HD Heads-Up: April 27 – May 3

➢➢ TVNZ 2 is going to challenge Three’s comedy crown on Fridays by pitting its own double-bill of Kiwi and British humour against enduring crowdpleasers The Graham Norton Show and 7 Days. On May 3 at 8.00, it will air The Best Foods Comedy Gala and at 9.00, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Earlier seasons of the latter have been playing on Duke and TVNZ 2 will pick it up from the 17th, which went to air in January in the UK. Replacing Cats on Duke will be Kiwi newcomer Start Me Up. Dubbed a classic car spin on Country Calendar, it will air 9.00 Wednesdays and 9.50 Sundays …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 programmers clearly feel the time is right to launch their own Friday night comedy alternative to Three’s, having at last clawed back the viewers with a top-rating season of Harry Potter movies. Its new duo, however, will face off against the season 25 premiere of Norton, with guests Sally Field, Bill Pullman, Keeley Hawes, Matt Lucas and The Lumineers, and the 7 Days special, NZ vs. The World, in which Paul Ego, Dai Henwood and Ben Hurley take on the UK’s James Acaster and Lauren Pattison, and Australia’s Chopper …

➢➢ Keeping it local will be Prime’s Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits (8.30 Sundays from April 28), in which musicians and industry professionals go behind-the-scenes of our biggest chart-toppers, including Don’t Dream It’s Over, Slice of Heaven, Drive, Why Does Love Do This To Me?, Home Again and Royals

➢➢ The same week Three will overhaul Wednesdays with two series premieres and the return of Hawaii Five-O (from episode 21 of season seven). The latter will be double-billed with Magnum P.I., which will air 8.30 after LEGO Masters Australia, in which eight teams of LEGO fanatics compete in “the biggest and funniest battle of the bricks”. It will premiere on Australia’s Channel Nine two days earlier and follows a Channel 4 series that The Telegraph thought “ingenious … but its construction is a little shaky”. The Independent likened the UK version to The Great British Bake Off, “but with lots of polyethylene bricks; there is the same breathtaking imagination and mini-human dramas on display” …

➢➢ Magnum P.I. recasts the Hawaiian sleuth as an ex-Navy SEAL who returns home from Afghanistan and uses his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii. While the reviews were lukewarm — Reason.com quipped “the newbie, Jay Hernandez (Scandal) comes across more like Tom Berenger in The Big Chill, playing a wimpy actor in a Magnum-like show” — the ratings were strong enough for CBS to renew it in January …

➢➢ As expected, TVNZ 1 is using Easter programming to revamp Monday nights. The low-rating Manifest, which has just been renewed for a second season, will shift to 9.30 Saturdays from April 27 and season 14 of Criminal Minds will take over the 8.30 Monday beat from April 29 …

➢➢ The change spearheads an autumnal refresh on the network that will include the premieres of Emergency Call (7.30 Tuesdays), How the Other Kids Live (8.30 Tuesdays), The Bay (8.30 Wednesdays) and Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip (8.30 Thursdays), plus new seasons of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (7.30 Thursdays) and Britain’s Got Talent (7.30 Fridays/7.00 Saturdays)  …

➢➢ Also returning that week will be World’s Wildest Weather (Prime, 8.30 Saturdays), Pure Fly NZ (Duke, 8.30 Wednesdays) and, on a new night, Take Me Out (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Thursdays), while ending their runs will be Modern Dinosaurs and Call the Cleaners

➢➢ Angry Birds: The Movie (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday) and The Great Wall (Three, 8.30 Sunday) will be the only network movie premieres in the week starting April 28. Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Star Wars: A New Hope (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Captain America: Civil War (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Saturday)
  • High School Lover (Three, 9.25 Saturday)
  • The Night Stalker (Three, 11.10 Saturday)
  • Joe Dirt (TVNZ 2, 11.35 Saturday)
  • Raising Arizona (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Stalked By My Doctor: Patient’s Revenge (TVNZ 2, 12.10am Monday)
  • A Man Apart (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • Gangs of New York (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Bank Job (Three, 8.35 Thursday)
  • Team America: World Police (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Waterworld (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday)
  • South Park – Bigger, Longer and Uncut (TVNZ 2, 10.15 Friday).
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9 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: April 27 – May 3”

  1. Good news about H5O returning (yet again!). Any news of Bull or Designated Survivor?

  2. Not sure about either. Bull is one of the CBS Studios International dramas that haven’t performed for Prime. Given a revamp is in the wings for the channel, it may resurface late-night. I imagine S3 of Designated Survivor has been delayed on Netflix because of MediaWorks picking up the NZ rights, so if it continues to air the series, fans may have to suffer as long a catch-up as H5O diehards.

  3. Hi Philip, Happy Easter. Is Prime News safe with this channel revamp? The five-year contract with MediaWorks to produce Prime News expires this year. Will this signal the end of nightly news on the channel as it moves to a more sport-focused strategy?

  4. Thanks, Leo. Lovely to hear from you after so long. That’s a great point you raise. But unless it can’t come to another arrangement with MediaWorks, I doubt Prime would dump the news bulletin. It invariably rates higher than any other programme on Prime’s schedule.

  5. Hey, Cliff. S3 of Designated Survivor will premiere June 7 on Netflix. Three has pulled S1 indefinitely but says it will screen the remaining episodes.

  6. Thanks, Philip. Looks like patience is again required with Three’s programming.

  7. If a revamp is in the wings for Prime, is there a rumour it may include upgrading terrestrial to HD yet? In 2019 and not being part of Freeview’s new integrated multi-broadcaster OnDemand platform, it seems being in HD for broadcast at least is a no brainer to remain credible.

  8. There is a absolutely no evidence what so ever to even suggest that Prime TV will ever go HD on Freeview. They have said, every single time someone has asked, NO.

  9. Cheers, Philip. Thanks for your reply. It does appear Prime News will continue on despite the channel revamp. A lot of interesting movements happening at Prime. One can only hope it launches LIVE streaming as part of its revamp. Keep up the good work, Philip, the many posts are always great to read.

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