HDTV Heads-Up: September 1-7

TV3 will use two-hour specials of The Block NZ to launch HD dramas The Killing and Smash.

The Killing, both seasons of which already have aired on SoHo, will screen 9.30 Wednesdays from September 5 and the musical drama Smash, 9.30 Thursday from September 6.

From September 13, Smash’s lead-in will be The X-Factor USA, which again will air Thursdays and Fridays within hours of its Fox TV broadcast.

The scheduling is apt given one of Smash’s stars is 2006 American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee.

Smash is a backstage drama about the mounting of a Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe and was largely well reviewed — and although its overnight ratings were low, such was its time-shifting or PVR popularity that the Steven Spielberg production was renewed.

The Los Angeles Times dubbed it “a triumph” (“one big unapologetic feather-headress-waving, sequined derriere-twitching, high-note-holding love song to the siren call of song, dance and the theatrical life”) and The Hollywood Reporter, “a bar-raiser for broadcast TV” (“could be the first series to take America’s fascination with singing shows and mix it with a well-written drama to create something of more substance than Glee”).

But among the detractors were Time (“relies too much on conventional showbiz plotlines and characters”) and the Boston Herald (“you’ll be left tapping your feet all right–wondering impatiently if there’s any sparkle under this drudgery”).

Given how The Block NZ has rated through the roof for TV3, the penultimate episode and the live finale should provide Smash and The Killing with a huge ratings springboard.

TV3 also will use the hype surrounding The Block’s final week to launch another HD reality show drama, Tricky Business (8.30 Tuesday), in which Outrageous Fortune’s Antony Starr explores how people extricate themselves from all sorts of trouble, from financial to romantic to emotional.

Also of note in HD for the week starting September 1:

❑ Season premieres of Offspring on Sunday  (TV One, 9.30) and Motorway Patrol on Thursday (TV2, 8.00), and the season finale of Mrs Brown’s Boys on Thursday (TV One, 9.30)

❑ TV One’s Unforgettable shifts from 8.30 Monday to 9.30, to make way for the return of Beyond the Darklands (alas, still not in HD)

❑ The network premieres of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on Saturday (TV2, 8.35) and 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street on Sunday (TV2, 11.00)

❑ Re-runs of the movies Premonition on Saturday (TV3, 10.25), Superman Returns overnight on Saturday on a double-bill with Ninja Assassin (TV2, 12.05), and The 40 Year Old Virgin on Sunday (TV3, 8.30).

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2 Responses to “HDTV Heads-Up: September 1-7”

  1. I thought Tricky Business was an Aussie drama going by the Internet? Anyhow, looking forward to Smash … looks REALLY good 🙂

  2. Thanks, Trevor. My mistake. It is, indeed.

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