HD Heads-Up: December 12 – 18

➢➢ It’s not just going to seem a lot like Christmas but a lot like the old days of free-to-air sport on December 18, which has the makings of a great Friday for sport fans. TVNZ 1 will launch its America’s Cup coverage with Big Race Day (2.00), in which Toni Street and Scotty Stevenson preview the PRADA America’s Cup World Series race from the Auckland Viaduct (live coverage from 3.00, highlights at 11.00). And from 6.50, TVNZ 1 will screen live the first International T20 match between the Blackcaps and Pakistan from Eden Park …

➢➢ Just as Three starts to catch up with CBS’s broadcasts, it looks like the network again will relegate new episodes of Hawaii Five-O to late-night. The tropical crime drama will screen 9.30 Wednesday for the last time next week before being pre-empted on December 16 for a double-episode finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star — which will push H5O’s season-nine finale back to 11.00. It’s not clear if this is just a scheduling convenience — to complete both seasons ahead of Christmas specials — or if season 10 of H5O is doomed for late-night (Three has since confirmed it will return in peak hour) …

➢➢ Three also will premiere season three of Tin Star late-night (11.10 Tuesdays from December 14).The show’s final season picks up after Jack and Angela revealed the truth to their daughter Anna. They quit the Canadian town of Little Big Bear to return to the UK twenty years after leaving to confront the sinister truth they ran from. The six-episode finale will screen here within a week of its UK broadcast …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 will premiere Rose West and Myra Hindley: The Untold Story (8.25 Monday). “True crime fans might have got something out of this lurid hour, but there was little here beyond the grisly and the obvious,” was The Telegraph’s verdict while the Independent dubbed it “a salacious look at their prison liaison” …

➢➢ And making its FTA debut after streaming on TVNZ OnDemand will be the three-part Putin: A Russian Spy Story (TVNZ 1, 11.00 Mondays from December 14). “From unremarkable KGB recruit to master of kompromat, this absorbing documentary shows how Russia’s leader wormed his way into Moscow’s halls of power and made them his own,” said The Guardian …

➢➢ Another new documentary, Britain’s Most Expensive Home: Building for a Billionaire (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Thursday), follows the complex build of self-made billionaire John Caudwellan’s extraordinary Mayfair home (“a supersize Grand Designs with a budget to boggle the mind”) …

➢➢ Also new that week will be Michael McIntyre’s Big Xmas Show (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Friday) and the return of Midsomer Murders (Prime, 8.30 Saturday). The latter starts its 21st season, which went to air this time last year in the UK, wth “a spring in its step,” quipped the Daily Mail: “The much-loved show still tells everyday tales of country folk meeting their maker in the most unlikely ways, but this time there’s added fake tan as Midsomer goes all Strictly Come Dancing – and there’s far more to fear than a scathing putdown from Craig Revel Horwood”. Nigel Havers guest stars …

➢➢ On or near the red sofa on the December 17 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.30) will be Nicole Kidman, Nicola Adams, Jason Manford, Josh O’Connor, Emma Corrin and Kylie Minogue ..

.➢➢ Prime will pre-empt December 16’s Man With a Plan for the music special, Josh Groban: An Evening of Harmony, which is billed as a “virtual concert of timeless songs and new music” from his Harmony album …

➢➢ Three will replace The Project with 7.00 weeknight re-runs of Bondi Rescue from December 14 while TVNZ 1 rival Seven Sharp will stay on air for a week longer, with its last broadcast on December 17 …

➢➢ Also ending their runs that week will be Primates, Deadwater Fell, Dog Almighty, Will & Grace, Motorway Patrol, Renters, Mad About You, Police Ten 7, The Crowd Goes Wild, The Masked Singer, First Dates Australia and Shortland Street, which will bow out with a Thursday night, hour-long cliffhanger. Fans needing a holiday fix can stream Shortland Street: Summer Holiday on TVNZ OnDemand from December 17 …

➢➢ Forget about stocking fillers — the networks revert to movies for scheduling fillers in the lead-up to Christmas, with only one primetime premiere: Rampage (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Eragon (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Apple of My Eye (Maori TV, 7.00)
  • The Castle (TVNZ 1, 7.30)
  • Battle Los Angeles (Three, 8.30 Saturday)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Hacksaw Ridge (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Saturday)
  • The Last King of Scotland (Maori TV, 9.30 Saturday)
  • 10 Year Reunion (Three, 10.50 Saturday)
  • Cloud Atlas (TVNMZ 2, 11.45 Saturday)
  • Passenger 57 (TVNZ 2, 2.45am Sunday)
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (TVNZ 2, 7.50am Sunday)
  • The Good Dinosaur (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Love Actually (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Shadowlands (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Punisher (Duke, 9.45 Sunday)
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (TVNZ 2, 11.15 Sunday)
  • Before We Go (TVNZ 2, 1.25am Monday)
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (TVNZ 2, 7.25am Monday)
  • The Flight Before Christmas (Three, 1.05 Monday)
  • Vacation (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Monday)
  • Brent (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • Dark Intentions (Three, 11.10 Monday)
  • Horton Hears A Who! (TVNZ 2, 7.25am Monday)
  • Just Go With It (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Monday)
  • A Christmas Makeover (Three, 1.10 Tuesday)
  • Hancock (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Ride Along (Three, 8.35 Tuesday)
  • Brave (TVNZ 2, 7.25am Wednesday)
  • Wish Upon A Christmas (Three, 1.05 Wednesday)
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village (TVNZ 2, 7.25am Thursday)
  • The Christmas Swap (Three, 1.00 Thursday)
  • Ratchet & Clank (TVNZ 2, 7.25am Friday)
  • Holiday High School Reunion (Three, 1.05 Friday)
  • Tommy Boy (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Mona Lisa Smile (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday).
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