HDTV Heads-Up: Nikita Gets the Bullet, Justified Gets Bumped

Sexy assassin drama Nikita will be the biggest casualty of TV2’s Friday night revamp.

After weeks of declining ratings, the network is dumping the 7.30pm comedy hour for a Friday Movie season, opening with The Water Horse (but not in HD), and rescheduling The Vampire Diaries to post-9.30pm.

Nikita is being eliminated but the rest of the night will be business as usual: Supernatural, Human Target and FlashForward.

The August 26 changes are overdue given how TV3’s HD opposition, NZ’s Next Top Model and The Graham Norton Show, along with SD comedy 7 Days, have been helping the channel to win the night with its key audience, 25-54 year-olds.

Even with TV2’s demo, 18-39 year-olds, Norton has been trouncing Diaries, with last week’s episode — a repeat — rating nine points higher.

It’s surprising that TV2 has targeted Nikita when it’s been drawing more viewers than Diaries, and ever since its launch, the teen vampire drama has struggled to lure the Twilight crowd.

And if you wondered whatever happened to Justified, which TV One abruptly yanked from Thursdays only to reinstate for one week, it will screen 11pm Wednesdays from August 31.

Moreover, the network has confirmed although it owns the rights to season two, it won’t be airing in HD, either.

Season one’s out on region-free Blu-ray in the US (watch for a review on this site shortly), but a date has yet to be announced for season two’s release.

Meanwhile, the weekend of August 20-21 is turning into a Billy T James bonanza, with the movie-length documentary, Billy T: Te Movie, opening on 70 screens on August 18 and TV One screening the dramatisation of his life, Billy, in HD in the Sunday Theatre – Audi NZ Season.

Also of note that week:

  • TV3 will re-run in HD the movies The Happening (8.30pm Sunday), Transporter 2 (8.30pm Monday) and Juno (TV3, 8.30pm Thursday);
  • Rescue Me’s Daniel Sunjata and Boston Public’s Loretta Devine will guest star in TV2’s Grey’s Anatomy (8.30pm Tuesday); and,
  • The Six Million Dollar Man’s Lee Majors will guest star in TV2’s $#*! My Dad Says (8pm Wednesday).
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