HD Heads-Up: February 17

❏ Music to the ears of fans of The Voice: for the first time TV2 will fast-track the latest series. It goes to air on March 4, which will be only three days behind the US broadcast. Season 10 will challenge the supremacy of TV3’s Jono and Ben and The Graham Norton Show while TV2 hopes to dent 7 Days’ perennial appeal with re-runs of doco hit The Undateables, which start the same night as The Voice

❏ If only TV2 would continue to fast-track The Big Bang Theory. Last week’s historic coupling between Sheldon and Amy suffered from not only being old news by the time it aired but also was a missed opportunity for TV2 to capitalise on the opening of the latest Star Wars movie as part of its Christmas Eve week specials. Similarly, the newest Fun With Flags instalment would have been perfectly timed had it gone to air tonight given both the Valentine’s Day theme and the “Dildo Baggins” coverage of NZ in the world media. Expect it to screen here three weeks from today …

❏ The same week TV2 re-runs The Undateables it will premiere Kitchen Impossible, a Channel 4 series in which Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr helps people with disabilities to succeed in the catering trade (8.30 Thursdays from March 3). “The rise of reality TV has brought some pretty awful, embarrassing and unpleasant programmes to our screens,” the writer of The Single Gourmet and Traveller blog wrote. “Kitchen Impossible transcends all the clichés; it’s a genuinely good, serious and inspiring programme” …

❏ The Kitchen Impossible premiere is a surprise given it replaces The X-Files. Initially, TV2 had hit FBI rookies drama Quantico pencilled in for 8.30 Thursdays, until the late-breaking deal with Fox for The Simpsons saw it pre-empted by the Mulder-and-Scully reboot. But the 8.30 Thursday slot has worked well for quirky doco series in the past, with The Undateables being last year’s stand-out, and dovetails in neatly with the network’s 7.30 reality hour …

❏ TV2’s Filthy Rich started strongly in the ratings despite our own Doug Coutts being first to warn of it being unoriginal and formulaic, “Gloss without the shoulder pads“. NZ Herald columnist Duncan Grieve was even harsher in his assessment: “The show should signify a moment in which we need to thank its creators for their services to our industry, and ask that they politely pass the torch to a new generation. Because we can and should do better than this.” But Stuff’s Pattie Pegler thought it was fun. “It’s got pantomime evil characters, lots of glossy settings and plenty of secrets and conflicts in the offing. It’s also a 20 episode series so there’s plenty of time to develop the story.” Similarly, The Dominion Post’s Jane Clifton predicts “it’s going to a be a glorious romp” …

❏ The producers of The Walking Dead are in the firing line for their depiction of violence against children in the shocking mid-season premiere that aired on Monday. “When we’re crafting the stories, it’s more about characters vs. how old they are,” exec producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the episode, told The Hollywood Reporter. “The comic doesn’t pull any punches, and one of the things that’s important for us is that we honour that spirit by continuing to do things that are unexpected” …

❏ “After cheating death twice, crime drama Unforgettable has finally come to an end,” Deadline Hollywood reports. “Cancelled by CBS after three seasons, the Sony TV-produced procedural starring Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh was resurrected for a 13-episode fourth season on A&E. The network has now opted not to order additional seasons, and there are no ongoing efforts by the studio to find a new home.” The fourth season continues 9.40 tonight on TV One …

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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: February 17”

  1. Didn’t TV2 pull The Voice US last year from prime time due to poor ratings?

  2. That was in late 2014. But last year TV2 had great success with The Voice Australia, so probably thinks the time is right to relaunch the original. And this time it will be up-to-date rather than months past its use-by date.

  3. Seems risky for TV2 to bring back the unpopular Voice USA and place it up against TV3’s strong Friday night lineup but I suppose with no X Factor NZ this year there is a gap for a talent show in primetime. I feel as if TV2 should just fast track The Voice USA via TVNZ Ondemand and play out the series on TV on Sunday Mornings after What Now.

  4. Leo, you so on to it. Let’s just see what happens first. But Undatables is wrong move – why not something worthwhile to suit this time slot, say another drama.

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