HDTV Heads-Up: Nikita, The Vampire Diaries
Friday nights on TV2 are hotting up for HD fans with a bent for demon hunters and sexy assassins.
Tomorrow night’s fifth-season finale of Supernatural will be the last episode to screen here in SD.
From next week, with the premiere of season six, the series will air in HD (season five bows here on Blu-ray in July, and season six in September in the US and in October in Australia).
And from July 8, Friday nights will have two new HD drawcards: the return of The Vampire Diaries at 8.30pm (from season two, episode 12) and an action extravaganza spun off the movie, La Femme Nikita.
Nikita is the second — and superior — primetime take on the Luc Besson sensation. It stars Maggie Q (who was fourth billed in Die Hard 4) as a lethal, leggy killer who’s gone rogue from a US government recruitment agency for assassins. (ER’s Shane West and How I Met Your Mother’s Lyndsy Fonseca co-star.)
Time said it was “gorgeously shot” and the New York Times thought it “a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation”.
Inexplicably, TV2 isn’t promoting Nikita’s HD credentials in its publicity. Indeed, it took several days of ScreenScribe.tv inquiries to confirm if it would air in 1080i.
But at least TV2 has caught up with TV3’s HD lead. Some weeks, it even screens more HD content – which is some compensation for sister channel TV One putting to air in SD such anticipated dramas as Justified.
TV2’s scheduling of Nikita comes on the eve of its region-free Blu-ray release in the US (August 30) and Australia (October 26), but its NZ sale will be held back until after its broadcast run.
The night of Nikita’s debut also is notable for being the series finale of Smallville while that week’s other HD highlights include Peter MacNicol (Numb3rs, Ally McBeal) starting a guest stint in Grey’s Anatomy, and Michael J Fox reprising his Good Wife role in an episode that guest stars Method Man (CSI, The Wire).