HD Heads-Up: October 19 – 25

➢➢ Prime will premiere a three-part Australian documentary series about a religious cult that’s not to be confused with a similar-sounding series of the same name on Netflix. Spun off a 2016 feature film, The Cult of the Family (8.30 Sundays from October 20) digs deep into the apocalyptic group of the same name and it guru, Anne Hamilton-Byrne, who recruited psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, nurses, architects and scientists to try to raise a pre-Armageddon master race. The Sydney Morning Herald said it “reveals yet more shattering details of life inside the notorious sect in the 1970s and ’80s” …

➢➢ “The Cult of the Family doesn’t have the brilliant, cumulative quality of Netflix’s superb Wild Wild Country, about the followers of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, which began with eyeball-widening, goosebump-raising impact and kept getting better,” said The Guardian. “But the restructured approach benefits The Family’s reincarnation … an admirable achievement” …

➢➢ Murder, Lies & Alibis (Three, 9.15 Mondays from October 21) is another Aussie newcomer, an eight-part documentary series about unsolved crimes or cold cases. “It’s not just looking back at old crimes; it’s bringing new information to screen,” producer Mark Llewellyn says. “We uncover new alibis and interview people who are speaking for the first time.” It aired on Channel Nine …

➢➢ New to Maori TV is Occupation Native (October 20, 7.30), a satirical take on the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s history. “If Occupation Native sounds like a dry history lesson, it’s not,” said The Guardian. “It is about rewriting the narrative” …

➢➢ Resurfacing for a free-to-air run will be the Lightbox-streamed comedy/drama, Flack (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Mondays from October 21) …

➢➢ Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Paul Rudd and James Blunt will appear on October 25’s The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00) — the same night TVNZ 2 pre-empts Shortland Street for a re-run of Motorway Patrol because it’s the start of Labour Weekend …

➢➢ Also new that week will be season three of Australian Ninja Warrior (Three, 7.00 Sundays, 7.30 Mondays & Tuesdays), S2 of Deep State (TVNZ 1, 10.25 Sundays), and the return of The Red Stag Timber Hunters Club (Prime, 8.30 Mondays) while ending their runs will be Bear Grylls’ Running WildWorld’s Toughest Prisons and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown 

➢➢ There will be only one HD network movie premiere in the week starting October 19: Tangerines (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Looper (Prime, 8.30 Saturday)
  • In the Heart of the Sea  (TVNZ 1, 9.20 Saturday)
  • The November Man (TVNZ 2, 9.20 Saturday)
  • 8 Mile (Three, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Zombieland (Duke, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Three Days to Kill (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Saturday)
  • Hush Little Baby (Three, 11.35 Saturday)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Tower Heist (Three, 8.45 Sunday)
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Sunday)
  • Venus & Serena (Maori TV, 8.30 Monday
  • Training Day (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Takers (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Tuxedo (Three, 7.30 Thursday)
  • Space Jam (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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