MediaWorks Unveils New Season Hot List But Fox Fare Still Not Snared

Hot off the press release machine are details of MediaWorks’ hot list of shows for 2014.

Notable for their complete absence are Twentieth Century Fox staples like Homeland, The Simpsons, Bones and Family Guy, because MediaWorks is still renegotiating its output deal with the Hollywood heavyweight.

And there are still no plans to upgrade Four to HD, despite its ratings growth and the migration of more TV3 HD properties to the channel, including Nurse Jackie and the keenly anticipated House of Lies, which was scheduled for TV3 this time last year.

Read on for what was announced, including a long-overdue weeknight vehicle for Paul Henry, more event reality TV in the top-rating footsteps of The Block NZ, greater investment in local content, and new shows from the studio deals MediaWorks does have locked and loaded:

MediaWorks TV tonight unveiled a line-up of bold, exciting local programming for 2014, sitting alongside a stellar line-up of international content. The new season highlights for TV3 and Four were announced at a star-studded evening launch emceed by Hilary Barry and Jeremy Corbett that also celebrated a hugely successful 2013 for the network.

TV3 will build on smash hit successes The Block NZ and The X Factor NZ with three event television series in 2014; a new season of The Block NZ, which finishes its phenomenally popular second series next week; and two major new local format shows, Cadbury Dream Factory and The Great Food Race

Created by TV3, Cadbury Dream Factory promises to be the most extraordinary and heartwarming show of 2014, as host Brooke Howard-Smith and the Dream Team of Jesse Griffin, Kimberley Crossman, Walter Neilands and Guy Montgomery, bring to life dreams of all shapes and sizes, from incredible life-changing surprises, to random acts of kindness. Tonight, the concept was vividly brought to life with an emotional surprise for one member of the audience.

The Great Food Race is a new competition format from the makers of The Block NZ, hosted by Zoe Marshall and judged by restaurateur brothers Leonardo and Lorenzo Bresolin. Eight couples who believe they can provide a world class home dining experience – anywhere in the world – are put to the test in a race against the clock and each other.

They will sit alongside a wealth of new local and international content, including: The Paul Henry Show, which brings the irrepressible broadcaster back to New Zealand screens five nights a week; the biggest new drama series out of the States, James Spader’s The Blacklist; Emmy Award-winning drama House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey; The Michael J Fox Show; Gaylene Preston’s highly anticipated drama Hope & Wire, set in the aftermath of the Canterbury quakes; plus brand new shows from Kevin McCloud, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, and Richard Hammond.

Returning favourites include: new series of The Graham Norton Show, 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten which anchor TV3’s big Friday nights; controversial crowdpleaser The GC; the ever-popular international versions of The Block and The X Factor; local factual series The Secret Lives of Dancers that follows members of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company; New Zealander’s other DIY obsession, House Rules; and the top-rating NCIS and CSI franchises.

MediaWorks TV chief executive Paul Maher says TV3 will again ‘own’ local content in 2014, with the very best in event television, drama, comedy, and factual entertainment, and news and current affairs from New Zealand and around the world.

“What makes MediaWorks different is its commitment to local content, the unique ability to work across television, radio, online and social assets to create real event television, and a willingness to be innovative, brave and bold,” he says.

“In 2013 we set the news agenda with 3rd Degree’s Teina Pora and David Bain investigations, had the nation talking about (and tuning into) The Block NZ and The X Factor NZ, premiered acclaimed local drama series The Blue Rose and Harry, and continued to light up Friday nights with 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten.

“Our focus on local has paid great ratings dividends for TV3 in 2013, particularly in the branded content area where MediaWorks is the undisputed market leader, and we’re taking the same successful two-channel strategic approach for 2014, with Four our pure entertainment channel aimed at 18-49 year-olds.”

The success of TV3’s programming strategy, which places local content at the heart of the schedule, complemented by the best international shows, is reflected in a 5% growth in the channel’s target audience (25-54 year olds) over the past year. TV3 and Four are the only free-to-air channels to grow their audiences in 2013.

