TV1 Preys on Summer Vacuum

TV1 is setting the new season pace this week ahead of sister channel TV2 and 25-54 rival TV3.

TV2 is relaunching Shortland Street with an hour-long episode on Monday, ahead of the return of Cougar Town and the season premiere of The Mysteries of Laura, and it does start a new season of The Bachelor Australia on Friday.

But its primetime schedule, like TV3’s, remains summer-lite whereas TV1 is using tonight’s keenly anticipated series two premiere of Broadchurch to roll out a slew of new HD attractions.

Broadchurch has been double-billed with another top British thriller Prey, while Monday’s lurid crime drama strand will continue with 8.30pm newcomer Stalker as the lead-in to the return of Castle.

TV1’s also is launching season four of Person of Interest on a new night (8.40 Tuesday) ahead of a new HD Australian gangster drama that sounds more like a Simpsons spin-off, Fat Tony & Co, and late-night HD eco-warrior hour The Operatives.

Wednesday newcomer Hotel of Mum and Dad, a 9.40pm HD factual series about couples who live with their parents, follows SD Survivor soundalike The Island With Bear Grylls.

Other SD premieres include the first of two Miranda specials (8.40 Thursday) and British game show The Guess List (9.55 Thursday).

But it’s Prey that holds the most promise.

About a popular policeman who goes on the run after he’s arrested and charged for his wife and son’s murders, it stars John Simm (as another “nutter”), Line of Duty’s Craig Parkinson and ex-Young One Adrian Edmondson.

“There’s more than a hint of Line of Duty about Prey,” The Guardian reckoned, albeit without the layered or three-dimensional complexity.

“Clearer cut, too, with good ‘uns and bad ‘uns and less of the murkier stuff in between … That’s not to say Prey isn’t fabulous. It is.

“Any lack of depth is made up for in pace; it’s a gripping, breathless, buttock-clenching chase, foot to the floor, blues and twos going. I’m there, to the end.”

The Telegraph thought it “decent, dramatic stuff to wallow in” and The Independent “a gripping story retold with deft casting”.

Unusually, the three-part thriller was shot almost entirely in natural light.

Director Nick Murphy says it was one of a range of new techniques that meant resources could be spread differently than that of a ‘traditional’ shoot.

“We did lots of things differently and although budget is always a consideration, it wasn’t the main motivating factor in this case.

“This shoot needed to be quick and efficient – any changes we made were with that aim.

“One of the biggest differences is that we didn’t light in the traditional way.

“We had a great DoP who helped us to get the most out of our cameras.

“So we only had a couple of battery panel lights and the rest was natural or available lighting. Not only did we save money but also rigging time.”

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3 Responses to “TV1 Preys on Summer Vacuum”

  1. Quite surprised that TV One would unleash its new season line up so early but it is a welcome change for viewers. The combination of broadcast and ondemand premieres is great and long may they continue. Fingers crossed that the new TVNZ OD includes HD streaming for its relaunch.

  2. You may as well uncross them, Leo, because I’m afraid it won’t – watch for a post, subject to this site being operational, in the next day or two …

  3. Are TVNZ crazy? It’s 2015 for heaven’s sake. This is a real letdown. Thanks for the heads up, Philip, and I look forward to reading your post about this.

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