TVNZ Marvels at Agents of Slate for 2014

TVNZ tonight released highlights of its new-season line-up for 2014, with two of the most anticipated newcomers being Broadchurch on TV One and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on TV2.

But both series should already have gone to air — Broadchurch screened in the UK at the start of this year and S.H.I.E.L.D boasts the kind of buzz factor that demands fresh-from-the-US fast-tracking, like The Walking Dead.

TV One is digging back further into the past for another of its dramas, the Australian-made Rake, which already has screened in SD on the Rialto Channel and hopefully will get a free-to-air HD transmission.

The fact TV One is picking up Rake three years after its Australian premiere may have more to do with spoiling TV3’s US remake than the channel’s commitment to quality drama.

TV2 has picked up the new Karl Urban sensation, Almost Human, another Kiwi, Rose McIver, stars in the Once Upon a Time spin-off, Wonderland, Manu Bennett becomes a regular in Arrow, and Robyn Malcolm, who also returns next year as Agent Anna, will be seen in another Australian series bound for TV One, Upper Middle Bogan.

Other TV2 newcomers include the dramas The Tomorrow People (from the creator of Arrow), Trophy Wife and Intelligence (which is soon to bow in the US), and the singles comedies Mixology and Undateable.

Here’s the full press release:

TVNZ ANNOUNCES NEW SEASON LINE-UP

Television New Zealand has unveiled its exciting primetime plans for New Zealand’s most watched channels in 2014.

TVNZ Head of Television, Jeff Latch, says: “There’s so much to love about our 2014 line-up. TV ONE and TV2 have a sensational new slate of programming that we hope viewers will take to their hearts.”

Latch says the year ahead showcases the depth and breadth of TVNZ’s local and international programming.

“Mark my words: 2014 is going to be a standout year for local content. TVNZ will put to air more than $100 million of local programming. We’re proud to continue to champion our nation’s stories with a strong focus on quality New Zealand drama, comedy, news and factual programming. Combined with our unparalleled access to hit international shows, our viewers will be spoilt for choice.”

With more than 4,000 hours of New Zealand content broadcast on TV ONE and TV2 each year, TVNZ is New Zealand’s home of local content, and in 2014 the company will continue to offer the most first-run local programming in the country, with the support of NZ on Air.

Latch says TVNZ’s relationship with Hollywood heavyweights Disney and Warner – along with ITV, Sony Pictures and Roadshow – provides TVNZ critical depth of international content across its schedules.

“It’s no accident that the top performing channels here and across the Tasman have output deals with studios,” he says.

News and current affairs will continue to be the lynchpin of the TV ONE schedule.

“TVNZ has the country’s number one rating news, ONE News at Six; the number one current affairs programme, Sunday; the number one morning news show, Breakfast; and this year it broke new ground with the launch of Seven Sharp, which redefined the weeknight 7pm timeslot, where it is second only in ratings to the juggernaut that is Shortland Street.

TVNZ plans to build on its on-air news leadership and up its game online; delivering more video news stories, faster, on onenews.co.nz.”

NEW TO TV ONE

On TV ONE, David Tennant will lead the cast of Broadchurch, the gripping, highly-acclaimed British whodunit, which explores the ripple effects of the murder of a local schoolboy on a small, seaside town in Dorset.

Stylish and compelling, the brand new drama Breathless has been hailed as a cross between Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife. Set in the early 1960s, it sees secrets, lies and passions smouldering beneath the surface of the lives of the doctors and nurses of a London gynaecological hospital (“the best looking British drama since The Hour” – The Times).

Six-part thriller, Secrets and Lies, starring Martin Henderson, is a nerve-wracking plunge behind the curtains of Brisbane suburbia, exposing the dark secrets that lurk inside the house next door.

The outrageous and self-destructive antics of barrister Cleaver Greene are chronicled in the Australian drama series, Rake. Defending cannibals, bigamists, and racist shock jocks are all in a day’s work for the hapless Greene, played by Richard Roxburgh.

Robyn Malcolm joins an all-star cast in Aussie comedy, Upper Middle Bogan, where Sydney’s upper middleclass suburbanites clash with drag racing Westies.

In 2014, all-new Sunday Theatres will be telling some of New Zealand’s most dramatic stories with the very best of local writers, actors and directors at the helm.

