TVNZ 6's blog

New Zealand At Home Sundays, 9pm

Hosted by New Zealand creative force Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, documentary series New Zealand At Home is based on Jenkins’ award-winning book At Home – A Century of New Zealand Design, which won awards at the Montana Book Awards in 2005. New Zealand At Home screens Sundays at 9pm, on TVNZ Showcase, on TVNZ 6.

Described by Wallpaper magazine as “one of the most influential design writers in the Southern Hemisphere,” Jenkins is one of New Zealand’s best-known and most highly-respected design writers. He has specialised throughout his career in bringing attention to overlooked practitioners of the arts, architecture, and design, who contributed enormously to the creation of contemporary New Zealand culture.
Jenkins is well known to New Zealanders through his design and architecture columns in the The New Zealand Herald, The New Zealand Listener, Home & Entertaining, and as the face of TV ONE’s The Big Art Trip.

He has established a strong international profile, contributing design criticism both locally and overseas. He is a curator of exhibitions and published works and lectures on New Zealand design and architectural history around the world.

New Zealand At Home’s eight-part series shows viewers what it means to be a New Zealander, and to build, decorate and inhabit the New Zealand dream. Jenkins makes the case for ensuring that the 20th century house does not become a victim of a wholesale redevelopment.

He tells the story of the New Zealand house and those “acts of cultural radicalism”, not only by indigenous architects, but by the many craftspeople and designers who made significant contributions to New Zealand’s cultural development.

Peeling back the layers of a social history, Jenkins explores how we have lived, and continue to live, in environments created for us, united in the pursuit of the contemporary New Zealand home.

New Zealand At Home is a series of programmes that celebrate our house – where it has come from and where it’s going. A house is more than its walls – it’s history materialised.

Freaky Weeknights, 8pm

From the worst nightmares, and strangest fantasies of New Zealand children comes Freaky. In a daily instalment of three short stories, Freaky explores the bizarre , the ridiculous and the downright terrifying ways that everyday life might turn weird, just when you least expect it. Freaky plays weeknights at 8pm on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6.

Created by an innovative team of talented writers and directors, Freaky introduces some of the best young actors from around the country – many making their screen debut.
One of Freaky’s brightest young stars is Dan Costello, the “face of Freaky,” who introduces each episode and links the individual dramas with anecdotes from his own life. He is joined by a team of other young Kiwis.

An Avalon Production funded by New Zealand on Air, Freaky has made use of a whole host of locations in and around the Wellington region bringing a distinctive Kiwi flavour to the show. The first episode on Tuesday 18 November, introduces the freaky flavour of the show. It asks “have you ever ignored an “out of order” notice even though you know it’s there for a reason?” Karl experiences a sneaky ride on a broken hydro-slide, which takes him to a whole other world where it seems to be lunchtime for the locals. The only problem is that he’s on the menu!

Later Shane scams his way out of class – he thinks it’s always easy work when your teachers are gullible enough to believe you’re sick. Except, in this case, someone has sussed out Shane’s scam, and is about to make him clean up his act. Permanently!

It’s Freaky, and it’s happening weeknights, on TVNZ Family, on TVNZ 6.

Angelina Ballerina Daily at 9.10am and 1.10pm

Both on and off stage, delightfully stubborn mouseling Angelina Ballerina is bursting with personality and a passion for dancing – she practises her pirouettes and grandes jetées with exuberance. She is a little star with big dreams and is on screen daily at 9.10am and 1.10pm on TVNZ Kidzone, on TVNZ 6.

The animated Angelina Ballerina series for pre-schoolers is based on the award-winning books written by Katharine Holabird, and illustrated by Helen Craig.
British actress Finty Williams brings Angelina to life, and her real-life mother, Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench, voices the part of Miss Lilly, Angelina’s mentor and dance teacher.

Holabird has always been interested in early childhood development, and likes to write about the challenges of growing up: the trials of sibling rivalry, early friendships, school and bullying, as well as childhood dreams and aspirations.

“Most of the Angelina stories are inspired by family experiences and situations I’ve observed with young children,” says Holabird.

Holabird based the characters on her own little girls.

