HD Heads-Up: May 16 – 22

➢➢ As predicted, Kiwi gold rush drama The Luminaries will debut on May 17 (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Sundays). What does surprise is TVNZ 1 will broadcast the world premiere. Although it jointly commissioned the Eleanor Catton adaptation with BBC2, the latter has yet to announce when the astrological murder mystery will screen (but expect it to be within days of TVNZ 1). The co-production between NZ’s Southern Light Films and UK-based Working Title Television was filmed on the West Coast, where it struck gold with government funding. “It wouldn’t have been possible without a screen production grant from the New Zealand Government,” producer Lisa Chatfield (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) told Stuff. The Luminaries qualified for a cash grant of 40% of the Qualifying New Zealand Production Expenditure scheme. QNZPE is capped at $6 million but because The Luminaries met the points threshold for the Significant Cultural Benefits Test, it was eligible for extra funding

➢➢ The same week TVNZ 1 will premiere the controversial The British Tribe Next Door (8.30 Wednesdays). It transplants the terraced family home of Googlebox star Scarlett Moffatt into the middle of a Namibian tribal village, complete with all the family’s mod cons. “Through this reverse anthropological exchange, the Moffatts face questions and judgments from their hosts, and are forced to reconsider their own assumptions and way of life,” reads the premise. But critics were unimpressed. “How has this implicitly racist idea made it to our screens in 2019?” wondered The Guardian. And The Independent reported it “sparked a debate” over whether Channel 4’s commissioners should be fired for airing the reductive reality series …

➢➢ MKR: The Rivals (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Mondays and Tuesdays from May 18) pits five “fan-favourite” teams from previous seasons against five new teams, including two with Kiwi contestants: Ben & Vasil and Mark & Lauren. However, the “fiercest competition yet” proved to be a ratings dud in Australia, where an ex-Channel 10 executive predicted the numbers were so bad the show wouldn’t be renewed. “There won’t be any more of the show,” Rob McKnight told news.com.au in February. “You might as well write the eulogy and prepare the coffin … it will not be back again.” Asked the Sydney Morning Herald ahead of the show being dumped from Sunday nights: “Has Australia’s appetite for cooking competition shows finally flamed out?” …

➢➢ Three is bringing back Lego Masters Australia to screen 7.00 Sundays and 7.30 Mondays from May 17. The same week it will replace the US version with Making It (7.30 Thursdays), a six-part crafting spin on The Great British Bake Off fronted by comedians Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. The New York Times said the hosts are the “real draw” of this 2018 production: “Ms. Poehler is the enthusiastic novice, while Mr. Offerman provides more staid counsel as an accomplished woodworker. Both are upbeat and encouraging, and episodes include the two having dumb, wonderful pun-offs. They’re good actors, so maybe they’re pretending, but they do seem to be having fun” …

➢➢ Also new will be Planes Gone Viral (Prime, 7.30 Thursdays) and the return of Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords (Prime, 9.30 Wednesdays) while ending their runs will be Dog Squad, Cruising With Jane McDonaldKirstie and Phil’s Love It or List It, Aussie Pickers and Love Island UK

➢➢ There will be five network movie premieres that week: Captain Underpants (Three, 7.00 Saturday), Foxcatcher (TVNZ 2, 10.40 Saturday), The Party (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday), The Bad Seed (TVNZ 2, 10.35 Sunday) and Marauders (Prime, 8.30 Monday) … 

➢➢ Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Doctor Dolittle (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Hitch (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Saturday)
  • One Hour Photo (Duke, 9.25 Saturday)
  • Dirty Harry (Prime, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Doom (Three, 8.40 Saturday)
  • Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy (TVNZ 2, 1.10am Sunday)
  • Rush Hour (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • That’s My Boy (Duke, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Magnificent Seven (Three, 8.45 Sunday)
  • Rush Hour 2 (TVNZ 2, 8.50 Sunday)
  • White Men Can’t Jump (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Speed (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Thursday)
  • Ratchet & Clank (TVNZ 2, 4.30 Friday)
  • Pitch Black (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • Jackass 3.5 (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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5 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: May 16 – 22”

  1. I see Spark have got a deal going with Xbox so I decided to get one. It’s really exciting, wish I had a 4K TV though 🙂

  2. Good on you, Trevor! It’s a good deal for an all-purpose entertainment hub. And, yes, do save up for a 4K TV: makes a big difference with streaming and games. My only quibble with the Xbox is I find it too noisy as a 4K disc player but picture and sound quality are great.

  3. Thanks, Philip, I read somewhere that it works fine with a HD TV but I will definitely buy a 4K TV one day. I hope it includes a wireless controller 🙂

  4. Yes, it will include a wireless controller, Trevor, and will scale its output to match your TV’s native resolution. Enjoy!

  5. YAY, thanks Philip. I’m so glad Spark brought this into New Zealand otherwise I probably would never have bothered getting one. I might get Grand Theft Auto 5, I have got it on my laptop but I have a feeling it will be better on Xbox One X via my TV 🙂

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