The thing I love about hanging with the folk at Prime is that while they are genuinely nice people, they really love television.  I mean, they really love television.  So much so that they’re quite comfortable acknowledging that they’re self confessed TV geeks.  Listening to the banter between the presenters at their 2010 Season Launch definitely cemented that.

Prime has experienced some pretty good growth this year, recently achieving its highest peak share.  One can only assume 2010 will see that peak moved higher with a fantastic lineup as well as the Winter Olympics.

So what’s on the cards for next year?  Check out the list below and let us know what you think:

New Shows

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – 6am – 6pm daily

Celebrity MasterChef Australia & MasterChef USA

Last Chance to See

50 Years of New Zealand Television

Monty Python: Almost the Truth

Life After People: The Series

Nazi Hunters

Ten Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight

Make Me

World War II in Colour


Toddlers and Tiaras

Video Killed the Radio Star


Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire


The Goode Family

Surviving Suburbia

Being Human

Rescue Special Ops

New Tricks

Stargate Universe


The Listener

My Dad is Better Than Your Dad



Peta Unplugged in Marrakech


Property Ladder


Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey


Danger Beach: Muriwai


The Real Swiss Family Robinson


It’s Me or the Dog

Meet the Hasselhoffs



Extraordinary Kiwis


Doctor Who

True Blood

Midsomer Murders


Ashes to Ashes




Legend of the Seeker

Judge John Deed

Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Top Gear

Who Do You Think You Are

Bondi Rescue

Man Vs Wild

Super Nanny

Secret Millionaire

Wife Swap USA


Robin Hood

When TiVo goes on sale in a weeks time, although you’ll be able to watch Prime and Maori Television you won’t be able to view the listing information or program any shows to record from either of the channels.

Both Maori Television and Sky have refused to allow their listings to appear in the TiVo EPG.  Some are speculating that Maori Television’s decision is based on the 2011 Rugby World Cup broadcast rights but the official line is that there just wasn’t a compelling business case.

Sky are “slightly uncomfortable” with TiVo’s exclusive arrangement with Telecom while they prefer to partner with all internet service providers.  On top of that, TiVo isn’t planning on measuring ratings data until 2012 which would likely be the incentive both broadcasters needed in order for the scenario to change.

I think Prime deserves some belated credit for bringing us True Blood as quickly as they could and also bringing back Mad Men on the first of November, only ten or so weeks after it’s premiere in the States.

I don’t know whether their quick moving is reflected in ratings but I think TVNZ and TV3, who are struggling with low ad revenues, should start figuring out ways to close the gap between U.S. and N.Z. air times. I believe this will become more and more of an issue as broadband speeds (arguably) become faster and more people start using P2P software.

I know for a fact that True Blood being on air has saved me from the temptation of downloading it.

Well done Prime and keep it up!

SKY TV is moving to expand its programming roles as part of a commitment to developing its in-house channel management team.

Current Prime Channel Manager Karen Bieleski has been promoted to the newly created position of Head of General Entertainment and Prime, overseeing SKY’s in-house channels Prime, The Box, Vibe and Arts.

Prime’s Associate Channel Manager Kathy Wright will move up to the position of Channel Manager Prime.

SKY’s Director of Entertainment Programming, Travis Dunbar, says “SKY’s in-house channels are not only a crucial part of our offerings to viewers, but also an area of expanding importance to the company going forward. As such, the time is right to take a broader management view of their operation.

“Karen Bieleski’s sterling work on Prime and extensive background in programming made her the logical choice to add the in-house channels to her portfolio.  Kathy Wright’s promotion to Channel Manager Prime is a well deserved recognition of her contribution to the channel over the last three and a half years.”

“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, bringing me a much greater degree of involvement with the pay TV aspect of SKY’s business alongside my ongoing commitment to Prime. I’ll be working with a terrific team of programmers on Prime, Arts, The Box and Vibe and I couldn’t ask for a better role,” says Karen.

Kathy adds, “I am delighted and extremely excited to be taking on the role of Channel Manager Prime from Karen. I have been with Prime for nearly four years now and my commitment and passion for the channel has only increased in this time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Karen for being a wonderful mentor over the years and am excited to continue working with her.”

Claudia Aull, currently Channel Manager The Box, will now step into the role of Associate Channel Manager Prime and Sacha Willetts will continue as the Prime Scheduler.

The changes will take effect on 1 November 2009.

Over the last 10 years, NZ TV has lost the magic it once had. And maybe it’s just the people at TVNZ and the other networks, but it’s lacking color and shape.

TVNZ should at least get The Goodnight Kiwi back on air.

The production on most NZ shows, (if not, all of them), is absolute crap! It’s no wonder shows like NZ idol get cut. It’s called low level production. L.L.P, + bad outline,= a sh*t show. Nobody like’s that.

Someone like Pat Mesii, (mentor), should sort them out. Someone should say to them this…



I’m not saying NZ TV is the worst kind, what I’m saying is that I think that it can improve. We need less dramas, more entertainment shows.


Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Litterman type show in NZ?

Prime Television, Top Shelf Productions and NZ Gardener magazine are joining forces to create a unique gardening series to screen next year.

We are looking for an enthusiastic Auckland family – ideally a Mum, Dad and a few kids (teenagers included) who are interested in adopting a new more self sufficient lifestyle by establishing a home garden and creating a fully producing edible wonderland.

Ideally you will know a little about gardening but have very few edibles growing on your property. But perhaps you won’t know a thing and that’s ok.

