HD Heads-Up: December 12 -18

Viewers will be left on the edge of their seats with an explosive and unforgettable cliff-hanger – and it is clear that life will never be the same for our favourite Ferndale residents. “This year we’re pulling out all the stops for our Christmas Cliff-hanger. There will be romance, intrigue and tragedy on a grand scale. Each and every character will be affected in one way or another,” comments the show’s Producer, Simon Bennett.

You’d never guess it from the supplied publicity shot but … Shortland Street fans will be left on the edge of their seats with an explosive and unforgettable cliffhanger, producer Simon Bennett predicts. “This year we’re pulling out all the stops for our Christmas cliffhanger. There will be romance, intrigue and tragedy on a grand scale. Each and every character will be affected in one way or another.”

T’is the season for season finales.

More than a dozen HD series end their runs in the week starting December 12, with Shortland Street and Home and Away making the most spectacular exits.

The former will conclude with a 90-minute cliffhanger on December 14 while the latter will count down with three extra-long eps: an hour on December 15 and two 90-minute instalments on the 16th and 17th.

Also finishing for the year will be My Kitchen Rules NZ, The X Factor UKMom, The Big Bang TheoryiZombie, The Middle, Life Story, Castle, Murder in the First, Battle Creek, Highway Cops, Nashville, Satisfaction, NCIS, SVU and, in a double-episode, 800 Words.

Several of these are being pulled early in their seasons, including NCIS, Mom and TBBT — which means the milestone episode of TBBT, in which Sheldon and Amy have sex, won’t screen here until several weeks after its December 17 broadcast in the US.

HD specials peppering the schedules in the lead-up to Christmas include Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park (TV2, 7.00 Sunday), Pets: Wild at Heart (TV1, 8.40 Wednesday) and Aotearoha: Rising Stars (TV3, 9.40 Wednesday).

TV2 also has the late-night oddities, Scared of Santa (10.10 Friday), a home video clips special, and Men in Rubber Masks (11.00 Monday), a Channel 4 documentary that notched up more than 51,000 tweets when it aired in the UK under the title Secrets of the Living Dolls.

It follows the secret community of straight suburban men who like to dress up in female silicon masks and body suits.

The Independent found the doco “troubling  …  because of what it says about society’s obsession with physical perfection and sexual availability” while The Telegraph dismissed it as “a freak show behind its own mask of fake propriety. It didn’t explore why people behaved like this.”

TV2 also will screen the network movie premieres of The Wolf of Wall Street (9.00 Saturday), The Call (9.00 Tuesday) and Lockout (8.45 Thursday), along with Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (7.00 Saturday), The Mechanic (2.30am Sunday), 50 First Dates (8.30 Sunday), Dragon Wars (7.00 Thursday) and Fred Claus (7.00 Friday).

TV3’s HD coming attractions include the premiere of The Book Thief (10.25 Sunday) and re-runs of Home Alone (7.00 Saturday), Up in the Air (9.05 Saturday) and Stardust (7.00 Sunday).

Other HD highlights range from repeats of Toy Story That Time Forgot (TV2, 7.00 Tuesday) and Toy Story of Terror (TV2, 7.00 Wednesday) to re-runs of The Middle’s third season replacing Neighbours 6.30 weeknights on TV2 (subject to Christmas programming pre-emptions) and Tina Fey, Quentin Tarantino and Kurt Russell sitting side-by-side on The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday).

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