HD Heads-Up: December 17-23

➢➢ While the other networks surrender their schedules to Christmas specials, movies and reality strips, Prime will premiere George & Tammy (8.30 Tuesday). The  prestigious Showtime biopic dramatises the rise of country-&-western stars Tammy Wynette (Jessica Chastain) and George Jones (Michael Shannon) and has scored highly with critics, averaging 81% approval on the Rotten Tomatoes website (which summed it up thus: “George & Tammy may not have the staying power of the classic songs recorded by its subjects, but this biopic benefits from a pair of well-matched and supremely committed leads”). Unusually, Sky has elected to air it on Prime ahead of Neon or SoHo …

➢➢ Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park 2022 (Three, 7.00 Saturday) will lead the festive programming on the eve of Christmas. Other specials will include Travel Man Christmas Special – Iceland (TVNZ 1, 7.45 Monday), Great Kiwi Bake Off Celebrity Christmas (TVNZ 1, 7.45 Tuesday), How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Wednesday), Tipping Point Lucky Stars Christmas Special (TVNZ 1, 7.45 Wednesday), George Clarke’s Winter World Tour (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Wednesday), Grime and Punishment Christmas Special (Duke, 9.55 Wednesday), Christmas at Liberty (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Thursday) and The Repair Shop Christmas Special (TVNZ 1, 7.00 Friday) …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 will strip Bradley Walsh’s Blankety Blank 7.00 Sunday-Friday. “There might be a new face hosting, but Blankety Blank is as entertaining as ever,” Radio Times said of the the classic game show reboot …

➢➢ Three will strip cooking contest Next Level Chef Monday and Tuesday nights around 9.00 and Fiji-based Heartbreak Island around 10.00 Monday- Wednesday. Said Decider of Gordon Ramsay’s newest taker in an old recipe: “The show is more or less in Top Chef format with the competition factor of Battle of the Brothers, mixed with the 2019 Spanish-language, Netflix horror movie The Platform (minus the barfing and cannibalism)” …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 will farewell another year of Home and Away with a week-long run of hour-episodes, concluding on Thursday. Also ending their runs will be Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night TakeawayGino’s Italian Family AdventureThe Long CallDeadly Power20/20DuckRockersHullraisersCheatersJamie’s One Pan ChristmasGood With Wood and Bates Motel

➢➢ Tom Hanks, Naomi Ackie, Suranne Jones and singer Rina Sawayama will guest on Thursday’s The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.35) …

➢➢ Love Actually: 20 Years Later (TVNZ 2, 10.05 Thursday) promises to be a Diane Sawyer lovefest with the cast of the evergreen that will screen 7.30 the same night …

➢➢ Screening for the first time on free-to-air TV will be The Sisters Brothers (Eden, 8.30 Saturday) and Blitzed (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Last Holiday (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Ozzy (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Surviving Christmas (Three, 8.00 Saturday)
  • The Party (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Saturday)
  • This Christmas (TVNZ 2, 9.05 Saturday)
  • 2012 (Three, 9.55 Saturday) 
  • U-Turn (Duke, 10.15 Saturday)
  • Underworld: Blood Wars (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Saturday)
  • Mary, Queen of Scots (TVNZ 1, midnight Saturday)
  • Catch Me If You Can (Duke, 12.35am Sunday)
  • Valerian & the City of 1000 Planets (TVNZ 2, 1am Sunday)
  • Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (TVNZ 2, 2.05 Sunday)
  • My Girl 2 (TVNZ 2, 4.05 Sunday)
  • The Longest Yard (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Yesterday (TVNZ 1, 7.45 Sunday)
  • I Love You Philip Morris (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Destination Wedding (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday) 
  • Four Holidays (Three, 8.55 Sunday)
  • Knives Out (TVNZ 2, 9.10 Sunday)
  • Critters (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Sunday)
  • Home Alone (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Monday)
  • Total Recall (Prime, 9.00 Monday)
  • Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Tuesday)
  • A Time to Kill (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • National Lampoon’s Xmas Vacation (TVNZ 2, 9.15 Tuesday)
  • The Holiday (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Wednesday)
  • Empire Records (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Love Actually (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Thursday)
  • Fred Claus (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Friday)
  • Ocean’s Twelve (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • Office Christmas Party (TVNZ 2, 9.10 Friday)
  • Bad Santa (TVNZ 2, 10.00 Friday)
  • Something’s Gotta Give (TVNZ 1, 12.25am Saturday)
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