No Blu-ray for Blue Rose But More NZ HD Dramas Soon to Bloom

The Blue Rose ends its run tonight (TV3, 9.45) within 24 hours of the next season of Go Girls going to air and barely two days ahead of its release on DVD.

While the HD drama misses out on Blu-ray distribution, the DVD set is beautifully packaged with an inner and outer sleeve, and includes interviews with stars Siobhan Marshall and Antonia Prebble, a walk-through the set of Mosely & Loveridge, and alternative endings to tonight’s final scene.

Chances are it will be the final scene of the series as the show’s low ratings suggest there’s scant hope of renewal — despite its critical kudos here and abroad.

For instance, it’s the only Kiwi contender in the Drama TV Series category of this year’s Festival de Television de Monte-Carlo (June 9-13).

Among the 11 other nominees in this prestigious showcasing of the world’s best TV shows are Homeland, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Danish sensations Borgen III (the first season of which has just been released here on DVD) and Forbrydelsen (The Killing) III.

While The Blue Rose quickly lost its bloom with viewers, Go Girls, on the other hand, has evolved into the most successful local drama series since Outrageous Fortune.

Production will wrap early next month of the fifth season, which TV2 launches 8.45 Tuesday in what was previously Revenge’s slot (the latter moves back an hour).

Herald on Sunday critic Nick Grant reckons the reboot of the series, with a new cast, will be a winner from the get-go.

“Whether this new Go Girls elicits a collective cheer or jeer will largely depend on the established audience’s expectations being met by the new characters and the actors who play them.

“I reckon those cast members are sufficiently talented and charismatic to keep the series rolling along for a while yet, if not enshrine it as an Energizer Bunny of New Zealand TV to rival the apparently eternal Shortland Street.”

Both Go Girls and The Blue Rose are from South Pacific Pictures, the company behind two other returning HD dramas: Nothing Trivial and The Almighty Johnsons.

Season three of Nothing Trivial will start filming in SPP’s Henderson Studios next month, as soon as season three of The Almighty Johnsons wraps.

While the latter’s renewal was a close call, with ratings for the second season disappointing after the first, its global appeal is such that it’s been picked up for SPACE in Canada, SyFy UK and SciFi in Australia.

TAJ also has a new producer this year, Mark Beesley. He’s taken over from Simon Bennett, who’s now producing Shortland Street, and will direct some episodes as well.

In addition to its untouchable TV drama slate, SPP has a new movie pending called White Lies.

The Maori medicine woman drama is based on the Witi Ihimaera (Whale Rider) novel, includes Rose’s Prebble in the cast and opens on June 27.

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