HD Heads-Up: January 16 – 17

It will be fascinating to see how the BBC thriller Doctor Foster rates for TV1 over the course of next week. Primetime stripping or multi-night runs of serials, and cooking and renovation shows is well established but running five episodes of a drama series on consecutive nights is unprecedented here and harks back to the miniseries craze of the late ’70s and early ’80s. It’s a big risk but if Doctor Foster does become appointment TV after Sunday’s premiere, it will be the perfect platform for promoting TV1’s new-season roll-out while also warming up viewers to sister channel TV2’s multi-night showcasing of local drama Filthy Rich next month. In the UK, Doctor Foster scored an average weekly audience of 8.2 million viewers, which the BBC said made it the highest-rated of any new UK TV drama last year …

The resurrection of X-Files on January 28 (TV2, 8.30) spearheads a raft of small-screen revivals and reboots, with Twin Peaks (under David Lynch’s direction) set to return early next year while just greenlit are new runs of 24 and Prison Break. Like X-Files, the latter will resurface as an “event“, limited run series of 6-8 episodes starring the original leads. But Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack won’t be back if 24: Legacy graduates beyond a pilot to a series …

There’s still no sign of 24: Live Another Day getting a Blu-ray release in this market. It’s for sale in the US, UK and Australia but, peculiarly, 20th Century Fox continues to delay its debut on disc following its streaming last year on Lightbox (for which the rights have since lapsed). Another local Blu-ray omission is Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, which has just been discounted steeply on Amazon — the good news for NZ fans fed up with waiting is it’s a region-free release …

Simpsons creator Matt Groening is prepping an animated series for Netflix, which is considering a two-season order, while The Big Bang Theory’s Chuck Lorre is developing a comedy set in a legal marijuana dispensary in Colorado …

The changing nature of viewership in a fragmented media world was illuminated at a Fox TV presentation this week in the US, when Fox executives used Screen Queens as an example of the new order: over 30 days, 30% of the Scream Queens audiences watched it live, 26% time shifted it and 44% streamed it. “Scream Queens is still not a juggernaut,” Variety reports. “But the multiplatform lift and rabid level of social media engagement it engendered makes it a promising prospect for the network at a time when it needs buzzy shows” …

Despite her Golden Globes win, Lady Gaga’s turn on American Horror Story: Hotel was not enough to sustain the series’ popularity. While her appearance had an “amazing impact” on ratings for the first few episodes, AHS: Hotel checked out with a finale low. The next season will be set in the present day while season three of Fargo will jump to 2010 …

Netflix is now out-bidding cable giants like FX for creative talent and series like Master of None and The Crown. “In both cases they overwhelmed us with shock-and-awe levels of money and commitment,” FX Networks boss John Landgraf told reporters on the Television Critics Association Tour. He likened trying to count the number of original scripted TV shows on air — 412 — to “counting lemmings” and said it was “ridiculous” for the likes of Netflix not to release ratings data about streamed content …

While Landgraf says the “peak TV” onslaught makes it harder to launch series and for consumers to see good shows, that’s not stopping FX from developing a Sons of Anarchy spin-off about the Mayans motorcycle gang …

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One Response to “HD Heads-Up: January 16 – 17”

  1. Hope we get to see the new series of Twin Peaks in New Zealand next year, sounds like it will be amazing 🙂

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