HD Heads-Up: Eden’s First Week

Discovery’s new HD channel Eden will launch on March 21 with a first-week schedule that will be familiar to viewers of the SD channel it replaces, Choice, while offering a slightly wider choice of content.

The biggest difference will be a nightly 8.00 Newshub Live bulletin and an 8.30 Thursday premium drama slot that will open on March 24 with Australian series The Newsreader, a TV newsroom drama set in 1986 that could be the perfect antidote to TV journos who take themselves too seriously.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “It packs nostalgia, romance and office politics into its six perfectly formed hours, and still finds room to tackle weighty issues such as sexual harassment, homophobia and racism. In its understated way it is quite brilliant.”

Otherwise, the schedule with be lifestyle-driven renovation and reality, with informercials replacing Choice’s overnight programming.

A Nigel Havers-hosted antiques game show, The Bidding Room, which has spawned three seasons on the BBC, will be stripped weeknights at 6.00, ahead of Filthy Garden SOS (7.00 Mondays), UK Highway Patrol soundalike The Motorway (7.00 Tuesdays), design competition Ellen’s Next Great Designer (7.00 Wednesdays), Undercover Big Boss (7.00 Thursdays) and topiary competition Clipped (7.00 Fridays).

Said Commonsense Media of Clipped: “Folks who like working with botanicals, or who are simply curious about the art form, will find it most engrossing; others looking for a lighthearted reality series will also find it fun.”

Decider reckons Ellen’s Next Great Designer has “more of a Project Runway format than a Great British Bake Off format. But the fact that the designers get to do their design and build work from home reminds us of the much-lower-budget History competition Assembly Required with Tim Allen and Richard Karn.”

A remodelled Changing Rooms will anchor 8.30 Mondays (“design so dreadful you’ll be scarred for life,” quipped The Guardian), Big House Clearout 8.30 Tuesdays, Big Family Farm 8.30 Wednesdays and Dancing on Ice 8.30 Fridays.

Ice is a figure skating variation on Dancing With the Stars (the UK version of which also is destined for Eden) while Big Family Farm has been a heartwarming hit in the UK, where it airs under the title, Our Yorkshire Farm, and has made a household name of Amanda Owen.

“The 47-year-old, her husband Clive Owen and their brood of nine have soared in popularity of late as the nation has become obsessed with what life is really like on Ravenseat Farm,” The Sun reported while The Spectator pondered: “Is there anything more uplifting than Our Yorkshire Farm?”

At 9.30, Eden will strip the George Clarke series that previously aired on TVNZ 1, Ugly House to Lovely House.

The daytime schedule will include re-runs of the previous night’s programming, cooking shows and the long-running Mysteries at the Museum (5.00 weeknights) while movies will screen on Saturday and Sunday nights.

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