HD Heads-Up: March 30-April 5

➢➢ Three overhauls primetime post-Easter to leaven its reality-driven schedule with a ‘new’ hospital drama, Gordon Ramsay’s latest, and the return of 7 Days and 9-1-1. Curiously, it hopes to drive sampling by stripping Monday-Friday the medical drama, The Good Doctor, à la reality shows and comedies. It already streams on Neon but this will be its first free-to-air run. The series, about a young surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome (Bates Motel’s Freddie Highmore), has just started its seventh and final season; Three plans to close the gap by bingeing the drama every weeknight between 8.30 and 10.00 …

➢➢ Also in its seventh season is 9-1-1, which airs in a new slot for the emergency drama (8.00 Wednesdays). Three’s broadcasts will lag ABC’s by just three weeks. The S7 premiere pays homage to the disaster thriller The Poseidon Adventure and amassed a record 8.85 million viewers after three days of viewing across ABC, Hulu and other digital platforms …

➢➢ Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars (7.00 Friday) pits the profane chef against Australian business mogul Janine Allis to discover “Australia’s most exciting and innovative new food and drink ideas”; it’s being double-billed with Top Guns: Inside the RAF (8.00 Friday), which promises “unprecedented access to the fighter jets, war planes and service personnel” at RAF Lossiemouth …

➢➢ Also new are the return of Kiwi lifestyle show Nadia’s Farm (7.00 Wednesday) and S16 of 7 Days (7.30 Thursday), which opens with guests Madeleine Sami, Pax Asadi, Justine Smith, Dai Henwood, Bridget Davies and Josh Tomson …

➢➢ Guests on The Graham Norton Show, which moves back an hour (8.30 Thursday), include Jamie Lee Curtis, Eric Idle, David Tennant, Lydia West and Robbie Williams …

➢➢ The Guardian thought another network premiere, The Trouble With Kanye (Three, 8.30 Tuesday), a “hugely impressive documentary [that] holds the far-right figurehead to account … From tackling the harm caused by the musician’s rhetoric to addressing the stigma around discussions of West’s mental health, this is seriously important TV” …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 double-bills cosy doco Charles III: The Coronation Year (7.00 Sunday) with unlikely blockbuster Mr Bates vs The Post Office (8.35 Sunday). The former goes behind the scenes of King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s first year on the throne (“every scene is PR-approved,” carped The Telegraph); the latter dramatises a scandal that cost postmasters across the UK their livelihoods and freedom (part two airs Monday) …

➢➢ “Despite its ‘particularly British’ nature, Mr Bates vs the Post Office has now sold to a dozen territories,” Deadline reports. Historically, highly localised dramas don’t travel globally, which makes them challenging to fund. However, some of the UK’s top drama bosses recently told Deadline they are adapting their slates partly in response to the success of Mr Bates. “ITV has already commissioned its next state-of-the-nation scandal piece, a Peter Moffat-penned show on the contaminated blood scandal” …

➢➢ Sky Open’s newest HBO comedy is the endearing, idiosyncratic, profanely funny, beautifully-observed Somebody Somewhere (9.30 Wednesday), about a literally larger-than-life woman who returns to her small home town in the wake of her sister’s death, while its latest Sky Open Mic special is Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel (11.00 Friday) …

➢➢ A couple of off-peak documentaries that could be worth setting the Sky box for are:

  • Mother Nature: Zambia (TVNZ 1, 3.55 Sunday), which documents motherhood in Zambia’s remote Kafue National Park
  • Addicted to Drip (TVNZ 2, 12.55am Tuesday), which explores “the cultural obsession with looking rich without having the bank balance to back it up” …

➢➢ New to Duke are S2 of WWE Legends (8.30 Saturday) and History’s Greatest Heists (8.30 Sunday), in which Pierce Brosnan exposes the strategies of criminal masterminds

➢➢ Live or delayed sport coverage on Sky Open includes:

  • Super Rugby Aupiki: Chiefs Manawatu vs Blues (2.00 Saturday), Moana Pasifika v Blues (4.30 Saturday), and Highlanders v Hurricanes (7.00 Saturday)
  • Sal’s NBL: Saints v Tuatara (3.00 Sunday)
  • NRL Premiership: Warriors vs Newcastle Knights (8.00 Sunday) and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters (7.30 Friday) …

➢➢ Airing live on Duke are the White Ferns vs England one-day internationals (10.30am, April 1 and 4) while TVNZ 2 has the Z Manu World Champs Grand Final (6.00 Saturday) …

➢➢ Returning for new seasons are The Hotel Inspector (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Tuesday) and Taskmaster UK (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Wednesday) while ending their runs are:

  • A New Zealand Food Story With Ben Bayly
  • Amazing Animal Babies
  • Grand Designs UK
  • The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
  • Australian Survivor: Titans vs Rebels
  • Frank of Ireland,
  • Louis Theroux Interviews
  • A New Life in the Sun 

➢➢ After weeks of bemoaning the escalation in antiquated FTA movies, Easter Weekend’s premieres include last year’s NZ releases Mysterious Ways (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Saturday) and Red, White and Brass (Three, 7.00 Sunday) as well as 2022’s Oscar-decorated Everything Everywhere All at Once (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday). Other HD coming attractions include:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • My Little Pony The Movie (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • How to be Single (Three, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Official Secrets (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Starter for 10 (Whakaata Māori, 8.45 Saturday)
  • This is 40 (TVNZ 2, 9.10 Saturday)
  • Gothika (TVNZ 2, 10.10 Saturday)
  • Johnny English Reborn (TVNZ 2, 11.45 Saturday)
  • All My Life (TVNZ 2, 1.30am Sunday)
  • Abominable (TVNZ 2, 4.15 Sunday)
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • The Blind Side (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (Three, 8.35 Sunday)
  • Hathi (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Sunday)
  • The Lady in the Van (TVNZ 1, 10.20 Sunday)
  • Little Monsters (TVNZ 2, 11.35 Sunday)
  • Marry Me (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Monday)
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Sky Open, 8.30 Monday)
  • Gasland (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Total Recall (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Tuesday)
  • Pumping Iron (Duke,  10.25 Tuesday)
  • Military Wives (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Jackass 3 (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Friday).
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3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: March 30-April 5”


  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 21, 2024 at 12:58 am

    Such a weird strategy for Three to devote a huge part of their schedule to a 7 year old drama! Are they really going to stick with this until we catch up with the US? Do they even have the rights for the final season as the ThreeNow app says it only has seasons 1 to 4. I know times are tough on free -to-air but surely this strategy will only accelerate its decline.

  2. Fair points, Leo. But it’s a very cost-effective strategy for Three, plugs a big hole in its schedule, provides a point of difference to its rivals, and plays into the binge viewing patterns set by streaming (which TVNZ 1 has experimented with in the case of some UK thrillers). While TGD’s is seven years old, it’s still ongoing and does provide Three plenty of episodes to build viewership — which it hopes to do with some big-gun premieres the same week. Risky, perhaps, but given the dire state of FTA viewing, a worthwhile gambit given the network doesn’t have that much to lose. Don’t know re streaming rights but it could be a different deal for AVOD streaming vs Neon’s subscription model and by the time S5 rolls around on air, these may have been cleared.

  3. I can see their rationale with your answers Philip. I hope this does pay off for the network. I just never thought we’d see a network devote alot of its primetime to an old show but then again we have ancient movies plugging spots at times. The Good Doctor had a massive following during its debut in Australia but was never afforded that in this market after becoming a Lightbox exclusive. The show could have developed a loyal following had it been snapped up by Three many years ago but Three was risk adverse after some drama flops.

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