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TVNZ U Is Two And All New in April

TVNZ U Is Two And All New in April
21 MARCH 2013

TVNZ’s free-to-air youth channel U turns two this April and will be showcasing a raft of new shows and new talent across the channel.

On U live, the channel’s live-to-air daily show, current hosts Matt Gibb, Connor Nestor and Rose Matafeo will be joined by two fresh-faced new presenters – Kirsteen MacKenzie and Eli Mathewson. Kirsteen comes from a background in radio and Eli, a budding comedian, was nominated as Best Newcomer in the Comedy Festival last year and is up for the Billy T Award in 2013.

U will also launch a number of high profile new shows during April including the much talked about Australian reality show The Shire (compared to NZ's The GC) and the US’s Rhett and Link Commercial Kings, which takes YouTube superstars Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal’s antics onto the small screen. U will also be giving viewers the opportunity to remember all their favourite moments from hit show Made in Chelsea with a weekend marathon covering the first two seasons and hosted by the U team, before Made In Chelsea Series 3 launches in early May.

Also joining the lineup is U late, a new interactive, late night, chat show that will air from 10:30pm until midnight on weeknights. Following on from the success of U live, U late will take viewers comments and opinions from the Facebook app into broadcast as well as feature nightly guests and selected shows. U late will be produced and presented by current U live host Tim Lambourne who will be joined by new host Guy Montgomery. Guy returns from a six month season of stand-up comedy in Canada and has previously hosted U live.

“We’re excited to be adding even more interactivity and live programming into the U schedule” says Juliet Jensen, TVNZ’s General Manager of Digital Channels. “U has established itself at the forefront of youth television in New Zealand, and U live in particular has shown how we can use integrated social media campaigns to connect with the youth market."

U’s themed nights are also being refreshed to improve viewer navigation of the schedule and include Guts Monday (action sports shows), Dude Tuesday (shows for guys), Pash Wednesday (relationship based reality shows), Girl Thursday (shows for girls) and Knock Out Friday (competitive reality shows). Also joining the lineup will be a new travel evening on Sundays called U Go. And popular gaming show Ginx moves into prime time and will play at 7pm every night.

U late and the new theme nights premiere on April 1st. Rhett and Link Commercial Kings launches on April 2nd and The Shire starts April 24th, both at 8:30pm. The Made in Chelsea Marathon will screen from midday to midnight on the 20th and 21st of April with the new series starting May 2nd.
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