TV3 is currently channel of choice for the 25-54 demographic, having won the lion’s share of the 25-54 primetime audience every week for the past three weeks. The success is driven by big numbers across the week, with top performers being The Block NZ, the 6pm 3 News bulletin and local comedies 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten.

Paul Maher also announced tonight that MediaWorks TV was increasing its investment in local programming, as a result of advantageous new relationships with international suppliers.

“In 2014 we will have even more ability to invest in local content, as a result of reducing volume commitments to Hollywood studios,” he says.

“International and studio content remains very important to our brands, TV3 and Four, but we are moving to create greater flexibility in our deals. We see this as critical to our future, and a major competitive advantage that will enable us to deliver even better solutions to our commercial clients and partners.

“The new relationship with Sony is a great example, delivering shows like The Blacklist, which I know will be a huge hit for TV3, without tying us into an output relationship, and we’ll be able to buy more progammes on the open market, where we currently acquire some of our most popular shows such as The Graham Norton Show, The X Factor USA, House Rules and Grand Designs.”

Selected highlights from the 2014 programming announced tonight are below (for the full list of programmes and additional information visit

 3rd DEGREE (Local): Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner host TV3’s in-depth weekly programme, leading the news agenda in 2013 with the Teina Pora and David Bain investigations.

3 NEWS (Local): Anchored by Mike McRoberts and Hilary Barry, the award-winning 3 News offers comprehensive coverage of local and international news issues.

7 DAYS (Local): The lynchpins of TV3’s hugely popular Friday nights Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego, Dai Henwood return in Kiwi favourite 7 Days.

BACK TO THE SOURCE (Local): Five 20-something Kiwis who love to shop are plucked from their comfortable lives and sent to Asia to experience the human cost involved in making their favourite products.

BEAUTY AND THE GEEK AUSTRALIA (Local): Featuring two Kiwi contestants, Beauty and The Geek Australia moves from the safe confines of the mansion to a beach-side paradise.

BIG BROTHER AUSTRALIA (International): Strangers living together in a camera-filled house attempt to win Big Brother Australia by being the last one standing.

THE BLACKLIST (International): James Spader stars as a criminal mastermind who mysteriously surrenders himself to the Feds, offering to help hunt down the very men he’s spent his career protecting.

THE BLOCK AUSTRALIA ALL-STARS (International): Four of The Block Australia couples return to fight for the winner’s title they felt they deserved but never received.

THE BLOCK AUSTRALIA SKY HIGH (International): Five couples, five floors, 80 rooms, one massive new series of The Block Australia.

THE BLOCK NZ (Local): TV3’s biggest local show returns with new couples, new houses and its compelling blend of real estate dreams and high-stakes drama.

CADBURY DREAM FACTORY (Local): Cadbury Dream Factory brings Kiwis’ dreams to life in the wildest, most unpredictable and highly engaging television event of the year.

CAMPBELL LIVE (Local): New Zealand’s daily current affairs programme weeknights at 7pm with award-winning journalist John Campbell.

THE GC (Local): Returning for its highly anticipated second season, The GC follows the lives of a group of talented and attractive young Māori as they work hard and play even harder on the glittering Gold Coast.

GRAND DESIGNS (International): Kevin McCloud charts the creation of some of the UK’s most extraordinary and inspiring buildings, and Peter Maddison hosts an Australian version of the iconic series.

THE GREAT FOOD RACE (Local): Eight teams of two combine their cooking, hosting and racing abilities in this brand new series from the makers of The Block NZ.

GORDON RAMSAY’S ULTIMATE HOME COOKING (International): Gordon Ramsay shows how to cook 100 simple, accessible and modern recipes to stake your life on.

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW (International): The fabulously funny Graham Norton returns for a new season of his multi-award winning comedy talk show.

