HD Heads-Up: February 18

❏ Premium drama fans who have abandoned TV One on Sunday nights now that it’s the home of Blindspot have a new saviour: TV3 will premiere the highly anticipated BBC spy thriller, The Night Manager, on February 28, barely a week after its UK premiere. An adaptation of the John Le Carre novel, it will screen 8.30 Sundays in a bold programming move for which the network deserves to be rewarded. The gambit flopped with Safe House last year but paid off with Humans and The Night Manager promises to be better than both …

❏ Its cast includes Hugh Laurie, Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman, Tom Hiddleston and Neil Morrissey (Men Behaving Badly, Line of Duty), who compares it to a cross between a traditional BBC drama and a Scandinavian noir. “They’ve given us time to slow down a little bit and not try and track the Americans so tightly, because we all like a good American drama,” he told Digital Spy. “But there’s something wonderful about the pacing and thought process behind The Night Manager, which is very BBC” …

The Night Manager anchors a revitalised Sunday line-up on TV3, which will include new HD episodes of Live at the Apollo in a 9.30 slot. Changes also are planned from 7.00-8.30 but a publication embargo means these can’t be disclosed for another week. However, if you yearn for something more substantial than do-it-yourselfers or magicians on a Sunday evening, TV3 is setting the bar much higher than its HD rivals …

❏ Also of note in HD for the week starting February 27 are the final of House Rules (TV3, 7.30 Tuesday), How the Rich Get Hitched (TV One, 9.30 Tuesday), the premiere of Beach Cops (TV3, 7.30 Wednesday), and Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Toby Jones guesting on Friday’s Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday). However, not screening in HD, despite my speculating otherwise, is Prime’s 24 Hours on Earth (8.30 Monday). While Prime’s calibre of upscaling is excellent, it’s inexplicable the channel is screening in SD a natural history special that would be a perfect showcase for HD …

❏ Coming attractions in HD for that week include: Confessions of a Shopaholic (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (TV3, 7.00 Saturday), The Guardian (TV2, 9.05 Saturday), Lord of War (TV3, 9.30 Saturday), Music and Lyrics (TV2, 11.55 Saturday), Please Give (TV2, 1.50am Sunday), Bruce Almighty (TV2, 8.30 Sunday), Happy Face Killer (TV3, 10.35 Sunday) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (TV3, 8.30 Monday) …

❏ Movie buffs can look forward to seasons devoted to Alfred Hitchcock and Steve Martin next month on Sky. Its Classics movie channel will premiere Hitchcock’s Vertigo in HD as part of a Sunday night season that includes The Birds, Marnie and Psycho. Martin’s first movie, The Jerk, will kick off channel premieres of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid and Parenthood. New in March on Classics for western fans are The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, Death of a Gunfighter, Rooster Cogburn, Showdown and Shootout …

❏ Among the premieres next month on Sky’s premium movie channels are two titles that were only released on Blu-ray in December, Ricki and the Flash and Pixels. Also new in March will be San Andreas, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, Entourage and A Most Violent Year while Sky Movies Action is picking up an ex-SoHo series, Into the Badlands. Action will devote seasons to Nicolas Cage, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Antonio Banderas that include premieres of their latest films (Left Behind, Pound of FleshAutomata). See here for more details of Sky’s movie premieres in March …

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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: February 18”

  1. YAY, The Night Manager looks amazing and I’m intrigued by what TV3 have got planned for 7pm on Sundays 🙂

  2. I’m not impressed by Prime’s upscaling, looks like plain old SD to me.

  3. I’d rather Barefoot Bandits and Thunderbirds were on TVNZ Duke than on TV2. Why not bring other partners for The Simpsons and see what will happen. We do need a better line-up from new season comedy to drama to entertainment as well as way bigger movies.

  4. Paul, do you have Sky? Prime is only available in HD on Sky but not for every programme. The HD quality on Prime is very good.

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