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Jack Thompson (left) and Fringe's John Noble star in the "searing" new drama Devil's Playground.

Jack Thompson (left) and Fringe’s John Noble star in TV1’s “searing” new Sunday night drama Devil’s Playground.

An award-winning series about child abuse within the Catholic Church that was commissioned for pay-TV in Australia will screen free-to-air here.

Devil’s Playground, a six-part drama spun off the 1976 movie of the same name, will air 9.35 Sundays from June 28 on TV1 (after the network’s superb but struggling Indian Summers).

The Guardian called it “a political thriller, a family drama and a deep exploration of clergy abuse in one small close-knit community in the late 1980s …

“If you’ve struggled to understand how it was that chaplains or parish priests who abused boys for decades were not stopped or why the church covered it up or why the victims took two decades to disclose the offences, a searing new television drama Devil’s Playground will bring you closer to an understanding.”

Executive producer Simon Burke, who starred in the movie, told the Sydney Morning Herald he wanted Devil’s Playground to stack up alongside the likes of True Detective, House of Cards, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire – “and, for viewers who don’t subscribe to Foxtel, to become a box set worth buying to binge on.”

TV2 will double-bill two network movie premieres on June 28: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (6.35) and This is The End (8.30). The week's other coming attractions in HD include Enchanted (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Year One (TV2, 9.05 Saturday), Observe and Report (TV2, 11.05 Saturday), For Colored Girls (TV2, 2.45am Sunday), The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (TV3, 10.25 Sunday), The Apparition (TV2, 10.35 Sunday) Unstoppable (TV3, 8.45 Wednesday).

TV2 will double-bill two network movie premieres on June 28: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (6.35) and This is The End (8.30). The week’s other coming attractions in HD include Enchanted (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Year One (TV2, 9.05 Saturday), Observe and Report (TV2, 11.05 Saturday), For Colored Girls (TV2, 2.45am Sunday), The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (TV3, 10.25 Sunday), The Apparition (TV2, 10.35 Sunday) and Unstoppable (TV3, 8.45 Wednesday).

The Australian dubbed the miniseries a “thrilling sequel” and said: “By the end of the first episode we know we’re in for a profound investigation of innocence and guilt.”

Devil’s Playground went on to win Logie and Australian Film Institute awards for best miniseries and also won top Directors Guild and Cinematographers Society prizes.

The same week TV1 will resume The Force (8.00 Monday), Gadget Man (8.00 Wednesday) and This Town (8.30 Wednesday) while TV2 will premiere The Voice Australia (7.30 Friday) and two dating shows with a twist.

Take Me Out, which has been running since 2010 in the UK, has comedian Paddy McGuinness playing matchmaker to “30 women looking for love”.

It will not only replace The Mysteries of Laura on Mondays, where it will go head to head with TV3’s Married at First Sight, but also will screen post-The Voice on Fridays.

The Guardian said that after six series, “all the problems of the early years have been jettisoned, and we are left with a brutally efficient entertainment programme” that’s a “worthy successor to Blind Date“.

Metro UK had a slightly different take on Take Me Out: “Those who complain that Take Me Out’s process is shallow and embarrassing are missing the point – the show isn’t meant to be easy viewing; it’s meant to be squirm-inducing and cringe-worthy.”

On Fridays it will be paired with Sexy Beasts, which The Independent called “another bonkers BBC3 programme …

“The format involves one eligible single and three hopeful suitors. So far, so conventional; only on Sexy Beasts, all four participants have had their real faces obscured by several layers of not-so-sexy Hollywood prosthetics. It was like a Blind Date Halloween special.”

TV2’s Thunderbirds Are Go takes a mid-season break on June 28 while returning to the schedule to complete its run after being pulled mid-season is the comedy Benched — but in a much later slot: 11.20 Monday (just as former primetime stablemate Undateable now airs 12.10am Thursdays).

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