HD Heads-Up: March 23-29

➢➢ TVNZ 1 is stripping a docuseries about Gloriavale across three consecutive nights, from 8.30 Sunday. Escaping Utopia documents “the intricate planning that goes into clandestine escapes from Gloriavale – with unprecedented access to its inner workings, the unravelling of its leadership and the pursuit of justice by the group of passionate and dedicated people known as The Gloriavale Leavers’ Trust”. It promises to reveal “shocking new information” from former and current members of the community who go on the record for the first time to answer “some of the most crucial questions in the dark history of Gloriavale”. Warner Bros. International Television Production New Zealand made the series in association with the government’s Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund and NZ on Air funding …

➢➢ Spinal Destinations (Sky Open, 8.30 Wednesday) is a new Kiwi comedy about a woman with a mysterious disease that paralyses her from the waist down. The six-part series is loosely based on the experiences of its creator and director, Paula Whetu Jones, and scored third-party funding from Hat Trick International, Broadcast magazine reports. “It’s a very warm and humane gang comedy with a group of friends unlike any other you’ve seen,” Hat Trick’s director of sales Sarah Tong says …

➢➢ Alone: Australia (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Thursday) drops 10 Aussie survivalists into the South Island bush a few days after season nine of Alone premieres on Duke (9.30 Sunday). “The first season of Alone Australia – part of the global franchise in which survivalists compete to last the longest in the wild – was the most successful show SBS has ever commissioned,” The Guardian reports, with more than a million viewers tuning into each episode:

Joseph Maxwell, head of unscripted programmes at SBS, said the new setting “enabled whole new strategies” not seen in the first season. “We absolutely loved the innovation we saw in Tasmania, but there’s some pretty strict hunting regulations there,” Maxwell said. “By choosing New Zealand, we’re able to introduce bows and arrows, which brings in whole new strategies and skill sets. And it is an absolutely stunning location. Where Tasmania had a real, claustrophobic intensity about it, New Zealand is a place of grandeur. It is absolutely stunning” …

➢➢ The networks devote their Good Friday schedules to movies. TVNZ 2’s vaguely Easter-ish Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Three’s Sooby-Doo update Scoob! compete for the cheesiest animation honours at 7.00, with Sky Open’s The Spy Next Door to follow at 7.15. And if costume drama heroics don’t appeal — King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (TVNZ 2, 8.20) vs Pompeii (Three, 8.40) — there’s the free-to-air premiere of house cleaning romp How to Please a Woman (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Friday). Rounding off the night is Duke’s double-bill of Jackass Number Two (9.15) and Jackass 2.5 (10.50) …

➢➢ Other HD coming attractions include:

  • Spider-Man 3 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Paddington 2 (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • 10,000 BC (Three, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Fame (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Jungle (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Saturday)
  • The Bone Collector (Duke, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Lucy (TVNZ 2,9.35 Saturday)
  • Downsizing (Three, 10.40 Saturday)
  • Tower Heist (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Saturday)
  • 2 Hearts (TVNZ 2, 1.20am Sunday)
  • Bee Movie (TVNZ 2, 3.35 Sunday)
  • Happy Feet 2 (TVNZ 2, 6.45 Sunday)
  • Morbius (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Birds of Prey (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • All the Money in the World (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Duke (Whakaata Māori, 8.45 Sunday)
  • The Craft: Legacy (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Sunday)
  • The Scorpion King (Sky Open, 8.30 Monday)
  • Reflection: A Walk with Water (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • Black Hawk Down (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Tigers (Whakaata Māori, 9.00 Wednesday)
  • The Lion King (Whakaata Māori, 3.30 Thursday)
  • Goosebumps 2 (Three, 8.35am Friday)
  • Da Kath & Kim Code (TVNZ 2, 2.00 Friday) …

➢➢ Last Call (Sky Open, 9.30 Tuesday) is the first FTA run of the acclaimed HBO true-crime series about the murder of four gay men in the early ’90s (it’s subtitled, When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York). “This thoughtful, well-paced series weaves together illuminating social and historical context and a gripping criminal mystery to create an emotional and educational odyssey that transcends the standard boundaries of true crime,” Entertainment Weekly said …

➢➢ Lazy Car Dealer (Duke, 8.30 Thursday) is the vehicle for a quirky UK car dealer who “only buys cars that float his boat” —  the weird, wonderful and under-priced …

➢➢ New to Whakaata Māori are:

  • Homai Te Pakipaki All Stars 2024 (7.00 Wednesday), a two-hour special that celebrates 20 years of Whakaata Māori
  • season two of Te Nūtube Haka (8am Thursday)
  • Code: The Reunion (7.00 Thursday), a special that brings back “hard case interviews with high-profile sporting figures” that were a hallmark of the series …

➢➢ Live and delayed FTA sport coverage includes:

  • Super Rugby AupikiBlues vs Matatu ((Sky Open, 4.30 Saturday)
  • NRL Premiership: Tigers vs Sharks (Sky Open, midnight Saturday); Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys (Sky Open, 9.55 Friday)
  • Cricket: White Ferns v England (TVNZ 1, 12.30 Sunday, Wednesday and Friday)
  • 2024 World Wheelchair Rugby (Sky Open, 1.00 Sunday)
  • SailGP: Christchurch (Three, 3.00 Saturday and Sunday)
  • Formula One Australian Grand Prix (Sky Open, 4.00 Sunday)

Meanwhile, Once a Warrior (Sky Open, 9.00 Friday) combines classic locker room tales with the big issues facing the NRL …

➢➢ Ending their runs are:

  • Halo 
  • The Walk In
  • NZ Hunter Adventures
  • The Fear Index
  • The Castaways
  • The Gilded Age
  • Dr. Death
  • The Secret Genius of Modern Life
  • Love Triangle
  • Lopez vs. Lopez
  • NCIS: Sydney
  • Bobby Brown: Every Little Step
  • Evil
  • Togetherness.
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: March 23-29”

  1. I wish Sky Open would bring back Stephen Colbert. He’s been off for months but it is a great show. I hope Sky reads these comments!!

  2. The reason why Sky Open ditched it because their contract with CBS had expired, so it is unlikely to return to TV.

Leave a Reply