Are you ready for Duke? Everything you need to know

James Corden, host of The Late Late Show. Photo / CBS
James Corden, host of The Late Late Show. Photo / CBS

This Sunday at 6pm, TVNZ is launching Duke. It's a new channel, which will be live streamed online at watchduke.co.nz, and also on Freeview 13 and Sky 23, as well as having shows available on the TVNZ Ondemand platform.

When the channel was announced last month, it was pitched as a male-skewed platform. But it's now being described as an alternative to TV One and TV2.

"Duke is our chance to give people something different to watch" explains programmer Greg Hughes. "Things they won't necessarily see on other channels (and some things they might) and a whole bunch of different ways to watch it.

"Duke is movies (good ones), drama, comedy, sport and factual content. Not stuffy old docos from way back, but shows that have wit and intelligence. Well, some of them do and some are just a relaxing watch that you don't have to think too hard about. And that's the way we want it to be."

So what will be on offer when it launches on Sunday? They've got familiar American comedies like Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and DC Comics' Batman spin-off series Gotham, season one of which screened on TV2, none of which are particularly exciting additions.

But there are also a few new shows. Beowulf is a British fantasy drama television series from ITV, which launched in January, and seems to be a sort of Vikings-meets-Game of Thrones-meets-Lord of the Rings epic, which has received mixed reviews overseas.

There's also Sin City Saints, which follows the behind-the-scenes drama of a fictional Las Vegas basketball franchise; American sketch show The Birthday Boys, Bordertown, which is a new animated comedy from the makers of Family Guy and a selection of documentary series - Losing Traction is about drift racing, The Indestructibles is a Bear Grylls meets Top Gear silly stunts show, Up Close With interviews big sports stars like Lionel Messi, Neymar, Usain Bolt, and Dark Net explores the dark web, and themes such as cyber-kidnapping, online cults and the webcam sex trade.

There will also be The Late Late Show with James Corden - complete with his viral car pool karaoke episodes - and live sport like NBA basketball.

What's on ...

Screening dates for new Duke shows
• The Late Late Show with James Corden, 7pm weeknights.
• Dark Net - Sunday March 20, 8pm
• Gotham season two - Sunday March 20, 9.20pm
• Bordertown - Tuesday March 22 , 8.30pm
• Sin City Saints - Tuesday March 22, 9.20pm
• Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands - Friday March 25 March, 8.30pm

- TimeOut

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