New to TVNZ OnDemand in May

Two top UK dramas spearhead TVNZ OnDemand’s May premieres.

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe (May 9) dramatises the true story of how John and Anne Darwin (Eddie Marsan, Monica Dolan) faked his death to evade bankruptcy by pretending he had drowned while canoeing.

Anne helped hide her husband in the house next door and filed a missing persons report, lying to police, insurance companies and their two sons for more than four years — until a photo revealed the duo in an estate agents’ office in Panama in 2006.

The series went to air in the UK at the weekend, where The Guardian dubbed it “an unforgettable tale of marital muppets” and The Telegraph “a very British crime story, superbly told”.

Four Lives (May 3, full series) is another true-life dramatisation, starring Stephen Merchant (Outlaws) as the serial killer of four gay men.

It asks whether the police did enough to apprehend the perpetrator – and whether prejudice contributed to the loss of lives.

Four Lives doesn’t linger on the crimes themselves, but balances the events leading up to them with the fallout,” the Independent said in its four-star review.

London’s Evening Standard hailed it as “a harrowing and fury-inducing re-telling of the ‘Grindr killer’ case” while The Time thought it “a well-drawn, controlled descent into hell”.

Ghosts (May 1, full season) is the hit CBS take on the BBC comedy of the same name that TVNZ 1 aired, about a young couple who do up a haunted house.

Rose McIver (IZombie) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Dropout) star.

Kid Sister (May 26, full season) is billed as “a laugh-out-loud comedy about a young woman navigating life as a Jewish woman in Auckland, where more people identify as Jedi than Jewish”.

Real-life brother and sister duo Simone + Joe Nathan star.

2000s Baby (May 7, full series), a five-part docuseries made by Re:, follows five 2000s babies in the lead-up to their 21st birthday party.

TVNZ OnDemand also will roll out weekly Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and S2 of Girls5eva from May 5, S5 of Doctor Doctor (May 9), and will stream complete box sets of:

  • Friday Night Lights S1-5 (May 1)
  • Skins S1-7 (May 18)
  • Covert Affairs S1-5 (May 29)
  • Line Of Duty S1-5 (May 8)
  • In the Flesh S1-2 (May 10)
  • Smash S1-2 (May 13)
  • Doctor Doctor S5 (May 9).

Ready to Mingle (May 6, full season) is a reality dating show that The Guardian described as a “complicated new series [in which] a single mingler pick one of 12 possible suitors, some of whom are already taken. It’s exhausting.”

Ruby and the Well (May 1, full season) is named after a teenager who discovers an old wishing well on the orchard her father inherits – and becomes the “newest well keeper” to grant the unfulfilled wishes of the locals.

Other May 1 premieres will include:

  • Coming of Age in Cherry Grove (OUTtv), a documentary about the famous LGBTQ Fire Island community, as they celebrate the ‘invasion’, an annual July 4 ritual that celebrates gender acceptance
  • Camp Wannakiki (OUTtv), in which eight drag performers spend the week at an actual summer camp
  • Influence (Pulse) charts the recent advancements in weaponised communication by investigating the rise and fall of the world’s most notorious public relations and reputation management firm: the British multinational, Bell Pottinger
  • Betting on Zero (Pulse) follows hedge fund titan Bill Ackman on his crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history – only to be accused of being a market manipulator out to bankrupt them .

Also watch for From the Vault: Kiwi Music Flashbacks (May 1), Kea Kids News (May 11), S3 of Detention Adventures (May 14) and from May 1 on the branded channels:

[adult swim]

Smiling Friends S1

Tender Touches S1-3


Iron Fury

The Realm


Vanished: Searching for my Sister

The Lover in the Attic: A True Story

Big Driver

Deadly Secrets by the Lake

Outdoor Channel

Buccaneers and Bones S5

Gold Fever S4

Wild Boar Fever X S2


Nubia Amplified S1B


Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn


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