HD Heads-Up: December 26 – January 1

➢➢ TVNZ 1 will strip the David Tennant true-crime thriller Des on December 27 and 28. The first two episodes will screen 9.20 Sunday and the third episode 9.50 Monday. It’s named after Des Nilsen, a civil servant who murdered boys and young men he met on the streets of Soho from 1978 to 1983. After his arrest, he admitted to 15 murders but claimed not to remember any of his victims’ names, sparking the biggest manhunt investigation in UK history …

➢➢ Even if you’ve seen the documentary TVNZ aired last month, the dramatisation’s critical acclaim makes it a must-see (in the UK it was ITV’s highest-rating drama of 2020). “Rare it is to watch a drama about a serial killer that leaves you feeling as though the victims have been done a service,” said The Guardian. “This sensitive, finely worked drama shows us the unrelentingly bleak reality of the monstrous narcissist Dennis Nilsen’s macabre murders” …

➢➢ For those in a mellow festive mood, TVNZ 1 will end the year with:

  • The Chase Christmas Special (7.35 Monday)
  • The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown (7.00 Thursday), in which Dawn French reprises her role as Britain’s favourite vicar to webcam her sermons on everything from climate change to chocolate
  • 2020 Year in Review (7.35 Thursday)
  • Gary Barlow’s Night at The Museum (10.55 Thursday), in which he performs some of his greatest hits at London’s Natural History Museum;
  • The Royal Variety Perfomance 2020 (7.30 Friday) …

➢➢ Attenborough and the Giant Elephant (Prime, 7;.30 Tuesday) reveals the secrets behind how the most famous elephant in the world, Jumbo, was shipped from Africa to the London Zoo in the 1860s before becoming the property of showman P T Barnum. It aired three years ago in the UK, where The Telegraph hailed it as the “bittersweet tale of the first animal superstar … [an] archaeological examination of unintentional animal cruelty and the appalling ignorance of generations past” …

➢➢ Another Prime newcomer, Mighty Machines (7.00 Saturdays from Boxing Day), scarcely seems worthy of its primetime slot and is another example of how the channel’s programming has deteriorated in the last two years as former Sky chief Martin Stewart sought to transform it. Essentially a cross-promotional platform for Bauer Media’s magazines, it aired off-peak on minor Australian channels 18 months ago …

➢➢ Other premieres in the last week of December range from MacGyver’s return in a new slot (Prime, 9.30 Sundays) and the post-Covid documentary Cruising: The Biggest Storm (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Tuesday) to stand-up special Jason Byrne Live – Cirque du Byrne (Duke, 8.30 Wednesday) and the stripping of Would I Lie to You? as the holiday replacement for Shortland Street (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Mondays-Thursdays) …

➢➢ On or near the red sofa on the December 31 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.30) will be Nigella Lawson, Hugh Grant, Romesh Ranganathan, Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Amy Adams and Dua Lipa …

➢➢ It will be a Middle Earth marathon for diehard fans of The Lord of the Rings when TVNZ 2 airs the original trilogy on Fridays nights from January 1, and Three The Hobbit trilogy on Saturday nights from December 26. Here are some of the other movie highlights the networks have lined up from December 26 – January 1:

  • Home Alone 3 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Bon Voyage Charlie Brown – And Don’t Come Back (Maori TVC, 7.00)
  • Red Dog (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Saturday)
  • Police Academy (TVNZ 2, 9.05 Saturday)
  • Blade Runner (TVNZ 2, 11.00 Saturday)
  • Lion (TVNZ 1, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Smallfoot (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Olympus Has Fallen (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Mandela the Long Walk To Freedom (Maori TV. 8.40 Sunday)
  • Geostorm (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Sunday)
  • This Means War (TVNZ 2, 7.35 Monday)
  • The Da Vinci Code (Three, 8.30 Monday)
  • Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • I, Tonya (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Monday)
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (TVNZ 2, 7.35 Tuesday)
  • Non-Stop (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Tower Heist (Three, 8.45 Tuesday)
  • Gravity (TVNZ 2, 9.55 Tuesday)
  • Daddy’s Home (TVNZ 2, 7.35 Wednesday)
  • The Green Mile (Three, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Two Weeks Notice (TVNZ 2, 9.25 Wednesday)
  • Troy (TVNZ 2, 8.05 Thursday)
  • Monsieur Chocolat (Maori TV, 8.40 Thursday)
  • Rise of the Guardians (Maori TV, 7.00 Friday)
  • Battleship (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • 48 Hours (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Stardust (Maori TV, 8.45 Friday)
  • Invictus (TVNZ 2, 10.20 Friday).
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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: December 26 – January 1”

  1. Hi Phil. Do you have any word on what Disco/TV3 are up to with Fox rights? Bob’s Burgers was ripped from the schedule last night with little warning, and given we’re still a year behind, there’s no US scheduling to blame for it. It’s also completely disappeared from 3Now, so I guess it’s bad news?

  2. Will look into it on Monday, Malx. Three alerted media that the December 25 broadcast of Bob’s Burgers and The Goldbergs would be replaced by a same-week re-run of The Graham Norton Show. And the following week the network will repeat S3 of Wanted in that slot, so it would appear BB has gone for the time being …

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