day.

The only other bright spot is the return of Justified — but not in HD: TV One will launch season two at 10.45pm on January 4, the same day it’s released on (hopefully region-free) Blu-ray in the US.

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5 Responses to “Christmas HD Line-up Ho-Hum Rather Than Ho-Ho-Ho”

  1. I’ve seen all of series one of Falling Skies. It’s real slow for the first half but gets real interesting in the second half, assuming TVNZ keeps it going all the way thru I assume it will be on in the dead hours of about 10.30pm or later?

  2. TV2 actually has given it an 8.30 slot. The network’s traditionally had a weakness for Wednesday sci-fi (FlashForward, V) and only relinquished the strategy this year for a comedy block that rated much higher. It originally touted Falling Skies to advertisers in July but when ratings dipped midway through season one in the US, it must have had second thoughts about awarding it a pre-Rugby World Cup slot. However, its decision to run if off in four, two-hour instalments over summer, when viewership tumbles, at least means season one will screen uninterrupted. And if it does rate halfway decently, it may encourage the network to screen season two closer to its US transmission.

  3. These networks need to provide for their viewers. Get broadcasting HD shows. TV One should be showing Coronation Street in HD.

  4. I guess the broadcasters don’t want to waste money on new HD movies or shows over summer when there are normally less viewers. As for Soho, how many subscribers pay for it now? Hopefully shows like Treme will get on free-to-air next year.

  5. Haven’t seen Falling Skies but anything would be better than Terra Nova. Just seen the pilot for Michael Mann’s new series Luck and it’s the best thing I’ve seen on TV all year. An HBO show so will probably end up on Sky 🙁

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