HD Heads-Up: TV3 Unveils Hot List of Hits

TV3 says it wants to “own” the 7.30 hour with new series like Top Gear, Road Cops, Gold Coast Cops, Hamish and Andy, and, from February 15, three nights a week of The X Factor NZ.

Its version of the talent quest phenomenon will air 7pm Sundays, and 7.30 Mondays and Tuesdays, in direct competition with TV1’s Our First Home.

But X Factor’s second season also will be simulcast, making it the first time a New Zealand network has live-streamed a major entertainment show online at the same time as its television broadcast.

It launches the same week as two of TV3’s other signature series, The Blacklist and 7 Days.

The former will open with a double episode on February 16, which explains why TV1 is pre-empting Stalker that night for a double-episode premiere of its shiny new drama Forever.

Given its success with Unforgettable, TV1’s betting on viewers being more intrigued by a fresh series with another crime-solving gimmick — a New York City medical examiner who’s immortal — than the mid-season resumption of a drama that was a hit for TV3 in its first season but stumbled in its second.

NBC resumed The Blacklist post-Super Bowl with a two-part mid-season premiere that concludes Thursday in the US — which means after TV3 screens the instalments back-to-back, NZ fans initially will be 10 days behind US broadcasts (although this gap could narrow if NBC has to pre-empt an episode).

Said Variety of the premiere: “Loading up on formidable guest stars — including David Strathairn and Janel Maloney — the centrepiece was Ron Perlman (left) as Luther Braxton, who took over the detention facility where Reddington (James Spader) was being held.

“Holding multiple hostages, Braxton quickly demonstrated his ruthlessness — bad guys on The Blacklist are invariably very, very bad — forcing Reddington and FBI Agent Keen (Megan Boone) to plot a way to thwart him.

“While the producers didn’t exactly go out of their way to reintroduce everyone to the series, the storyline was basic enough that someone even moderately familiar with the show could easily jump right in.

The Blacklist remains an extremely efficient show, if a not particularly remarkable one. Spader’s lusty performance — part Hannibal Lecter, part James Bond — consistently elevates the material, with various mysteries built into that enigmatic persona.

“In that respect, it’s often two programmes in one — pausing to give Reddington eloquent monologues, then racing ahead with more prosaic ‘Who’s on the list this week?’ action.”

7 Days will return with an SD special that was filmed in Dunedin’s stadium in front of 5000 university students.

But the rest of the series will be be in HD because it will be recorded in a new Auckland studio.

Also in HD is 7 Days’  new stablemate, Fail Army, a TV version of the funny videos YouTube hit.

TV3 will bolster the appeal of its biggest week so far this year with the network premieres of Taken 2 (8.35 Sunday) and Mission: Impossible III (8.50 Thursday).

And it will strengthen early evening with Wednesday’s 5pm premiere of the latest Block spin-off, Fans vs Faves.

Other HD highlights in the week starting February 14 include the season six premiere of The Good Wife (11pm Tuesday) and new documentary series, Age Gap Love (9.30 Wednesday).

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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: TV3 Unveils Hot List of Hits”

  1. Is there anymore news about TV3’s news going HD, Philip? The new late-night news sounds interesting with Samantha Hayes and David Farrier, sounds like fun 🙂

  2. Not at this stage, Trevor. No dates have been announced for the new news shows but they should be on air this time next month. Whether they’ll be HD from the outset is not clear but you would hope so. I know HD certainly was being discussed as part of the relaunch, so fingers crossed …

  3. I see that 3News are taking over doing Prime News at 5.30 as well. Guess it will be another news feed I won’t watch as well.

  4. Thanks, Philip, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens 🙂

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