HD Heads-Up: March 14-20

The pick of the new HD attractions for the week starting March 14 is premiering online first, but in SD.

iZombie, which stars Kiwi Rose McIver, can be streamed from TVNZ Ondemand from March 19, barely a day after its US broadcast premiere on the CW Network.

It’s fantastic that TVNZ is fast-tracking shows from the US for its on-demand service but unforgivable that, on the eve of Netflix’s debut, with its 4K plans, and after Lightbox’s launch with most of its content in HD, the broadcaster’s revamped service is still SD-only.

Hitherto, most of TVNZ OD’s premieres have been series that have been destined for off-peak, such as Orange is the New Black, and the latest seasons of Shameless and The Vampire Diaries franchise, or ageing series nearing their use-by dates (Grey’s Anatomy, Two and a Half Men).

But given iZombie’s Kiwi connection and the surging popularity of The Walking Dead, this may be one newcomer it hopes to build word-of-mouth with online before testing it in primetime.

The title suggests it would be a natural successor to The Walking Dead on Mondays but its DC Comics origins may also make it a good fit for Thursdays after Arrow ends its run.

However, at this stage TV2 says it’s unsure when iZombie will go to air but it won’t be in the immediate future.

The Hollywood Reporter describes iZombie as a supernatural crime procedural about a medical-student-turned-zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office so she can eat the brains of corpses to maintain her humanity.

But because she inherits their memories, she’s haunted by disturbing voices in her head until she solves their murders.

It sounds as gimmicky as it is ghastly, especially as it’s made for a broadcaster rather than cable network.

But C|Net reckons it “offers a refreshing twist on zombie TV” that will mix the gritty detection of Veronica Mars with the monster-focused mysteries of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (It’s posted the trailer here.)

As for the week’s on-air highlights, in a canny strategy TV3 is cutting back The X Factor NZ to Sundays and Mondays so it can air The Bachelor NZ 7.30 Tuesdays and Wednesdays — which, combined with Top Gear and the upcoming 7.30 edition of Jono and Ben, will give the channel unprecedented 7.30 strength across the week.

But other slots continue to prove troublesome, particularly 8.30 Wednesday, where it looks as though TV3 will replace Gallipoli with movies, starting with The Back-Up Plan, until 3rd Degree returns.

TV1 is bringing back Unforgettable, on a double-bill with Person of Interest to try to improve its Tuesday ratings, and will premiere I Am Innocent (8.30 Wednesday), a documentary series about wrongfully imprisoned Kiwis.

TV1’s other’s HD newcomer for the week is Katherine Mills: Mind Games (7.30 Thursday), the first TV series to be fronted by a female illusionist.

The week’s coming attractions in HD include the late-night HD premieres of Won’t Back Down (TV2, 10.40 Saturday) and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (TV2, 1.10am Sunday), plus re-runs of:

  • Pocahontas (TV2, 6.45 Sarturday),
  • My Sister’s Keeper (TV2, 8.30 Saturday),
  • Love Happens (TV2, 3.05am Sunday)
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil (TV2, 6.55 Sunday)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (TV3, 9.00 Sunday)
  • Orphan (TV2, 10.35 Sunday)
  • The Boat That Rocked (TV3, 12.05am Monday)
  • Leap Year (TV2, 8.30m Friday).
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3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: March 14-20”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/screenscribe.net/public_html/wp-content/themes/headlines/includes/theme-comments.php on line 66
    March 5, 2015 at 9:51 am

    It’s a shame iZombie was not picked up by The Zone, it would have got treated better 🙂

  2. iZombie, which stars Kiwi Rose McIver, can be streamed from TVNZ Ondemand from March 19, barely a day after its US broadcast premiere on the CW Network.” Why don’t these clowns show it over the air rather than Low Definition (LD) via it’s so called “Ondemand” system?

  3. Couldn’t agree more. With UFB’s roll out pressing ahead, and Netflix and Lightbox both offering HD, wouldn’t you think TVNZ would have relaunched its on-demand service with HD as an option? (For an explanation as to why not, see this previous post.) It’s also such a confusing halfway house between being a catch-up service and one with an increasing number of exclusives. Today’s debut of American Crime would be a must-see if it was in HD. Meanwhile, TV2 is padding primetime with more re-runs and double-eps of series when it should be offering a bolder, more diversified mix to stymie the online competition.

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