HD Heads-Up: July 13-19

Three HD dramas that have been waiting in the wings are poised to at last make their debuts this month while screening within weeks of the US will be a Desperate Housewives-lite.

The Tom Selleck police drama, Blue Bloods, will succeed CSI: NY 9.30 Saturday on TV3 from July 13, where it will overlap TV One’s new Aussie whodunit Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, while TV One belatedly will open the doors to Mr Selfridge 8.30 Sunday from July 14.

Blue Bloods starts here nearly three years after its US launch, where it was acclaimed as “both a good cop show and an evocative family drama” (Los Angeles Times) and “the best new cop drama of a TV season that has more police than a presidential motorcade” (New York Daily News).

But others weren’t as impressed: The Washington Post dubbed it “soppy and self-satirising” and the San Francisco Chronicle, “a rote cop show”.

However, it’s been popular enough to last three seasons and is soon to start its fourth.

Mr Selfridge stars Entourage’s Jeremy Piven as the department store mogul in what the New York Times dubbed “a more commercial and proletarian affair” than Downton Abbey: “The packaging is attractive, but the goods are chintzy.”

But The Daily Telegraph thought it “a visual feast for the dark winter evenings” whereas The Guardian declared “the big surprise with Mr Selfridge was how much a visual feast it wasn’t”.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries will screen 8.30 Saturdays. The Australian said “it constantly surprises with its cleverness”  and the Sydney Morning Herald thought it “full of whimsicial fun”.

Curiously missing from TV One’s line-up is series two of Call the Midwife. After dismal ratings for its Saturday night re-run of series one, the network appears to be having second thoughts about relaunching the BBC award-winner.

Devious Maids, which TV2 will screen 9.30 Wednesdays, comes from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry.

The Boston Herald said “the dialogue is as arch as Desperate in its heyday” and New York Post thought it “lotsa good, clean/dirty fun for the clean — and dirty-minded — among us”.

But Entertainment Weekly said it had “too many bad stereotypes” while the Los Angles Times lamented, “It would be great to report here that Devious Maids is not that bad, except that it is, despite a lot of real talent on-screen.”

It’s also a big week for NZ HD highlights, with a movie-length episode of Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00 Monday), the double-episode season finale of Go Girls (TV2, 8.30 Tuesday), the series premiere of Mitre 10 Dream Home: Offcuts (TV2, 7.00 Saturday) and new episodes of Girl vs Boy (TV2, 6.00 Sunday).

The season premiere of Dog Squad (TV One, 7.30 Monday) precedes the debut of Life Flight, which follows everyday Kiwis in need of emergency services, while Descent From Disaster (TV One, 9.30 Tuesday) revisits some of the country’s biggest disasters, including the Hyde train crash, the Napier earthquake and the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Also of note in HD for the week starting July 13:

❑ The season premieres of Hart of Dixie (TV2, 5.00 Sunday)

❑ The network HD premieres of Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides (TV2, 7.00 Sunday) and Scream 4 (TV2, 10.45 Sunday), and a re-run of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (TV3, 8.35 Monday)

Winners and Losers returns in a new slot (TV One, 9.05 Thursday), ahead of a re-run of Auckland Daze 

❑ Season finales of The Mentalist (TV2, 11.35 Monday), with presumably the next season bound for 8.30 Tuesday post-Go Girls, and The Vampire Diaries (TV2, 10.30 Thursday)

The Voice Australia adds a second, weekly screening (TV2, 7.30 Saturday) while an episode of The Big Bang Theory follows its Friday “live” results screening (TV2, 8.50)

❑ Shane Cortese returns as Colin Gunderson in The Almighty Johnsons (TV3, 8.30 Thursday)

Bob Newhart guest stars in The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.30 Wednesday) and Mark Ruffalo on The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday).

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9 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: July 13-19”

  1. I’m very excited for Devious Maids, looks like a guilty pleasure and I’m happy that we are getting 90-minute Coronation Street on Friday nights. Now just waiting on Scandal, Nashville, Mistresses to finally premiere and Offspring to return!

  2. The extended Coro St is good news — what would make it even better would be HD transmissions. Still, anything to narrow the ridiculous 19-month gap between UK and NZ broadcasts, even in SD, is welcomed. Not such good news for the other shows you mention: all are expected to go to air before the end of the year but none has been scheduled.

  3. Yeah, I dont understand TVNZ’s logic for not screening it in HD, it has a large enough audience to warrant HD transmission. I only hope that the 90-minute Coro remains permanent so we do catch up! I dont think I can wait any longer and will resort to watching online. Why doesn’t TVNZ just put all those shows on-demand for those of us who cannot wait any longer!

  4. Perhaps TV3 will get the rights to Coronation Street and will screen it in HD 🙂

  5. TV3 wouldn’t be interested in Coronation Street because it doesn’t fit the network’s programming style or demographics. If any broadcaster did poach the soap, it would be Sky’s Prime — and that would be bad news because at least with TVNZ, there’s a chance Coro St will eventually go HD but no such prospects of Prime doing so. On the other hand, Prime would catch NZ up with the UK to probably only a three-to-six month gap.

  6. Actually, Philip, seeing what TVNZ did in sneaking the rights to Home and Away from TV3, I would not be surprised to see TV3 going after Coronation Street 🙂

  7. I agree with Philip! Trevor, Coro does not fit the TV3 brand and today’s news of Home and Away is a huge loss for the network.

  8. Well, I think that TVNZ has all the rights to do this because TV3 announced that their plan was to drop Home and Away, anyway, so due to that, TVNZ has that right to the Aussie soap.

  9. Not sure why you’re under the impression TV3 wanted to drop Home and Away — executives will be devastated to lose one of their top-rating flagships. It’s one of their most important strategic assets and highlights how those in charge of MediaWorks’ restructuring can’t afford to cut too many corners in their programming deals, otherwise they risk short-term gains for long-term pain.

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