“When my daughters were little girls they wore their pink tutus everywhere. I began to write stories for passionate and determined little girls like my daughters, who love to twirl onstage and are always dancing around the kitchen!”

“Although Angelina is a mouseling, she thinks and feels just like a little girl does. Angelina’s character will be familiar to all parents of young children. She is emotional, headstrong and determined, and sometimes lands herself in trouble – but she always bounces back with a giggle and a smile.”

Tough Act Wednesdays, 9pm

There’s elation, tears, and lots of drama, in local observational documentary series Tough Act, which follows an intake of students as they embark on their first year at top drama school Toi Whakaari. If you missed it the first time around on TV2, you can catch it again on TVNZ Showcase on TVNZ 6, Wednesdays at 9pm.

Toi Whakaari has a reputation for training some of New Zealand’s top acting talent, and this series provides a rare insight into its often unusual methods of turning youngsters into stars. Tough Act follows the lives of the 22 trainees at the Wellington-based school as they start their three-year acting course.
It all starts with the highly competitive auditions. Hundreds of young people from all over New Zealand, and from all walks of life, apply. While some stand out as having star potential, others clearly don’t make the grade. For the 22 trainees accepted it’s a chance to pursue dreams of fame and fortune. As they head for a new life in Wellington, many are leaving home for the first time.

Tough Act tracks their first year of training, as these budding stars get to grips with life at the school. In voice, movement, acting and singing classes, the tutors push them hard physically and mentally.

Producer of Tough Act, Jeanie Davison, believes that anyone who’s ever dreamt of being a star, or who’s fascinated as to why other people would want to be one, will love this series.

“Tough Act is a rare insight into one of New Zealand’s great institutions. With such great access to the school, its staff and students, I think we’ve truly been able to present Toi Whakaari as it really is. From the outset, we knew that we couldn’t show the highs without also showing the lows – the result is a truly gripping series that makes you realise that chasing dreams can also be bloody hard work!”

Director Stuart McKenzie says the series will resonate with anybody who has struggled to make their dreams a reality.

“For actors their raw material is themselves — their bodies and their voices, but also their past, their emotions and their human vulnerabilities. I have huge admiration for the courage and skill it takes to illuminate other peoples’ experiences by revealing your own. I’ll be pleased if Tough Act gives a glimpse of how actors might learn to do it.”

They’ve got talent, they’ve got ambition, they’ve got intelligence, they’ve got beauty. But have they got what it really takes? Find out on Wednesday nights, on TVNZ Showcase.

The Classic Kiwi slot Daily, 6pm

Every day, you can sit back, relax and relive the good old days with some of New Zealand’s most memorable telly favourites, A Dog’s Show and Country Calendar, on TVNZ Family’s Classic Kiwi slot at 6pm, on TVNZ 6.

Huntaways, headings, and larrikin sheep are on display in A Dog’s Show, glimpsing dog-trials around the country. From Northland’s Maungatoroto, to Southland’s Gore, and the network of 96 dog trial clubs in-between, A Dog’s Show hunted for the perfect farmer-sheep dog-sheep combination.
Coined, “the War of the Woollies,” A Dog’s Show first went on air in 1977, and this rural sport is as popular as ever.

In the classic series on TVNZ Family, viewers can travel with contestants around the country, culminating in the fierce Cook Strait Cup, where North battled it out with South. In the sport, different techniques are tested by man and his best friend, to control devious sheep – they are moved through hurdles, across yards, into side pens and around paddocks, each course presenting different challenges.

It’s complicated, it’s skilful, and it’s good old-fashioned entertainment from heartland New Zealand. But wait…there’s more.

A Dog’s Show is followed in the Classic Kiwi slot by perennial favourite Country Calendar. Since its first programme in March 1966, Country Calendar is still going strong, over 40 years later – this week winning the TV Guide Best On The Box Award for Best Lifestyle Show.

The popular documentary series on rural and farming life shows viewers all aspects of country life – from farming the lowlands to working high country stations. Country Calendar looks at every possible kind of activity – goldmining, deer farming, sawmilling, wine-making, dairy-milking and onion-farming – there’s something for everyone.

For a daily dose of kiwiana, TVNZ Family’s Classic Kiwi slot is not to be missed.

Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends Daily at 8.05am and 12.05pm

“Spiders are spinning away in the trees, Buggies are bouncing and riding the breeze, Gliding through the sky, We’re flying high, The fun we hatch, In Sunny Patch.” An animated show based on the beloved children’s books by David Kirk, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends stars a family of adventurous arachnids who remind young viewers to get in touch with their inner bug as they explore the wonders of nature, daily at 8.05am and 12.05pm, on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6.

In each episode of Miss Spider’s, the gentle, kind-hearted Miss Spider and her family and friends give young viewers a bug’s-eye-view of a woodsy wonderland.
The show touches on social and emotional themes that pre-schoolers will be familiar with in their own lives. The overarching theme is about the importance of getting along with others – family, friends, and members of our community.

David Kirk, the author and illustrator of the beloved Miss Spider series, enjoys watching his characters come to life on the small screen.

“I think the writers for the show have done a wonderful job at conveying the same lessons I try to stress in my books: It’s important to be kind. It’s important to have empathy for those different from yourself. It’s important to enjoy the beautiful world we live in and to share it with others.”

Live in Concert Sunday nights, 8:30pm

Music lovers behold: Sunday nights host some of the greatest music legends of our time, with an eclectic mix of famous music events, in TVNZ Showcase’s new slot Live In Concert, 9:30pm Sundays on TVNZ 6.

The season kicks off on Sunday 2 December with legendary Aussie rock superstars INXS. Concert Live Baby Live is an electrifying event, filmed at the peak of INXS’s popularity. The show was shot with 16 cameras in front of 72,000 wild fans at London’s Wembley Stadium as part of their 1991 World Tour.
INXS’s celebrated vocalist, the late Michael Hutchence, is at his feral-romantic best, stalking and swivelling his way through an energised set of welterweight pop. Directed by award-winner David Mallet, the show features all their hits including New Sensation, Suicide Blonde, Never Tear Us Apart and Need You Tonight.

Live in Concert on Sunday 9 December spans many music eras, with Willie Nelson: Outlaws and Angels. Filmed in May 2004 at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre, Outlaws and Angels features a star-studded line-up to celebrate Willie Nelson’s legendary career, including: Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Al Green, Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many more.

In the following weeks, Live in Concert takes viewers from the ’70s to the new millennium and back again, with concerts including: Bob Marley – The Legend Live, one of Marley’s last performances before his untimely death; Tina Turner – One Last Time, filmed at Wembley during the Twenty Four Seven Millennium Tour 2000. Other concerts feature Elton John, Simply Red, Ray Charles, Bon Jovi, Roy Orbison, and Cher.

One of the highlights of the Live in Concert slot is Johnny Cash – A Concert Behind Prison Walls. This features legendary performers, Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt and Roy Clark performing their greatest hits for the inmates of Folsom Prison. The concert aired on national television, and features rare, live performances of this trio of superstars’ greatest hits.

Viewers who enjoyed TVNZ Showcase’s music documentaries will love these epic music events.

Karaoke High Saturdays and Sundays, 8pm

Sensational local drama Karaoke High, hailed as “the OC meets Fame, with a Kiwi flavour,” is back. If you missed it on TV2, or are a die-hard fan that can’t wait to see it again, you can catch the debut series on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6, Saturdays and Sundays at 8pm.

Kingston High is where everyone wants to go. Not only is it one of the best high schools in the country, it has a performing arts academy which is second to none. Competition to get in, and stay in, is fierce. Those who miss out coin it “Karaoke High.” And those who get in put their dreams on the line, and their destiny in the hands of the academy’s teachers.
Produced by TVNZ and NZ On Air, executive producer Debra Kelleher was rightly optimistic about the success of Karaoke High.

“Pushing young people into these kinds of artistic pursuits is inspiring and rewarding and there’s always a great emotional journey.

“It’s something the whole family can enjoy. It will provoke conversations at the dinner table and will bring the family unit together on a few different issues. It’s the kind of show everybody can hook into and a few episodes in they’ll be gripped by the drama.”

