HD Heads-Up: September 7-13

HD drama fans scandalised by TVNZ taking so long to schedule Scandal soon will be able to see it twice-weekly on TV One.

The network will launch the Washington DC serial, which already can be seen on-demand, on September 10 in a 9.30 Tuesday slot.

Episode two will air 9.30 Wednesday and thereafter the series will play twice a week.

It’s an unusual strategy for a free-to-air network but one that will help to build momentum in the juicy drama about an ex-White House fixer while narrowing the gap between US and NZ screenings.

Scandal went to air 18 months ago in the US, as a seven-week mid-season replacement, and was quickly renewed for another 22 episodes (season three begins October 3 on ABC).

Star Kerry Washington even could challenge Homeland’s Claire Danes for this year’s best actress Emmy (which Sky’s Vibe will broadcast live on September 23).

However, the news is still bad re another female-skewed HD drama starring a best-actress Emmy-nominee (Connie Britten), Nashville.

TVNZ is no closer to screening the series, even though its sales arm was promoting it to ad agencies at the start of the year.

TV2, meanwhile, has picked up one of the most talked-about hits of the year in the US, Duck Dynasty.

Despite being a cable-TV sensation in the US, it’s never aired on Sky and has only been released here on DVD.

It’s named after real-life Beverly Hillbillies, an eccentric Louisiana clan who run a multi-million dollar business empire selling flash duck hunting whistles whittled from salvaged swamp wood.

Critics thought it rose to the top of the white trash reality-TV pile but weren’t as excited by it as viewers.

Reported Entertainment Weekly earlier this month: “Duck Dynasty just made ratings history: Wednesday night’s fourth season premiere was the most-watched non-fiction series telecast in cable TV history.”

TV2 will air it in HD 7.00 Saturday from September 7.

And screening in HD for the first time in NZ will be The Amazing Race, when the 22nd season premieres on Tuesday (TV2, 7.30).

Highlights will include skydiving in Bora Bora, scaling the face of Mt Eiger and Shemozzle racing in Christchurch.

Kiwi producer Phil Keoghan told The Hollywood Reporter the Schemozzle Race was the season highlight.

“That was my old high school friend’s farm. I was really proud to share my homeland and friends with the viewers, the cast and of course, the crew.

“The ariel footage over the Rakaia River was just breathtaking.

“Also, the best reactions all season came from watching the teams see a live scorpion go inside the mouth of a bushman in Botswana.”

The new series also introduces a strategic twist: The first team to check in at the first pit stop will earn two “Express Passes” – one to keep for themselves and one that must be given to another team.

Also new to TV2 that week is Street Hospital (8.00 Thursday), which follows Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics on the frontline of the city’s busiest party street.

Also of note in HD for the week starting September 7:

❑ The season premiere of Nothing Trivial (TV One, 8.30 Wednesday)

❑ The “premiere” of Outrageous Fortune’s first – and last – season in HD (TV3, 10.25 Saturday)

❑ The network premieres of The Green Lantern (TV2, 7.00 Sunday), Rio (TV3, 7.00 Sunday) and Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son (TV3, 7.30 Friday)

❑ Re-runs of I Love You Philip Morris (TV2, 12.05am Sunday), The Mask (TV2, midday Sunday), X-Men (TV3, 9.05 Sunday), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (TV2, 9.20 Sunday) and Die Hard (TV3, 8.35 Monday).

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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: September 7-13”

  1. Finally, TVNZ listens to its viewers and we get Scandal twice, which is better! I find this show incredibly addictive after watching it OnDemand! Philip, will TV One jump into season two after playing the short first season?

  2. Yes, unless the first seven eps bomb. But if other viewers find it as addictive as you, the strategy sets up a 15-week lead-in to Christmas, with the possibility of season three being rolled out in time for TV One’s new season in February. Fingers crossed.

  3. Seeing TV3 have got Die Hard coming up I watched the latest Die Hard movie on Blu-ray a few days ago and wished I hadn’t … SO awful 🙁

  4. Thanks Philip, I too have got my fingers crossed that Scandal becomes a hit in New Zealand and finds an audience.

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