Hot Off the Press Release: Three’s 2019 Highlights

The Magnum PI reboot, an ABBA reunion special and Mike McRoberts swapping his tie for sequins on Dancing With the Stars were among the 2019 highlights MediaWorks today unveiled for Three.

Many of the newcomers already had been signalled through NZ On Air funding announcements, such as Jonah and Westside’s fifth season.

But there were also details about the next season of The Block NZ, confirmation that at least one of the Kiwi comedy pilots will be greenlit for a series (subject to NZOA funding), and that Married at First Sight NZ, Gogglebox and Grand Designs NZ will be back for new seasons.

International acquisitions were sketchy, with only Magnum PI, season two of Tin Star, NZ-German co-pro The Gulf and the already announced The Rookie being highlighted as new dramas, along with spin-offs for America’s Got Talent and Married at First Sight Australia.

Here’s the full press release:


MediaWorks has revealed its 2019 lineup today, once again demonstrating the unrivalled depth of its talent and brands – both new and existing.

Dancing with the Stars NZ will return for 2019, Clarke Gayford will bring Fish of the Day to Three and up and coming star Mosese Veaila is introduced as Jonah – in the most anticipated drama for 2019.


Following a successful 2018 season, Dancing with the Stars NZ will be returning to screens on Three next year, with Dai Henwood and Sharyn Casey reuniting as hosts.

Straight off the back of winning Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs at the Huawei Mate20 New Zealand Television Awards for the second consecutive year, MediaWorks’ Mike McRoberts will be stepping out from behind the desk and trading his tie for sequins in 2019.

“I’ve loved dancing for as long as I can remember but I’ve never ever had any formal training so I’m actually feeling super excited about learning how to do it properly.

“Some of the best things I’ve done in my life have seemed at the time like insurmountable challenges; reporting from conflicts around the globe, or some of the world’s biggest natural disasters. Or even running marathons and competing in multi-sport events.

Dancing with the Stars NZ feels like one of those challenges – but perhaps with a slightly more glamorous wardrobe.”

Joining Mike is Matilda Rice who won the heart of New Zealand’s first ever Bachelor Art Green in 2015, as well as winning the hearts of the nation. Since then, her rise to fame has seen her garner an impressive social media following, become a brand ambassador, model, television presenter and publish a self-help book ‘The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Living a Beautiful Life’.

Upon joining the galaxy of celebrities who have been on Dancing with the Stars NZ Matilda says : “I’ve been watching Dancing with the Stars since I was a kid so I can’t believe I’m now going to be on it! It’s a little daunting learning something new on national telly, but I love to dance, so am really excited for the challenge.”

The live show will see a range of Kiwi celebrities going head-to-head as they compete representing a charity of their choice, with the winner decided by public vote. Further star-studded celebrity announcements will be made closer to the on-air date. Stay tuned! The Dancing with the Stars format is created by the BBC and distributed by BBC Studios.


A two-part documentary led by Newshub’s Patrick Gower will explore the pros and cons of legalising marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. The dope smoking cliches have been well explored in New Zealand but what is around the corner is exciting, challenging and fresh.

Paddy will explore this untapped billion-dollar industry and viewers will see Paddy like he’s never been seen before – unchained, taking an eccentric, quirky and personal deep dive into the world of medical marijuana and the prospects for big business. Topical and fascinating, don’t miss this TV high of the year.

Patrick Gower says this documentary is going to give Kiwis the real deal on weed. “My aim is to get to know more about cannabis than anybody else in New Zealand, then pass that onto the rest of the country. We are going to show the best of the drug – like its miraculous effect on people. And we are going to show the worst – the way it can destroy them too.

“This is journalism like I’ve never done before – I am putting myself right out there with the dealers, the growers, the patients and the addicts. And there are going to hell of a lot of laughs along the way.

“We’ll go from Northland to Colorado, Hamilton to Los Angeles and even down south to Nelson to get the answers. With Kiwis voting on whether cannabis should be legalised set for the next Election, there is simply no better time to do this.” Patrick Gower: On Weed will be part of the Three Event series in 2019.


In the build-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, this two-part mini-series based on All Black legend Jonah Lomu will be screening on Three next year.

The drama will showcase the phenomenal life of the boy from Tonga and New Zealand who took the rugby world by storm as he became the youngest ever All Black at the age of 19. Jonah would go on to become the first global superstar of the sport, leaving a legacy of sporting excellence in his trail.

Jonah will be played by Mosese Veaila, a 21-year-old hailing from Auckland, who just last week finished his final year at New Zealand Drama School, Toi Whakaari. Jonah will be part of the Three Event series in 2019.


