Tonight in HD: April 16

SoHo Highlight: Game of Thrones (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Season premiere: War is coming as the seven noble families of Westeros continue their fight for control of the Iron Throne. The New York Times stood out as the only naysayer about this “meandering” dense medieval fantasy’s return: “Serves up a whole bunch of wartime posturing, a seemingly endless number of would-be rulers and the usual sex and (sometimes in the same scene) violence. But it sure doesn’t give viewers much to latch onto.” But Variety argues “HBO has the ingredients for a series that puts nearly every other genre offering to shame” and The Hollywood Reporter calls it “so much more than a genre series, a fantasy epic. It’s a series that doesn’t need to feel dramatically inferior up against the likes of Mad Men or Breaking Bad, Justified or anything else.” Sky is opening season two with a double-episode after previewing the first instalment online, in SD via iSky, while NBR reports fans’ illegal downloading of the premiere drove NZ-US Internet traffic “through the roof”. After tonight’s launch, SoHo’s broadcasts will lag HBO’s by only seven days. ✮✮✮✮

Homeland (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) Brody is approached to run for disgraced congressman Richard Johnson’s seat in the House of Representatives; Carrie and Saul identify Tom Walker’s contact in DC. The AV Club called this "a fantastic episode" for Claire Danes' Carrie while New York magazine said: "I'm not sure there's been a very loud chorus of people out there saying that Homeland hasn't been exciting enough, but if there were any such malcontents, maybe this episode was for them. Because KABOOM, what an ending, right?" ✮✮✮✮

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) Sasha is caught breaking into Stu’s house; Sid confronts Margaret about her poisoning Alan; Logan makes a move on Indi. ✮✮

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) Phoebe’s brother asks her to be a surrogate mother for him; Joey works as a tour guide at Ross’ museum and tries to tear down the divide between the staff. ✮✮✮✮

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Roimata hardens her defences; the Freeman sisters fall short of victory; Chris is presented damming evidence. ✮✮✮

Last Man Standing (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) Mike’s Christmas spirit gets dampened when Ryan, the father of Kristin’s baby, unexpectedly comes back to town after a long absence. Nick Jonas guest stars. ✮✮

Modern Family (TV3, 8.00, 5.1) The family is gathered at Jay and Gloria’s pool on a sunny December day when they realise everyone will be scattered at Christmas. ✮✮✮✮

Criminal Minds (TV One, 8.30) The BAU team hits some rough surf when they investigate bodies found in Southern Californian lifeguard towers. ✮✮

Desperate Housewives (TV2, 8.30) With a gun at her side, Bree prepares to end it all; an angry Tom cancels his plans to go to Paris with his girlfriend when Lynette confesses that she’s an accomplice to murder. ✮✮

Person of Interest (TV One, 9.30) The Machine identifies a teenager whose brother was just murdered, as the next person of interest; Finch fears The Machine might be discovered. ✮✮

Revenge (TV2, 9.30) Emily introduces Amanda to Daniel, and reveals to Daniel that Tyler is blackmailing his father. ✮✮

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV3, 9.30, 5.1) The CSIs investigate when Dr Robbins’ wife discovers a nude dead man in their master bedroom. ✮✮

Saving Grace (TV3, 11.15, 5.1)Racial and political overtones revolve around the death of a young Mexican woman; an unfortunate family event continues to haunt Ham. ✮✮

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