Networks Turn Up the Heat on Formats War


Three will premiere Married at First Sight NZ on October 1 at 7.00 and air it two nights a week — Sundays and Mondays — for seven weeks.

On Mondays it will face off against TVNZ 2’s format rival, My Kitchen Rules NZ, which will debut on September 25 with a new look that sees Aussie elebrity chefs Pete Evans and Manu Feildel travel the country to meet new teams of home cooks

More than 4000 Kiwis applied to be on Married at First Sight NZ, in which 12 singles “partake in the ultimate social experiment” — to get married at first sight.

Social psychology expert Dr Pani Farvid and relationship counsellor Tony Jones will devise the potential “love matches”, MediaWorks announced this morning.

“It will create a lot of conversation which I think is relevant for us to engage in,” Farvid says. “Is marriage still important? Can arranged marriages based on science rather than family work?

“Dating has evolved massively in the last few decades, and technology is playing a big role in finding love.”

According to Jones: “The nature of relationships are impulsive and unpredictable. It is the authenticity of this experience as well as the absolute rawness of emotions, that makes it so interesting to watch.

“It is real, we can all relate, we will take great interest from the sofa and no doubt have much to say about what we see and hear.”

Said MediaWorks in its press release:

Married At First Sight NZ marriages are legally binding so the stakes are high. Following their journeys down the aisle, in weddings that range from the low key to the opulent, same sex to the over 50s, our 12 singles will finally meet face-to-face and be married before being whisked away as a couple on honeymoon together.

Upon returning, our married couples will move into an apartment where they will spend time getting to know each other whilst having regular therapy sessions with our experts, getting together for cocktail and dinner parties as well as the ultimate test of meeting their new in-laws.

As for season three of MKRNZ, the weekly hour-long show will forgo the Kitchen HQ setting to focus on the Instant Restaurant rounds, where teams compete to turn an ordinary home into a restaurant for one pressure cooker night (the sudden death cook-offs will be in commercial kitchens with teams going head-to-head to avoid elimination).

Predicts TVNZ’s Commercial Director Paul Maher:

Viewers will eat up the changes we’re bringing in this year. We’re focusing on the aspects of My Kitchen Rules that viewers love most – the drama, the food, the star judges and the Kiwi characters doing extraordinary things in the kitchen.

In a major coup, we’ve brought in Pete and Manu to front our local version. This takes the show to a new level and it’s increased the number and calibre of contestants from previous series.

Guest judges Nadia Lim, Ray McVinnie, Sean Connolly and Tom Hishon will join Evans and Feildel at the grand final to crown My Kitchen Rules New Zealand champion 2017.

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