tame-the-gc-mwns2014Last night, Mediaworks announced what we can only assume is part of their line up for 2014 due to their ongoing negotiations with their output deal with Fox.  CEO Paul Maher told everyone that the deal was inches away but clearly it would be wrong to either announce or screen anything new while the agreement is still being put together.  There are rumors circulating that TV3 have lost Homeland, among others, but while the commercially sensitive negotiations are still underway, nothing is being confirmed or denied.

On arriving at Shed 10, it was fairly clear that The GC was returning.  Tame Noema was one of the waiters handing out drinks to everyone.

Guy Williams must be TV3’s go to guy for warming up every audience as it was he who herded everyone to their seats and got them ready for the presentation of the 2014 new season.

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Jeremy Corbett and Hilary Barry hosted the event and began right on 6pm with a nice play on the “No Place I’d Rather Be” phrase that TV3 runs as the big screens cut to Mike McRoberts at the news desk looking confused as to why there was an empty chair next to him.  From there on out, Hilary became the butt of most of Corbett’s jokes, most of them having some sort of sexual connotation.  It was entertaining and certainly not a normal 6-7pm public appearance for Barry who played along like a champ.

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paul-maherFirst up on stage to talk was CEO Paul Maher who was still clearly upset about losing Home and Away.  You could see that he wanted to vent some anger but, as he told us, he had been given strict instructions not to do so.  His non-venting-vent was about as strong as it got verbally but the body language spoke a whole lot more.

He spoke about news and current affairs and how the biggest stories of the year had been broken on TV3.  The David Bain story and the Teina Pora story were the first two and then he stated that when Len Brown “came out” he came to them.  Realising what he’d said, he joked, “No, that’s next week”.  Realising what he’d just said again, he recanted.

The restructuring had taken a little longer than anticipated but Maher was confident that the deal that would transfer the company to its new owners was inches away.

With the address from the boss out of the way, it was time to roll out the stars.  First up were this year’s contestants from The Block NZ.  The show is returning in 2014 along with two of the Australian versions, The Block Sky High and an all stars version.

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The first new show that was premiered was Dream Factory which sees the return of Brooke Howard Smith and Kimberley Crossman in roles that are perfectly suited to who we know them to be.  To provide a bit of a taste as to what the show is about, prior to the launch, invitees were given the chance to submit a dream they’d like come true.  Two of them were granted on the night to two very unsuspecting guests.  The first, who apparently hadn’t been getting any “action” was given a brand new bed.  The second was someone who wanted to renew their wedding vows with their husband in Las Vegas.  He was standing backstage and had no idea what was happening.  The announcement was pretty spectacular with show girls, a confetti canon and a video message from the Elvis Chapel.  Apparently Brooke cries throughout the series more than some of The Block contestants do.

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There was a moving promo for Hope and Wire, a series about the Christchurch earthquake which will no doubt be a must watch for everyone but those in Canterbury who don’t really want to relive the day that changed Christchurch forever.

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The GC will no doubt get everyone talking again in 2014.  Tame is a real star.  He refered to the audience as “pissheads” who had kept him busy all night in his waiter role.  Apparently they’re famous on the Gold Coast because half of us are over there anyway.  Tame was joined on stage by Alby who spoke about his relationship in this season.  “Every show needs a poof” he declared to laughter from the audience.  He told us that the new word to listen out for this season is tanga which is the Maori equivalent to “ness” as in “hotness”, which Alby assumed was what Corbett’s wife calls him.  As they were invited to leave the stage, Corbett went to help Alby up but instead was offered his hand to kiss.  You probably had to be there but Corbett found it quite amusing.

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Despite pretty poor ratings, and one can only assume thanks to New Zealand on Air’s Platinum Fund, 3rd Degree will be back in 2014.

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The most exciting part of the night though went to the announcement that Paul Henry is coming back to TV3!  The teaser that they screened last night was simply wonderful but unfortunately they’re not being made public.  Mr Henry couldn’t confirm much, other than his show would be five nights a week.  Describing the format, he called it Paul Henry meets Current Affairs and hilarity ensues.  As far as the timeslot is concerned, 5:30pm would be logical after the dismal results post Home and Away.  However, would a show that is screened post the watershed allow for a less sanitised version of Henry?  A Daily Show type of thing that screens at say 10:30pm perhaps?  Either way, I can’t wait.

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MainxThe second of the big format shows is a new concept called The Great Food Race which seems to be a mix of Masterchef, My Kitchen Rules and The Amazing Race.  It is hosted by Benji Marshall’s wife Zoe who has given up her TV work in Australia as Benji begins playing for the Auckland Blues.  The banter between her and Corbett was amusing with the typical jokes around how kiwis and Australians pronounce words like “deck” and “six”.  A few of the jokes went over her head but no doubt she’ll be around long enough to figure it out.  I suspect The Great Food Race will be another successful series for TV3 in 2014.

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And then it was on to the new and returning shows.  Trailers I have for these.

Blacklist has been rating very well in the US and Australia.  It’s disappointing it’s not screening here already as it’s been the most talked up series from the Fall season in the US.

The Emmy nominated Netflix original series, House of Cards (that is already available on Amazon) is one of my favourite TV shows of all time.  I can’t recommend this highly enough and despite how long it’s taken to get here, I really hope it rates well for TV3.

Despite being a 2012 show that was eventually cancelled, Last Resort is a good watch that has a resolution at the end of the season, unlike many that tend to have open endings with the hope that the network will renew them.

