HD Heads-Up: January 28

TV3’s new-season roll-out continues its glacial pace in mid-February, with the only new HD additions being the return of its high-rating Friday night light-net stable. Back from February 12 will be Jono and Ben, 7 Days and Fail Army while The Graham Norton Show at last resumes its 18th season. Guests on Norton’s first new episode in two months will include Ralph Fiennes, Tracey Ullman, James Nesbitt and James Bay. Also worthy of an honourable mention in the February 19 edition is Brad Baxter’s turn as the latest Kiwi in the “red chair” …

TV3’s HD movies for the week starting February 6 include the network premiere of Turbo (7.00 Saturday) and re-runs of Taken 2 (8.30 Sunday), Taking Woodstock (10.25 Sunday) and The Devil Wears Prada (8.35 Monday). It’s also repeating Top Gun (9.00 Saturday) but not in HD — which is bizarre given this year marks the Tom Cruise hit’s 30th anniversary and three years ago Paramount Pictures remastered it not only for Blu-ray but also in 3D …

After a week of up and down ratings, with one of its brightest performers being six-year-old SD repeats of Sensing Murder, TV2 will be hoping there are enough X-Files fans out there to make tonight’s revival as big a hit here as it was in the US. TV2 is running the series premiere and episode two back-to-back from 8.30 whereas Fox TV aired them on consecutive nights, when it launched with 16.2 million total viewers and a 6.1 rating. “The Sunday debut got a strong lead-in from the night’s broadcast of the NFC Championship football game,” World Screen reports. “The X-Files made its regular time-slot premiere on Monday night, garnering 9.7 million total viewers and a 3.2 rating, making it the highest-rated broadcast programme of the night” …

The early ratings bode well for another season of X-Files, given Fox chair Gary Newman said 10 days ahead of the launch they would “absolutely” do a second instalment if they could make everyone’s schedules work …

Variety’s just posted its review of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which premieres next week on SoHo. Like The Hollywood Reporter, it generally praises the production “with one glaring exception”: John Travolta’s performance as Simpson’s defence lawyer Robert Shapiro. “Travolta is simply awful in the role. Yes, Shapiro spoke in stiff, measured tones, but the actor’s overly mannered line readings turn the attorney into a buffoon, in sharp contrast to the more nuanced portrayals around him.” The series will screen 8.30 Wednesdays from February 3 …

“US Netflix blocked? Here’s how to fix it – and watch everything” — that’s the headline in a Sydney Morning Herald report about how to thwart Netflix blocking your access to its global sites and how to keep up with everything the streaming giant offers worldwide. The solution is a site called unogs.com that lets you search for movies and TV shows anywhere on Netflix. “uNoGS also provides its own pointers on which VPN, proxy or DNS provider to use for the region you want, although we can’t guarantee any of these has found a workaround to the recent crackdown.” A bigger problem is the site being “crushed” by visitors …

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