Field Punishment No.1 introduces the heroes many of us have never heard of – the Kiwi conscientious objectors who were shipped off to France during WWI; Pirates of the Airways looks back at the 1960s, when the good ship Tiri made radio history for Radio Hauraki; the story of the recovery operation following the tragic Erebus air disaster is told for the first time in Operation Overdue; secrets, betrayal, love and survival are examined in Project L, the story of Louise Nicholas’ quest for justice; and the extreme adventure and intrigue of one of the Gestapo’s most wanted – Kiwi WWII heroine Nancy Wake – is unravelled in The Nancy Wake Story.

The comedy Cover Band looks at life’s disappointments through the eyes of aspiring musicians, The Silhouettes. The band nearly made it with their original material. Now they’re on the bottom rung of a very shonky ladder to nowhere special, stuck in a rut playing other people’s music.

Remember what John Clarke did with the Fred Dagg interviews in the mid-1970s? In Short Poppies, Rhys Darby lovingly pays homage to one of his comedic heroes and the genre of the spoof-interview, teaming up with David Farrier  to present in each episode a day in the life of an ‘ordinary’ New Zealander.

With advertisers looking for greater integration opportunities to showcase their brands, TVNZ is collaborating with commercial partners to support the making of great local content.

TVNZ’s first show from its million dollar, branded content initiative, Purina Pound Pups to Dog Stars, will screen next year. The heart-warming reality series will follow the astonishing journey of rescue dogs given a new lease on life with top animal trainer Mark Vette and his team.

Returning

The fifth season of MasterChef New Zealand will tempt taste buds and serve up another sizzling series of New Zealand’s favourite local cooking show, but with a new multi-night format, double the contestants and twice the spice.

Viewers will also welcome all-new episodes of Agent Anna, Offspring, The Following, House Husbands, A Place to Call Home, Mr Selfridge, Person of Interest, Scandal, and Call the Midwife.

NEW TO TV2

The television event of 2014, the brand-new action drama, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, sees Clark Gregg reprise his role of Agent Phil Coulson from the Marvel feature films, as he puts together a small, highly select team of agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organisation known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange and the unknown secrets of our world, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary, and proving that not all heroes are super.

The highly anticipated fantasy series, Resurrection, sees the people of Arcadia, Missouri changed forever when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return.

The biggest new story in local programming will be Step Dave. Dave is a twenty-something slacker whose life is turned upside down when he meets the woman of his dreams, 35-year-old Cara, who comes complete with three kids and mortgage, in this rollicking new Kiwi comedy-drama.

Rebel Wilson’s new comedy series, Super Fun Night, follows three quirky female friends in their 20s on their “fun-comfortable” quest to have fun every Friday night – even if it kills them.

Anna Faris and Allison Janney make dysfunctional families funny in their roles as mother and daughter recovering addicts in Mom.

In TV2’s Nabbed, the men and women of the Road Crime, Traffic Alcohol and Road Policing Teams need patience and a sense of humour to deal with Auckland drivers who drive everyone else to distraction.

Returning

2014 sees the return of popular primetime series Wentworth, Arrow, Revenge, The Big Bang Theory and Once Upon A Time.

And the line-up wouldn’t be complete without all-new episodes of New Zealand’s favourite soaps, Home and Away and Shortland Street – now in its 22nd year, it continues to dominate the 7pm weeknight timeslot.

Ramping up trans-Tasman rivalry, The Amazing Race Australia will for the first time include Kiwi teams. And telly’s multi-night titan, My Kitchen Rules, will also be back.

TVNZ Ondemand

Online viewing has gone through the roof in 2013 – Kiwis now watch more than a million streams on TVNZ Ondemand each week. Almost all TV ONE and TV2 shows are streamed on TVNZ Ondemand, and in the new year TVNZ will continue to fast-track selected new programmes online first, for fans who can’t bear to wait.

In 2014, TVNZ will completely rebuild and rejuvenate TVNZ Ondemand so viewers can look forward to the launch of a host of innovative new features that will make it even easier to see their favourite shows on the widest choice of screens.

For more details of TVNZ’s 2014 New Season Launch, go to www.2014tvnz.co.nz.

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13 Responses to “TVNZ Marvels at Agents of Slate for 2014”

  1. It seems that TVNZ didn’t take interest in getting any Fox shows on their network. It looks now that we have to wait until MediaWorks and Fox sort out some sort of deal to see our Fox favourites back on TV3 and Four. I don’t mind waiting till next year from what was said in the Herald, but Fox content is best suited on 3 and Four, more on Four as Four is mainly targeted at teenagers and young adults. With all talk of either Fox shows going to TVNZ, Choice or Prime, none of them suit these shows on their channel. Just like American Idol formally on TV2 went to Prime, AI was better suited on TV2 cause of their target audience, whereas Prime isn’t really a favourite channel for many viewers, when checking Throng’s daily primetime ratings. Fox wants their content in NZ, now that TVNZ hasn’t picked up any shows, it’s between Mediaworks, Choice and Prime, so Fox are gonna’ have to reason with MediaWorks and sort some sort of deal, ’cause us the viewer are the ones who suffer.

