HDTV Heads-Up: November 17-23

TV3 will launch the HD sci-fi show, Defying Gravity, three years after it crashed and burned.

The series, about  eight astronauts on an international space station billions of kilometres from Earth, starred Ron Livingston (Band of Brothers, Stand Off) and ran for only two months on US TV in 2009, before it was pulled eight weeks into its 13-episode season.

Newsday dismissed it as “a glorious, glimmering glop of foolishness — a spitball magnet of the first order that elicits jeers when it wants tears and catcalls when striving for philosophical heft.”

TV Guide was more generous — “Gravity may be weighted down by cliche, but it’s not without interest” — and Variety thought overall “there’s still plenty here to hold an audience through the first two hours.

“Fulfilling that six-year charter, however, will depend on exhibiting a clearer directional sense, because in both TV and space, gravity can be a real bitch.”

The Chicago Sun-Times quipped, “Defying Gravity is taking its time to get off the ground, but I plan to tune in at least until Saturn,” while the New York Times warned: “Defying Gravity, about four men and four women sent into orbit with entangled romantic pasts and removable libido-suppressing devices, has high-tech props and a spooky sci-fi mystery, but it is layered in feminine concerns and the mawkishly sentimental pop music that frames plot points on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.”

Defying Gravity will air 11.50pm Thursdays from November 22.

Resuming the same week from 11.35pm Monday will be the penultimate season of Medium, which aired two years ago in the US.

The season-six premiere will guest star Tony Sirico, in one of his relatively rare appearances since playing Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos.

Also of note in HD for the week starting November 17:

❑ TV2 will add a second, weekly episode of The Voice on Saturdays at 7.30pm

Nothing Trivial will complete its second season on Sunday (TV One, 8.30), after the penultimate episode of NZ’s Got Talent

❑ TV2 will end Shameless’ second season with a double-episode finale at the earlier of hour of 10.35 on Monday

Community’s Joel McHale, Wendi-McLendon Covey and Wayne Brady will guest on Thursday’s Rove LA (TV3, 9.30)

❑ Robbie Williams will join comedian Paul O’Grady and ballet star and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell on Friday’s The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30).

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3 Responses to “HDTV Heads-Up: November 17-23”

  1. Defying Gravity was a great show. Pity it’s taken so long to get here. Saw it when it came out in 2009. Pity ABC in the US cancelled it before the end of its run, even though it was made by CTV in Canada. They couldn’t afford to keep making it when their US partner pulled out. Pity it’s being put in the dead TiVo hour as it deserves primetime and is at least sci-fi, unlike Revolution, which is not sci-fi but is billed as such.

  2. I will make sure to MySky Defying Gravity … sounds out of this world 🙂

  3. Is this the best TV3 can do?

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