Local heroes – TVNZ bringing the best of NZ to screen
Local heroes – TVNZ bringing the best of New Zealand to screen
New Zealanders will have a front row seat to the biggest live events and the most anticipated local content, as TVNZ continues to focus on the moments that matter across its 2018/19 line up.
“Two million New Zealanders turn to us every day to be informed and entertained. We’re committed to delivering the most compelling content and providing our viewers with greater freedom around the ways they can watch,” says Chief Executive Kevin Kenrick.
TVNZ’s crowd-pleasing content strategy focuses on delivering hit local shows, screening big live events and building TVNZ OnDemand’s momentum.
“Local content is in our DNA and it’s the building block of our line-up. We’re turning local programming up a notch, with ambitious new dramas featuring the biggest Kiwi names, side-splitting comedy that appeals to our unique sense of humour, and high-entertainment reality,” says Director of Content Cate Slater.
Flying the flag for local
New productions, The Bad Seed*, Straight Forward, and Fresh Eggs* will bring original, contemporary stories to TVNZ 1 and TVNZ 2. The commitment to local is also highlighted in a new Sunday Theatre season*, with Runaway Millionaires, Ablaze and War Stories premiering in 2019. Compelling new factual titles, alongside reality programmes are also part of the new slate. How Not To Get Cancer*, That’s A Bit Racist*, Funny As: The Story Of NZ Comedy* and The Check Up* will join TVNZ 1; and TVNZ 2 will bring back iconic series Celebrity Treasure Island for a new generation of fans. New local reality format House Of Drag will also launch exclusively OnDemand.
Returning local programming sees fan-favourite Wellington Paranormal* receiving a bolstered second season, and Cold Case* and The Casketeers+ back on TVNZ 1. Funding from NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho support the making of many TVNZ shows.
News and current affairs remains the cornerstone of TVNZ 1’s content offering. “Nearly 1 million New Zealanders turn to 1 NEWS every day. Our ongoing investment in current affairs speaks to the breadth of our offering – not only are we here to entertain, but we’re here to keep our viewers informed,” says Slater.
While the focus is local, the biggest international shows will sit alongside homegrown productions – some with a distinct Kiwi twist. From the BBC comes The Luminaries (made with assistance from TVNZ), based on Eleanor Catton’s award-winning novel. The BBC will also provide Richard Gere’s star turn in MotherFatherSon. Other Brit picks include an adaptation of the HG Wells sci-fi classic War of the Worlds and the David Attenborough hosted Dynasties. US programmes Whiskey Cavalier, Flack starring Anna Paquin, and Kelsey Grammar’s Proven Innocent have been added to the line-up. And My Life Is Murder starring Lucy Lawless and Bad Mothers come from across the ditch to TVNZ.
Returning international favourites, The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, The Simpsons, Victoria, MasterChef Australia, Britain’s Got Talent, Doctor Who, and many more, will give viewers unparalleled choice in 2019.
TVNZ OnDemand – It’s yours
After achieving a record 102 million streams in the last year, TVNZ is strengthening its OnDemand offering, with more exclusive, fast-tracked shows and an expanding library of cult titles available however viewers choose to watch.
“We know we need to keep pace with viewers and consistently innovate to remain relevant to their daily lives,” says Kenrick. “TVNZ OnDemand has evolved from a catch-up service to a comprehensive and compelling online streaming service. This year we plan to attract more viewers with a richer content offering and enhanced user features. Ultimately, it’s about putting control and choice in the hands of our viewers.”
This past year has seen OnDemand led hits, Anika Moa Unleashed*, Baby Mama’s Club* and Alibi*all garnering dedicated followings, as well as premium drama, Killing Eve and reality smash hit, Love Island become appointment viewing. In the coming months, an OnDemand first strategy will see premium dramas like HBO Italy’s My Brilliant Friend and BBC’s The Little Drummer Girl fast-tracked for the platform. Nostalgic favourites ER, The OC, Dawson’s Creek and McLeod’s Daughters are available for binge-watching, and compelling new local series Find My Killer, The Educators* and The Price Of $ex*, will join the online home.
“Attracting new audiences will continue to be a focus,” says Kenrick. “We’re not afraid to try new things to serve our viewers better. Our new children’s platform with NZ On Air, HEIHEI, and our alternative news outlet Re: are examples of this. We’ll be growing our OnDemand platform in the coming months, extending traditional news services into digital scale services, and looking at new approches to content creation and distribution.”
Game on with live events
Big sporting tournaments and unmissable live event television will play an increasing role in TVNZ’s schedule for 2019 and beyond.
TVNZ is Spark’s free-to-air partner for the Rugby World Cup. The 36th America’s Cup regatta will broadcast exclusively on TVNZ. These two major events supported by January’s Hot Spring Spas T20 Christchurch Black Clash, highlight TVNZ’s growing commitment to bringing sporting action to New Zealanders for free, for everyone.
“These are events that stop us in our tracks and bring us together as a country. Our ambition is to make big tournaments accessible to all fans, and we’ve joined up with partners who share this vision,” says Slater.
Live event programming will extend beyond the sports arena in the new year. The Grammy Awards are set to return in 2019, and Hollywood’s biggest night, The Academy Awards, is also coming to TVNZ for the first time in over a decade.