HD Heads-Up: February 23 – March 1

➢➢ TVNZ 1’s latest gimmicky procedural, the single-season Deception, will screen 9.30 Sundays from February 24. About a disgraced magician who puts his skills of deception and illusion to work at the FBI, it earned middling reviews when it debuted a year ago in the US. They ranged from, “pretty absurd, but the show is too light on its feet to begrudge for too long” (Los Angeles Times), to, “It feels like the exact opposite of a successful trick: Nearly every turn is telegraphed early and often” (Variety) …

➢➢ Deception’s scheduling continues the dumbing down of Sunday nights but should rate higher than TV’s best current affairs hour, Q+A, which shifts to 9.30 Monday this week on the back of Manifest, in a challenging bid to find the audience that eluded it last year in primetime …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 has relocated the premiere of Changing Rooms Australia from February 18 to February 24 so it can air Sundays and Mondays instead of Mondays and Tuesdays. Screening this Monday at 7.30 will be the eating disorder special, Extreme Diet Hotel, which will be followed by the return of Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours To Hell and Back at 8.35. Airing instead of CRA on Tuesday at 7.30 will be the premiere of Ambulance Australia, which will screen weekly in this slot ahead of new Kiwi drama Fresh Eggs

➢➢ In another Sunday night scheduling change, Prime is dumping SEAL Team for Burma With Simon Reeve from February 17 and pushing 60 Minutes forward an hour to 9.30 Sundays from February 24 …

➢➢ The latter’s promotion will replace NCIS: New Orleans, which shifts to 8.30 Fridays from March 1 to succeed the “classic comedy” combo of Third Rock from the Sun and Married With Children. The primetime showcasing of these ’90s relics always beggared belief and Prime should never have attempted their resurrection. Similarly, screening lightweight US dramas instead of premium factual content on Sundays …

➢➢ Prime’s newest Royal special, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, will premiere on February 26 at 8.35. It’s billed as a “revealing” behind the scenes take on the longest-serving heir to the throne. The Telegraph called it “an emotionally engaged and thoughtful documentary about the Price which never quite emerges as an intimate portrait” …

➢➢ Maori TV will debut a series about overcoming being overweight, Ride or Die, on February 27 (8.00 Wednesdays), ahead of another premiere, Haka Life. Also new that week will be JC Tha Barber (10.00 Thursdays from February 28) …

➢➢ For the first time, the Oscars will screen live on TVNZ 2. Movie fans won’t have to be a Sky subscriber to see the 91st Academy Awards ceremony in HD, when it airs from 12.30 on February 25. The telecast will repeat 8.30 that night on Duke and be available OnDemand …

➢➢ Returning to TVNZ 1 in the week starting February 23 will be Hyundai Country Calendar (7.00 Sunday), Sunday (7.30 Sunday) and Rich House, Poor House (8.40 Tuesday) while ending its run will be The Split (8.30 Friday). Prime will reinstate Madam Secretary for another season from February 28 (9.30 Thursdays) and quit Fishing Impossible and MasterChef USA

➢➢ Three will air the latest Survivor season, Edge of Extinction, 5.00 Saturdays from February 23 while TVNZ will screen its variation, Castaways, 5.00 Sundays from February 24 …

➢➢ The only network movie premieres for the week starting February 23 will be The 33 (TVNZ 1, 8.35) and People Places Things (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • A Knight’s Tale (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Mercury Rising (Three, 8.55 Saturday)
  • The Legend of Zorro (TVNZ w2, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Duke, 9.30 Saturday)
  • The Water Diviner (Three, 11.15 Saturday)
  • Cloud Atlas (TVNZ 2, 12.05am Sunday)
  • Aloha (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Gone Girl (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Antwone Fisher (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Exorcist (TVNZ 2, 11.35 Sunday)
  • Heist (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • Zodiac (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • I, Robot (Three, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Friday).
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3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: February 23 – March 1”

  1. Changing Rooms Australia absolutely bombed for Network Ten this week, not even making the day’s top 20. I wonder if it’ll be a success for TV2 …

  2. Yes, it will be fascinating to see if it does better here, particularly since it will be up against Married at First Sight Australia on Three, one of the shows that clobbered it in Australia. It also had to face off against My Kitchen Rules, so it’s not surprising it finished a distant third. Also, as this Sydney Morning Herald analysis observes, the new, much longer, puffed-up format doesn’t work as well the original half-hour that was a big hit here 10 years ago.

  3. Yes, very interesting … the old NZ version with the late Kerry Smith was quite good, too. Do you think TVNZ is holding off the new My Kitchen Rules Australia season here until Married At First Sight is over?

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