HD Heads-Up: December 1

UK critics tut-tut Prime premiere … Attenborough dino-mite …


Quipped The Guardian of Prime’s new mini-series, Tutankhamun (8.30 Tuesdays from December 13): “They could have called it Down-tomb Abbey.” The four-part dramatisation of Egyptologist Howard Carter’s epic quest to discover the lost tomb in Tutankhamun stars Sam Neill and Max Irons. “If you haven’t had your head in a sand dune your entire life, then you’ll know exactly where it’s going,” The Guardian said. “With a few extra jollities thrown in along the way, and if they’re not 100% historically accurate, then so what? It’s just a bit of fun. And it is fun” …

But The Telegraph thought it “walks a line between overly camp and tiresomely solemn. With Peter Webber’s artful direction and South Africa doubling evocatively for early 20th-century Egypt, it feels sweeping rather than bloated.” And The Spectator argued it was “lavishly produced but distinctly corny” …

Another blast from the past premiering the same week is Attenborough: The Giant Dinosaur (TVNZ 1, 7.00 December 11). About the discovery and reconstruction of the largest known dinosaur, a new species of Titanosaur, it was hailed by The Independent as “a truly moving piece of TV … Sir David was, of course, brilliant – enthusiastic, informative, charming – and he couldn’t keep his hands off the artefacts” …

The Telegraph thought it “always interesting and on occasion jaw-dropping” while the Daily Mail observed the Argentine paleontologists reconstructing the biggest sauropod skeleton ever discovered couldn’t compete with Attenborough’s energy: “He was constantly joking around — a side of his character familiar to camera crews who have worked with him over the decades, but rarely seen on screen” …

There’s still no word on who’s acquired Planet Earth II here but TVNZ 1 has slated a season of natural history specials for 7.30 Sundays over summer, so the network may use this as a springboard for the series in February. In the meantime, TVNZ 1 will premiere the HD special, The Zoo: Meet the Penguins, on December 11 at 4.55, and TV3 will resume Africa from December 10 (4.55 Saturdays) …

TV3 will screen another Chicago PD crossover on December 13 but this time with hospital spin-off Chicago Med. In the US, the stunt was a three-way affair, led off by Chicago Fire, a series TV3 dropped after one season. Here, the action will open with the Chicago Med team trying to save the life of a Firehouse 51 firefighter who was stabbed in Chicago Fire’s mid-season finale. Entertainment Weekly got the “scoop” on the three-way crossover with executive producer Matt Olmstead and with the latest Chicago spin-off, Chicago Justice, screening next year on Prime, you can expect to endure more disjointed collaborations …

TV3 will complete Survivor: Millennials vs. Generation X (4.25 weekdays) within a day or so of the US: the finale and reunion special will air 4.25pm and midnight respectively on December 16. Also ending their runs that week will be LuciferThe Walking Dead, The Middle, The Real O’Neals, This Is Us, Mike & MollyThe Big Bang Theory and Mom

Coming attractions in HD for the week starting December 13 will include: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday), Four Weddings and a Funeral (TV3, 8.50 Saturday), Bad Teacher (TVNZ 2 9.30 Saturday), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (TVNZ 11.20 Saturday), Ceremony (TVNZ 2, 1am Sunday), Rise of the Guardians (TV3, 7.00 Sunday), Black Swan (TV3, 11.00 Sunday), ATM (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Sunday), Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (TVNZ 2, 12.05am Monday), Last Vegas (TV3, 8.30 Wednesday), Thor: The Dark World (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Thursday), 47 Ronin (TV3, 8.30 Thursday) and Fred Claus (TVNZ 2, 7,00 Friday) …

Appearing this week on Prime’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon will be: Felicity Jones, Billy Crudup, and musical guest Car Seat Headrest (10.35 tonight); Emma Stone, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and musical guest Kacey Musgraves (11.40 tomorrow); Chelsea Handler and John Legend while Chuck Leavell sits-in with The Roots (10.30 Monday); and Annette Bening, Steve Harvey, and musical guest Hamilton Mixtape (10.50 Tuesday) …

Jerry Seinfeld will be interviewed on Monday’s 60 Minutes (Prime, 8.30), along with former Australian rugby player Peter FitzSimons, who’s on a life-changing health kick, and the late Pablo Escobar’s son, Juan …

Carrie Fisher, Nadiya Hussain, Grayson Perry and Sandi Toksvig will guest on the December 16 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday) …

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One Response to “HD Heads-Up: December 1”

  1. Seems Supergirl will be allowed to air on the so called man channel TVNZ Duke on Wednesdays. Glad it’s been allowed to air along side it’s other sibling shows albeit in SD and in a late slot.

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