TVNZ to Roll Out New Post-Survivor Comedies


TVNZ 2 will use the May 7 launch of Survivor NZ to promote two new comedy series and resurrect a third.

Survivor NZ will air 7.00 Sundays and 7.30 Mondays, with the former displacing new episodes of The Simpsons.

Premiering 7.30 Tuesday on May 9 will be American Housewife while the 7.30 Wednesday lead-in to the return of Dr Ken from May 10 will be Kevin Can Wait.

Dr Ken initially was a big hit for TVNZ 2 but softening ratings have led to the resumption of season two being hammocked between two shows the network believes will be stronger: the new Kevin James comedy and The Big Bang Theory.

Kevin Can Wait stars James as a newly retired cop who finds being a stay-at-home dad more perilous than life on the beat.

James created KCW with Bruce Helford (The Drew Carey Show, Anger Management) and his King of Queens collaborator Rock Reuben.

It’s been renewed after becoming the third most popular newcomer of the 2016-17 season with 18-49 year-olds in the US — despite averaging only a 39 rating on Metacritic.

Reviews ranged from “serviceably funny” (Variety) to “terrible and unimaginative” (New York Magazine).

Among the kinder notices was Newsday’s: “Kevin Can Wait is neither as bad as you may have feared nor as good as you may have hoped. It’s squarely and innocuously in the middle.”

After tanking with The Mick and Life in Pieces earlier this year, TVNZ 2 will be banking on KCW becoming its next The Middle.

While American Housewife hasn’t yet been renewed, it drew enough 18-49 viewers to rank 10th on the list of US newcomers.

It stars Mike & Molly’s Katy Mixon as a strong-willed mother raising her less than perfect brood in a rich town teeming with model families.

It fared better with critics than KCW . The Philadelphia Inquirer thought the writing “funnier and more pointed than the show’s premise” while the Boston Herald declared: “Not since Roseanne has there been a primetime comedy so poised to poke fun at economic class.”

But The Hollywood Reporter slammed it as “a paint-by-numbers sitcom that’s relentlessly stupid around the edges and deeply misguided at its centre”.

TVNZ 2 will launch American Housewife with a double episode before airing it weekly at 8.00 Tuesday from May 16, possibly after new episodes of The Middle.

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2 Responses to “TVNZ to Roll Out New Post-Survivor Comedies”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    May 3, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Hi Philip, it appears that TV2 is set to dump Empire to late night. Has it not performed in its in 9.30ish timeslot?

  2. That’s right, Leo. It shifts to 11.20 Tuesdays from May 16. Hotel Hell will take over its 9.30 slot. Empire’s ratings have been in decline for a while, which is why TVNZ 2 demoted it from 8.30 to 9.30 for the latest season.

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