HD Heads-Up: June 27 – July 3

➢➢ TVNZ 2’s new “stacked” schedule isn’t the only big change for the last week of June: TVNZ 1 will launch three series, including the top-rating spin-off from The Chase, Beat the Chasers. It was slated for Tuesday nights but now will air 8.30 Sundays from June 28. Once the domain of prestigious dramas, the slot now seems to be an experimental smorgasbord for everything from lightweight thrillers to Kiwi docudramas to high-concept game shows like Beat the Chase, which unites all five Chasers as a team that Radio Times likened to “Chasers Assemble“, a reference to how the Avengers movie franchise was marketed in the UK …

➢➢ “Beat the Chasers is a lot like The Chase, if The Chase had four more Chasers, two clocks, a bartering system, a time head-start and a hyped-up studio audience ready for some gameshow smackdown,” reckons The Spinoff. “The delightful Bradley Walsh larks it up as always and the Chasers are as surly as ever, but OMG, the tension. The drama. The heart-stopping pressure as the clock ticks down. Who will win? Who will lose? Who will remember the name of the youngest girl in the cartoon Rugrats?” …

➢➢  Around the World by Train (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Thursdays from July 2) has Sir Tony Robinson jumping on and off trains across Europe and then heading east through India, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and finally the USA. “It is an epic undertaking, conducted at whistlestop speed, and there are times when he looks knackered,” said The Guardian …

➢➢ The Dog House (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Tuesdays from June 30) is named after a rural British Dog Rescue Centre famous for finding new homes for dumped pooches. Reads the blurb: “Multiple fixed cameras mounted inside a special pen observe every beat of the first meetings between the dogs and their prospective new owners. Will the nervous dog come out of its shell? Will there be a connection? Will lives be changed forever?” …

➢➢ The New Statesman described it as “irresistible joy … The programme matches prospective owners with dogs in need of a loving home – and hits all the same beats as First Dates” …

➢➢ MasterChef Australia: Back to Win (TVNZ 2, Sunday-Wednesday from June 28) lands here on a new channel and closer to the Aussie air date than previous seasons. It premiered two months ago on Network 10 and features top contestants from the past eleven seasons keen to have another crack at the title. “More than a decade into MasterChef, the opportunity to breathe new life into the format has initiated other subtle yet important changes,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports. “The arrival of COVID-19 forced a reset part-way through filming, cancelling the appearance of some international guest judges and modifying the typical challenge format. The cooking benches will be moved further apart, while for the judges there will be no more Gary, Matt and George-style eating off the same plate like a bunch of share-house mates” …

➢➢ Speaking of which, Three will use the June 28 premiere of Big Brother Australia as the springboard to launch its latest Kiwi drama, Head High. The six-part series will air 8.30 Sundays and follow the rugby playing rise of two teenage brothers who have a cop for a mother and a rugby coach for a father …

➢➢ “Making a rugby drama series in New Zealand is overdue,” co-head writer and director Tim Worrall told the NZ Herald last year. “For better or worse, rugby has played a particularly influential role in the identity of our country and has been the arena in which many of our nation’s central conflicts play out” …

➢➢ Shortland Street resumes five-nights-a-week from June 29 just in time to mark its 7000th episode. Back for new seasons that week will be All Round to Mrs Brown’s (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Saturday) and The Titan Games (Three, 7.35 Thursday) while ending their runs will be White DragonYears and YearsNightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords and My Life is Murder …

➢➢ Brain Busters (TVNZ 2, 4.00 weekdays from June 29) is a new Kiwi game show that tests smarts and stamina. It will lead into a revised weeknight line-up on the network, with 90 minutes of comedy (Friends, The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons) preceding a big block of soap from 6.00-7.30 (Neighbours, Home and Away, Shortland Street) ahead of a double-helping of Aussie cooking contests Monday-Wednesday (MasterChef Australia, MKR) …

➢➢ HD coming attractions for the week starting June 27 will include:

  • The BFG (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Gattaca (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Logan Lucky (Three, 9.10 Saturday)
  • Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful (TVNZ 2, 10.35 Saturday)
  • Bubble Boy (TVNZ 2, 12.35am Sunday)
  • Money Train (TVNZ 2, 10.00 Sunday)
  • London Has Fallen (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Sunday)
  • The Village (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Sunday)
  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Thursday)
  • Unstoppable (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • National Security (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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5 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: June 27 – July 3”

  1. Just thought I would mention I’m getting my fibre connection on June 24th, YIPPEE. I can’t wait 🙂

  2. Lucky you, Trevor — I had to wait six months!

  3. Should be fun Trevor. I’ve got scoping on the 24th and install July 7th. Going on the next door neighbour’s attempt to get it installed, I suspect that they have laid the ducting but no fibre in my street.

  4. Hopefully by the time it’s installed, Paul, all the streaming services will have resumed their pre-COVID-19 bit-rates so you can take full advantage of their HD ands 4K streams.

  5. Thanks guys, I actually ended up getting it done yesterday so I have got my fibre now. I love it and notice it’s running a lot more smoothly especially on Netflix, the movie or show starts even before I have chosen to watch it 🙂

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