NZ On Air funded comedy goes to Netflix before screening here

While it is great news that Netflix has landed exclusive streaming rights for Rhys Darby’s NZ On Air funded comedy Short Poppies, the entire 8 episode season will be available in the US, Canada, U.K. and Ireland before a single episode screens here.

Netflix has landed streaming rights to “Short Poppies,” a mockumentary-style comedy created by and starring New Zealand thesp Rhys Darby (who costarred in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords”).

The eight-episode series is set to launch exclusively on April 3 for Netflix subscribers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland. Show follows a journalist as he meets quirky characters in a small New Zealand town — all played by Darby.

Series is produced by Augusto in association with Darby’s Awesomeness International shingle. In New Zealand, “Short Poppies” is slated to air on TV New Zealand’s TV One.

While it is great that we can fund local content for international release, how many kiwi’s with Netflix accounts will now be paying a foreign company to view content that was paid for via their taxes?

TVNZ was not available for comment.

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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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  • If anything this is good news. It shows Netflix is happy to look abroad for content, and it lifts the profile of NZ. It could also be a foundation for Netflix’s expansion into NZ in the future

    • Regan Cunliffe

      I agree it is good.. but should we be funding content that doesn’t have an NZ first run?

      • Its the same argument we have in regard to funding the Americas Cup campaign. The perceived long term benefits are worth betting on

      • Kinda sucks

        Tricky, if NZOA funded shows have a mandatory NZ first run, and if the broadcast rights holder chose to delay screening for say strategic reasons then it could possibly hurt the show’s commercial interest abroad no?

      • Dave

        No I don’t think overseas or pay outlets should get first-run of NZ on Air-funded (taxpayer) product. Definitely not a good precedent to set!

      • Preston

        Yes we should Regan, any NZ produced television is a good thing no matter if it will be on netflix first – a trivial matter which will bring much more revenue than if it were only screened on NZ tv. Also anyone who knows how to use the internet is able to watch netflix in NZ!

  • Maggie

    This is hardly surprising – didn’t Flight of the Concords get picked up by HBO before screening here in NZ? If I’m correct, NZ didn’t want to take a bet on it because it was deemed too risky.

    • retired88

      HBO funded it entirely, not NZOA, and the FOTC show that screened in the US wasn’t the same show that was pitched to TVNZ originally.

      • Maggie

        Oh that’s interesting. I’d love to see what they pitched originally. It’s a shame they didn’t make more episodes – they were very funny and talented.

  • Maggie

    I can’t believe Rhys Darby wasn’t discovered sooner – he is very funny. Even the 2 Degrees ads he fronts raise a giggle or two.

    Paul Ego is another funny one … he voices the Pak ‘n Save adverts and is a permanent panel member on 7 Days.