HD Heads-Up: December 29

Guess who’s back? Arnold Schwarzenegger in The New Celebrity Apprentice, which TV3 will air within 10 days of the US. The series debuts Monday on NBC and initially will screen here 7.30 Thursdays and Fridays from January 12. Schwarzenegger succeeds as host Apprentice original Donald Trump, who will continue to executive produce the series in which 16 second-tier celebrities, including Boy George, Jon Lovitz and Vince Neil, compete for their favourite charities. No sign of Rosie O’Donnell, however …

Rowan Atkinson’s first investigation as ’50s French sleuth Jules Maigret will screen over two consecutive nights, on January 8 and 9 (TVNZ 1, 8.35). Maigret Sets a Trap earned mixed reviews in the UK but was a hit with nearly six million viewers. The second Maigret mystery, Maigret: Dead Man, aired on ITV over Christmas, and two more are in the works …

Four documentaries to watch for are The Cruise (Prime, 7.30 January 8), Animals & Love (TVNZ 1, 7.30 January 10), Underage and on the Stage (TVNZ 1, 9.05 January 11) and Beyond the Brick (Prime, 7.30 January 12) …

The Cruise is a “fly-on-the-deck” look at life on board the Regal Princess for “the newlywed, the overfed and the nearly dead”. The Independent called it “all a bit dull” but The Guardian thought it “deeper and richer and far more contemplative than anyone could have realistically expected” …

The Hollywood Reporter described Beyond the Brick as “a non-comprehensive but very enjoyable ride through the Lego universe”, Animals & Love reveals the surprising similarities between the ways humans and animals pursue a mate, and Underage and on the Stage goes behind the scenes of one of the UK’s largest children’s talent agencies (Radio Times dubbed it “hugely watchable”) …

Holden Golf World will return for a summer season on January 12 (TV3, 11.05) to explore some of the best places in which to play holiday golf  …

Starting January 8 on TVNZ 2 is a 4.00-6.00 variety double-bill: I Can Do That USA and Greatest Hits, which will celebrate chart toppers from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s …

Prime is resurrecting the SoHo period magicians drama, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, for its first free-to-air run late-night on January 7 …

Ending their runs the same week will be Midsomer MurdersThe WindsorsUpstart CrowMountain GoatsGeorge Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Reno Rumble

TV3 has programmed a Saturday double-bill of two of Hollywood’s most enduring franchises. The season will open on January 7 with Back to the Future at 7.00 and Jaws at 9.05. The network’s other HD movies for that week will include the free-to-air premiere of Dumb & Dumber To (8.30 Sunday) and re-runs of Green Zone (10.30 Sunday), My Life In Ruins (8.10 Monday), Legally Blonde 2 (8.05 Wednesday) and Days of Thunder (8.30 Thursday) …

TVNZ 2’s HD coming attractions for the week starting January 7 will include: The Curious Case of Benhamin Button (7.00 Saturday), Evil Woman (10.00 Saturday), Getaway (11.50 Saturday), Think Like A Man (1.30am Sunday), Madagascar (6.50 Sunday), The Hangover (8.30 Sunday), Scream (10.30 Sunday), The Proposal (8.30 Monday), Semi Pro (8.30 Wednesday), John Carter (8.30 Thursday) and War of the Worlds (8.30 Friday) …

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5 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: December 29”

  1. Is there any indication yet as to why Jono and Ben are moving to Thursday night in the new year? I would guess having something to do with The Project? Surely it won’t be to accomodate Celebrity Apprentice? I can sort of see the logic in trying to bolster another night of the week given Graham Norton and 7 Days can probably anchor Fridays but Jono and Ben very much seems like an end of week show.

  2. Has the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ever been on TV in New Zealand before? As it’s now on Netflix and I love it with its fun mix of comedy and music, it’s so darn clever, also Happy New Year 🙂

  3. I’m as surprised as you, Clint. Presumably programmers can see more potential for J&B earlier in the week, even though its Friday ratings have lagged well behind the rest of TV3’s light-ent line-up for that night. The move appears to be unrelated to Celebrity Apprentice, which airs in weekly two-hour blocks in the US but will screen in one-hour instalments here on Thursdays and Fridays. By the time J&B returns in March, Apprentice will have ended its run. TV3 has commissioned 26 hours of J&B for 2017, so it will provide stability for the 7.30 Thursday slot and a point of difference to TVNZ 1’s lifestyle/property programming and TVNZ 2’s reality fare. I would expect TV3 to fill the 7.30 Friday hour with an import as there’s nothing in its recent NZOA funding approvals that would fit the bill and by then The Project hopefully will have been bedded in as a stronger lead-in than Story.

  4. Happy New Year to you, too, Trevor. I’m not aware of Crazy Ex having screened here previously and will check it out based on your recommendation.

  5. I hope you like it, Philip, having watched a few episodes now I think it’s one of my favourite TV shows, it’s just so different from any other shows and a breath of fresh air, sad to see though that not many people are watching it, I guess they prefer reality TV shows … I think Netflix should buy it 🙂

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