HD Heads-Up: April 6 – 12

➢➢ TVNZ 1 is clearing its schedule in the week starting April 6 to stage the unprecedented stunt of stripping a Kiwi psychological thriller across five nights. Victoria and Bad Mothers will end their runs while specials like Our Everest Challenge (8.40 Tuesday) and Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour (8.30 Thursday) will bridge the week until the five-part The Bad Seed premieres on April 14 ….

➢➢ It’s a strategy that the BBC and ITV occasionally use, and TVNZ 1 did it with the British thriller, Doctor Foster. But it’s an audacious move to risk $5.6 million of NZ On Air funding on a one-week wonder. Cynics might dismiss it as a desperate bid to burn off a local drama. However, given how poorly new-season dramas like Victoria, Manifest and Bad Mothers have been performing, the network needs to jump-start its primetime ratings with a gambit that will make it a talking point the same week Three launches its new season of Dancing With the Stars

➢➢ The Bad Seed stars Matt Minto and Dean O’Gorman as polar-opposite brothers from a dysfunctional family who are caught up in whirlwind of scandal when their neighbour is murdered. TVNZ 1 bills Sarah-Kate Lynch’s adaptation of Charlotte Grimshaw’s novels as “a sinister story of lies and destruction”; Madeleine Sami (The Breaker Upperers), Vinnie Bennett (Human Traces), Xavier Horan (Westside) and Chelsie Preston Crayford (Ash vs Evil Dead) co-star …

➢➢ No official word yet on when the last episodes of Fresh Eggs, the dark Kiwi comedy that was pulled following the attacks on the Christchurch mosques, will air. But they could wind up being run out late-night: TVNZ 2 plans to repeat the series 11.00 Tuesdays from later next month, and chances are that’s when remaining episodes will screen for the first time …

➢➢ Also ending their runs in the week starting April 6 will be Eat Well for Less, Ambulance Australia, Heartbreak Island, Salvation and Married At First Sight Australia. It’s also likely Manifest will air 8.30 Monday for the last time given how dismal its ratings have been …

➢➢ Starting new seasons that week will be Killing Eve in a new slot (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Monday), Grey’s Anatomy (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Tuesday) and Location, Location, Location (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Wednesday) …

➢➢ Our Everest Challenge is billed as a “groundbreaking documentary” about broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle and Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton’s attempt to scale Mt Everest while The Guardian hailed Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour as a “thoughtful travelogue that also revisits past adventures … What saves it all from becoming too unavoidably an obit-in-waiting is the fact that Connolly remains absolutely himself. What has been stripped away – as much by age as by illness – just lets the stillness, the kindly hippy happy to enjoy the world and hope the best for it, stand more clearly revealed” …

➢➢There will be three network movie premieres in the week starting April 6: Baywatch (Three, 8.30 Sunday), Snatched (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Sunday) and Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Maori TV, 8.30 Monday), a documentary in which filmmaker Werner Herzog examines the past, present and future of the Internet and how it affects human interaction and modern society …

➢➢ Other HD coming attractions will include Elysium, which was pulled in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings and has been rescheduled late-night (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Saturday), and:

  • The Amazing Spiderman 2 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Despicable Me 2 (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Jaws 2 (Three, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Lake Placid (Duke, 9.25 Saturday)
  • Invictus (TVNZ 1, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Rush Hour 3 (TVNZ 2, 9.35 Saturday)
  • The Purge (Three, 11.05 Saturday)
  • Battle of the Year (TVNZ 2, 1.20am Sunday)
  • View From the Top (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Notes on a Scandal (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Gallows (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Sunday)
  • Faster (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • Romeo Must Die (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Friday)
  • Beverly Hills Ninja (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • It’s Complicated (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday).
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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: April 6 – 12”

  1. TVNZ are obviously feeling scared of Dancing With the Stars to resort such dirty tactics, it’s not going to work TVNZ 🙂

  2. Hi Phil. In one of your upcoming HD Heads Up articles, will you be telling us about Baptiste? The BBC series which is a spin off from The Missing? Would be ideal Sunday night viewing!

  3. Bold but extremely risky strategy stripping a high-priced NZ drama series across 5 nights, especially in the current era. 1 hour episodes (I’m assuming) of a serious drama series over 5 consecutive nights is a big commitment for an audience, and it runs the risk of people not starting or continuing with the series because they’ve missed an episode. It could mean there’s a much smaller audience still connecting by the end of the week.

  4. Apologies for belated reply, Roscoe, but still trying to ascertain Baptiste’s whereabouts. It would appear to be a TVNZ property, so 9.30 Sunday night’s probably a good bet …

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