HD Heads-Up: December 19 – 26

➢➢ Stand-up comedy fans will applaud the specials the networks have lined up for Christmas week. TVNZ 2 will screen The Best Foods Christmas Comedy Gala on consecutive nights (8.30 Sunday and Monday), Three has Christmas at the Apollo (9.30 Thursday) and Duke, Sean Lock Live: Lockipedia (8.30 Wednesday). As well as featuring Two Hearts, Hayley Sproull, Ben Hurley and Urzila Carlson, Comedy Gala will offer “backstage access” with Laura Daniel …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 also will premiere Funniest Ever Pets at Christmas (7.30 Monday), a vehicle for “Britain’s favourite animal-loving comedians and celebrities”, including Shane Richie, Jo Brand, Susan Calman, Nina Wadia and Michelle Visage …

➢➢ Three’s Apollo special will have Sara Pascoe introduce Flo & Joan and Chris McCausland. The Apollo is where Sean Lock, the 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown team captain, performs Lockipedia while his contemporaries will feature an hour earlier on TVNZ 2’s Would I Lie To You? Christmas Special (7.30 Wednesday) …

➢➢ Another British comedian, Richard Ayoade, and fellow comedian and children’s author David Baddiel will stay at the world’s smallest hotel in Duke’s Travel Man: Christmas in Jordan (9.30 Wednesday). They also will re-enact a train raid in Hollywood’s favourite desert, feast with the Bedouins, visit the ancient city of Petra, learn how to cook the local Christmas speciality, and buy the three things the Three Wise Men gifted to baby Jesus …

➢➢ TVNZ 1’s Christmas specials will include:

  • The Secret World of Toys at Christmas (7.30 Tuesday), which inside some of the world’s biggest toy factories to find out how they meet customer demand
  • Christmas at Chatsworth House (7.30 Wednesday), which goes behind the doors of one of England’s most impressive stately homes as it braces for 200,000 visitors over the festive season
  • A Berry Royal Christmas (8.35 Wednesday), in which The Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry combines a unique look into charities that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge support with her own festive fare

➢➢ TVNZ 1 also will screen The Repair Shop at Christmas (7.00 Thursday), in which the restoration experts tackle everything from a Victorian jukebox and rickety Nordic sleigh to a battered 100-year-old school Nativity and an 18th-century Madonna and child painting …

➢➢ Incidentally, the network will fill the Seven Sharp slot over Christmas/New Year with half-hour episodes of The Repair Shop. This is how the series originally went to air on the UK before its popularity spawned the hour-long format that’s been a Friday night hit …

➢➢ Also new that week will be the free-to-air premiere of Sky’s period drama Beecham House (Prime, 7.30 Wednesdays from December 23) while ending their runs will be Hyundai Country Calendar, Taranaki HardPutin: A Russian Spy Story and Life Cycles

➢➢ Magnum PI fans can look forward to a double-episode bonus on December 21 (Three, 9.40) …

➢➢ And on or near the red sofa on the December 24 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.30) will be George Clooney, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Viola Davis, Vanessa Kirby, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.

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13 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: December 19 – 26”

  1. Friday is Disney’s investment day so it’s going to be interesting to see if Star is mentioned for New Zealand, I hope so 🙂

  2. 🤞 You’ll be able to stream much of the presentation here.

  3. YAY, thanks, Philip. I see it’s supposed to go for 4 hours, there must be a lot to talk about 🙂

  4. YAY, New Zealand is getting Star added from February 23rd 🙂

  5. Cheers, Trevor. Here’s what’s being reported re likely content: “Star will be a more adult-orientated service featuring content from the company’s ABC, FX, Freeform, Searchlight, and 20th Century Studios brands. It will essentially be a similar service to Hulu, which Disney CEO Bob Chapek has recently said has ‘no brand awareness’ outside of the U.S. One difference, however, is that it will not include aggregated third-party content ala Hulu and will instead focus on shows that Disney owns, as well as those that do not fall into other licensing arrangements globally.”

  6. Does this mean TVNZ OnDemand loses a fair amount of its content?

  7. That sounds great Philip and not long to wait as well, it must be easy to set up. It will put the price up but, oh well 🙂

  8. The biggest loser, Leo, will be Sky, depending on the terms of its deal for FX content. TVNZ renegotiated its Disney deal a few years ago and now everything Disney is on the open market, although increasingly Disney has been holding back content for its own service.

  9. Yes, Trevor, but the Disney sub will still be at the lower end of the market while the Star addition should make it even better value. Here’s how Variety reported its ambitions: “Disney to Spend $8 Billion-$9 Billion on Disney Plus Content Through Fiscal 2024.”

  10. I didn’t realise there is going to be a TV show of Alien, it sounds exciting 🙂

  11. Sadly I see many characters and properties being lost in Disney+. I already see the blank faces when people talk about The Mandalorian. I see the people switch off when talking about Disney+. I see the “meh” attitudes that occurred when Disney launched Star Wars Rebels but many fold.

  12. Let’s hope so, Trevor. Because of its 20th Century Fox acquisition, Disney now owns a bonanza of franchises it can exploit for Disney+.

  13. Fair point, Mike, but adding Star for more general adult content and committing billions to programming will expand the appeal Disney+ to subscribers wanting a much bigger choice than these properties.

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