HD Heads-Up: November 21 – 27

➢➢ Monday night will become a documentary battleground on November 23, with TVNZ 1 and 2, Three and Prime all programming varying examples of the genre at 8.30 — although it’s clear which will be the winner. Nearly a year after White Island’s eruption, two survivors will tell their stories for the first time in Three’s The Eruption: Stories of Survival. Kiwi tour guides Jake Milbank and Kelsey Waghorn will recall what it was like for them and their families, their battle for survival, losing close friends and waking up from a coma in hospital when the realisation of what had happened really hit home. The documentary will include previously unseen footage and “a searingly honest account” of what the first paramedic on the scene found upon her arrival …

➢➢ Preceding next month’s free-to-air premiere of Des, which is streaming on-demand, will be TVNZ 1’s The Real Des: The Dennis Nilsen Story. It will detail the “kindly killer’s” five-year killing spree, after which he admitted murdering up to 15 young men. Relatives of his victims are among those interviewed. The timing of the documentary seems odd — you would have thought TVNZ 1 would have tacked it on to the end of Des’ FTA run, as ITV did in the UK …

➢➢ The Real DesEruption and Prime’s Prison will face off against TVNZ 2’s premiere of Big Birthers, a two-part series about a specially designed high-risk maternity unit for the “dangerously obese”. The Daily Mail dubbed the Channel 5 documentary an “eye-opening” insight into “what it’s like to be obese and pregnant – including a 22st diabetic who ‘doesn’t see the point in losing weight’ despite high blood pressure putting her twins at risk”. It’s being double-billed with Sun, Sea and Surgery, a Channel 4 documentary about a cut-price cosmetic surgery clinic in Turkey …

➢➢ Prime will double-bill two new Thursday night crime dramas from November 26: The Pelorus-set mystery The Sounds (8.30), which is streaming on Neon, and Evil (9.30), about a forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard who’s hired by the Catholic Church to determine whether a serial killer is possessed or ‘merely’ psychopathic …

➢➢ The CBS series from The Good Wife’s Michelle and Robert King was favourably reviewed in the US, where Entertainment Weekly thought it “a relentlessly clever mash-up procedural, merging psychological medical mystery with techno-crime and spiritual struggle” …

➢➢ Also new to Prime that week will be the resumption of Weather Gone Wild on an 8.30 Wednesday double-bill with Extreme Love Stories, a series that’s billed as “daring to go beyond taboos, behind closed doors and under the covers with the world’s most unusual, surprising and shocking relationships. From feeders to fetishists, polyamorists to pregnant men, sister wives to sugar babies; prepare to leave your preconceptions of what makes a happy home at the door” …

➢➢ Howzat? TVNZ 1 will screen live its first T20 International for the year, Black Caps v West Indies, from 6.50 on November 27, the day after Duke premieres The Late Cut Cricket Show (9.30 Thursday). Spark Sport promises its weekly studio show from the Alternative Commentary Collective will “take an irreverent look at all the action from around the country” …

➢➢ On or near The Graham Norton Show’s red sofa on November 26 (Three, 8.30) will be Arséne Wenger, Samuel L. Jackson, Dawn French, Freddie Flintoff and recent Mercury prize winner Michael Kiwanuka …

➢➢ Returning for its eighth season on November 24, within 10 days of its US premiere, will be The Blacklist (Three, 11.20) while ending their runs that week will be Cruising With Jane McDonald, SundayOutback Truckers, How to Build a Motorcar, Rich Holiday Poor Holiday and The Fast Fix: Diabetes

➢➢ Instant Family (Three, 8.30 Sunday) and Umrika (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday) head the network movie premieres for the week starting November 21. Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Back to the Future Part III (Three, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Constantine (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Water for Elephants (TVNZ 2, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Non-Stop (Three, 10.55 Saturday)
  • American Heist (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Saturday)
  • Sausage Party (TVNZ 2, 1.15am Sunday)
  • Inspector Gadget (TVNZ 2, 4.10am Sunday)
  • Big Momma’s House 3 (TVNZ 2, midday Sunday)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • The Dark Tower (TVNZ 2, 9.45 Sunday)
  • Terminator Genisys (Duke, 10.15 Sunday)
  • The Gift (TVNZ 2, 11.40 Sunday)
  • Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (TVNZ 2, 1.45am Monday)
  • Girl Obsessed (Three, 1.00 Monday)
  • Spawn (Prime, 9.35 Monday)
  • I Know Where Lizzie Is (Three, 1.00 Tuesday)
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • 22 Jump Street (Three, 8.35 Tuesday)
  • The Alleged Abduction (Three, 1.00 Wednesday)
  • Nanny Lockdown (Three, 1.00 Thursday)
  • Ruthless Realtor (Three, 1.00 Friday)
  • Spider-Man (Three, 8.30 Friday)
  • Mr Woodcock (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Hope Springs (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday).
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