HD Heads-Up: December 13-19

Computer-generated blasts from the past stand out in a week when TV2’s early evening schedule gets a pre-Christmas revamp with Home and Away switching to 7.00 weeknights, Neighbours being replaced by an extra episode of Friends and The Voice switching from primetime to off-peak.

After a steady decline in its ratings, TV2 is moving the talent quest to 4pm Saturdays from December 13, where it will air in three-hour blocks.

It had planned to screen an hour-long episode in Shortland Street’s slot on December 12 but has since opted to trial Home and Away here for a couple of weeks.

The Aussie soap will screen as a “one hour special” the following Monday, and then in half-hour instalments for the rest of the week.

Its shift from 5.30 coincides with Neighbours taking a Christmas/New Year break, with TV2 filling its 6.30 void with hour-long re-runs of Friends.

The pick of TV2’s pre-Christmas specials is Toy Story That Time Forgot (7.00 Sunday), in which Woody and the gang battle a group of anthropomorphic, combat-ready dinosaurs.

It screened two days ago in the US, where Variety acclaimed it as “funny, warm and not afraid to include gags clearly intended more for parents than their kids … it’s the kind of production that keeps the franchise fresh (and crassly, merchandise flying off shelves) while waiting for yet another sequel.”

But because it’s only a commercial half-hour, “this Toy Story doesn’t have the barrage of witty asides and pop culture fun that we’ve seen in the movies,” the New York Daily News said.

“The spirit remains true, however, and this is a nice add-on to the movies, with the familiar subtext that the cool effects in video games are no substitute for a kid’s own imagination.”

It screens ahead of TV One’s HD must-see David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive (7.30 Sunday), a 90-minute special that The Telegraph dubbed “delightful” and “somewhere between Walking with Dinosaurs and Night at the Museum … natural history pitched at the child in all of us.”

Otherwise, movies dominate free-to-air schedules in the run-up to Christmas but the only network premiere in HD is The Tourist (TV2, 9.00 Monday).

The rest of the week’s coming attractions include:

  • Charlie’s Angels 2 — Full Throttle (TV2, 9.10 Saturday)
  • Dorian Gray (TV2, 11.15 Saturday)
  • Surrogates (TV2, 1.30am Sunday)
  • Flightplan (TV2, 3.15am Sunday)
  • My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks (TV2, 8.45am Sunday)
  • Alice in Wonderland (TV2, 7.30 Sunday)
  • The Siege (TV3, 8.35 Monday)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (TV2, 7.30 Tuesday)
  • Disney’s A Christmas Carol (TV2, 7.30 Wednesday)
  • Soul Surfer (TV2, 12.30 Thursday)
  • National Treasure (TV2, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Maid in Manhattan (TV3, 8.40 Thursday)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (TV2, 7.30 Friday)
  • The Sixth Sense (TV2, 10.05 Friday).

In other HD comings and goings for the week starting December 13:

  • The series finale of Sons of Anarchy spearheads a slew of finals, including Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook: Through the Seasons, Agents of SHIELD, Devious Maids and Gang Related (which was axed after one season)
  • If you missed their original runs, TV One is repeating Billy (8.55 Sunday) and Broadchurch (10.55 Sunday)
  • The network also is continuing with Nashville, launching season two off the back of season one (9.35 Saturday)
  • Michael Keaton, Jamie Oliver, Victoria Wood, Sir Ian McKellen and One Direction guest on The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.40 Friday).
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One Response to “HD Heads-Up: December 13-19”

  1. It’s a pity that TVNZ treated Almost Human so badly. They started off in prime time, though they showed some of the episodes out of order, then dumped the rest into the graveyard slot showing two at a time to get rid of them.

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