HD Heads-Up: March 21-27

Benched is still benched but TV2 isn’t jilting Marry Me.

The network’s overhauling its underwhelming Wednesday comedy block by replacing Benched with season two of another comedy that struggled on the same night last year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

TV2 had been re-running S1 double-eps of the cop comedy 10.30 Wednesday until it demoted Agent Carter to the slot.

While Benched remains off-air, Marry Me returns on March 25 after being pre-empted March 18 for a double-ep of Two and a Half Men, a stronger comedy that TV2 is using to try to curb the appeal of TV3’s The Bachelor NZ in its first week on air.

B99 isn’t the only change to TV2’s Wednesdays: also back from March 25 is Once Upon a Time for its fourth season.

It will air 9.30 Wednesdays and the premiere will follow an off-peak recap, Once Upon a Time: Storybrooke Has Frozen (2.30 Sunday).

TV2 also has a week-long Neighbours stunt.

Unlike Coronation Street fans, who had to wait two years for that serial’s 50th anniversary shindig to screen here, NZ Neighbours fans will see its commemoration only three days after Australia (and in HD!).

Screening 6.30 on March 21 is Neighbours 30: The Stars Reunite, a 90-minute tribute show featuring some of its biggest stars over the last three decades.

Faces from the past also will pop up in the 6.30 weeknight episodes for Daniel and Amber’s wedding.

Another blast from the past, Cheers’ Kirstie Alley, plays an old (and Wheel of Fortune-winning) high school pal of Frankie’s in Monday’s The Middle.

“Although there were occasional slightly over-the-top moments where it felt like she was delivering a performance more appropriate for Modern Family than The Middle, I’d be hard pressed to suggest that the show could’ve utilised Alley any better than they did in this episode,” The AV Club said.

Returning in a new, much earlier slot  are Jono and Ben (TV3, 7.30 Friday) — producer Bronwynn Bakker says the new time slot and longer duration will bring with it only two changes: a new time slot and longer duration! (but omits to mention it will now be in HD) — while ex-Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi campaigns to save family businesses on the brink in newcomer The Fixer (TV1, 9.30 Wednesday)

TV1 also will screen the network HD premiere of J Edgar (10.30 Saturday) while airing even later for the first time are The Perks of Being a Wallflower (TV2, 1.15am Sunday), V/H/S (TV2, 10.35 Sunday) and Anna Karenina (TV3, 11.55 Sunday).

Other coming attractions in HD include: Wild Hogs (TV2, 8.05 Saturday), The Da Vinci Code (TV2, 10.10 Saturday), Two Lovers (TV2. 3.10 Sunday), Yogi Bear (TV2, 6.55 Sunday) and Date Night (TV3, 9.00 Sunday).

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