HD Heads-Up: November 16

Whodunit fans can look forward to two newcomers on Prime: The Witness for the Prosecution and Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. The former is the latest Agatha Christie adaptation from the BBC and will air 8.30 Sundays from November 26; the latter is the first TV adaptation of a series of lighthearted crime novels that first were turned into a radio series. It stars Ashley Jensen (Extras, Ugly Betty) as a London PR executive who moves to the country and becomes involved in a murder mystery. It will premiere on November 25 at 9.30 …

The Guardian hailed Witness for the Prosecution, which was adapted by And Then There Were None’s Sarah Phelps, as “‘perfectly crafted, expertly cast and beautifully scripted” while Variety likened it to “a very high-level, meaty Law & Order episode executed with period flair” …

TVNZ 1 is exhuming two new drama series for late-night slots: Of Kings and Prophets (12.30am Sundays from November 25) and Queen Sugar (11.00 Wednesdays from November 28). The former was a Biblical drama commissioned for US streaming service Hulu that Entertainment Weekly summed up as “too worldly and iconoclastic for the faith crowd, not worldly and iconoclastic enough for everyone else … It points to a promised land of resonant, high quality religio-pop, but doesn’t quite reach it” …

➢ Queen Sugar already has been streamed on-demand and sounds better than its slot suggests: “a rich and powerful portrait of a black American family” (Washington Post); “opts for visual and narrative sensuousness instead of big storytelling twists and turns” (The Hollywood Reporter). But the New York Times warned “some genuinely lazy scene-making saps the show of credibility” …

Four HD specials will air in the week starting November 25:

  • Fair Go Kids’ Ad Awards, which also marks the season finale (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Monday)
  • All Star Family Feud: Mai vs. The Rock, in which the radio station crews go head-to-head (Three, 7.30 Monday);
  • The Truth About HIV: how cutting-edge science can keep the virus at bay or even prevent infection altogether (TVNZ 1, 9.30 Tuesday)
  • Sam Smith: Live In London, in which the Grammy Award-winner sings songs from his new album as well as classic tracks (Three, 9.45 Friday).

➢ What Really Happens in Bali returns on November 28 (TV2, 9.45) while ending their runs that week are Storage Wars: Miami, Cold Feet, My Kitchen Rules NZ800 Words and Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders 

Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow and Kesha will appear on December 1’s The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.00) …

Snowpiercer will have its free-to-air HD premiere on November 25 (TVNZ 2, 8.30). The rest of that week’s coming attractions in HD include:

  • Bolt (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Johnny English Reborn (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Mercury Rising (Three, 9.00 Saturday)
  • Vanilla Sky (Three, 11.20 Saturday)
  • The Unauthorised Melrose Place Story (TV2, 12am Sunday)
  • The Adventures of Tintin (TVNZ 2, 5.00 Sunday)
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Three, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Thor (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Predators (Three, 9.05 Sunday)
  • No Good Deed (TVNZ 2, 10.45 Sunday)
  • The Counselor (Three, 11.15 Sunday)
  • The Corruptor (Prime, 9.30 Wednesday)
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Three, 8.30 Thursday).
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