HDTV Heads-Up: May 28-June 3

The season three premieres of Nurse Jackie and Fringe, and the debut of an Inside NZ strand about international policing, top the HD highlights for the week starting May 28.

It opens with the free-to-air premiere of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People in TV3’s 8.30pm Saturday movie slot and closes with the season-two finale of Glee guest starring Patti Lu Pone.

The Edie Falco sensation about a drug-addicted nurse whose marriage is on life support replaces Californication from May 30.

“With this bracing and comic new set of 12 episodes, Nurse Jackie has evolved into a rigorous, fascinating portrait of denial, of how it works when someone deceives herself and everyone around her,” the Boston Globe said.

Concurred the New York Daily News: “Nurse Jackie is delivering quite nicely with the personnel on hand. Among other things, it confirms that the best comedy is often rooted in things that are not funny at all, but make people act in funny ways.”

Nurse Jackie’s return only two months after its US bow is some compensation for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment having just released season two here on DVD only and not Blu-ray, as it did last year, too.

Critics reckon Fringe’s third season also is off to a strong start on June 2 (TV2, 10.30pm).

TV Guide said it returns “in fine form … it’s all very exciting and unnverving” while Pop Matters observed of the premiere: “Watching the cast play doubled characters promises to be one of the great pleasures of Fringe’s coming season.”

Taking over Hawaii Five-0s 8.30pm Wednesday slot is TV3’s first HD presentation of the documentary series, Inside NZ.

It opens with the two-part 24 Hours: Police, which contrasts the operations of Auckland, Oslo, Perth, and San Francisco police on the daylight shift.

The same night, TV2 pre-empts its HD sitcom combo of The Big Bang Theory and Cougar Town for an SD stand-up special, Comedy Jam.

On June 3, Glee ends its second season barely a week after bowing out in the US.

Teases The Hollywood Reporter about the cliffhanger in a behind-the-scenes feature: “You could say Glee’s Season 2 finale has been two years in the making.

“After all, it was always co-creator Ryan Murphy’s intention to shepherd his freakishly talented group of misfits to meet their destiny: the fictitious national glee club championships in New York.

“And like the Fox show’s characters, who devour Manhattan in a frenetic first-timer’s visit, Glee hit NYC over five days in April with the sort of precision you might expect of a commando military mission: 10 moving targets, including Times Square and Central Park, which serve as part of the glee club’s life-changing tour of the city.

“The episode ends with the climactic competition and a death — victim as yet unknown …”

By the way, due out on Blu-ray on June 15 is Glee Encore, a video jukebox compilation of more than 30 performances from season one.

Also notable:

  • Louise Wallace joining Shortland Street as Brooke’s alcoholic mother; and
  • Guest stints by Stephen King in Sons of Anarchy, Matt Dillon and Shelley Long in Modern Family, Lucy Lawless in No Ordinary Family, and Private Practice’s Caterina Scorsone (Dr Amelia Shepherd) in Grey’s Anatomy.
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6 Responses to “HDTV Heads-Up: May 28-June 3”

  1. “Taking over Hawaii Five-0’s 8.30pm Wednesday slot is TV3’s first HD presentation of the documentary series, Inside NZ.”

    So why this time has Five-0 been dumped??

  2. Because it couldn’t consistently rate above 5% of TV3’s chief demos, 18-49 and 25-54 year-olds. The network kept it in peak-hour for 14 weeks but its ratings stayed stubbornly low against TV2’s HD juggernauts Go Girls and The Big Bang Theory/Cougar Town. It may have fared better if NZ’s ratings system included time-shifting analysis but at this stage it doesn’t and the current system is how TV3 has to make money from advertising. Arguably Five-0 deserved a shot at 9.30 but at least TV3 is keeping the season on air and if it is a time-shifting favourite, the new late-night slot of 11.15pm-ish Mondays will scarcely matter.

  3. Big Bang won’t be a problem as this week’s ep 4×15 is the last on TV2. Next week it’s being replaced by some local comedy programme. There’s still another nine episodes in the current season to go …

  4. I watched 5-0 last night and it was a repeat…

  5. That’s right — it was a repeat of Wednesday’s. The first original episode to screen late-night Monday will be on May 30.

  6. ah ha…

    thanks.

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