TV3 Fires Up New HD Dramas and Comedies for 2013

MediaWorks today unveiled it new-season highlights for TV3 and Four to ad agencies and media in Auckland.

Many of the new and returning shows are detailed online: TV3’s page is the most informative whereas Four’s lists only a handful of new comedies.

While MediaWorks is no closer to upgrading Four to HD, it’s not yet clear how many of the HD dramas it’s acquired through studio deals with 20th Century and NBC-Universal will wind up in SD on the entertainment channel.

The worry is plenty more will languish alongside American Horror Story, Grimm and Glee as TV3 moves increasingly away from primetime drama and more towards event TV, local content and light entertainment.

Among the HD dramas confirmed for TV3 is Chicago Fire, from Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf; the corporate skulduggery satire House of Lies; and The Americans, which focuses on two Russian sleeper spies in Reagan’s America.

TV3 is looking to expand its slate of US comedies in HD with the new Matthew Perry vehicle, Go On, and two more Modern Family wannabes, Ben and Kate and The New Normal.

TV3’s primetime strategy in 2013 will be to exploit both NZ-made, as its point of difference in a marketplace where foreign shows are commonplace, and the social media buzz of event TV like The Block and The X Factor.

MediaWorks used the new-season launch to announce Australian Idol winner Stan Walker would be one of the judges on the biggest show TV3’s ever mounted, its own version of The X Factor.

It will account for 30 hours of broadcast, and another run of The Block NZ 20 hours.

There also will be a big upsurge in NZ HD drama (38 hours), with the return of The Almighty Johnsons, and the premieres of a quirky crimefighting duo in Blue Rose, Sam Neill and Oscar Kightley as P-fighting cops in Harry, and the Christchurch earthquake-inspired Hope & Wire.

New Kiwi comedies will include spin-offs for the 7 Days alumni — The Radio (Jeremy Corbett and Paul Ego), Steve and Ben Present (Steve Wrigley and Ben Hurley) — but it’s not clear if they will be in HD.

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4 Responses to “TV3 Fires Up New HD Dramas and Comedies for 2013”

  1. Wonder how many of these will end up after a few weeks on Four? Any news if they’re going to make Four HD?

  2. Don’t hold your breath for Four to go HD. While TV3 was the first FTA channel to go widescreen, 5.1 and HD, MediaWorks is in no rush to upgrade Four. It wants to minimise costs and maximise ratings, which is what it’s achieving with audience share growth of 20% in the 18-49 demo (up from 5.4% to 6.5% year-on-year). However, Four’s SD resolution looks dire on displays bigger than 32 inches and I no longer watch anything on the channel as a consequence — despite series of the calibre of 30 Rock, The Simpsons and American Horror Story. It seems ironic for a channel that wants to be as hip as Four that it’s still an SD relic — but the channel’s focus is on social media and younger viewers who are more into second screen viewing. If more of these would complain about Four’s SD feed on their social network pages, it might start to open channel bosses’ eyes …

  3. Would you guys like to see Natasha Bedingfield as a judge on X Factor? 🙂

  4. Don’t care as I don’t watch any of those crappy ‘reality’ shows. Thanks for another uninspiring line-up, TV3. You really are helping me cut my TV habit 😛

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