HD Heads-Up: October 10

Big Fat Gypsy lip? … Bombshell no bomb … Westworld “tips black hat” …


TV3 is dumping Lip Sync Battle on Thursdays for Gypsy Kids. The three-part documentary series, which premieres 9.50 on October 20, explores what it’s like to be a child in the gypsy community. “Pick on these kids and you’ll risk a Big Fat Gypsy lip,” quipped The Daily Star while the Daily Express reckons the premiere “shored up a lot of gypsy clichés at the same time as challenging others” …

Last night’s Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior won its slot in the 25-54 and 18-49 demographics. It didn’t rate as well as the previous week’s Doubt: The Scott Watson Case but was one of TVNZ’s most ambitious attempts yet to dramatise one of our biggest stories, Steve Kilgallon writes on Stuff. “It was not an easy story to re-tell. But a bit of a trim, more focus on the heart of the tale, and it could have been more satisfying” …

SoHo’s Westworld continues today with an episode that The Independent said “exceeds expectations after the brilliant opener. It’s Thandie Newton’s turn to shine in a series that clearly knows exactly where it’s going.” Variety says it “tips black hat” to novelist Michael Crichton in that it shifts the focus from the hosts to one of Westworld’s guests. And in The Hollywood Reporter, Newton compares her “harrowing” operating table scene to the death penalty …

Last week’s premiere of the sci-fi western drew HBO’s biggest audience for a new series since True Detective in 2014, which was also watched by 3.3 million viewers. “The premiere numbers for Westworld are strong,” Variety reported, “but not yet near the neighbourhood of HBO’s most popular show, Game of Thrones, which HBO claimed in data provided to USA Today in June averaged 23.3 million viewers across all platforms for its sixth season” …

Although HBO has yet to officially renew Westworld, Deadline Hollywood reports the creators are “breaking season 2” now and while they wouldn’t confirm if other Westworld themes were in the wings, they have ruled out Roman or medieval landscapes …

The Walking Dead’s showrunner Scott Gimple says there will be “no fakeouts” in TV2’s October 24 season premiere that will reveal who died in last season’s cliffhanger. And executive producer Gale Anne Hurd says fans will see more of the Walking Dead universe, including King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his tiger, while new recruit Jeffrey Dean Morgan says his character will be worse than season three’s the Governor because he’s got a “Barnum and Bailey style of justice” …

Guesting this week on Prime’s Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon are: Tyler Perry, Abigail Spencer and Van Morrison (10.30 Monday); Taraji P. Henson, David Harbour and Phish (11.10 Tuesday); Kevin Hart, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and James Bay (10.30 Wednesday); Bryan Cranston, Dakota Fanning and Barry Gibb (10.50 Thursday); and Vin Diesel, Norman Reedus, and Christine and the Queen (11.30 Friday) …

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12 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: October 10”

  1. Not sure if they were HD or not, but flicking on Prime tonight it appears they’ve pulled the US Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! game shows from the 6-7 slot after just a week on air?

  2. Thanks, Clint. That’s quite right. They’ve been replaced by re-runs of Escape to the Country (again). Have updated the listings accordingly.

  3. Why have they been pulled?

  4. You would think because of woeful ratings but an initial examination of the figures suggest they were comparable with Escape to the Country’s. Will investigate in more depth and raise the matter with Prime tomorrow.

  5. A comment on Prime’s Facebook page suggests the broadcasts didn’t arrive in time. Not sure how close they are airing to US broadcast.

  6. Cheers for the info Philip, looking forward to the update from Prime. Just off topic, you said the new season of Supergirl will not appear on the male skewing Duke but the network has screened Agent Carter and Samantha Bee Full Frontal. Wouldn’t the addition of Supergirl fit with the super hero dramas along with in my opinion Once Upon a Time. I feel as if Duke is moving away from its initial male skew audience to include a more broad one and thus helping to resurrect content that have failed to gain a sustainable audience on its sister channels.

  7. Thanks, Clint. That would make more sense — although the three-week gap between NZ and US broadcasts should be enough of a cushion re delivery.

  8. You make some excellent points, Leo. However, US late-night comedy does skew male, and although Samantha Bee has broadened the genre’s appeal to draw an audience that’s 50:50 men and women, I still think the nature of her show makes it a natural fit for Duke’s target audience. I’d also argue Agent Carter, despite its female lead, appeals more to male fans of the Captain America franchise (and, indeed, was commissioned to help broaden the CW Networks viewership from predominantly young women to a 50:50 gender split). Agent Carter also is a limited run series that ran only two seasons, so it makes strategic sense for TVNZ to dump it on to a niche channel like Duke and masquerade the move as helping to shore up its superhero line-up.

  9. Prime has confirmed it was a delivery delay and that both shows will resume next week.

  10. Just a pity that Prime and Duke weren’t HD on FTA.

  11. Couldn’t agree more, Paul. In the era of 4K streaming, it’s such a short-sighted strategy not to launch a new entertainment channel in HD or to be one of the few pay operators with the advantage of a FTA channel who squanders its reach by limiting its HD access to its subscription platform.

  12. Philip, TVNZ must produce an entertaining game show series, you know, a fun based show for TVNZ 2 for the new 2017 season.

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