HD Heads-Up: May 10-16

TVNZ giveth and TVNZ taketh away – the same week the broadcaster debuts Broadchurch (above) more than a year after the UK, it pulls off-air mid-season its highest-rating comedy, The Big Bang Theory.

The good news is TBBT’s being pre-empted temporarily because of the thrice-weekly scheduling of My Kitchen Rules.

MKR’s variable running times have thrown TV2’s schedule out of whack, with a 90-minute episode squeezing TBBT off the schedule on May 14 when it goes head-to-head with TV3’s season two premiere of House Rules (which will air Wednesday-Friday).

Expect TBBT to return on May 21, when MKR largely will be bedded in as hour-long broadcasts.

But MKR’s mini-strip is pushing two other Wednesday comedies into a later slot on a different night: from May 13, Mom and Two and Half Men will replace Step Dave at 8.45 Tuesday – which will be tougher competition for TV3’s top-rating NCIS.

And while Trophy Wife will continue on Mondays, it will shift from 8.00 to 8.45 and be double-billed with new SD episodes of Hot in Cleveland.

Also returning the same week is The Neighbors, in a new 8.00 Sunday slot (after re-runs of TBBT and the continuation of The Middle’s fifth season, which was airing 7.30 Monday pre-MKR).

It will screen opposite another newcomer, Topp Country (left), TV One’s Topp Twins tucker travelogue.

It will follow an expanded Sunday and lead in to Broadchurch, the sensational British murder mystery that, despite being one of the most acclaimed and popular UK exports since Downton Abbey, has been languishing for a slot since wowing British viewers in March 2013 and Australians in July.

As long ago as October, columnist and former TV critic Karl du Fresne was extolling its virtues, having imported the DVD: “The series, which revolves around the trauma and upheaval caused by the murder of a schoolboy in a quiet English seaside town, reaffirms my faith in British television drama.

“Almost everything about it – writing, acting, editing, camerawork, music – is nigh flawless.”

Not all series can screen within days or weeks of the UK or US but Broadchurch being delayed so long beggars belief and reinforces former TVNZ programming boss John McCready’s comments on Throng late last year.

“In Australia, where there are three separately owned commercial networks competing hard for viewers and revenue, plus a strong ABC, getting new exciting programming to screen happens more quickly than here in the less competitive New Zealand TV environment.

“Fast tracking of new series is now the norm in Australia, whilst here we wait in vain to catch up with ongoing favourites like Offspring and Homeland.

“Our major TV networks seem bent on encouraging the viewer to seek out top programming from alternate sources. A poor state of affairs, in my view.”

Meanwhile, TV One’s newest HD wildlife attraction, Nature’s Weirdest Events, which screens 4.05 Sundays from May 11, “salutes nature at its most bizarre … including the 2009 dust storm which turned Sydney’s sky bright red, the cocooning of a single car in Holland by curiously specific moths, and exploding toads.”

In other HD programming news of note for the week starting May 10:

  • Movies include The Lovely Bones (TV3, 8.30 Saturday), Ocean’s Eleven (TV2, 8.45 Saturday), Haywire (TV2, 11.05 Saturday),  Our Family Wedding (TV3, 11.20 Saturday), Mother’s Day (TV2, 10.30 Sunday) and Mardi Gras: Spring Break (TV2, 9.10 Friday)
  • Endeavour ends its first season on Saturday (TV One, 8.30) and The Following’s second season concludes on Monday (TV One, 9.25)
  • Hart of Dixie returns for new episodes on Sunday (TV2, 6.00)
  • Magnum PI’s Larry Manetti guest stars on Sunday’s Hawaii Five-O (TV3, 9.30)
  • Ricky Gervais, Ronnie Corbett and Juliette Binoche guest on Friday’s Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30).
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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: May 10-16”

  1. Is it right to assume that House Rules will continue Tuesdays to Fridays, with TV3 starting it on a Wednesday so the reveals can air on Tuesday (a higher rating night). Also: I’m pretty sure The Middle are new episodes, as on my TiVo it says the episode is S05 E15.

  2. Thanks, Sam. Have clarified the post re The Middle. Your suspicions re House Rules’ reveals are justified. Due to a publication embargo, I can’t reveal the night but you’re close.

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