HD Heads-Up: December 8 – 14


➢➢ Three appears to be targeting the weakness of Saturday night programming on both TVNZ channels with decent free-to-air movie premieres. TVNZ 1’s wall-to-wall re-runs and 2’s lacklustre movie repeats have opened a window for distinctive first-run fare that either bypassed cinemas here or slipped under the radar. Last weekend the low-profile The Founder won its slot outright in three of the four core commercial demographics and averaged an impressive 3.6% of 25-54s, a point higher than lead-in America’s Got Talent. And Sunday’s premiere of Ben-Hur (2016) ran rings around the competition in the 25-54 and 18-49 demos …

➢➢ This Saturday Three will pair re-runs of The Karate Kid (2010) and 21 but on December 8 it will double-bill network premieres of Trolls and the very funny Why Him? (the latter will air opposite yet another SD re-run of The Wedding Singer on TVNZ 2). The same week it will premiere Allied (8.45 Sunday) and Hot Pursuit (8.45 Monday) …

➢➢ Extra weeknight movie slots on TVNZ 2 and Three are a sure sign of a pending summer shutdown of series programming. On December 12, 2 will launch a Wednesday comedy movie slot with Wedding Crashers (9.00), which will face off against Three’s re-run of Die Hard II (8.40). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (Duke, 9,25 Saturday)
  • End of Days (TVNZ 2, 10.45 Saturday)
  • Birdman (Three, 11.10 Saturday)
  • Sleepwalking In Suburbia (TVNZ 2, 1.05am Sunday)
  • Anomalisa (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Riddick (TVNZ 2, 8.40 Sunday)
  • Vertical Limit (Duke, 9.30 Sunday)
  • Annabelle (TVNZ 2, midnight Sunday)
  • Now You See Me (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • The Punisher (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (Three, 7.30 Thursday)
  • Year One (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Captain America: Civil War (TVNZ 2, 8.40 Sunday) …

➢➢ TVNZ 1’s two-part Queen Elizabeth II special, Queen of the World (7.30 December 9 and 16), earned mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter said the “sluggish documentary comes across as a promo justifying why the British monarchy still exists” while The Telegraph thought it “a fascinating portrait but a missed opportunity to show the Queen as a global figure” …

➢➢ The first episode will be double-billed with Billy Connolly and Me, which celebrates 50 years of The Big Yin’s career. “The assiduous research that turned Billy Connolly & Me: A Celebration from what could have been a lazy clip-fest into something better made a strong case for Connolly as a force for personal transformation,” said The Times …

➢➢ Prime has jumped the gun with a full-page advertisement in the latest TV Guide promoting the return of SEAL Team in a new 8.30 Sunday slot, where it will offer a viable alternative to movies on TVNZ 2 and Three and specials on TVNZ 1. Season two won’t premiere until December 16 …

➢➢ New to Prime from December 11 will be Clash of the Collectables (7.30 Tuesdays), a 2016 Australian series, and Prime Rocks: Buddy Holly – Rave On (8.30, December 12), which chronicles the Buddy Holly story through interviews with those who knew him …

➢➢ The same week TVNZ 2 will premiere two British documentaries: My Excess Skin Nightmare (9.45 Tuesday), in which former Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley shares how she deals with excess skin caused by weight loss, including drastic surgery to have it removed; and Little Divas: Tantrums & Tiaras (8.30 Thursday) …

➢➢ Jono and Ben return for Jono & Ben’s Big Stupid Quiz on December 13 (Three, 9.55) and the following night’s 7 Days: Best of 2018 (Three, 9.00) is an hour-long compilation special …

➢➢ Appearing on the December 14 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00) will be Jackie Chan, John Cena and Jamie Oliver …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 continues to confuse viewers with its Wednesday comedy block scheduling. On December 12, Will & Grace will revert to 8.30 after airing at 8.00 on December 5 and The Big Bang Theory will return to its 8.00 slot after a one-week break. But the resumption will be for one night only, as both sitcoms will go off-air over summer …

➢➢ Also ending their runs that week will be My Kitchen Rules NZ, Sugar Free FarmAustralian Survivor800 WordsYoung SheldonAmbulanceBritain’s Best Home CookGeorge Clarke’s Amazing Spaces SpecialsDon’t Tell the Doctor and Doctor Who 

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6 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: December 8 – 14”

  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
    November 29, 2018 at 8:04 am

    I really enjoyed The Founder, it was so well done and interesting seeing how McDonald’s began. I wonder if more people went to McDonald’s after watching the movie.

  2. I notice on Instagram Three will be making announcements today for 2019. I reckon we should have New Zealand Ninja Warrior, that would be fun.

  3. Hi Philip, apologies if I’ve missed this elsewhere, but any news on when Survivor is returning to Three?

  4. Will check with the network today. There’s been no mention of it but that’s not surprising given the series became afternoon fodder after tanking in primetime early last year. However, there’s no sign of it so far in Three’s advance schedules, so perhaps the show hasn’t been relicensed or is ThreeLife-bound.

  5. Three says Survivor will return early next year.

  6. Many thanks for finding out, Philip.

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