HD Heads-Up: December 7 – 13

➢➢ Prime will strip the outstanding miniseries Chernobyl from 8.30 Sunday-Thursday from December 8. The nuclear reactor meltdown dramatisation originally screened here on SoHo and is widely regarded as the best TV drama of the year. The consecutive-nights strategy lends itself well to Chernobyl’s compelling, blood-curdling momentum and follows its stellar Blu-ray release …

➢➢ Three is cutting short its top-rating runs of 9-1-1 and Hawaii Five-O to clear the decks for deck-the-halls programming in the lead-up to Christmas. In the second week of December, both procedural staples will end weeks earlier than the seasons that have aired in the US while it looks as if stablemate The Rookie will go on hiatus the same time as in the US. 9-1-1 is stopping with episode six of season three and H5O with ep 21 of S8 …

➢➢ Also ending their runs that week will be Sunday, Deep State, Chicago PD,  Have You Been Paying Attention?Hamish & Andy’s Perfect HolidayPolice Ten 7Truck Night in America and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown …

➢➢ Returning for new seasons will be Shipping Wars (Prime, 7.00 Saturday), Storage Wars (Prime, 7.00 Sunday) and 60 Minutes (Prime, 9.40 and 11.40 Sunday) — hopefully having two different broadcasts of the vintage newsmag on the same night signals a push by Prime to close the two-month gap between NZ and US airings  …

➢➢ The Radical Story of Patty Hearst (Prime, 9.45 Tuesdays from December 10) is a CNN documentary series about the 1974 abduction of the heiress-turned-bank robber based on a book by CNN legal analyst Jeffry Toobin. “Toobin’s book on the kidnapped heiress was a mess,” said Reason.com. “This telling is much better” …

➢➢ Said The Guardian of another true-crime doco premiering the same week, Psychopath With Piers Morgan (Three, 9.40): “We know there are monsters out there. But this interview with Paris Bennett, who killed his four-year-old sister when he was 13, added nothing in the way of insight or analysis.” The Telegraph thought it “clumsy and voyeuristic” but The Times praised the “restrained, clinical approach” and the Evening Standard acknowledged: “The interview is gripping and Morgan conducts it boldly” …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 will refresh Saturday nights with two variety-themed series: Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions (7.30), a supersized version that brings together the most talented and memorable acts from past series; and Class Act (9.30), which captures the school production spirit of students, staff, parents and the greater community — complete with a helping hand from Holli Smith, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Stan Walker …

➢➢ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jodie Whittaker, Sir Michael Palin and Harry Styles will guest on the December 13 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00) …

➢➢ There will be two network movie premieres in the week starting December 7: The Big Sick (Three, 8.50 Saturday) and I, Tonya (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • The Secret Life of Pets (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Gravity (TVNZ 2, 9.05 Saturday)
  • Blade 2 (Duke, 9.35 Saturday)
  • American Sniper (TVNZ 2, 11.00 Saturday)
  • Last Vegas (Three, 11.15 Saturday)
  • The Boss (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Like Father, Like Son (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • 7500 (TVNZ 2, 11.00 Sunday)
  • London Boulevard (TVNZ 2, 1.30am Monday)
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting (TVNZ 2, 9.35 Monday)
  • Enemies Closer (Prime, 9.45 Monday)
  • The Devil’s Own (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Speed 2: Cruise Control (Three, 8.30 Thursday)
  • 48 HRS. (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (TVNZ 2, 9.35 Friday).
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