Welcoming Clarke Gayford back to the MediaWorks family, Fish of the Day, hosted by Clarke, will be airing on Three in 2019. This series will take you on a journey to stunning locations, introduce you to fascinating locals, and surround you with some of the world’s most amazing ocean ecology.

Clarke will travel from the tropical South Pacific to the icy islands before Antarctica, challenging himself to catch fish, learn about the species and location, and then unlock secret mouth-watering recipes for his Fish of the Day.

Of the announcement, Clarke said: “2019 is looking great for Fish of the Day. Not only have we shot some of our best episodes yet, but we are really excited about our move to Three.”


The highly anticipated new drama series will air next year. Starring Kate Elliot, Ido Drent, Jeffrey Thomas and Pana Hema-Taylor (Westside), this German-New Zealand co-production will be a gripping thriller set on Waiheke Island, combining crime, moral disintegration and three haunting cases.


After a huge 2018 which saw her not only host The Project for its second consecutive year, but also present the recent Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards on Three, Kanoa Lloyd will also be fronting a new show in 2019 titled Moving out with Kanoa.

Moving house is one of life’s most stressful moments and this series will see Kanoa follow Kiwis as they make major life-changing decisions. With the cost of living rising, many New Zealanders are thinking outside of the box, putting lifestyle first and finding new ways and places to live in Aotearoa – whether that’s from the city to the provinces, urban to rural, to a tiny house, a boat or a house truck, Kanoa will be sharing these stories with the nation.

Kanoa says she’s thrilled at the idea of travelling around New Zealand to bring these stories to life. “There are so many hidden gems across our country and I can’t wait to meet the families who are venturing out to find them. I’m also quite nosey – so I will relish the chance to take a look into how people are living – maybe I’ll get some tips for decorating my own house?! It will be an adventure for everyone involved, I can’t wait!”

If this sounds like you, applications to be on Moving Out With Kanoa are now open. Apply here.


Following Three’s successful Comedy Pilot Week in 2018, the broadcaster has requested funding from New Zealand On Air. Stay tuned to find out which shows are funded and coming to our screens in 2019.


Celebrate music’s favourite Swedish supergroup in this highly-anticipated Three Event. This special two-hour television tribute will see all four members reunite – Agnetha Faltskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The special will also unveil the band’s new song “I Still Have Faith In You”, sung by the virtual ABBA digital representation of the band circa 1979 and dubbed ‘ABBAtars’. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that promises to entertain Kiwi audiences with some ‘70s and ‘80s pop nostalgia with a contemporary twist.

Andrew Szusterman, MediaWorks Chief Content Officer, says Three’s programming schedule is hitting the right notes.

“Off the back of a very successful 2018, we will offer audiences and advertisers a continuation of consistently high performing shows from here and abroad.

“Our local entertainment offering has been unparalleled for performance this year with number one shows in our target demo across drama, reality, documentary and entertainment, and for that reason we know we have the right mix in our schedule.

“Next year, this will continue – we will showcase our people and stories like no other network dares to.”


The Block NZ: Firehouse:The Block NZ veterans Mark Richardson and Shelley Ferguson will return to host the highly anticipated eighth season of the reno juggernaut next year.  New Zealand’s favourite reality show goes to new heights in 2019 in The Block NZ: Firehouse when four brand new teams of reno-wannabes will be tasked with making over high-end apartments in a coveted inner city Auckland location. Casting is now open for the show’s eighth season and you can apply here.

Married at First Sight NZ: It’s the show that New Zealand can’t get enough of! Married At First Sight NZ will return for a third season as 12 new Kiwis take part in the ultimate social experiment to find love. Participants can apply to be on the show here.

WestsideWestside will be back for the show’s fifth season. We left the infamous Wests after Cheryl and Wolf’s chaotic wedding when Cheryl confirmed she would go ahead with her pregnancy. Be prepared for more drama in true Westie style.

The AM Show: Back in January so that you can stay informed on weekday mornings with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson.

Newshub: Bringing you the latest and breaking news from New Zealand and around the world, Newshub is your comprehensive source for local, world, sports, politics and entertainment coverage.

The Project: Jesse Mulligan, Kanoa Lloyd and Jeremy Corbett are back in 2019 for your daily dose of news delivered differently.

7 Days: The hit comedy show that delivers Three’s big Friday night ratings is back for its tenth season! Jeremy, Dai, Paul kick start your weekends alongside a lineup of NZ’s biggest comedians.

Lost & Found: The tear-jerking local factual series returns to Three with host David Lomas. More Kiwis enlist David’s help to find long-lost family members in a show that is both powerful and emotional as relatives are reunited and cultural identities are uncovered.

Grand Designs New Zealand: The show will return with host Chris Moller and more fascinating Kiwi builds from across the country. Audiences will follow the planning, renovating and designing of some of Aotearoa’s most extravagant and ambitious property projects in this established series.

