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Children's Drama on a Roll

11 March 2003

Media Release

Children's Drama on a Roll

NZ On Air's commitment to locally produced children's drama is paying off for television viewers, as three live action series go into production.

"We're very pleased to support another seven episodes of Freaky Dramas for screening on TV2," said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall. "It brings the total to a series of 13, including the pilot stories, which met with universal approval from the children who watched them on What Now?.

"Freaky Dramas are a collection of short, pacy, and visually exciting New Zealand stories with a supernatural theme that seems to fascinate children. Each episode has three distinct stories, told through the eyes of Kiwi kids, and linked by a young presenter.

"Our research shows strong support for New Zealand children's programmes, and recognition like the international awards for Being Eve show that they're also world class," Ms Tyndall said. "It's more expensive and risky for broadcasters to commission new shows though, than to buy ready-made ones overseas. NZ On Air's funding provides the opportunity for quality children's programmes, that would not otherwise be made, to be part of the regular television menu for young New Zealanders."

Funding has also been allocated to a series aimed at nine to 14 year olds - to screen on TV2 - called PET Detectives.

"That's not pets as in 'Spot', 'Tiddles' or the budgie," said Ms Tyndall. "Furred and feathered friends are the front for the organisation, but PET really stands for paranormal, extra-terrestrial, and time-travel. This series follows the adventures of a group of kids who help out errant ghosts and aliens, and those hapless time-travellers who can't find their way home. It's a series that will appeal to the imagination, with new adventures each week, building to an exciting conclusion."

Hometown espionage gets a run too, with Secret Agent Men on TV3.

"Secret Agent Men is a fast-paced action series, with more than a little fun thrown in. It's a daily five-minute serial that builds into 12 half-hour compilation episodes. It features a group of young Kiwi super spies, saving the world from fiendish villains with plans for world domination - and all the while having to contend with the mundane problems of teenage life, such as parents, teachers… and acne! The characters are likeable and the stories are sure to keep TV3's Sticky TV audience amused and entertained."

ends

This media release is available on the internet at http://www.nzonair.govt.nz

Funding details:

Freaky Dramas $905,350
7 x ½ hour children's drama
Broadcaster: TV2
Producer: Tony Palmer
TVNZ Avalon Productions

PET Detectives $2,332,798
13 x ½ hour children's drama
Broadcaster: TV2
Executive Producer: Robin Scholes
Screentime-Communicado

Secret Agent Men $1,446,803
60 x 5 mins (12 x ½ hour) children's drama
Broadcaster: TV3
Producer: Rachel Jean
Greenstone Pictures Ltd


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