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Longest Running Queer TV Series In World

Queer Nation Seventh Series Launch
Longest Running Queer TV Series In World

Summary
- Famous First
- New Scheduled Time
- Seventh Season
- Web-Development
- Close-Captioning
- Content changes

New Zealand may be unique in many ways, but having the longest running gay and lesbian program on a commercial television network in the world is not usually one that makes it to the lists.

This year, Queer Nation enters its 7th season. Since 1996, in it's first guise as 'Express Report' on Horizon Television, the programme has opened a television window on the issues, lives, events and personalities of New Zealand's queer communities.

And it has been rescheduled for Thursdays at 11:00pm, on TV2, making a change from its usual Tuesday slot.

'QN has never been static,' states Andrew Whiteside the series producer. 'It has been constantly reinventing itself for our audience. There has also been the fact that we now have a gained great deal experience in producing quality TV'.'

QN is intending to web-integrate this new series. QN is often the only accessible source of local news and information for gays and lesbians in New Zealand. It is a first port of call. Integrating it with a web experience is intended to broaden the QN experience.

'We're really pushing the idea of added information,' says Max Currie, one of the four QN presenters, 'so if something you've seen on QN interests you there will be more about it on the web. We really want to interact with our audience, and this is by far the best way. It's also about time NZ had an easy to use, comprehensive one-stop-shop for all the queer support groups out there and all the events occurring - and we've got it.'

'Our audience is a smaller sector of the New Zealand community,' adds Currie, 'and they're known been early adopters of technology. This is because they are a minority and need to be able to communicate with others like them. So we hope, through the year to introduce aspects of this website that will create and sustain a virtual community.'

Whiteside also stresses that the content of QN will change in the coming season.

'We've been around for seven seasons and we've covered many of the obvious easy stories. In that time our audience has changed with the increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians into New Zealand life.'

'We have to reflect this,' continues Whiteside. 'So we are aiming for content that deals with gays and lesbians in the Twenty-First Century, in New Zealand. How do you have a baby, for instance if you are gay or lesbian, and what about de-facto property-rights?'

'We've also scheduled a number of full-length examinations of certain topics. Following the success of the half-hour Film Special about New Zealand gay and lesbian filmmakers last year and an earlier Queer Nation special about spirituality, we are keen to examine a number of subjects in an in-depth way. '

Whiteside also confirms that this series will be close-captioned for the deaf.

'It means that a very important group of viewers will now be able to watch and understand the show. The gay deaf community have long wanted to see us with this facility and finally thanks to Captioning NZ at TVNZ, we are able to deliver.'

All of the shows popular presenters return: Nettie Kinmont and Andrew Whiteside for their seventh season, and Max Currie and Anita Treefoot for their second season.

Also joining them for another year are the larger than life regional reporters Stanley Manthyng in Dunedin and Joanne Clarke in Christchurch.

A newcomer behind the scenes is David Herkt, who takes on the role of researcher and story generation. David's wealth of experience in writing and research, particularly concerning the gay and lesbian communities in New Zealand will be invaluable as it Queer Nation repositions itself with a fresh new look and emphasis on good solid current affairs reporting.

What Queer Nation
When 11pm Thursday nights
From 7th March 2002
Where TV 2
Contact: Andrew Whiteside andrew@queernation.co.nz

IMAGES CAN BE PROVIDED UPON REQUEST


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