HD Heads-Up: September 21


Can The X Factor UK give TVNZ 1 some much needed ‘Wow!’ factor? It will premiere on September 29, and screen 7.30 Fridays and Saturdays. The series won its Saturday night slot in the UK last weekend to beat Strictly Come Dancing for the first time this year. (The Saturday broadcast has traditionally rated much lower than Sunday’s on ITV.) …

Other TVNZ 1 newcomers that week include Galapagos: Islands of Change (7.00 Saturday), the gay rights mini-series dramatisation, When We Rise (10.45 Saturday), and Training Day (TVNZ 1, 10.55 Monday), a critically castigated adaptation of the Denzel Washington movie starring the late Bill Paxton, while the network will re-run Doctor Foster (9.35 Sundays) ahead of the season two premiere …

The Mick is the latest US comedy TVNZ 2 is fast-tracking. Season two will screen 9.00 Mondays from October 2, on a double-bill with the resurrected Will & Grace (which TVNZ 2 will precede with a back-to-back marathon of earlier seasons from 10.30am-8.30pm on September 30). They join The Big Bang Theory in an unprecedented express-from-the-US sitcom-fest on the network …

Another comedy being fast-tracked by TVNZ is Family Guy. But the bad news for HD stalwarts of Stewie and the gang is season 16 will air in SD on Duke (8.00 Mondays from October 2) …

Also poised to resurface within days of its US premiere is Survivor. Unlike recent seasons, which were stripped weekday afternoons, Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers will air weekly: 5.00 Saturdays from September 30 — three days after its CBS launch …

The return of Decades in Colour on Prime (8.30 Sundays from October 1) heralds a new-look line-up for the network that includes:

  • the latest auction challenge, Container Wars (7.00 Saturdays)
  • UK maternity two-parter Five Star Babies: Inside the Portland Hospital (7.30 Saturdays)
  • Kiwi fishing show ITM Hook Me Up (7.30 Mondays)
  • the free-to-air premiere of Game of Thrones (9.30 Wednesdays)
  • new episodes of Elementary (8.30 Thursdays) and,
  • in an off-peak, first-run slot, Robot Wars (10am Saturdays) …

Also resuming from October 6 are new episodes of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00), with a blockbuster line-up of guests for the season premiere: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gossling, Margot Robbie and Reese Witherspoon …

Ending their runs that week are Jekyll and Hyde, Filthy Rich, Graves, Dear Murderer and Best of Piha Rescue

Appearing this week and next on Prime’s The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Jeff Bridges, Pamela Adlon and Miguel (10.35 tonight); Jim Parsons, Tatiana Maslany and The Killers (10.35 tomorrow); and Bobby Moynihan (10.30 Monday) …

The free-to-air Sunday movie premieres of Ant-Man (TVNZ 2, 7.00) and Trainwreck (Three, 8.30) will overlap on October 1, with the former facing off against Three’s premiere of Married at First Sight NZ. Other HD coming attractions that week include:

  • Mr Peabody and Sherman (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Burlesque (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Thelma & Louise (Three, 9.00 Saturday)
  • The Virginity Hit (TVNZ 2, 10.45 Saturday)
  • Second Story Man (Three, 11.30 Saturday)
  • The Ant Bully (TVNZ 2, 5.30 Sunday)
  • Salt (Three, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Night at the Museum (Prime, 7.30 Friday).
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