On TV3's new soap

According to reports, Mediaworks new local weeknight soap is going to be called Trinity Point and set at a beachside resort north of Auckland. Sound familiar?

Tipped to be TV3’s new 5:30pm lead in to the news, Trinity Point, which is said to be produced by Warners (Formerly Eyeworks and Formerly Julie Christie’s company), requires $10m in funding from New Zealand on Air to get the greenlight. (Update: NZ On Air have told us that the amount that has been quoted elsewhere in the media is incorrect but can’t confirm the requested amount due to commercial sensitivity.)

While $10 million of taxpayer funding is certainly a lot of money that wouldn’t end up going towards the production of other content, it is important to note that Shortland Street began its very successful life in a similar way. That investment by the taxpayer helped create the biggest local drama in New Zealand’s history which has launched hundreds of careers over nearly three decades.

The interesting thing will be whether or not putting the show up against Home and Away works. The potential is there for it to, and with time shifting technology these days, there is no reason that it can’t. It just may mean that the ratings at 5:30pm still aren’t as flash as TV3 might like them to be. As for me, I’m still not convinced that a soap as a lead in for 3 News is the answer.

When TV3 lost Home and Away, while the 5:30pm time slot lost a staggering 76% of their average audience, 3 News dropped only 14%. I’m not convinced that those who are sitting down to watch hot teenage bodies on the beach are the same people who want to stick around to watch 3 News. I wouldn’t be surprised if what actually happened was the same audience would watch one show and then flick to their PVR to watch the other one as both Home and Away and Trinity Point will be seeking out the same audience.

Can New Zealand handle a second local soap?

My answer to that question would be yes. I wouldn’t suggest that the majority of New Zealanders would watch it but that’s what can be said about just about anything, unless it’s rugby. This new show will create many new jobs and provide more opportunities for Mediaworks to grow their talent pool. Especially if they’re planning more seasons of Dancing With the Stars.

The biggest problem that they will have is in creating likeable characters and compelling storylines. It’s all possible, and I’m hopeful and excited that they could pull it off. I’m also a little apprehensive, based on previous experiences, that this might not be the case. Either way, there will be vocal fans of the show along with the usual vocal antagonists and naysayers.

For now, we wait until December 11th and NZ On Air’s funding decision.

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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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  • K

    I am wondering where the new weeknight show Family Feud fits in… sounds less risky to have at 530…

    10mil (or however much it is) is a lot , but doesn’t sound too excessive when you see Westside season 2 is getting $7,617,000, Filthy Rich $8,250,000, Step Dave 2 $6,620,216

    • Ric Bunga

      They have a habit of shoving unsuitable formats in at 1930. Lest we forget daytime-format-in-primetime-slot-shocker ‘Come Dine With Me?’… ‘Family Feud’ plays as a once-a-week format in most territories; I wouldn’t be surprised to see it at 1930 on Fridays. Game shows with members of the public (and celeb specials) definitely the way TV3 should be going…

      • K

        yeah but “I’m looking forward to playing a hilarious game show with New Zealanders every weeknight.” http://www.tv3.co.nz/Family-Feud-is-Coming-to-TV3-in-2016/tabid/2983/articleID/120354/Default.aspx#sthash.JeJGHTfr.dpuf

        • Ric Bunga

          Oh Christ… Is that the Madame Tussauds Dai Henwood? Crazy eyes, creased jacket, pointy finger; grim.

      • Dave

        I’m not sure which territories you’ve been looking at, but Family Feud is generally a daily format in most countries – either screening as a 5 days weekday format, or sometimes as an early evening format (as TV3 is planning – 5:30pm (1730 in 24 hour time). TV3 actually ran the old Australian version of the show in the 7pm timeslot for some time years ago, before they switched to current affairs in that slot.

        • Ric Bunga

          Very few territories have chosen to go with this format of late; last successful (re-)lauch was in UK in 2006. In that case Saturday night slot, once-a-week, mix of celeb and public contestants.

          • Dave

            What about the most successful relaunch of late? It was revived in Australia last year, where it screens 6 nights a week on Network Ten (6pm, Sunday to Friday). The show still screens in syndication in the US, and in most territories the regular version has run as a multi-night format. It’s usually only the “celeb” varieties that have screened as a weekly version.

          • Ric Bunga

            We’re both right Dave. Didn’t say ‘no’ territories. UK version is mix of celeb versions and public versions and runs once a week (set and production values much higher than the stripped versions). Issue for NZ will be casting the thing with entertaining families; it eats up people and with the pool of contestants shallow compared to Aus/US (and other places running stripped versions) they may struggle. I don’t envy poor Dai at all. Just surprised they didn’t go with one of the many other more contemporary, high turnover formats with fewer contestants to find.

  • Shannon Ryan

    Didn’t they already plan to make a NZ soap like a year ago? And ew, they’re not teenagers. That’s just creepy. They’re twenty-somethings.