HD Heads-Up: April 20

TVNZ 1’s latest fish-out-of-water comedy/drama, Doctor Doctor, in which an arrogant Sydney surgeon is exiled to a country practice, will replace 800 Words from May 3 (8.30 Wednesdays). The Sydney Morning Herald described it as “the return of rural medical drama” to Australian TV. “Doctor Doctor is dependable, honest and sincere Aussie drama with a full cast stronger than has been seen in a long time,” Decider TV said. “The script, somewhat predictable at times, barrels along nicely in no small part to the performances of the entire cast” …

Another Australian newcomer, Murder Calls, is a “raw and confronting crime series” that opens with the case of Herman Rockefeller on April 30 following the premiere of The Naked Choir. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Rockefeller was a good friend of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who attended his wedding in the 1990s and paid tribute to him as ”a tremendous man – a good, loyal friend'” ..

Also new from across the ditch is Bride and Prejudice (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Mondays from May 1), in which pending nuptials are jeopardised by issues of age, sexual orientation, religion and skin colour. Said The Guardian: “Bride and Prejudice could have been a great fly-on-the-wall documentary. It could have been an opportunity for people to learn – both about the pain prejudice causes, but also about where it comes from and how we can overcome it … It could have been a break from the tired reality TV show tropes. But it isn’t. That’s the real disappointment” …

Prime Rocks will premiere a Kiwi crowdpleaser on May 2: Shihad – Beautiful Machine, which chronicles the Wellington band’s 20-year evolution from underground punk to worldwide success. It spearheads a month of Kiwi music specials that includes re-runs (albeit in HD for the first time) of Radio Punks – The Student Radio Story, NZ Women in Rock and Dragon …

Three will screen the free-to-air premiere of Penguins of Madagascar against TVNZ 2’s network movie premiere of Million Dollar Arm on April 29 (7.00). Other HD coming attractions that week will include: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Three, 9.00 Saturday), Zak And Miri Make A Porno (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Saturday), The Fifth Estate (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Saturday), The Family (TVNZ 2, 1.50am Sunday), The Fault in Our Stars (Three, 8.10 Sunday), View From The Top (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Sunday), Chernobyl Diaries (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Sunday),  After Sunset (Prime, 8.30 Monday) and SWAT (Three, 8.30 Thursday) …

Three’s latest Celebrity Family Feud specials will be Sports Stars vs Sports Stars on May 2 (Chris Harris, Anthony Boric, Lisa Tamati and Stu Wilson vs. Buck Shelford, Dion Nash, Steven Luatua and Brad Shields), and Comedians vs. Comedians on May 3 (Raybon Kan, Guy Montgomery, David Correos and Chris Parker vs. Simon McKinney, Josh Thomson, Alice Brine and Pax Assadi) …

Guesting on the May 5 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00) will be Harry Styles, Brendan O’Carroll and Rob Brydon while appearing this week on Prime’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon will be Sienna Miller, Anthony Bourdain and Chris Cornell (11.30 tonight), and Bob Odenkirk, Lucy Hale, Robert Irwin and Brad Paisley (11.30 tomorrow) …

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15 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: April 20”

  1. I know I’m off topic but I just wanted to say YIPEE I see Amazon are coming to our part of the world and are going to Australia, perhaps now we will be treated better with Blu-rays 🙂

  2. At the very least Amazon should make it cheaper to import Australian Blu-rays. It’s amazing how many titles go on sale on Blu-ray or 4K across the Tasman but are offered here only on DVD.

  3. I agree, Philip,they will probably have special prices for New Zealand as they will have their eyes on us as well 🙂

  4. Hi Philip, are you able to confirm if TVNZ Duke has dumped The Late Late Show with James Corden from their schedule. It appears to have disappeared from its line-up. If it has been dumped are there any plans to bring in another late night show or is this becoming cost prohibitive for the niche channel, especially after the axing of Full Frontal earlier this year?

  5. Hi Leo. Thanks for the alert. Here’s TVNZ’s response: “Unfortunately The Late Late Show did not prove as popular as we had hoped. Duke has no future plans to air the series at this stage. There are no immediate plans for a talk show replacement.”

  6. Thanks, Philip, for getting back to me, appreciate you getting the answers for the questions we ask. It irks me that Duke has given up on another late-night talk show, they could of at least kept Full Frontal with its weekly episodes. I know its a long shot but I hope Prime will air it as a companion to The Tonight Show but this seems unlikely. Online it is, I guess.

  7. According to the NZ Herald the news on TVNZ is now in HD and will be in full HD in a few weeks, I do hope Newshub get their act together and will screen all of their news in HD and not just the studio 🙂

  8. Wish someone would show The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

  9. Thanks, Trevor. I saw that, too, and have updated This Week in HD: April 22-28. In typical TVNZ fashion, there wasn’t an official announcement about the upgrade, which epitomises the broadcaster’s bizarre disinterest in promoting its HD content. For months I have been pestering the broadcaster about when 1 News would go HD, only to be told as recently as February there was no word on progress. It’s not clear if the changeover will extend to Q&A on Sunday mornings but here’s hoping, as that remains the only current affairs hold-out after Fair Go and Sunday went HD earlier this year. And credit to 1 News for at least providing higher-resolution SD field footage than Three. Expect this to be in HD from now on, which will make Three’s reluctance to invest in HD cameras look even more pathetic.

  10. Couldn’t agree more, Mark. I was so surprised when Prime opted to replace The Late Show With David Letterman with The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. But broadcasters in this market have long sold viewers short on late-night US talk shows. Look at the fiasco over The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, when Comedy Central NZ dropped both of Comedy Central US’s signature hits. And SoHo has only just picked up HBO staple Real Time With Bill Maher for the first time. He and Colbert should have been on air here last year when the US election campaign was in full flight. Similarly, there’s a Showtime documentary series about US politics called Circus that Sky should have acquired. Isn’t the point of paying for a pay-TV service to see niche content that free-to-air broadcasters can’t justify?

  11. I think Fallon is the right choice for Prime. He’s broad and not as political as his counterparts, which has of late seen his ratings eroding and Colbert’s exploding. Colbert simply won’t work in New Zealand. Too American! The Daily Show was tried by Four before Comedy Central way back when and failed. These shows are great but will only ever attract a niche audience. Bill Maher and Trevor Noah are my faves. Have a poke around YouTube. All of the late shows have a significant portion of their content online. You can subscribe to each for free.

  12. I can’t believe The Circus has never made it here. They are currently airing a second season in the United States that could easily slip into SoHo’s Monday night block.

  13. Valid points all, Brian, but I still think if you’re going to have a late-night talk show, it might as well be one with an edge — as evidenced by Colbert making more headlines here than Fallon.

  14. Don’t get me wrong Philip, I’m no Fallon fan. Every time I see him I get the sense that he knows how clever he is with that “look at me being funny” look on his face. I watch Colbert clips via his YouTube channel.

  15. IMO, those late shows only work in clip form now in NZ. Carpool Karaoke does well along with viral clips but the timing of shows airing is so inconsistent and asking people to sit down for an hour every night is a big ask.

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