HD Heads-Up: June 22

TVNZ 2 is turning Emerald City into a mini-series event. The Wizard of Oz re-imaging that ran for only 10 episodes in the US will screen as double-episodes after the Saturday Family Movie from July 1. “Fans of the alternate reality/fantasy genre should enjoy Emerald City, and I think they’ll get a kick out of its parallels to The Wizard of Oz, and in trying to guess what’s coming next,” the New York Post predicted. But the Los Angeles Times dismissed it as “a turgid attempt at fantasy burdened by the weight of its own pretensions” …

Survivor NZ will bow out with two blockbuster specials: a 90-minute edition will air 7.30 on July 4 and the live two-hour finale from 7.30 on July 5. The latter will pre-empt TVNZ 2’s comedy block and the former will usurp Grey’s Anatomy, which will return the following week in a later, 9.30 slot after the season two premiere of Filthy Rich

TVNZ 2 will follow Tuesday’s Survivor special with the premiere of the 2016 TV movie, Girl in the Box. The Lifetime dramatisation of a young woman’s seven-year enslavement was described by the Los Angeles Times as “just about as ghastly a true-crime tale as there is, reminding us, as the genre loves to do, that fiction can only dimly reflect the actual depths of human depravity” …

Returning that week are Wentworth (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Monday), Blue Bloods (Three, 9.25 Mondays),  Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce (TVNZ 2, 12.10am Wednesday), Modern Family (Prime, 7.30 Thursday), Family Guy (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Friday) and, for its final season, Bones (Prime, 8.30 Friday) …

Ending their runs are Doctor Who, Inside Windsor Castle, Life Inside Jail, Aquarius, Hyde and Seek, Homes by the Sea and Scorpion. Doctor Who’s exit should at last pave the way for the ridiculously belated premiere of Planet Earth II

The July 4 Prime Rocks special, Sgt Pepper’s Musical Revolution, “treats us to all sorts of obscure goodies that tell us the story of the album and the people who made it – including what sounds to be a Beatle using the F-word,” said The Independent. “I challenge you not to play the whole album to yourself, properly, preferably on original vinyl, after seeing this.” Which is just what The Guardian’s critic did: “And there was so much new to listen to, even though you’ve heard it 4,000 times before” …

The Telegraph said Prime’s new documentary series Ambulance (8.30 Wednesdays from July 5) “presents life – and death – in the raw. But it would be wrong to shy away from watching; the ultimate feeling as the credits roll is one of redemption, humanity and, above all, gratitude that the ambulance service is just a phone call away” …

Three will screen the network movie premiere of Spy on July 2 at 8.30. Other HD coming attractions that week will include:

  • Toy Story (TVNZ 2, 5.30 Saturday)
  • Kung Fu Panda (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Teen Wolf Too (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Almost Famous (Three, 9.00 Saturday)
  • Conspiracy Theory (TVNZ 2, 10.30 Saturday)
  • Bad Behaviour (Three, 11.20 Saturday)
  • Elysium (TVNZ 2, 8.25 Sunday)
  • The Roommate (TVNZ 2, 10.40 Sunday)
  • The X-Files (Prime, 8.35 Monday)
  • The World Is Not Enough (Three, 7.30 Thursday)

Guesting on the July 7 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00): Dame Judi Dench, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Jamie Foxx …

Appearing this week on Prime’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon: Ashton Kutcher, Mario Batali and musical guest Liam Payne (11.30 tonight); and Ray Romano, Ruth Negga and musical guest Camilla Cabello (10.30 tomorrow) …

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