Kiwi Dark Horse New Year Highlight

TVNZ 1 will leave its free-to-air rivals in the dust over new year with the network movie premiere of The Dark Horse.

This outstanding reunion for Boy’s Cliff Curtis and James Rolleston will air 9.10 on January 4.

It’s the true-life portrayal of a homeless bi-polar chess maestro (Curtis) who helps troubled Gisborne youth overcome the kind of challenges that threaten the future of his young nephew, a gang prospect (Rolleston).

Director James Napier Robertson’s award-winner was never released here on Blu-ray so this will be the first chance to see it in HD. (Similarly, the Temerua Morrison movie, Mahana, will have its NZ HD premiere on Sky Movies Extra next month.)

TVNZ 1’s only other HD movie that week will be a re-run of Kath & Kimderella (10.30 New Year’s Day) while TVNZ 2’s slate of  HD movies offers only one premiere: the Keanu Reeve thriller, Knock Knock (11.05 New Year Day).

The rest are repeats: Adventures in Zambezia (5.20 Saturday), The Spy Next Door (7.00 Saturday), Sex and the City (8.45 Saturday), This Is The End (11.25 Saturday), Six Days, Seven Nights (1.30am Sunday), Monster House (5.00 Sunday), Hotel Transylvania (6.45 Sunday), The Avengers (8.30 Sunday), The Lake House (8.30 Monday), The Sweetest Thing (8.30 Wednesday) and The Lone Ranger (8.30 Thursday).

For those who want to see out the old year and see in the new year with a singalong, TVNZ 1 has The Rolling Stones – Live In Cuba (11.05 New Year’s Eve) and the Royal Variety Performance 2016 (8.05 New Year’s Day).

The latter will follow the premiere of natural history series Wild Japan, which will air 7.00 Sundays. Like Planet Earth II, the BBC-NHK co-production was filmed in 4K.

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7 Responses to “Kiwi Dark Horse New Year Highlight”

  1. I have seen Knock Knock and really hated it, it’s the most stupidest movie I have ever seen, if only he hadn’t answered the door :)

  2. I have noticed that Prime will ditch its infomercial block in favor of a kids block in the early mornings and other programming mid-morning. It also appears that Prime will close down at the end of each night until 6am. Is this only for the holidays or is this permanent for Prime, Philip?

  3. Thanks, Leo. Yes, that’s true re the kids TV block (all of which will be in HD). Prime has embargoed media release of the details until 5pm today. Do you remember where you learned of it? In the meantime, I’ll check with Prime re infomercials but it sounds as if it will be permanent.

  4. Cheers, Philip, I only learned of this change via the TV Guide and Prime’s EPG which listed that from tomorrow a new morning block of kids shows was taking over from the unwatchable infomercials. It’s great to see Prime move into kids programming after the closure of FOUR and even better its HD whilist also moving away from thoses dreaded infomercials. I look forward to the press release later today.

  5. Thanks, Leo. The mistake was mine — I should have posted the details last week but in the run up to Christmas forgot that the changes were being made so soon. And, yes, full marks to Prime for offering a decent alternative to wall-to-wall off-peak infomercials. Here’s what a spokesperson told me: “In order to offer our viewers more hours of entertainment, we are replacing infomercials with a variety of programming that is designed to appeal to a wider audience. From 6am to 9am, Monday through Saturday, Prime will screen a variety of great kids’ content for our younger and family viewers. A selection of popular game and lifestyle shows – including Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, The Doctors and Hot Bench – will complete the rest of Prime’s new morning schedule from late December.” The initiative will also see Prime end its overnight transmission.

  6. Do informercials no longer make networks money? All for them being canned but it seems surprising they aren’t retaining them in the wee small hours at least. Wonder if this is in any way related to the Sky TV/Vodafone merger to show that they aren’t frequency squatting by only using it properly in primetime? Maybe that’s just the cynic in me …

  7. I was surprised, too, Clint. You would think given the infrastructure what is there to lose by running infomercials overnight. But Prime simply says: “The infomercial contract has come to an end so we are doing new things and have decided not to transmit overnight at this stage.”

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