HD Heads-Up: September 16-22

➢➢ The third week in September sees the first election debates on TVNZ 1, Three and Whakaata Māori while Sky Open premieres Election 2023: Road to the Beehive (4.00 Tuesday), in which Mark Lieshman affords a 10-part rural perspective. 1News Your Vote 23: First Leaders’ Debate (TVNZ 1, 7.00 Monday) has Jessica Mutch McKay moderating Chris Hipkins and Christopher Luxon; Decision 2023 Newshub Nation Powerbrokers’ Debate (Three, 7.30 Thursday) has Rebecca Wright moderating the leaders of the ACT, Green, Māori and New Zealand First parties; and Whakatau 2023 (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Tuesday and Thursday) has Tina Wickliffe moderating twice-weekly Māori seat candidate debates …

➢➢ Whakatau 2023 replays Wednesdays and Fridays while Decision 2023 re-runs 9.30am Saturday. Its primetime broadcast pushes back The Traitors UK to 8.30, pre-empting Just for Laughs for the week …

➢➢ Neighbours resumes TVNZ 2 5.30 weeknights from Monday. It’s the revival that’s been streaming on Prime Video, with new characters moving in next door to old favourites …

➢➢ Speaking of which: The Simpsons airs for the last time on NZ linear TV on Sunday (Duke, 7.30). Thereafter, it will be unique to Disney+. But given the streaming challenges Disney is facing globally, it may revert to licensing some of its exclusive properties to other operators, as WBD and AMC+ have done. You may also see more subscription deals, such as this “limited offer“. Duke is replacing the weeknight ‘toon strip with game show The Chase Australia 

➢➢ Rain Dogs (Sky Open, 10.30 Sunday) is a double-episode run of the UK dark comedy that’s billed as “a wild and punky tale of a mother’s love, and of brilliance thwarted by poverty and prejudice”.  The Guardian hailed it as” a bleak, beautiful comedy drama” but warned: “Rain Dogs’ comedy is so black at first it seems to obliterate any possibility of light or warmth. The stark opposite of funny. Despair-inducing, in fact.” And The New Yorker thought it “less a plea for sympathy than a showcase for flawed humanity and (occasionally outrageous) gallows humour” …

➢➢ To accommodate Rain Dogs, Sky Open is dropping Territory Cops from its 8.30 beat and moving forward half-an-hour Island Medics (8.30) and FBI: Most Wanted (9.30). Sky Open also is adding Project Greenlight to its weekend schedule (10.00 Saturday). The next-gen reboot follows, for the first time, the struggles of a female director (Meko Winbush). Variety’s verdict? “It’s a shockingly watchable series that evinces that sickly feeling of humiliation from a past, crueler era of reality TV” …

➢➢ Fans of UK reality shows can choose from two law-and-order newcomers: Road Wars (Duke, 10.00 Wednesday), a Sky One series about Thames Valley cops that TV Tropes said stood out for “its light-hearted and incredibly lame pun filled tone”; and Night Coppers (TVNZ 2, 9.35 Thursday), which follows Brighton officers on the nightlife beat. The Daily Mirror dubbed it “arresting reality TV”  while The Guardian called it “very well made, gorgeously shot and very, very human” …

➢➢ Catherine Tate plays an “unwanted spare” to the British throne who starts over in Australia in TVNZ 1’s latest Saturday night binge comedy, Queen of Oz (8.35). “The comedian’s highly watchable series about a booze-addled monarch who’s sent away to rule Australia proves one thing – she really excels at playing borderline sociopaths,” reckons The Guardian. But The Telegraph argued otherwise: “Tate’s flops now outweigh her better work (schoolgirl Lauren, Doctor Who), with this royally unfunny sitcom joining the rubbish heap.” Reports Chortle: “The show has not been loved by critics. It received a one-star review from the Daily Telegraph’s Anita Singh calling it ‘desperate and lazy,’ while Chortle dismissed the concept as ‘a rude woman shouting’. In a two-star review the i said ‘it can be difficult to muster enthusiasm for Georgie’s plight’ as Tate’s alter-ego is ‘quite awful, but in a relentless way that’s seemingly detached from any sympathetic motive’” …

➢➢ Another TVNZ 1 newcomer, For Her Sins (9.35 Sunday), also suffered critically. Jo Joyner (Riptide), Rachel Shenton (All Creatures Great and Small) and Duncan Pow (Andor) star in yet another thriller about a stalker who infiltrates a happily married mother’s life. The Telegraph said this “clichéd thriller verges perilously close to parody” while the Lancashire Post thought it had “more cliches and plot holes than thrills“. But the i argued the premiere “pulsed with menace” and the Daily Mail likened it to “a book that you can’t put down” …

