HD Heads-Up: January 31-February 6

The Missing’s James Nesbitt

Despite my prediction that many of TV2’s HD staples would return in the first week of February, the network is persisting with more summer movie fodder.

But at least one series is back for its final season, Two and a Half Men, which launches with a double-episode 7.30 Wednesday (the last episode airs in the US on February 19).

There also are special late-night editions of Scandal (11.25 Tuesday) and Supernatural (12.55am Saturday) that recap previous seasons as teasers to the next.

Another clue to what may resurface early next month are Mom, 2 Broke Girls and Gotham ending their late-night encore seasons while exiting from primetime are The Neighbors and Cops Uncut.

But the week’s biggest news is the premiere of kidnap drama The Missing, the sensational new HD stablemate for TV1’s Broadchurch.

“Take a deep breath and remember that The Missing was a television drama, not a real life event,” previewed The Mirror.

The Missing sees happy couple Tony and Emily Hughes (James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor) crumble when their five-year-old son Oliver is abducted while they are on holiday in France.

“Minutes after the end of the first episode of this new BBC One series I felt exhausted, tense and excited for the next instalment, hungry for more.”

“However intriguing The Missing is as a thriller, it never lets you forget that at its heart is the story of loss and pain,” said The Guardian. “Hauntingly brilliant television.”

The Daily Mail wasn’t quite as effusive: “The disappearance of a child is a powerful hook for a drama, but there didn’t seem to be much story, just a lot of raw pain.

“And then the writers, Harry and Jack Williams, delivered a plot twist that wound a fistful of threads together and suddenly [the next episode] can’t come soon enough.”

And The Independent reckons “the scene in which Oliver disappeared was distressing enough to induce a sympathy panic attack in even the most phlegmatic viewer”.

TV1 also brings back Seven Sharp the same week TV3 revives Campbell Live and resumes new episodes of The Graham Norton Show (with guests Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Tamsin Greig and Nicole Scherzinger) but nothing else.

The week’s only network movie premiere in HD is This Is 40 (TV3, 9.05 Sunday) — the rest of the coming attractions in HD are repeats:

  • Cop Out (TV2, 8.55 Saturday)
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still (TV3, 9.00 Saturday)
  • Collateral Damage (TV1, 10.30 Saturday)
  • Lawless (TV2, 11.05 Saturday)
  • Cedar Rapids (TV3, 11.15 Saturday)
  • Elephant White (TV2, 1.05am Sunday)
  • Adventureland (TV2, 3.15am Sunday)
  • Gnomeo & Juliet (TV2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 (TV3, 7.00 Sunday)
  • New Year’s Eve (TV2, 8.40 Sunday)
  • Mr & Mrs Smith (TV3, 8.30 Monday)
  • Friends With Benefits (TV2, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • The Bourne Identity (TV3, 8.45 Thursday)
  • Sweet Home Alabama (TV2, 8.50 Friday)
  • Evil Dead (TV2, 11.05 Friday).
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9 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: January 31-February 6”

  1. I thought “encore” was something people asked for. What are are repeats plain and simple. Prime is the worst offender calling repeats encore presentations.

  2. The most recent TVNZ PlanIt schedule has three unnamed comedy shows starting on February 11th.

    http://images.tvnz.co.nz/planit-data/Peak_OffPeak_20_01_15.pdf

  3. Thanks, Brad. Yes, I would expect new seasons of Mom, 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory to again join Men as part of a Wednesday two-hour block given the strategy has proved unbeatable for TV2 (it even continued it over summer when it replaced the sitcoms with movie comedies). But generally these advance schedules are notoriously unreliable and at best should be treated as works in progress. The networks persist in playing silly buggers with each other by putting out false programming details weeks ahead of advertising/press deadlines. If you compared what their advance schedules look like with the final versions, the differences are often huge. Case in point: TV2 had Agents of SHIELD down for 9.30 Sunday weeks before it even resumes in the US!

  4. Any sign of Big Bang Theory?

  5. I’d expect Sheldon and the gang to resurface in the second week of February. BBT continues to be a top-rating staple for TV2 and one that anchors a formidable midweek line-up.

  6. Well, today was definitely a surprise – the three comedy slots on Wednesday are to be occupied by Marry Me, Mom and Benched. 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory are on the bench for now.

  7. Yes, a big surprise. I can only presume TV2 is opting to hold TBBT for 7.30pm Sundays (and perhaps 2BG for 8.00), to give its superheroes line-up a stronger lead-in when Gotham and Agents of SHIELD return.

  8. Philip, that strategy could backfire for TV2 with the top comedies going up against the return of The X Factor NZ and TV One’s Our First Home. Agree that TV2’s sunday superheroes need a stong lead-in to help them maintain ratings momentum on a very competitive night.

  9. That’s true, Leo, but TV2 needs to go in with all guns blazing to hold its ground on Sundays. TBBT and 2BG are a proven combo and moving them to Sunday would give the evening a new look for TV2 while offering a clear alternative of broad appeal to reality fare.

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