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Three for Three on New Zealand TV

6 September 2002

Media Release

Three for Three on New Zealand TV

Strong support from New Zealand's television networks will see NZ On Air funded drama screen on all three major free-to-air channels again next year.

"Three of our top drama series will be back in production for a return to the screen in the coming year," said NZ On Air chief executive, Jo Tyndall.

"Mercy Peak on TV One, Street Legal on TV2 and The Strip on TV3 - and we're delighted to support drama of such calibre, and obvious audience appeal.

"Drama is a powerful medium for telling our stories, and these series have continued to deliver with strong scripts, well developed characters and world class production. Having all three screening on the three main channels is a very big deal for NZ On Air.

"A welcome factor in this latest funding round for drama is the strong commitment from the broadcasters for these series. In the past, there has sometimes been frustration, as new dramas seemed to come and go. Now there's a feeling that our own dramas are really working," she said.

In addition to the three series, NZ On Air has allocated $1 million to Skin and Bone, a television adaptation of Greg McGee's New Zealand classic Foreskin's Lament.

"This has been a very successful funding round from our point of view, because it has given us the opportunity to strike a good balance between providing for the return of popular drama series, and this much anticipated showcase telefeature," said Ms Tyndall.

"Greg has written a brilliant screenplay that brings the iconic 1970s play into the era of professional rugby. In doing so he shows us, on a much wider scale, just how different New Zealand has become," she said.

"Foreskin's Lament is the big one. It broke box office records when it was first performed, and it packed out theatres when it came back as an anniversary production in 2000. It has become an important part of New Zealand culture.

"Skin and Bone brings it up to date, and onto the screen. It's a very exciting project, and we're thrilled to be able to help make it happen," Ms Tyndall said.

"With the Rugby World Cup happening next year, the timing really couldn't be better."

Skin and Bone will screen on TV One.

Ends

This media release is available on the Internet at

Funding details:

Mercy Peak III $3,058,234 8 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV One Producer: John Laing, South Pacific Pictures

Street Legal IV $4,673,990 13 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Chris Hampson, Screenworks

The Strip II $3,696,655 11 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV3 Producer: Dave Gibson, Gibson Group

Skin and Bone $1,000,000 1 x 2 hour Broadcaster: TV One Producer: Chris Hampson, Screenworks

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