You will be provided with all of the necessary materials and the expertise of our gardening gurus including NZ Gardener Magazine Editor Lynda Hallinan. You will also receive a small monetary reward for your time.

And your every success (even the odd failure) will be captured on camera for the country to see.

As a family you will need to commit for around 15 weeks of filming, several hours a week will be required and of course you will need to work your garden while our cameras are not about.

If you are interested in being on the series email us at
Please include photographs of your family and potential growing spaces.

If you are already an established gardener and therefore don’t qualify to be part of the series perhaps you could forward these application details to someone who might enjoy the experience of having a successful home garden.

The decision by Sky to put its free-to-air channel on the Freeview platform is a win for New Zealand television viewers, says Labour’s broadcasting spokesman Brendon Burns.

The move by Sky follows that of TVNZ in July to put its TVNZ 6 and 7 channels on Sky as well as Freeview.

Brendon Burns says both moves are commendable even if TVNZ and Sky have been all over the place on the issue until recently.

“Last year, TVNZ was saying that putting 6 and 7 on Sky would undermine its channels; and until very recently, Sky was maintaining that the cost of putting Prime on Freeview was too high and that rugby bodies would object.

“The winners in both instances are the viewers. Consumers who choose to buy Sky can now receive two non-commercial TVNZ channels which show some compelling new content and much previously-run material most of us never get to see.

“Citizens who opt for Freeview will now be able to get better Prime reception and be able to watch some must-see content, notably delayed All Black games.”

Brendon Burns says it’s a win-win for both the television channels and viewers.

“Freeview now becomes a better option for those who chose not to pay to watch television. Sky viewers, for little or no extra cost, have got two channels with solely New Zealand content.”

The MP says this is a signal of the future direction of broadcasting.

“With high speed broadband coming into homes, there will quite soon be a galaxy of viewing available. It is crucial that New Zealand programmes continue to be both made and delivered to the widest-possible audiences. That includes maintaining strong options of being able to watch material unique to us as a people without having to pay for it. Having Prime on Freeview is in tune with that.”

Freeview Limited and SKY Television announce that an agreement has been reached regarding Prime Television being made available on Freeview satellite® and Freeview |HD® platforms from Monday 17th August, 2009.

Having launched a little over two years ago, the availability of Prime on Freeview now brings the total number of channels to 13 on Freeview satellite® and 12 on Freeview|HD®. This is yet another compelling reason for Kiwis to switch from analogue TV to free-to-air digital TV.

More than a quarter of a million homes have already done so, as was signalled by Freeview in July 2009.

Freeview was created to provide consumer choice in digital TV access and this latest exciting development means New Zealanders can now choose to watch all national free-to-air channels in digital quality.

“All you need is a Freeview approved digital receiver and your existing TV and you can enjoy Prime’s programmes in digital quality for free” says Sam Irvine, General Manager, Freeview.

Current Prime viewers may also be able to take advantage of their UHF aerials which could provide them with access to the Freeview |HD® platform. All viewers need to do is to visit to see if they are in a Freeview |HD® coverage area.

Last week John Drinnan wrote in the New Zealand Herald that there was an expectation that Prime would be joining the Freeview platform within the next six to eight weeks.

Since TVNZ gave their two digital channels, TVNZ6 and TVNZ7, to Sky, it has been greatly anticipated that Prime would hopefully and finally make its way onto the Freeview platform.

When asked for comment on Sky’s position on having Prime on Freeview we were told

We want PRIME to be on Freeview, we are platform agnostic and want PRIME to reach consumers in as many ways as we can, however the cost of PRIME being carried on Freeview must be matched by the extra revenue that we generate by being on the platform.

Sure. And we’ve heard that before. Sky is a commercial operation and the costs vs benefits have to be weighed up. And…

When the audience is large enough to justify the carriage cost, PRIME will be on Freeview.

What a fantastic analogy of chicken and egg if ever we needed one. Sky must know that putting Prime onto the Freeview platform will provide it with a nice wee boost that will impact greatly on the audience size. But requiring that audience first when it seems fairly obvious that many wont make that jump to digital until Prime joins the party?


We are currently negotiating with Freeview to determine the breakeven point.

The fact that negotiations are actually taking place must be a good thing. I’d like to think that in 5-7 weeks we’ll have Prime on Freeview but I’m not going to hold my breath just yet.

PRIME Television is thrilled to announce that the following PRIME programmes have received nominations for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

MAD MEN, winner of last year’s Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series, topped the category once again with 16 nominations, including nods for Outstanding Drama Series, Lead Actor (Jon Hamm), Lead Actress (Elisabeth Moss), Supporting Actor (John Slattery), Writing, Directing and Cinematography. MAD MEN Series 3 coming Summer 2009

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS received six nominations including Outstanding Lead Actor in A Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics for their Season 2 highlight “Carol Brown.”

WEEDS scored six nominations, led by the series’ first Emmy® nod for Outstanding Comedy Series, Mary-Louise Parker’s third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress and Elizabeth Perkins’ third nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress.  

THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN received five nominations including Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Programme and Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series. Screens weeknights on PRIME

TRUE BLOOD received three nominations including Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series and Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series True Blood Series 2, Coming soon


“We are delighted to bring New Zealand viewers so many top quality shows which have received such international acclaim” said PRIME Channel Manager Karen Bieleski.

Prime Television will screen delayed coverage of the 2009 Primetime Emmy® Awards on Monday September 21st.  Prime’s broadcast schedule will be available closer to the time.

The full list of 2009 Primetime Emmy® Awards Nominees is available at