Two new free television channels are launched today. What can we expect?
Free-to-air TV viewers now have more content to choose from, with the launch of Discovery’s new Eden and Rush channels today. These two channels replace Choice, and while they retain Choice’s lifestyle and light entertainment vibe, Eden and Rush will be refreshed with broader, newer programming.
“We are delighted to launch two new free-to-air channels in New Zealand, delivering on our promise to bring more quality entertainment to Kiwi audiences,” Discovery’s Glen Kyne said in a press release. “Eden and Rush combine the best of Discovery’s global library with carefully curated shows to create a stellar lineup of content. Whether viewers are watching live or streaming on ThreeNow, we know they’ll love it.
Are we going to like it? What can we expect from these two new channels? Let’s find out.
Eden’s tagline (the lowercase e is part of the new branding) is “a better everyday”, with a focus on reality, light entertainment, drama, and movies. Eden will continue to air some of Choice’s popular shows, but will also offer viewers a variety of content new to New Zealand.
The channel launches with shows like The Chase USA, Ellen’s Next Great Designer, the animal series Meet The Penguins and the reboot of the classic 90s home improvement show, Changing Rooms. There’s a regular Saturday night slot, and later this year Eden will screen other big-name shows, including Keeley Hawes drama Finding Alice and reality series Strictly Come Dancing.
Other launch highlights include:
Thursday night is drama night on Eden, and the channel kicks off with the premiere of this award-winning Australian series set in a TV newsroom in the mid-1980s. Ambitious journalist Dale Jennings reunites with notoriously “difficult” newsreader Helen Norville, and as the pair cover a variety of world events, their professional and personal lives become entangled. The Guardian called him “well told and captivatingthe Sydney Morning Herald gave it five stars. (Weekly from Thursday March 24).
The auction room
A cross between The Repair Shop and Dragon’s Den, this series sees audiences bring in a variety of intriguing antiques to be appraised by a panel of experts, before the items are auctioned off to professional dealers. (Weeknights from Monday at 6 p.m.).
Newshub live at 8 p.m.
New channel, new news. Rebecca Wright presents Eden’s Nightly Newscast, airing live at 8pm every night of the week with a “well-curated” roundup of the day’s news and exclusive interviews.
Why hasn’t anyone thought of a bush pruning reality show before? Clipped follows talented topiary artists who turn trees into works of art, with one artist “cut” from the contest each week. It could be amazing, it could just be a show on wobbly hurdles. (Weekly from Friday March 25)
Have you ever thought that Dancing with the Stars is missing something, like ice skates and thermal tights? Then check out Dancing on Ice, the British reality TV series that pairs celebrities with professional ice skaters as they compete to raise money for charity. (Weekly from Friday March 25).
Your TV may rumble when you change channels to Rush, thanks to all the testosterone in its shows. Rush wants you to “experience more” and promises thrills and high-octane adventure, and if you like being stuck outside with nothing but your well-honed survival skills for company, Rush is the realization of all your dreams.
In addition to watches presumably chosen simply for their intriguing names (Amish Mafia, Alaskan Bush People, and Goblin Works Garage), here are some of Rush’s best launch watches.
Man against Nature
Bear Grylls is a man on a mission, and maybe that mission is to drink his own pee on every continent. The sixth season of the classic survival series sees Grylls continue to test his endurance in some of the toughest and most remote environments in the world. (Weekly from Monday March 21).
It’s not the British game show hosted by Michael McIntyre, but a survival series where six ordinary people are challenged to survive alone in a variety of extreme ecozones. They are stuck in the wild for 60 days and must move from area to area without notice. Michael McIntyre could never. (Weekly from Monday March 21).
Embrace your inner child with the series that designs and builds custom treehouses across America. From a spa treehouse in Texas to a treehouse brewery in Ohio, building expert Pete Nelson travels the world in search of amazing treehouses. (Weekly on Monday, repeat on Wednesday).
Manhunt with Joël Lambert
Joel Lambert is trapped in a foreign land, trying to reach a prearranged rendezvous point before the local army finds him. Will his experience as a special ops officer help him survive the harsh terrain? Sure, but one of these days Joel and Bear Grylls will be captured by Michael McIntyre and imprisoned on The Wheel, and then we’ll really find out what they’re made of.
Discover eden (Freeview channel 8) and Rush (Freeview channel 14) from March 21. Selected shows will be available to stream on ThreeNow.
This story was made possible by the generous support of our members. If you appreciate what we do and believe in the importance of independent and freely accessible journalism – tautoko may, donate today.