HD Heads-Up: January 9 – 15

➢➢ Doctor Who isn’t the only BBC icon changing channels. Top Gear will switch from Duke to TVNZ 1 for its 2020 season, which will air 8.40 Mondays from January 11. Originally it was going to screen on Duke but TVNZ abruptly pulled it late last year and rescheduled it in a plum slot on the country’s most-watched channel. This mirrors what happened in the UK, when the BBC relocated Top Gear from BBC2 to BBC1, complete with a new drive-in studio for socially-distanced presenters Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness …

➢➢ “The long-running series has made some changes in the age of COVID, but it remains as watchable as ever,” Radio Times said. But other critics weren’t as impressed. “Once a dependable revenue stream – in its pomp, it netted the corporation more than £50m a year – it’s now an uncomfortable proposition: too male, too pale, and with too much particulate pollution,” quipped The Telegraph. “My advice? Ditch the flaccid studio interludes, dial back the fancy car longueurs, and build up the fledgling camaraderie between the presenters” …

➢➢ “The post-Clarkson era Top Gear is better, just because it’s undergone its Clarksonectomy,” echoed the Independent, “but the banter is feeble and the stuff the current trio get up to is not as consistently well-thought through” …

➢➢ Top Gear is part of a new-season tune-up for TVNZ 1 that will include the Sunday night premieres of A Perfect Planet (7.00) and Life (9.15). The former is billed as “a unique fusion of blue-chip natural history and earth science that explains how our living planet operates  everything that makes our planet just that”. Sir David Attenborough narrates the five-part series, which is being used to launch the new streaming service Discovery+ in other markets on January 4. It will screen here a week after its BBC1 premiere …

➢➢ Life is a spin-off from Doctor Foster, about the inter-connected lives of residents in a Manchester home that’s been divided into four flats. Bridging the two series is Victoria Hamilton as Belle, whose new life is thrown into disarray when her sister is hospitalised and her wayward niece lands on her doorstep. “Mike Bartlett’s latest drama, set in the same world as his smash-hit Doctor Foster, is a smart exploration of the human condition – with just the right amount of sentimentality,” said The Guardian …

➢➢ Returning to TVNZ 1 will be The Celebrity Chase (8.15 Sundays from January 10), The Checkup (7.35 Mondays from January 11) and Border Security (8.05 Mondays from January 11). There also will be new Amazing Spaces and Mrs Brown’s Boy specials (7.35/8.35 Thursday), and a celebrity version of Tipping Point, Lucky Stars (7.00 Saturdays from January 9) …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 will relaunch Shortland Street with an hour-long season premiere on January 11. It also will revive Booze Patrol on Thursday nights (8.00 from January 14) while returning to Duke for a New Year’s Treat the same week will be Taskmaster (8.30 Sunday) …

➢➢ Prime has Endeavour back on the beat from January 9 in its Saturday night mystery slot, ahead of the premiere of The Perfect Serve. About three female chefs preparing to deliver a first-class menu at the Australian Open’s most exclusive dining event, the AO Chef Series, it will screen 7.00 Monday-Friday …

➢➢ On or near the red sofa on the January 14 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.30) will be Mariah Carey, Nadiya Hussain, Tim Peake, Richard Osman and Gary Barlow …

➢➢ There will be two network movie premieres in the week starting January 9: Holmes & Watson (Three, 8.30 Sunday) and Peppermint (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Sunday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Cars 3 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Charlotte’s Web (Maori TV, 7.00 Saturday)
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold (TVNZ 1, 8.05 Saturday)
  • Predator (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • 45 Years (Maori TV, 8.40 Saturday)
  • Police Academy 3: Back in Training (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Saturday)
  • American Assassin (Three, 9.55 Saturday)
  • Secret in Their Eyes (TVNZ 2, 10.40 Saturday)
  • The Replacements (TVNZ 2, 12.40am Sunday)
  • Pleasantville (TVNZ 2, 11.35am Sunday)
  • Batman Forever (TVNZ 2, 2.00 Sunday)
  • Beauty and the Beast (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Matewan (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Annabelle 2: Creation (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Sunday)
  • On Deadly Ground (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • Hip Hop-eration (Maori TV, 8.30 Monday)
  • Arrival (Three, 8.35 Monday)
  • What Women Want (TVNZ 2, 9.15 Monday)
  • Abduction (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • 28 Days (Three, 8.40 Tuesday)
  • Minority Report (Three, 8.40 Wednesday)
  • Walk of Shame (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Wednesday)
  • Poseidon (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Thursday)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Friday)
  •  Mission: Impossible (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • Jackass: The Movie (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Laws of Attraction (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday)
  • Jackass Number Two (Duke, 10.05 Friday).
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3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: January 9 – 15”

  1. I’ve been watching Top Gear for years but I’m not sure I’ll even bother watching the latest season.

  2. Yes, Paul W, I wonder if that might be the case generally. TVNZ might have been best to leave it on Duke.

  3. And I thought running a 2 year old Netflix show (Bodyguard) was the bottom of the barrel. There must be something better on the shelf at TVNZ than Top Gear which is Duke/OnDemand fare.

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