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Children’s TV Gets a Funding Boost

Children’s TV Gets a Funding Boost

NZ On Air has just announced funding of two and a half million dollars to a range of children’s programmes for broadcast on TV2.

“We welcome back a couple of favourites for 2005 that provide a showcase for the performing talents of a whole bunch of young New Zealanders,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall, “and we also introduce two new series that we think will be a big hit on morning and afternoon television.”

“1, 2, 3 Go! is primarily fun for pre-schoolers, but with a strong educational base,” said Ms Tyndall. “It’s presented by three young people, and will feature New Zealand children telling their own stories in their own homes around the country. We think the programme’s funky music and interactive activities will have young children joining in everyday of the week

“At the other end of the spectrum, Jandalbirds are go! In an affectionate parody of the old favourite Thunderbirds, real actors play a somewhat dysfunctional Pacific Island family trying to rescue others in danger, in exchange for free TV coverage of Rugby League. Well… indoors they're real actors, but when they embark on international rescue missions the characters become stunt dolls. What more needs to be said?”

Funding has also been approved for return series of Stage Challenge and Wannabes for another year.

“Both these series give us the opportunity to see just how much talent there is out there – and on screen, they are very exciting competitions,” Ms Tyndall said. “Stage Challenge involves thousands of young New Zealanders from hundreds of schools around the country presenting short performance pieces they create themselves.

“Celebrity judges give their impressions of the performances, and viewers can vote for the ones they like most, until the finalists perform in the National TV Grand Final and an overall winner is decided.

“The Wannabes pop talent quest also travels the length and breadth of New Zealand to film 13 to 19 year-old singers and dancers giving it their all in front of a judging panel. People at home can vote on this one too, on the phone or through a website.”

“NZ On Air’s research continues to confirm the importance of locally produced children’s programmes to New Zealanders,” Ms Tyndall said, “and these projects are just the sort of innovative initiatives that will deliver the programmes that meet those audience needs.”

Funding details:

1, 2, 3 Go! $1,251,430 75 x 25 minute children’s series Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Mary Phillips Pickled Possum Production

Jandalbirds $442,930 20 x 11 minute children's series Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Tony Palmer Productions Tony Palmer Productions

Wannabes 2005 $543,441 18 x 11 minute & 3 x ½ hour children’s series Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Janine Morrell Whitebait Productions

Stage Challenge 2005 $289,500 6 x ½ hour & 1 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Janine Morrell Whitebait Productions

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