HD Heads-Up: April 11-17

Thunderbirds are go on Sunday nights, where the no-strings-attached sci-fi reboot will air 7.00 on TV2 from April 12.

Early UK reviews are promising.

“‘5-4-3-2-1… Thunderbirds are go!’ If there was any doubt that the iconic launch sequence still had the power to quicken the pulse after 50 years, it was dispelled within one minute of this reinvention,” said The Telegraph.

“Music swelled, rockets spat out flames and I found myself wide-eyed boyish wonder all over again.

“Pleasingly for us oldsters, many elements from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s original series were intact.”

Thunderbirds Are Go! should thrill young audiences as much as Gerry Anderson’s original,” GQ predicted.

“Whether grown-up fans will be embrace the new format is open for discussion …

“Adjusting to the new digital visuals may be a problem for some die-hard ‘Birdies (and the quality of the CGI doesn’t quite match programmes like Star Wars Rebels), but the show’s high paced take on the old narratives of heroism in the face of catastrophe easily suspends disbelief.”

Thunderbirds’ hour-long premiere will lead in to the premiere of American sitcom Black-ish which has been streaming on TVNZ Ondemand, and the resumption of the network’s Sunday Premiere Movie, starting with Men in Black 3.

The changes will push back Gotham to 10.40 and the Sunday Suspense movie to 11.40.

The overhaul follows months of lacklustre ratings for TV2 on a night that used to be its stronghold.

It precedes a raft of finals as TV2 prepares to strip My Kitchen Rules from 7.30 Monday-Wednesday.

Checking out early on Monday are The Middle (mid-season) and Cougar Town, which will end three weeks shy of its season-six finale, while completing their latest runs are Tuesday’s Motorway Patrol and Wednesday’s Two and a Half Men.

The week’s other finals include In the Club (TV1, 8.30 Sunday), Our First Home (TV1, 7.30 Tuesday), Dallas (TV1, 11.15 Wednesday) and Was It Something I Said? (TV1, 10.05 Thursday).

After seven weeks of dire ratings, TV3 is replacing State of Affairs mid-season with the HD reality hour Car Crash Britain (9.25 Monday) and will use another Richard Hammond vehicle, Wild Weather, to take over from Top Gear (7.30 Thursday).

Other HD highlights for the week starting April 11 include cross-over episodes of The Flash and Arrow (TV2, 8.30/9.30Thursday) and the network movie premiere of Silver Linings Playbook (TV2, 8.30 Saturday).

Among the week’s other HD coming attractions: Ides of March (TV1, 10.35 Saturday), Youth in Revolt (TV2, 11.00 Saturday), Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (TV2, 12.45am Sunday), The Double (TV2, 2.40am Sunday), The Final Destination (TV2, 11.40 Sunday), Failure to Launch (TV3, 8.30 Wednesday), Repo Men (TV3, 8.35 Thursday) and Gridiron Gang (TV2, 8.30 Friday).

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7 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: April 11-17”

  1. I bet MediaWorks are peed off that Top Gear came to an end so soon after they got it. It’s not like they can show endless repeats of the previous episodes like Prime does.

  2. That’s quite right. But worse could be yet to come if Clarkson & Co get picked up by ITV, with which TVNZ had a first-dibs deal.

  3. Any news as to when Dancing With the Stars will be dancing across our screens, Philip? I notice it’s already being advertised as coming soon 🙂

  4. No, I don’t, Trevor, but ScreenScribe contributor Doug Coutts has a “scoop” on another MediaWorks revival …

  5. HA, I reckon TV3 should also bring back Top Town, such a fun show 🙂

  6. I bet if Thunderbirds isn’t in the top two ratings at the end of the second week it will end up on the Saturday afternoon scrapheap and be replaced with another reality programme.

  7. Saw the first double-episode of Thunderbirds and it’s awful! The hyped animation is a poor mishmash of CGI and scale model sets. It really should have been one or the other. The story was rote, voice acting cringeworthy. This was bad enough to make the 2004 live-action film look good!

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