HDTV Heads-Up: December 15-21

TV3 will use it summer afternoon schedule to run out, three years after its launch in the US, the crime caper White Collar.

The USA Network hit has completed four seasons. The first two already are out here on DVD and the third releases next month.

About an ex-con who helps the FBI to solve white collar crimes, the series is one of several high-profile HD dramas that TV3 has stockpiled.

Others include The Good Wife (we’re two seasons behind) and the acclaimed Tom Selleck police drama, Blue Bloods (which is into its third season).

Having been burned by light cable thrillers like Burn Notice and Breakout Kings, TV3 clearly isn’t risking White Collar’s appeal — despite its longevity and most top US critics giving it two thumbs-up.

“Terrific acting, crackling dialogue and geek-hip crime are not the only things that make this the most electric drama to premiere this fall,” declared the Los Angeles Times in 2009 while the New York Times dubbed it “a winsome, quick-paced caper that is part Catch Me if You Can, part Shampoo.”

Even one of the minority dissenting opinions, The Washington Post, recommended it: “Works hard to establish a vibe of style and smarts, and almost gets the job done. It’s certainly watchable and easy on the brain, which is just how dedicated crime-show watchers like it.”

White Collar will screen 2pm weekdays from December 17. Also of note in HD for that week:

❑ The network premiere of Toy Story 3 (TV2, 7.00 Sunday) and re-runs of Five Minutes of Heaven (TV One, 11.45 Saturday), Alvin and the Chipmunks (TV3, 7.00 Sunday), Along Came Polly (TV3, 8.55 Sunday) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (TV3, 8.35 Wednesday)

❑ Judd Apatow, Rashida Jones and Sarah Silverman guest on Rove LA (TV3, 9.30 Thursday), and Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Jennifer Saunders, Matt Smith and Amy McDonald on The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 9.30 Friday)

❑ Kiwi comedy specials Comedy Christmas Cracker – A Feast of Funny (TV2, 10.30 Monday) and The Year That Was (TV2, 8.30 Wednesday), following a double Christmas episode of The Middle (TV2, 7.30 Wednesday)

❑ Season finales of The Zoo  (TV One, 7.00 Sunday), Homeland (TV3, 8.30 Monday), The X Factor USA (TV3, 7.30 Friday) and The Voice (TV2, 8.30 Friday).

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