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Old Favourites and a New Spin

Old Favourites and a New Spin

NZ On Air has responded to recent research into New Zealand TV audience attitudes with strong support for a crop of comedy for 2003. The highly topical satire Spin Doctors returns for another series, and will be joined by a weekly entertainment chat-show featuring comedian Mike King.

"NZ On Air is pleased to be able to support another series of Spin Doctors," said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall. "It's found a wide and loyal audience, and we're looking forward to seeing what O'Connor and Associates get themselves mixed up in this time. Even without an election to 'spin', we suspect there'll be no shortage of issues for the team to poke the borax at. "We're excited about Mike King Tonight too. Mike is an assured host, and this show, to be recorded in front of a live audience, will feature lots of comedy, music, interviews with celebrity guests, and much more.

"The results of the Attitudes to NZ On Air Funded TV Programming survey this year gave us a clear steer on the subject of comedy," said Ms Tyndall. "While comedy is a hard genre to get right the focus groups were firmly of the opinion that we should continue to support it, and the research showed that the strongest New Zealand comedy is natural and ad lib. It was also quite clear that variety programmes are well-loved, so Mike King Tonight seems an ideal way to deliver in both of those areas."

In addition to Spin Doctors and Mike King Tonight, NZ On Air has allocated a total of $249,310 towards bringing a couple of comedy favourites – The Big Comedy Gala and The Billy T Awards - back to the screen for 2003. The Big Comedy Gala brings together top Kiwi comedians, with a sprinkling of international talent. The Billy T Awards (named in honour of one of New Zealand’s greatest comedians, the late Billy T James) were established in 1997 by the New Zealand Comedy Trust to foster and encourage outstanding New Zealand talent. NZ On Air has funded television specials on both of these events for a number of years. "These programmes provide a showcase for New Zealand comedians, give us the chance to help develop local talent, and make sure it's seen by far more people than could actually attend the Gala or the Awards in person," Ms Tyndall said.

Funding details:

Spin Doctors 4 $977,000 7 x ½ hour Broadcaster: TV One Producer: Tony Holden, Comedia Pictures

Mike King Tonight $400,000 10 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Stephen Campbell, Greenstone Pictures

Big Comedy Gala 2003 $129,660 1 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Simon Sinclair/Mandy Toogood, Phoenix Television

Billy T Awards 2003 $119,650 1 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Simon Sinclair/Mandy Toogood, Phoenix Television

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