Why Not HD? The Shield, ScreenScribe

Why Not HD? The Shield

Fans of top cop show The Shield should note the seventh and final season premieres at the later time of 10.40 tonight on Sky TV’s The Box.

Normally this site doesn’t promote SD content but The Shield rivals The Wire as the best police show ever made and if you don’t have My Sky, you’ll need to manually adjust the recording time.

The Box picked up the explosive drama about LA’s answer to Dirty Harry, starring No Ordinary Family’s Michael Chiklis, from season six after the first five aired on TV2.

Unusually, TVNZ didn’t run out the series, partly because the ratings were so low and partly because it didn’t have an output deal with the distributor.

Initially, Sky was reluctant to screen another’s network’s leftovers from midway through its run.

“But we decided that it was such a good show, and so many people had asked about it, we’d give it a crack,” Sky’s head of general entertainment and Prime, Karen Bieleski, says.

Why Not HD? The Shield, ScreenScribe

However, even on a basic pay channel where ratings aren’t as important as free-to-air, The Shield has failed to shine, hence its demotion, from 8.30pm Sundays to 10.40pm (it’s being replaced with season two eps of CSI: Miami, a show which can be seen to better effect, in HD, on TV3).

Says Bieleski: “The Box as a channel has audience expectations it needs to live up to, as any channel, pay or free, does, and we regularly adjust our schedule depending on audience response.”

Frustratingly, Sky’s last-minute decision to license The Shield has delayed the NZ DVD release of season seven.

It was meant to go on sale in November, 18 months after it came out in the US, but now don’t expect it to until mid-year.

If you can’t wait until then, from this week the Australian release is being discounted 50% to $A24.95 while the UK version can be bought for £11 from Amazon.co.uk.

Don’t hold out hope for a Blu-ray release. TV Shows on DVD quotes creator Shawn Ryan as saying the studio believes the film stock the series was shot on is “of insufficient quality to put out on Blu-ray”.

While TV Shows on DVD acknowledges this makes sense, Blu-ray.com argues otherwise, pointing out: “firstly, 16mm-sourced BDs exist already, both for movies and TV series; and secondly, many users and reviewers consider its picture more than deserving for high-definition”.

The original posting has since added Generation Kill to the list of 16mm content out on Blu-ray.

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