Hannibal is a TV series spin off from the Silence of the Lambs movies.  You can pretty much guess what type of show this is.

The Michael J Fox show is light-hearted entertainment that seems to be more of a theraputic outlet for MJF to deal with his illness more than anything.

There was a real absence of scripted drama in the line up and not just international shows, but local as well.  Can anyone remember the last time TV3 didn’t have a new locally produced drama series?

Also coming to TV3 in 2014 is Big Brother Australia.  I can only assume that it will be the 2013 season that is currently screening on Nine across the ditch as there is no guarantee it’ll be back in 2014 after this season’s ratings.

All in all, there are some gems in the line up but the big omission is that The X Factor NZ won’t be returning in 2014.  It sounds as though it might end up being a bi-annually thing.

The night then moved to the other end of Shed 10 for the party where X Factor contestants Moorhouse, Gap5 and Tom Batchelor were present to perform.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • Reece

    I feel I say this every year about Mediaworks ‘launch’. But another hard year for them ahead. Its hardly a strong lineup and no X factor for next year is a poor move but it obviously shows how little money they have or revenue they made to produce such a show.

    Looking forward to Paul Henry but if you discount that snickers ad then people might not care that he is back on a frequent basis.

  • p.b

    Its more of when tv3 start to air them, they have great shows but shouldnt be so overly confident that it will beat what the competition will air at the same times i just hope that they hold off til april to start airing there new big shows that way tvnzz good shows will have already started but it will indicate where they can place thr shows

  • Jeseta

    The X Factor news is hardly surprising I guess with the previous confirmation that NZonAir only funds one singing competition per year and they have to compete with NZGT. It might be a good idea to do it every two years. It would extend it’s shelf life. After all we only have 4 million people, not really a fast renewing source of talent .

    Paul Henry. You either love him or hate him. I fall in the latter camp. Although it’s probably a worthwhile risk to take, I can’t see this show lasting too long.

    I really would put money on The GC having miserable ratings this season. Last time round, although I never watched an episode, my understanding is it was a zeitgeist-y thing and people hate-watched it more than anything. Well that was two years ago now and it’s not fresh anymore, people know what it will be and won’t feel the need to tune in.

    Dream Factory could be interesting. Then again, they could turn it into a big sob-story each week where the guest has all sorts of misfortunes and along comes the show to change their lives a la Extreme Home Makeover. Hopefully it doesn’t go in that direction.

    • Reece

      Agree about the GC will people care anymore? Mediaworks are obviously betting that having some local people in Beauty and the Geek will increase ratings since it is being taken off four and shifted to TV3, has it ever rated well enough to justify this?

      I note that there’s a few local titles for 2014 that were announced to air in 2013 Hope & Wire, Family Secrets and Prison families.

      • Jeseta

        I can’t imagine your average Kiwi wanting to tune in to Beauty and the Geek. It’s target market seems to be teenagers/young adults with few brain cells. I’d have left it on FOUR.

        How many episodes is Hope & Wire?, I thought I saw somewhere it was only a three-parter but I can’t remember now. Family Secrets and Prison Families seem like that kind of middling fare that will have steady but average ratings. Probably a safe bet.

        • Reece

          I wonder if TV3 have contributed funds towards Beauty and the Geek maybe that’s the reason its moved. If so I also imagine its pure coincidence that Paul Henry’s daughter just happened to be the one of two kiwi’s to get through…..

          • Jeseta

            You’re joking!? The one who announced – while still a teenager – that she wanted to be a Playboy model and Paul supported it? This all of a sudden became very depressing….

  • Trevor Ashman

    Last Resort looks good 🙂

    • Jeseta

      Andre Braugher is an excellent actor, I’m enjoying him on Brooklyn nine-nine right now. I’ll definitely check out Last Resort.

  • Russell Gray

    The Paul Henry show, sounds like something I suggested a while ago for the 5:30 slot, but maybe it will be a late night Letterman type show.

    • Jeseta

      I think it would have to be more current affairs based, Late night shows don’t work here as we don’t have enough guests to appear on them (The Mike King show?)

  • Sammie

    Why can’t Paul Henry just go away? Of course, he tried that and the much wiser Australians didn’t want him. Will absolutely give that show a miss. Ugh.

    • Jeseta

      I don’t think you can call the Australians wiser, they did give him a show after NZ told him where to stick it last time round.

  • James

    I’m a little bit sad that there’s no mention of The Ridges 🙁

  • Daniel

    Paul Henry has done his dash. He shot himself in the foot when he left TVNZ and went to Australia, a bit like Robbie Deans.

  • Russell Gray

    I think Big Brother will be on FOUR at around the 6pm mark. This will allow some flexability for shows that go over the usual time.

  • Robyn Gallagher

    I’m quite excited about Big Brother Australia. The reboot of the series has been quite good, with both of the new series being nicely entertaining (though it seems the current series hasn’t rated as well as last year’s one).

    It can’t see much value in screening the current series next year – what thrill would there be in watching when you can look up all the evictions on Wikipedia? So does this mean a tentative agreement to screen the 2014 series, if that goes ahead? Will NZ viewers be able to vote, like with the very first series in 2001? And will TV3’s connection mean a NZ housemate has to go in?

  • Samuel

    No mention of How I met Your Mother? Or Fast Four in general?

    • Harrison

      HIMYM is going to stop being made after the current season.