  2. You make some good points, Richard, but don’t discount Fox shows from TVNZ (or confuse what Fox distributes with what airs on its US channel). TVNZ’s executives will be working feverishly to cut some sort of deal with Fox. Nothing was ever going to be announced in time for the new season launch, unless TVNZ had gone for an output deal — but it doesn’t have the scheduling capacity to accommodate let alone maximise this. It will be keen to snap up as many shows as it can but can afford to bide its time. MediaWorks doesn’t appear to be in a position to bid big and Sky/Prime, despite speculation to the contrary, is notoriously tight-fisted with its programming deals. Choice isn’t a contender because Fox will be looking for top dollar, and only TVNZ and MediaWorks can deliver those. So expect most of the top titles to wind up on the TVNZ and MediaWorks channels, as free-to-air networks always pay more than pay-TV or smaller channels (which may pick up some of the leftovers the bigger channels ignore). There has been speculation that TVNZ might set up a third channel for Fox content but this would have to be SD only as it doesn’t have Freeview|HD space for another full HD channel. This is what Sky should be doing — negotiating a Fox channel but one that’s in HD and part of its basic subscription tier.

  3. I guess with rival MediaWorks not being able to do “fast Four” and same week on TV3, TVNZ will now have no incentive to rush these new programmes in for at least a year after they have been shown in the US. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been running in the US since late September.

  4. Hmmm, interesting points, too, Phil, but when I asked TV2 on their Facebook page about bringing The Simpsons back on TV2, they replied, “Thanks for your questions re Fox shows. Long story short, we can’t comment on these shows …” which still means they are still looking at their options. Another channel on TVNZ for Fox, that would be a very smart idea for the network, ’cause you look at Four, they had over seven hours of Fox content. If TVNZ take a deal, I have a hard time thinking that Four can recover from this. Their ratings have been been very sad the last few day — one day the top-rating show was Everybody Hates Chris — under 70,000 viewership. This isn’t good, and if TVNZ makes a deal, I don’t think Four would last in the future, just like TVNZ U. It’s not something I would like to see, as I will say again they are best suited on 3 and Four. Im hoping MediaWorks thinks long and hard about making some sort of output deal with Fox, but with MediaWorks finances not the best at the moment, well, time will tell.

  5. It seems that TVNZ have omitted Castle and Rookie Blue from their schedules, considering Castle season six is already airing in the US at the moment, and TVNZ are currently a season behind on Rookie Blue (with another coming in the US summer), I can’t help but wonder, are TVNZ having some deal trouble with ABC? Their comment on Facebook regarding Rookie Blue was “we don’t have the rights to it yet”, which hints at someone else (MediaWorks maybe?) potentially giving them a fight.

  6. A new HD channel would be great but looking at that forthcoming selection there’s nothing really worth waiting for. Agents of SHIELD started weakly and has gone downhill ever since. Tomorrow People makes you grateful for the BBC original. Resurrection sounds like a Yank rehash of the French Les Revenants. Maybe Almost Human but that’s been delayed in the US. TVNZ would be better off putting some of the $100m into public TV – news, docos and improving their shoddy HD service.

  7. thx1138: Wait until you see the BBC’s Atlantis then.

  8. Regarding Rookie Blue, it’s not part of TVNZ’s output deal with Disney and looks like a show bought on the market and TV One have confirmed via Facebook that Castle will return in the new year. TVNZ would be crazy to let ABC go considering all the success they’ve had since 2005. 100 million dollars would be perfect for public broadcasting but until we see a dramatic change in broadcasting policy it ain’t gonna’ happen! Interesting line-up for next year, cant wait to see Almost Human and Upper Middle Bogan along with the new Kiwi dramas. BTW, Philip is that title of this blog post correct and where is the HD heads-up post?

  9. All good points, Leo. Yes, blog post headline is correct. And have just (albeit belatedly) posted HD Heads-Up.

  10. Thanks Philip! Keep up the good work!

  11. Hi Paul, early reviews on Atlantis is that it should have stayed at the bottom of the ocean …

  12. The Hollywood Reporter’s just posted this take on Atlantis, suggesting it is see-worthy.

  13. I think that should be “sea-worthy”

    The IMBD gave it 6.1 out of 10

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2705602/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    Good to see the site up and running again 🙂

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