HD Heads-Up: August 2-8

New comedy Surviving Jack didn’t survive its first season in the US but comes highly recommended — and not only if you’re a fan of its star, ex-SVU cop Christopher Meloni.

It debuts as part of TV2’s Wednesday comedy block, at 10.00 on August 6, an hour after the season finale of The Big Bang Theory goes to air ahead of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in an earlier, 9.30 slot.

The Los Angeles Times dubbed it the best new comedy of the season — “funny and smart, poignant and believable” — while Entertainment Weekly said it was Meloni who distinguished this “Wonder Years-style comic-of-age nostalgia-com about a romantic boy hero (Connor Buckley) with a colourful combative family, full of period pop flourish and overexplainy, emotion-coaching narration.”

Set in the 1990s, it stars Meloni as a no-nonsense father who becomes a house husband so his wife (The Hangover’s Rachael Harris) can get her law degree.

“Forget the kids,” said the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I could happily watch Meloni and Harris banter and flirt for a half-hour a week.”

But The Washington Post dismissed it as “hollow and formulaic” and the New Daily News said it “serves up the latest exasperating parent whose outrageous behavior doesn’t add up to a decent sitcom”.

Two of TV One’s local flagships complete their runs the week starting August 2: Nothing Trivial gets a two-hour series finale on August 3, after surviving its controversial cancellation for a movie-length swan song; and Agent Anna ends its second season on August 7 — and probably won’t be renewed for a third given its low ratings.

The same week the US Shameless returns for its fourth season in an earlier slot (TV2, 10.30 Monday), The Amazing Race: Australia v NZ makes its belated debut (TV2, 8.45 Tuesday), Nikita resurfaces for her final season (TV2, 10.30 Wednesday), and Rizzoli & Isles are back on the beat (TV2, midnight Thursday).

The latest Sunday blockbuster dust-up will be between TV2’s Total Recall and TV3’s The Bourne Legacy on August 3. Other coming attractions in HD include Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Sound of My Voice (TV3, 10.25 Saturday), WE (TV One, 11.20 Saturday), Underworld Awakening (TV2, 10.55 Sunday), Blades of Glory (TV3, 8.40 Tuesday) and Arthur (TV2, 9.00 Friday).

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