HD Heads-Up: September 19 – 25

TV2 will fast-track the season nine premiere of The Big Bang Theory the same week it belatedly debuts iZombie, Constantine and Manhattan Love Story.

TBBT, which opens with what The Hollywood Reporter predicts “could be the most awkward wedding night ever” (complete with exclusive photos of the nuptials), will screen within three days of its CBS transmission as the centrepiece of TV2’s comedy block.

It’s one of a number of express-from-the-US series that TVNZ will be airing much closer than normal to their US broadcasts, although the bulk of these will screen on-demand ahead of on air.

Historically these have been limited to niche appeal series like iZombie and Constantine but it’s understood the strategy is expanding to include more popular fare.

Hence, TVNZ holding its annual new-season launch this month rather than in November, to coincide with the start of the fall season in the US.

TV2, meanwhile, is debuting two on-demand series late-night: Constantine will air 10.30 Sundays, ahead of the Sunday Suspense movie, and iZombie 11.35 Thursdays.

The latter, which stars Kiwi Rose McIver, is the pick of the two, with Entertainment Weekly arguing it “injects fresh life into the increasingly staid genre of supernatural TV”.

“The show has a nice sense of detail and a comic puckishness that every zombie police procedural needs,” the Los Angeles Times said.

“At times genuinely scary in the way it’s meant to be, it’s also moving in the way it’s meant to be.”

Constantine’s reviews were far more mixed. TV Guide thought the demon hunter drama “a near-perfect companion piece to the similarly creepy-quirky Grimm” but most reviews echoed The Washington Post’s: “sometimes sharp but painfully predictable.”

The same week TV2 will resume Shameless late-night Monday and premiere the comedy Manhattan Love Story post-midnight Wednesday (most critics wrote off the latter as “bland“, “sexist and stupid” and “simply an unfunny study in tired male/female stereotypes”).

New to TV1 is Battle Creek, which will open with a double-episode in its 8.30 Tuesday slot.

It’s an acclaimed police procedural comedy/drama from Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) about odd-couple heroes — a cop and an FBI agent — in a small-town Michigan crime-fighting unit.

“There’s a lot of lying going on in this police headquarters,” said the Wall Street Journal. “A lot of smart, superbly sustained entertainment, too”

The New York Times thought it “an engaging series about a likable bunch of co-workers that isn’t too sweet or predictable” and The Hollywood Reporter said “it kills an hour with ease”.

Unfortunately, CBS killed it after only 13 episodes.

Making their network movie premieres the week starting September 19 are Escape From Planet Earth (TV2, 6.45 Sunday) and Runner Runner (TV3, 8.45 Wednesday).

Other coming attractions in HD include: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Unknown (TV2, 10.00 Saturday), Act of Valor (TV2, 12.15am Sunday), Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (TV3, 8.00 Sunday), The Tuxedo (TV2, 8.30 Sunday), Public Enemies (TV3, 10.25 Sunday), Underworld: Awakening (TV2, 11.25 Sunday) and Dinner For Schmucks (TV3, 8.45 Thursday).

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8 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: September 19 – 25”

  1. Darn, no Heroes Reborn, I guess that means TV3 won’t be screening it the same time as the US 🙁

  2. No, not the same time, Trevor, but it will be awfully darn close. I’m afraid a publication embargo prevents me from saying more but I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed by the delay …

  3. YAY thanks Philip,I guess we will find out very soon 🙂

  4. So TV3 wont be screening Heroes Reborn. So does this mean that TVNZ may be buying this series?

  5. As season 3 of The Blacklist is coming soon, it’s good to see season 2 is now on Netflix, I missed some of the episodes 🙂

  6. TV3 does own the rights, it just won’t be screening the series the same day as NBC.

  7. Good to hear that TVNZ are having their new season launch this month. Can’t wait to see what new content they have acquired.

  8. Dear Leo. It’s about time that TV1 and TV2 gave us new series of shows. Man, I hope they are blockbuster big, we do need way better ratings.

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