HDTV Heads-Up: June 30-July 6

Cliff Curtis’ second consecutive TV drama flop, Missing, will debut in HD in the first week of July, along with the NZ version of The Block, Aussie reality newcomer Kings Cross ER and the latest UK whodunit series, Vera.

Missing stars Ashley Judd as a former spy who uses her CIA skills to search for her son (Cinema Verite’s Nick Eversman), who’s been kidnapped in Europe.

Game of Thrones’ Sean Bean plays her husband and Curtis, in his first primetime drama series role since Trauma, is a CIA boss

Missing earned largely middling reviews and lasted only 10 weeks as a mid-season replacement in the US but should look outstanding in HD as TV One’s Criminal Minds replacement from July 2.

“Each episode is shot (like a movie) on location in a different European city, so there’s a visual treat,” The Hollywood Reporter said.

“Also, Judd gets into fights, shoots guns, crashes Vespas and falls off bridges about every four minutes.

“But the best part is that creator Gregory Poirier (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) has promised the 10th episode will resolve the season and set up a new challenge for season two — should it get picked up.

“Poirier said he hates series that promise to solve a mystery then make you wait until the second season (if only he were running AMC’s The Killing).”

Four days later at 8.30, TV One will premiere Vera, which stars Brenda Blethyn as an obsessive, shambolic detective.

If it sounds familiar, “the idea of Vera Stanhope as a female Columbo was reinforced by her wearing a mac throughout that, like the rest of her clothes, appeared to have had several previous owners,” the Daily Telegraph said.

TV3’s Kings Cross ER should be worth a look not only for its HD specs but also its point of difference as a reality TV series.

“This is what a hospital reality show should look like – interesting cases, clearly presented without sensationalism or emotional manipulation,” said The Age.

It will air 8.00 Tuesdays while taking over the 7.30 shift on Wednesdays and Thursdays will be TV3’s version of the DIY challenge, The Block, in which four couples renovating houses side-side compete to win $25,000 and first pick of the completed homes.

Other HD highlights for the week starting June 30 include:

❑ The premiere of The Bionic Vet, a series about Surrey’s revolutionary neuro-orthopaedic veterinary surgeon Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, on Saturday (TV One, 5.25)

❑ Season finales of Touch on Sunday (TV3, 10.50), Revenge on Monday (TV2, 9.30) , Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms on Wednesday (TV3, 8.30), Once Upon a Time on Thursday (TV2, 8.30) and Hounds on Friday (TV3, 10,05)

❑ Guest stints for ex-Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith on Saturday’s CSI (TV3, 8.30), Cuban-bound Buck Shelford on Tuesday’s Intrepid Journeys (TV One, 8.30), Harry’s Law’s Kathy Bates on Wednesday’s Two and a Half Men (TV2, 7.30), and Adam Lambert on Friday’s The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30)

❑ The HD debut of the Tom Scott movie Separation City on Sunday (TV One, 8.30) and HD re-runs of No Country for Old Men on Saturday (TV3, 10.30), Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties on Sunday (TV3, 7.30), and Transformers on Monday (TV3, 8.30).

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