HD Heads-Up: July 25 – 31

Bondi Rescue has become Three’s quick-fix solution for when well-laid plans go awry, as with the relegation of Big Brother from 7.30 Mondays and Tuesdays to 9.25. Even before the network decided to substitute the Tuesday broadcast with a second weekly hour of Bondi, it had revamped Saturday nights by dusting off an earlier season of the Aussie reality hit as its 7.00 anchor. S11 will be the lead-in to a new Wipeout-like series, Cannonball, in which contestants face incredible water-based obstacles in a test of distance, speed, height and agility …

➢ ITV launched the series in 2017, when The Guardian observed: “This is what weekend television should be about: finding imaginative ways of putting grandmothers, cabbies, students, PE teachers and a former Miss Bournemouth into the water, from the highest possible height, with the least amount of dignity and the biggest possible splash” …

➢ In a lovely programming flourish, Three will follow Bondi and Cannonball with Jaws — and all will be preceded by the 3.25 documentary Killer Whales — Fins of Change. The network’s also replacing the previously scheduled Big Brother for July 26 with a repeat of The Secret Life of Pets

House Rules: High Stakes is the latest Australian reality staple to change channels. It will air 7.30 Thursday-Saturday on TVNZ 1 from July 30. Season eight will follow eight teams transforming a Queensland penthouse with two new judges joining Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen: interior designer and home stylist Kyly Clarke and prolific Aussie home builder Saul Myers. The new format and judges were meant to improve ratings but the revamp stumbled early …

➢ Prime also has a new reality format, the Phil Keoghan-presented Tough as Nails (7.30 Wednesdays from July 29). Reality Blurred dubbed it “the most interesting new reality competition format of the summer. It’s a challenge-forward show that showcases physically challenging work by turning real-life jobs—laying railroad track, shoveling coal, repairing cars—into great individual and team reality TV challenges, though it also throws in some unnecessary class warfare” …

➢ Prime also will refresh its schedule with TradeZone Addicted to Fishing (5.00 Saturday), the excellent three-part Agatha Christie modernisation Ordeal by Innocence (8.30 Tuesday), and Punk (8.30 Wednesday), a four-part Prime Rocks series about the music, fashion, art and attitude of the punk subculture, beginning with the protopunk era of the 1960s …

➢ TVNZ 2 will unveil several new shows as well, including the premiere of the Dawn French-fronted Little Big Shots UK (4.00 Saturdays), the return of Wentworth (8.50 Wednesdays) and Stand Up Aotearoa (8.00 Thursday), which will pre-empt its midweek action movie. The Urzila Carlson-hosted comedy special will feature the likes of Rhys Darby, Ben Hurley, Justine Smith and Paul Ego celebrating the work of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic …

➢ TVNZ 1 will premiere House Rules the same week as the acclaimed UK drama series, Normal People (10.30 Sunday) and reality newcomer Weather From Hell (8.30 Wednesday). The former already is streaming on-demand and, according to Stuff, “magnificently and tenderly captures the complexity of teenage friendship and relationships”. Which, if true, makes you wonder why it hasn’t found a berth on youth-skewed TVNZ 2 …

➢ Ending their runs that week will be The Hotel Inspector, Dream Home DilemmaBeat the Chasers, World’s Scariest and Yorkshire Airport 

My Afternoons with Margueritte (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday) is the sole network movie premiere in the last week of July. Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Tron: Legacy (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Jaws (Three, 8.30 Saturday)
  • The Lovely Bones (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (TVNZ 2, 9.10 Saturday)
  • Dead Poets Society (TVNZ 1, 10.20 Saturday)
  • White Chicks (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Saturday)
  • Everybody Wants Some!! (TVNZ 2, 1.20am Sunday)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (Three, 7.00)
  • Rogue One: A Stars Wars Story (TVNZ 2, 8.20 Sunday)
  • Bad Teacher (Three, 8.40 Sunday)
  • Snatch (Duke, 10.35 Sunday)
  • Blair Witch (TVNZ 2, 11.35 Sunday)
  • Ocean’s 13 (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • Coach Carter (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Hulk (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • The Internship (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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8 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: July 25 – 31”

  1. According to NZ Herald it sounds like Discovery will definitely be buying Three so I wonder what changes they will bring in for Three as they definitely need it 🙂

  2. Normal People is good, but I preferred the book.

  3. Thanks, Clint. I’m not familiar with either but in my experience a movie or TV series adaptation rarely matches the source.

  4. Trevor: Is that all of MediaWorks or just the Three network?

  5. Hey, Paul. It’s just the TV business (https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/122153209/mediaworks-tv-sale-result-expected-in-coming-weeks). Discovery’s expected to be the buyer. It already owns Choice and HGTV, and across the Tasman is behind the new FTA channel 9Rush.

  6. Any idea, Philip, why Discovery would buy Three & Bravo when it already owns Choice & HGTV?

  7. You might well ask, Leo, especially given its multiple channels on Sky. But a FTA network like Three would give it greater reach and profile in this part of the world after having expanded significantly in Europe over the past five years. Internationally it claims to already deliver more than 8,000 hours of original programming annually in 220 markets. With that amount of original fare, there’s plenty to slice and dice for different platforms. Here, Discovery’s already shown how a low-cost FTA operation like Choice can rival Prime with shrewd scheduling and branding. And this is what Discovery’s 9Rush FTA channel looks like in Australia, complete with content that once would have been exclusive to pay TV. Three also would be a great platform for promoting Discovery’s streaming ambitions, which include partnerships with the BBC and the PGA (in a deal that could preclude live PGA golf on Sky within a couple of years) — Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav has said that the company invested between $300 and $400 million US in 2019 to develop new streaming services. Perhaps more about its NZ plans will be revealed in time for next month’s second-quarter results, due for reporting on August 5.

  8. Cheers, Philip, for the rundown on what this all means. A quick look at dplay.com makes it clear what the strategy is and possibly could mean for its NZ channels with a single ondemand home and finally Three being able to properly compete with TVNZ’s superior ondemand service. I do wonder about Bravo’s future and whether the channel does align with its new ownership, possible rebrand next year? Hopefully with Discovery’s deep pockets Bravo, Choice and HGTV can finally all go HD.

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