Featuring a stellar cast of fine New Zealand actors, including Miriama Smith, Phil Brown, Sally Stockwell, Ben Baker and Katrina Baylis, this exciting local drama has also put on the map some of New Zealand’s rising stars: Sharnika Robson, Alina Transom, Julia Walshaw, Paddy Fogarty, Michael Whalley, Ian Finau and Vanepale Sopoaga.

Kelleher found the country’s best for Karaoke High.

“It was filmed at Avalon studios in Wellington, but we hired the best freelancers from Auckland and around the country. We brought in crew from the South Island. And the same with our cast, our cast has come from all over New Zealand. We found the best talent in the country particular for this show.”

With all-original New Zealand music created just for Karaoke High, spectacular dancing choreographed by Dancing With The Stars’ Candy Lane, and gripping drama, Karaoke High is a New Zealand production not to be missed.

Bumble Daily at 7.05, 11.05am and 3.05pm

The much-loved, Kiwi pre-school favourite, Bumble plays again on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6.

Bumble is a warm-hearted and loveable magic bee. Every day he invites pre-school children to join him in the exciting world of Kiwifruit Valley.
Bumble uses the interactive style also used in other pre-school favourites, You and Me and Kidzone. Bumble engages viewers at the beginning and end of the programme with a song, which welcomes children. Twice during each episode, Bumble recaps the action, helping children to follow what’s been going on.

Bumble loves to play, sing, dance and have fun with his mice friends: Peek, Anna, Boo, and Fishy. He also likes learning new things and solving problems in fresh and inventive ways.

Peek’s motto is “act now, think later”. He has a strong sense of self-importance and takes his role as the biggest mouse seriously. He loves popcorn, playing the guitar and inventing things.

Anna is the smallest mouse and has to cope with the frustrations of being the littlest. She likes to draw and design things and loves books, cheese, playing the drums and being with her pet mouse “Squeak”.

Boo is the middle mouse. She’s a bossy-boots and a good organiser. She loves marshmallows, cooking and making things and plays the saxophone.

Last, but not least, is Fishy – Bumble’s special friend. Fishy is bilingual in English and Maori, and offers a unique perspective in the world of Kiwifruit Valley. He lives in a pond under a waterfall but can travel through a magic underground stream to a tank in Bumble’s hive. Fishy has a deep warm voice and loves to sing and joke.

Bumble and friends delight pre-schoolers daily on Bumble on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6.

Live in Concert Sunday nights, 8:30pm

Music lovers behold: Sunday nights host some of the greatest music legends of our time, with an eclectic mix of famous music events, in TVNZ Showcase’s new slot Live In Concert, 9:30pm Sundays on TVNZ 6.

The season kicks off on Sunday 2 December with legendary Aussie rock superstars INXS. Concert Live Baby Live is an electrifying event, filmed at the peak of INXS’s popularity. The show was shot with 16 cameras in front of 72,000 wild fans at London’s Wembley Stadium as part of their 1991 World Tour.
INXS’s celebrated vocalist, the late Michael Hutchence, is at his feral-romantic best, stalking and swivelling his way through an energised set of welterweight pop. Directed by award-winner David Mallet, the show features all their hits including New Sensation, Suicide Blonde, Never Tear Us Apart and Need You Tonight.

Live in Concert on Sunday 9 December spans many music eras, with Willie Nelson: Outlaws and Angels. Filmed in May 2004 at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre, Outlaws and Angels features a star-studded line-up to celebrate Willie Nelson’s legendary career, including: Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Al Green, Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many more.

In the following weeks, Live in Concert takes viewers from the ’70s to the new millennium and back again, with concerts including: Bob Marley – The Legend Live, one of Marley’s last performances before his untimely death; Tina Turner – One Last Time, filmed at Wembley during the Twenty Four Seven Millennium Tour 2000. Other concerts feature Elton John, Simply Red, Ray Charles, Bon Jovi, Roy Orbison, and Cher.

One of the highlights of the Live in Concert slot is Johnny Cash – A Concert Behind Prison Walls. This features legendary performers, Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt and Roy Clark performing their greatest hits for the inmates of Folsom Prison. The concert aired on national television, and features rare, live performances of this trio of superstars’ greatest hits.

Viewers who enjoyed TVNZ Showcase’s music documentaries will love these epic music events.