HD Heads-Up: March 23 – 29

➢➢ Who will blink first? TVNZ 2 and Three have scheduled two movies in the same franchise against each other on March 23: the former will air How To Train Your Dragon at 7.00 opposite Three’s How to Train Your Dragon 2. Apart from being a disservice to viewers, the clash won’t impress the distributor of these movies, who licensed them in separate deals to the competing networks — both of which have scheduled them to cash in on the blockbuster reign of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

➢➢ The same weekend Three will air two network movie premieres on consecutive nights: Split (9.00 Saturday) and The Mummy (8.30 Sunday). TVNZ 2 will re-run 2012 (7.00 Sunday), which topped the ratings last time it aired, to try to dent the phenomenal appeal of Three’s Married at First Sight Australia 

➢➢ TVNZ 2 may as well trot out dated movies in primetime given how poorly its most recent network premiere, The Shallows, rated on Sunday. It averaged only 1.7% of the channel’s target audience, 18-49 year-olds, 1.9% of 25-54s and a shocking 0.9% of 18-39s. True, it was up against Leaving Neverland on TVNZ 1 but Three’s re-run of Central Intelligence still mustered averages of 2.8% – 4.2% in these demos. Yet TVNZ 2’s Saturday night re-run of ’80s relic Top Gun blew away the competition, with 4.3% of 25-54s, 3.5% of 18-49s and 3.1% of 18-39s …

➢➢ Other HD coming attractions for the week starting March 23 will include:

  • Elysium (TVNZ 2, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Non Stop (Duke, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Collateral Damage (TVNZ 2, 11.00 Saturday)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (Three, 11.20 Saturday)
  • Gimme Shelter (TVNZ 1, 1am Sunday)
  • The Namesake (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Gimme Danger (Maori TV, 8.30) Monday)
  • Swelter (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • True Lies (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Fast & Furious 6 (Three, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Friday)
  • I Spy (Duke, 8.30 Friday) …

➢➢  TVNZ 1 will try to revitalise Saturday nights — again — with re-runs of Country Calendar and Coast NZ leading into season eight of ITV dating hit Dinner Date. Saturdays have become a viewership graveyard for TVNZ 1 following the failure of its most recent local show, Following Twain With Oscar Kightley. Repeats of Country Calendar seem a long shot but the warhorse used to anchor the night and a culling of its better HD episodes may be the network’s best hope yet …

➢➢  The Great British Bake Off will return on March 26 (Prime, 7.30) and the new Alan Titchmarsh series, Love Your Home and Garden, will launch on March 29 (TVNZ 1, 7.30) while ending their runs that week will be Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure and Fresh Eggs.

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