HD Heads-Up: February 20

Three launches The Project tonight in a gambit that means neither it nor TVNZ 1 now offers a semi-meaningful current affairs slot after their flagship news bulletins. Three hopes to maximise sampling of The Project by following Prime’s lead with The Crowd Goes Wild and repeating each day’s broadcast late-night. Its light entertainment ambitions for the panel show are evidenced by Friday’s edition running for an hour and leading into The Graham Norton Show and extended episodes of 7 Days (which you can probably expect some mixing’n’matching with) …

Given how poorly Story rated towards the end, the bar isn’t being set that high for The Project to improve — and with 25-54 viewership of Shortland Street down, an ageing  Seven Sharp vulnerable, and a producer as talented as Jon Bridges calling the shots, The Project’s debut arguably couldn’t be timelier …

In the meantime, the NZ Herald today ran this account of “what it’s like to fail an audition” to be on The Project and ex-MediaWorks news and current affairs chief Mark Jennings argues the broadcaster has too much riding on The Project for it to fail: “If this imported format doesn’t work here, TV3 will be in trouble; it has literally bet the house on this one. The network is losing money and time is running out for its board and management. It’s a brave roll of the dice as this show is costing at least double, possibly triple, what its 7pm predecessors Story and Campbell Live did” …

Speaking of risking it all … Billions is back tonight, with season two starting on SoHo. The return of the financial drama wasn’t widely reviewed in the US, but We Got It Covered reckons season two “still boasts the same wonderfully meaty dialogue which helped it stand out during its debut year”. And Entertainment Weekly thought “the prospect of watching a (maybe) corrupt, hard-to-nail New York billionaire grow his empire is suddenly more interesting” …

But IndieWire begged to differ: “With a few new characters of mixed importance and a lower ratio of fresh-to-good storylines, Billions hasn’t advanced in its second season. It’s just provided more toys for Chuck and Axe to fight over” …

Guesting this week on Prime’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon are: Joel McHale, Zoe Kravitz and Ryan Adams (11.05 tonight); Michelle Obama and Stevie Wonder (12.25am Wednesday, repeat); Will Forte, Milo Ventimiglia and Future (11.30 Wednesday); Ariana Grande, Ken Jeong and Josh Johnson (11.25 Thursday); and Susan Sarandon, Elijah Wood and Little Big Town (11.30 Friday) …

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3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: February 20”

  1. I found The Project a fun watch, it will be interesting to see how it does 🙂

  2. Hi Philip, I see The Good Fight launched in the US overnight and is now being streamed on CBS All Access. Any news on whether someone here has/will buy the rights?

  3. Perfect timing, Aiden. I’m about to post a story about its availability here. So far Prime has expressed interest.

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