Gogglebox NZ: Gogglebox NZ will return with the spotlight on ordinary Kiwi households, as cameras capture their reactions to your favourite TV shows. Contemporary, warm and funny, Gogglebox NZ is great family viewing.


The Rookie: Starring Nathan Fillion, The Rookie is based on a gripping true story about a small-town American man called John Nolan, who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being a police officer.

Magnum P.I.: Three will be bringing you the remake of Magnum P.I., starring Jay Hernandez as an ex-Navy SEAL who returns home from Afghanistan and uses his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii.

America’s Got Talent: The Champions: The 25 biggest stars of international seasons of the hit reality competition come together in America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Featuring Susan Boyle, Paul Potts, and Kiwi act Tape Face, it will be a Got Talent season like no other. Judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel return, along with new host Terry Crews.

Talking Married: For those wanting an extra fix of Married At First Sight Australia , keep up-to-date with the insider scoop. Airing once a week, Talking Married will bring fans exclusive interviews, gossip and extra content in a recap designed for those who just can’t get enough.

LEGO Masters Australia: From the producers of Married at First Sight Australia and Australian Ninja Warrior, LEGO Masters Australia will bring to life the universal appeal of LEGO and amplify it to create the biggest and funniest battle of the bricks. Hosted by Hamish Blake.

Married at First Sight Australia: Three will bring you another season of reality hit Married at First Sight Australia . The Aussie version of the ground-breaking experiment will see a new group of 20 participants agree to marry a complete stranger as matched by a panel of experts.

Australian Ninja Warrior: The toughest obstacle course in the world will return to NZ screens. The best and bravest athletes across the ditch will get the chance to claim the ultimate title of the first Australian Ninja Warrior.

The Graham Norton Show: Hot on the heels of the UK, Graham Norton presents a show focusing on the people, trends, stories and aspects of celebrity culture that interest him most, featuring big celebrity names and plenty of laughs.

Grand Designs UK: New episodes will be coming to NZ screens as host Kevin McCloud follows intrepid individuals trying to design and build their dream home. Ambitious, grand and fascinatingly addictive, this season will feature even more builds that will leave you awestruck.

America’s Got Talent: America has got more talent coming in 2019 in an attempt to find the very best America has offer. The hit reality competition will return with legendary judge Simon Cowell.

Modern Family: The critically acclaimed comedy will air its tenth season on Three. Lauded for revitalising the television sitcom, the award-winning Modern Family offers an honest and often-hilarious perspective of family life.

Tin Star: Tim Roth returns as Police Chief Jim Worth and alter-ego Jack Devlin in this British-Canadian drama series. After being left destroyed by the chaos that had followed Jim and his alcoholic alter ego from the UK, this second season picks up where we left our unlikely hero, cut off in the remote Rockies wilderness with his grieving and shell-shocked family.

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11 Responses to “Hot Off the Press Release: Three’s 2019 Highlights”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    November 29, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Mamma Mia, I’m so looking forward to the ABBA special. Can’t wait.

  2. Did I miss the write up on TVNZ’s launch?

  3. No, there wasn’t one because of commitments beyond this site that had to take priority. However, I hope to post an overview of what the FTA networks will offer next year once Prime announces its line-up.

  4. Maybe the overseas content is yet to be finalised dependent on what the new ownership structure looks like and how much gets committed to television vs outdoor vs radio.

  5. I suspect that the Magnum PI reboot will even rate lower that Hawaii Five 0, which will lead to a short life. Even though there has been some crossover players, I stopped watching after about 8 episodes.

  6. Do you think that TVNZ 2 should be looking at rebooted series of programmes if these other channels can have things?

  7. I’m disappointed that they’re dragging their feet over The Rookie, I’d been looking forward to it and have started ‘acquiring’ it.

  8. More outdated programmes … More shows I’ve downloaded before I even find out if it’s picked up in NZ … more the same same same crap from Three. Reality rubbish and severe lack of international QUALITY scripted content.

  9. Agree, Chris. The only thing worth watching will be Tin Star s2, just to see how it crashes and burns.

  10. Why don’t TV3 fast track shows on 3now? TVNZ do it all the time yet TV3 seem to be a bit behind the times. Magnum PI is 9 episodes in and The Rookie is 6 episodes in.

  11. TVNZ and MediaWorks have different online strategies. TVNZ is building a comprehensive on-demand platform that helps to maintain its content acquisitions dominance amid new competition from the likes of Lightbox, Netflix and Amazon Prime while paving the way for an ad-free subscription service next year and freeing up its linear schedules for nightly reality strips. MediaWorks appears to use 3NOW as just a catch-up service to heighten interest in its on-air line-up. It has experimented with second-tier exclusives but has never fast-tracked Three properties online.

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