HD Heads-Up: March 10

TV3 will screen the new Rebecca Gibney hit Wanted within weeks of its Australian premiere. The darkly funny, action-crammed drama will air 8.30 Mondays from March 21, by when Wanted will have just completed its six-week run on the Seven Network. Gibney, who also co-created and co-executive produced the series, plays one of two strangers who go on the run together after intervening in a car jacking. If it sounds oddly familiar, Gibney’s dubbed her latest vehicleThelma & Louise meets Breaking Bad” and while the critical reception was mixed, viewers were happy to go along for the ride. The Sydney Morning Herald praised the stars’ “terrific, easy chemistry” and said whiled their antics “oblige you to enforce a pretty strict suspension of disbelief …  it’s always great to see a local prime time show with two such interesting female characters front and centre. Good stuff” …

TV2 goes big on Batman for the third week in March, when TV’s original Caped Crusader, Adam West, guest stars on the 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory (8.30 Wednesday) and the network airs 24 hours apart the movies The Dark Knight (9.05 Saturday) and The Dark Knight Rises (8.30 Sunday). “The verdict is in: Adam West is the best Batman,” Entertainment Weekly said in its recap of the episode that also celebrates Sheldon’s birthday. “And at age 87 he gets to throw some serious (and seriously hilarious) Bat-shade on the many other actors who’ve donned the utility belt,” Variety says (watch out “pretty-boy Clooney”) …

TV2 will precede TBBT’s milestone with the return of Mike & Molly in a new 8pm Wednesday slot, with the sitcom resuming from episode nine of season five. TV2’s scheduling of M&M has been schizophrenic at best, with the series often being pulled or rescheduled more for expediency than strategy. This year it’s tried to beef up the show’s profile with stripped late-night re-runs, although the timing was questionable given M&M’s axing by CBS in January. The network also cut its season six order from 22 episodes to 13 …

TVNZ’s new guys channel, Duke, will broadcast in SD when it launches on March 20 but chances are you’ll be able to view many of its entertainment shows in near-HD quality if you watch TVNZ OnDemand on a PlayStation or Freeview Plus device. These include Gotham, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy and new ‘toon Bordertown, as well as AFL coverage. But it’s not yet clear if the channel’s weeknight chat show, The Late Show With James Corden, will also be part of the streaming mix …

TV One will screen the network movie premiere of the South Pacific Pictures feature, White Lies, at 10.35pm on March 19. This will be the first chance to view it in HD as the period drama was released only on DVD. Other primetime coming attractions in HD for that week include The Game Plan (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Kung Fu Panda 2 (TV3, 7.00 Saturday), Beautiful Creatures (TV2, 1.45am Sunday), The Dark Knight Rises (TV2, 8.30 Sunday), Stuart Little (TV2, 5.35 Friday) and Hop (TV3, 7.00 Friday). Hop pre-empts Road Madness and Jono and Ben on TV3 while 7 Days also gets Good Friday off — it’s being replaced by a Live at the Apollo repeat — and The Graham Norton Show will be a highlights compilation. TV2 will pre-empt Friday’s Shortland Street and The Voice for SD re-runs of The Waterboy and The Avengers while TV One has the HD special, Michael McIntyre’s Easter Night at the Coliseum …

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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: March 10”

  1. Hey Phil, I noticed from yesterday’s MediaWorks Insight that it seems that the network has finished its rights to broadcast The Simpsons on Four and TV3 as fours 7pm weeknight slot will be Family Guy from March 21st. It was to be believed that the network had rights to run old episodes till at least the end of the year? The Saturday 5.30pm slot on TV3 and Sunday night slot at 7pm also on Four are new programmes. So the big question is: What’s next for The Simpsons? Will TV2 make a slot for re-run? Looking at their schedules I can’t see a slot for them … I’m sure you’ve seen this yourself, what do you know…?

  2. D’oh! I missed that, Richard. Thanks for the heads-up. MediaWorks was coy about its contract for The Simpsons. The official comment in January was: “Re-runs of the series will stay on TV3 and Four.” It could be both shows are being rested but the timing is curious. Four’s s23 re-runs will come to a natural end on March 18 but TV3’s s26 repeats will stop two episodes short of a full season run on March 19. That would suggest a licensing cut-off date but if so, why would MediaWorks’ rights to Family Guy continue beyond this deadline? Will make some inquiries …

  3. Yes, Richard, your suspicions were correct. The Simpsons will air for the last time on Four on March 18 and on TV3 on March 19. No word yet from TV2 on when its re-runs will kick in.

  4. Hey Phil, I figured that to be the case. Hopefully TV2 will get into gear and figured out a weeknight timeslot, maybe they could just scratch The Middle and put it at its 6pm slot like it was years ago. I always thought a Saturday night hour long between 6-7pm would make the evening a bit more interesting. What do you think TV2 might do for re-runs …? One thing I don’t get is that Family Guy will replace Simpsons at 7pm on four but didn’t they also lose rights to that, too … And with Duke about air I see Family Guy will have an 8pm weeknight slot there…! I guess will just wait and see what happens, I will watch out on your website for more!

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