HD Heads-Up: December 16-22

➢➢ TVNZ 1 overhauls late-night Saturday with two new thrillers and the season three premiere of Power (1.25am). After the Trial (10.50 Saturday) is a 2022 six-part Nine Network drama about four burned-out murder trial jurors who wonder if they have let a killer walk free. “It’s a fun concept that grows in intrigue – it’s not a courtroom drama but starts with the end of the trial and goes into a great labyrinthine crime story,” Noel Hedges, of distributor eOne, claims. “It’s got a lightness to it too, with very playful relationships” …

➢➢ The three-part Last Weekend (12.35am Sunday) was made last decade — it screened on ITV in 2012 — and sounds as if it should have aired here much sooner. About the escalating tensions between two couples who reunite for a holiday weekend, it was hailed as “convincingly creepy” (Metro) and a “brained-up Midsomer Murders … I’m not sure where the story’s going, but I’m enjoying the ride too much to need to know” (The Guardian) …

➢➢ TVNZ 1’s festive specials include Would I Lie To You? at Christmas (10.30 Sunday), Jamie’s Christmas Shortcuts (7.30 Monday-Tuesday), Gordon, Gino & Fred: Viva Espan(8.30 Monday-Tuesday), Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas (7.30 Wednesday) and The Dog House at Christmas (7.30 Thursday) …

➢➢ Freddie Mercury: The Final Act (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Thursday) is a two-year-old BBC documentary that The Telegraph dubbed “a moving tribute to our greatest showman” while The Guardian said “it uses a mix of new and forgotten interviews alongside endlessly captivating archive footage, while also speaking with those in the LGBTQ+ community who saw the initial impact of HIV/Aids first-hand” …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 also premieres John Farnham: Finding The Voice (8.30 Sunday), a documentary about the Aussie music superstar who went from top of the pops to rock bottom and back. The 2023 production earned solid reviews, including from The Australian: “This is an inspiring story of someone who had to overcome the odds, including that dreaded mop and bucket, to be who he wanted and deserved to be” …

➢➢ Australia’s most streamed female country singer, Waimate-born Kaylee Bell, headlines this year’s Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park (Three, 7.00 Saturday) …

➢➢ Also new are Country House Hunters: New Zealand (7.00 weeknights), Comedy Central Roasts Bruce Willis (Duke, 9.30 Monday) — which risks being well past its use-by date — S5 of  Tough as Nails (Sky Open, 8.30 Saturday), and Lighting Up Christmas (Sky Open, 8.30 Thursday), which profiles the bright sparks behind Britain’s Christmas lights …

➢➢ Live cricket crowds Duke’s pre-Christmas schedule, from Black Caps v Bangladesh (10.30am Sunday) and White Ferns v Pakistan (1.30 Monday) to Super Smash Women’s Cricket (1.50 Friday) and Super Smash Men’s Cricket (5.30 Friday) …

➢➢ Shortland Street ends its 2023 season with an hour-long episode on Thursday (TVNZ 2, 7.00). Also winding up are Young Masterchef UKDream Kitchens and Bathrooms, The Fast and the Farmer-ishReel DestinationsThe CallingWorld’s Most Dangerous Roads, The Unxplained With William ShatnerNeighborhood WarsSurvivor UKRoad WarsMasterchef: Dessert MastersEmergency on Sunny BeachParanormal: Caught on Camera and The Repair Shop 

➢➢ HD coming attractions include:

  • Sing (TVNZ 2, 5.00 Saturday)
  • Sing 2 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Pirates Passage (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • You’ve Got Mail (Three, 8.00 Saturday)
  • A Perfect Murder (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Bill and Ted Face the Music (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Saturday)
  • Bad Moms (TVNZ 2, 9.05 Saturday)
  • Pitch Black (Duke, 9.25 Saturday)
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin (TVNZ 2, 11.00 Saturday)
  • Panic Room (TVNZ 2, 1.10am Sunday)
  • Justice Society: World War II (TVNZ 2, 3.05am Sunday)
  • Kiwi Christmas (TVNZ 2, 4.20 Sunday)
  • Fred Claus (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Wrath of the Titans (Three, 8.00 Sunday)
  • Booksmart (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Brooklyn (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Passengers (TVNZ 2, 9.05 Sunday)
  • Grace of Monaco (TVNZ 1, 11.00 Sunday)
  • The Changeover (TVNZ 2, 11.15 Sunday)
  • The Jackal (Sky Open, 8.30 Monday)
  • Last Christmas (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Monday)
  • Kath & Kimderella (TVNZ 2, 10.30 Monday)
  • From Paris With Love (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Surviving Christmas (Three, 8.05 Wednesday)
  • Tulpan (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Semi-Pro (Duke, 8.30 Thursday)
  • The Blind Side (Three, 8.35 Thursday)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (TVNZ 2, 6.30 Friday)
  • Elf (Three, 7.00 Friday)
  • The Castle (TVNZ 1, 8.00 Friday)
  • Christmas With the Kranks (TVNZ 2, 8.15 Friday)
  • Four Holidays (Three, 8.55 Friday)
  • Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (Duke, 10.00 Friday).
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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: December 16-22”


  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/screenscribe.net/public_html/wp-content/themes/headlines/includes/theme-comments.php on line 66
    December 7, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    Has there been any word on when we will find out the 2023 slate for TV Three? I know they aren’t doing an event but you mentioned they are announcing it some different way? Thanks, Jack.

  2. I wonder if we will get Hulu included on Disney+ in New Zealand? I have a feeling it will replace Star, it makes a lot of sense 🤔

  3. Nothing yet, Jack, but an announcement is due this month …

  4. Can’t see the point Trevor … they’ve already established Star as their ‘mature audience’ strand outside of North America. Adding Hulu – a brand with little brand recognition outside of NA – would be for little gain I think.The move in North America is to bundle Hulu with the Disney+ app because they’ve been separate apps since launch.

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