HANNIBAL (International): A gifted criminal profiler teams with a cunning psychiatrist to solve murders in this stylish drama based on the character from Thomas Harris’ novels.

HOPE & WIRE (Local): From acclaimed filmmaker, Gaylene Preston, comes this gripping, character-based drama set in Christchurch after the devastating earthquakes of 2010-2011.

HOUSE OF CARDS (International): An Emmy Award-winning political drama centred on ruthless congressman (Kevin Spacey) as he navigates the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.

HOUSE RULES (International): Six renovation teams put their homes on the line and their skills to the test in a fight for supremacy and a life-changing prize.

JAMIE’S MONEY SAVING MEALS (International): Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver gets viewers cooking clever, shopping smart, and wasting less with his brand new series.

JONO AND BEN AT TEN (Local): Jono Pryor, Ben Boyce and Guy Williams bring some comic relief to your week in a new series of their top-rating late night comedy show.

KEVIN’S BEACH HUT (International): Design guru Kevin McCloud returns with a new challenge. This time he’s attempting to build his own beach getaway on the English coast, testing a basic hypothesis – is simple better? And is creating better than consuming?

THE MICHAEL J FOX SHOW (International): A father of three from New York juggles family, career and challenges – including Parkinson’s disease.

NCIS (International): The return of the ever-popular action drama that focuses on criminal cases involving Navy and Marine personnel, solved by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

NCIS: LA (International): A crack team of agents go undercover and put their lives on the line in order to safeguard the nation’s security in this top-rating series starring Chris O’Donnell and L L Cool J.

THE PAUL HENRY SHOW (Local): Broadcaster, author, raconteur and man of the people, Paul Henry returns to TV3 in 2014.

RAKE (International): A new comedy-drama series starring Greg Kinear as a brilliant criminal defence lawyer with a chaotic personal life, who specialises in the hopeless cases other lawyers avoid.

RICHARD HAMMOND: THE MIRACLES OF NATURE (International): This new three-part series follows Richard Hammond as he investigates the extraordinary super-powers of the animal kingdom.

THE SECRET LIVES OF DANCERS (Local): The Secret Lives of Dancers returns for its third season with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s biggest year yet.

THE X FACTOR (International): Brand new seasons of the international versions of Simon Cowell’s top-rating talent quest.

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7 Responses to “MediaWorks Unveils New Season Hot List But Fox Fare Still Not Snared”

  1. Sad that there is no X Factor NZ 🙁

  2. Sad no HD on Four but they can still churn out taxpayer-funded reality shows.

  3. What a pathetic line-up, they might as well close the doors for good.

  4. Hannibal is supposed to be an awesome show but already released on Blu-ray overseas, so most people who want to see this show will have either downloaded it or bought the Blu-ray, way before it screens on local TV.

  5. Looking forward to Hannibal and The Blacklist but come on upgrade Four to HD already. Talk about reality overload on TV3 and when is Four going to air Bates Motel? With The X Factor NZ supposedly not reappearing in 2014, does this mean we will be seeing the UK and Australian versions?

  6. I’d say the chances of Four going HD are zilch. No longer having Fox’s inventory to programme it with, and given the tightening of MediaWorks’ programme-buying budget, Four is doomed to lose viewers after two years of steady gain. The NZ Herald’s John Drinnan provided a good insight into this, and if he’s correct, less ad revenue and lower ratings equal no hope of HD. Bates Motel, I’m imagine, is a casualty of MediaWorks restructuring its NBC Universal deal. Like the low-rating Chicago Hope on 3, it’s probably been deemed expendable and not worth the extra cost of an output pact. Hopefully SoHo will pick it up for an HD run. I fear your worst fears about X Factor ad nauseaum are well founded.

  7. Well that sucks if FOUR will languish in SD. It looks like its short term gain and long term pain for MediaWorks. Something needs to be done to save FOUR or it will end up like TV4 in the ’90s and early 2000s. I do hope that Bates Motel appears on free-to-air as well.

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