HD Heads-Up: September 26 – October 2

➢➢ Prime is picking up the BBC daytime drama series, Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Detectives (8.30 Thursdays from October 1). It’s already aired on Sky’s Vibe but this will be its first free-to-air run. About an odd couple detective agency, it first screened two years ago in the UK and a fourth season is due next year. Radio Times reports the lighthearted mystery was “one of the BBC’s biggest daytime triumphs in years, picking up impressive viewing figures and becoming the best-performing BBC Daytime content on iPlayer in history”. The Telegraph dubbed it “a nice, cosy drama full of cliches” while the Daily Mail predicted Midsomer Murders fans will love “this skulduggery in Stratford“. NZ’s not the only market to spot its primetime potential — in the US, PBS airs it on Saturday nights …

➢➢ Also new to Prime will be This Could Go Anywhere (8.30 Wednesdays from September 30), in which cricket legends Phil Tufnell and Brendan McCullum set off on an epic three-week adventure around New Zealand …

➢➢ Three will replace The Titan Games with Ninja Warrior wannabe Ultimate Tag (7.30 Thursdays from October 1). According to Vanity Fair, “The show is so strenuous in its titans-clash, tough-guy American branding that it lumbers past stupid fun and into irksome and awkward, a lot of flash and rumble over something that’s just not all that exciting to watch” …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 will premiere the final season of Will & Grace in a later time slot than the previous seasons (10.00 Tuesdays from September 20). The network trumpeted the reboot four years but its appeal quickly petered out, hence the fringe primetime berth for season 11. It will cap a sitcom block that opens with Young Sheldon and continues with Mom

➢➢ Also returning that week will be Westside for its sixth and final season (Three, 8.30 Mondays) and Pawn Stars for its 19th season (Prime, 7.30 Fridays) while new to Maori TV will be Takuira (10.00 Wednesdays from September 30), which explores the impact of the changing times on tikanga, and The Barber (9.00 Thursdays from October 1), a series about a Hastings barbershop …

➢➢ Ending their runs will be OriginsWentworthKnightfallMerchants of the WildBig Cats: An Amazing Family, Killing Eve and Gino’s Italian Express 

➢➢ Political junkies can feast on four general election debates in the last week of September: Young Voters Debate (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Monday, live streamed on 1news.co.nz and 1 News social channels), Newshub Decision 2020 Leaders Debate (7.30 Tuesday, followed by a half-hour panel analysis at 9.00), and Whakatau 2020 Election Coverage (Maori TV, 7.00 Monday and Wednesday) …

➢➢ How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Three, 7.00 Sunday) will spearhead the network movie premieres in the week starting September 26. This marks an amazingly short window from the movie’s theatrical release in January 2019 to its free-to-air debut. Also new will be Jirga (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday) and Kodachrome (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • The Angry Birds Movie (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Valiant (Maori TV, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Silence (Maori TV, 8.30 Saturday)
  • View From the Top (TVNZ 2, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Hot Fuzz (Three, 9.20 Saturday)
  • The Rock (TVNZ 2, 10.35 Saturday)
  • Sisters (Three, 10.50 Saturday)
  • Murder, Lies & Alibis (Three, 11.45 Saturday)
  • The Lucky One (TVNZ 2, 1.05am Sunday)
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Sunday)
  • Blockers (Three, 9.00 Sunday)
  • Anaconda (Duke, 9.30 Sunday)
  • Family Vanished (TVNZ 2, 11.00 Sunday)
  • Out for Justice (Prime, 10.05 Monday)
  • Jewel of the Nile (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Safe House (Three, 8.30 Friday).
  • Balls of Fury (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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