HD Heads Up: August 11

Full steam ahead for The Big Yin … D’oh! Mythbusters to expose Simpsons stunts … Country Calendar goes film noir … Jane the Virgin fit for late-night?


Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America, in which The Big Yin explores the US via the American Rail Network, will screen 8.30 Saturdays on TV One from August 20. Quipped The Guardian: “The first of the three-part series covers the journey from Chicago Union station to the Seattle Space Needle and ladles Americana on to the screen like relish on to a burger. Take big bites and die happy.” Apparently the 73-year-old comedian had a near-death experience while making the series when he slipped in the shower on a train …

The long awaited MythBusters investigation of stunts on The Simpsons will air on August 25 (Prime, 7.30). Could Homer’s tubby torso really absorb the strength of a wrecking ball? Although sites like IMDb and Wikipedia cite The Simpsons Special as the episode that opened the 2015 season, Prime insists it’s playing the series chronologically. “We schedule episodes according to the run order we’re supplied by the distributor and The Simpsons Special is episode seven,” a spokesperson says …

TV3 will launch The Real Housewives of Auckland in HD on August 22 at 8.30 but thereafter the franchise spin-off will screen in SD on Bravo. It will double-bill the sampling stunt with Adele – Live In New York City while premiering later in the week its own reality newcomerWedding Surprises: Caught On Camera (9.35 Thursday). “Is it highbrow?” asked London’s Evening Standard. “No. Is it undeniably entertaining? Of course” …

And the network today announced Rove McManus will host the August 26 broadcast of  7 Days. It will be the first show in 7 Days’ seven-year history that Jeremy Corbett, who’s overseas, hasn’t hosted. “Jeremy is a great host on 7 Days,” says producer Jon Bridges. “Or is he? It’s like being married – you never know what other husbands might be like, and you never get a chance to find out. I’m really looking forward to our little fling with Rove” …

TV2 is burying a new comedy, Kevin From Work, in a 3pm Sunday slot from August 21. The show only lasted one season but was favourably reviewed — “clever writing and smart pacing” (Entertainment Weekly), “put this ABC Family comedy in the ‘recommended’ column” (Variety) — although the New York Times argued: “It’s all supposed to be mindless fun, but the jokes are too unsophisticated and unoriginal to justify the damage” …

Prime will screen Jane the Virgin in HD for the first time when it premieres the second season on August 26. But the channel is writing off its appeal by scheduling it at 10.30, despite top critics praising its ongoing strengths. Said Variety: “The innovative blend of form, mood and tone in Jane the Virgin continues to be an accomplishment of the highest order. It is envisioned, edited and curated with great deftness and economy, and the fact that it is so entertaining and accessible should not preclude it from being at the center of conversations about the best the medium has to offer” …

Title of the week goes to Hyundai Country Calendar for its August 20 episode on actor-cum-Cental Otago vintner Sam Neill: Film Noir (TV One, 7.00)

TV One will promote Kiwi Living from Friday nights to 7.30 Tuesdays starting August 23. Taking over its Friday slot that week is another run of Kirstie and Phil’s Love It Or List It

The only network movie premiere in HD for the week starting August 20 will be The Maze Runner (TV3, 7.00 Sunday). The other coming attractions in HD include: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (TV3, 4.05 Saturday), Mulan (TV2, 5.20 Saturday), Green Lantern (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (TV3, 7.00 Saturday), The Adjustment Bureau (TV3, 9.05 Saturday), Moneyball (TV One, 10.35 Saturday), Cop Out (TV2, 11.00 Saturday), I Love You Phillip Morris (TV2, 12.55am Sunday), Dirty Teacher (TV2, 2.45am Sunday), Man of Steel (TV2, 8.30 Sunday), The Thing (TV3, 9.10 Sunday), V/H/S (TV2, 11.00 Sunday), and Die Hard 2 (Prime, 8.35 Thursday). One highlight that should have been in HD but is being sidelined to Duke in SD is What We Do in the Shadows (8.30 Monday) …

Monday’s 60 Minutes (Prime, 8.30) visits the “Doomsday Vault” in the Arctic Circle, where scientists are preparing for humanity’s worst case scenarios; reviews how far technology in robotics is moving; and meets a Tanzanian couple who have fostered  almost 100 children …

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One Response to “HD Heads Up: August 11”

  1. I’m pretty sure either Paul Ego or Dai Henwood hosted 7 Days once. Was a couple of years ago.

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