➢➢ Also premiering Sunday is Passport to Freedom (TVNZ 1, 11.20), a Brazilian drama that’s been streaming on TVNZ+. It dramatises the true story of a Brazilian consulate who secretly smuggled Jews out of Nazi Germany …

➢➢ Location Location Location Australia (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Wednesday) is the latest international makeover of the UK series that has been flagging of late in the ratings. The formula’s the same but with more flamboyant “experts”: Block winners Mitch Edwards and Mark McKie …

➢➢ King in the Ring (Duke, 7.30 Friday) features live coverage of the first Arsenal-X multiple combat sports event that mixes boxing, K1 kickboxing, muay thai and MMA. Duke also has live coverage of Extreme E Race 7 (1am Sunday) and Race 8 (1am Monday) while round nine of Repco Supercars: Sandown 500 screens live on both Three and Eden (3.55 Sunday). Sky Open offers live coverage of RWC: NZ vs Namibia (8.30am Saturday), Heartland Championship: Poverty Bay vs North Otago (2.30 Saturday) and NPC: Northland vs Bay of Plenty (7.00 Friday) … …

➢➢ Art of War (Whakaata Māori, 8.00 Thursday) examines why Māori dominate MMA in NZ while another Whakaata Māori newcomer, The Magic Circle of the Reef (8.00 Monday), explores the Coral Triangle’s ecosystem …

➢➢ Returning are It’s Me or the Dog (Eden, 8.00 Saturday), Housebroken (Duke, 9.30 Sunday), 20/20 (TVNZ 1, 9.30 Monday), Celebrity Treasure Island (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Monday-Wednesday), Travel Guides (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Thursday) and Kairākau (Whakaata Māori, 8.00 Thursday) while ending their runs are RuPaul’s Drag Race Down UnderNaked, Alone and Racing to Get HomeDesigning DreamsLost in France and The Cruise 

➢➢ HD coming attractions for the week starting September 16 include:

  • The Lost World – Jurassic Park (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Storm Boy (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • The Lion King – Reo Māori (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • The Mummy Returns (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Wild Target (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • The Revenant (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Dune (Three, 8.55 Saturday)
  • Peppermint (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Inception (TVNZ 2, 12.25am Sunday)
  • Yves Saint Laurent (TVNZ 2, 2.55am Sunday)
  • Shaun the Sheep: The Movie (TVNZ 2, 4.15 Sunday)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Bad Boys for Life (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Five Fingers of Marseilles (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Official Secrets (Eden, 8.50 Sunday)
  • Jaws 3 (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Sunday)
  • Patu (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • Heist (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Power of One (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • The Expendables 2 (Three, 8.50 Friday)
  • Spider-Man 3 (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Friday).
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8 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: September 16-22”

  1. I see Disney+ has got a new movie coming on September 22nd called No One Will Save You. The trailer looks amazing 😍

  2. I thought that Neighbours would never return to TVNZ giving NZ rights going to Prime Video’s Freebee here in NZ and international markets. It is weird they are back on TVNZ 2 as they stated last year that soap would be better suited to older TVNZ 1 audience that the show targets.

  3. I thought the Neighbours online rights were exclusive to Amazon, quite surprised they’ve allowed episodes albeit the latest ones to appear on TVNZ+.

  4. Neighbours would able to best suited as a TVNZ+ exclusive alternatively to Amazon, but can not stay away from TVNZ 2 as it would lead into nothing important.

  5. Or Neighbours would be a better fit for TVNZ+ exclusive as an alternative to Amazon. Returning to its old network of TVNZ 2 what the programme cannot stay away from despite the programme moved to TVNZ 1 last year until the final episode which is a more older skewing soap.

  6. Is there any reason why Sky Open won’t upload its News First bulletin online, like it used to for the old Prime News, Philip? After all, we live in an on-demand world.

  7. Sorry about the late reply, Leo. Here’s Sky’s response: “We used to upload Prime News to the old website but that stopped once the Sky Open site launched. There are plans to make News First available on Sky Go soon.”

  8. Hi Philip, thanks for following up on this for me, appreciate you taking the time to chase this one up. I’m glad they are seeing some sense in adding it to their Sky Go platform, I look forward to this in the near future. Cheers again Philip.

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