Will What Happens in Vegas Stay in NZ?

TVNZ 2 has announced the cast of its latest drama series, Vegas, which will go to air this autumn.

The Greenstone Production is part of what trade paper C21  reports as “a significant expansion in original [TVNZ] content to put content from Aotearoa New Zealand (the Māori/English name for the country) firmly on the map”.

Of course, numerous shows already have done so, the latest being Wellington Paranormal, which HBO Max and The CW have jointly picked up for the US.

While that reflects well on everyone from Kiwi creators to commissioners, it also signals how much demand there is globally for content, most of it driven by streaming platforms.

These services are giving NZ fare a higher profile than the foreign channels that used to run it off-peak.

Here’s the Vegas media release:

Eds Eramiha and Cian Elyse White lead a stellar cast for TVNZ 2’s Vegas

This autumn, TVNZ 2 is showcasing premium drama, with local action-thriller series Vegas premiering with a cast of incredibly talented wāhine and tāne.

Cousins’ actress Cian Elyse White plays wahine toa Toni Poulan, a local business owner who becomes the central suspect in a drug deal gone wrong. In a twist of fate, a robbery is committed the same night at her tavern, which sets off a chain of events for dangerous factions.

This series sees White reunite with her 800 Words castmates, Miriama Smith and Alex Tarrant.

Eds Eramiha (The Legend of Baron To’a) plays protagonist Kingi, the newly appointed leader for Te Toki. His desire is to lead his people away from meth into a new life.

On his character, Eds says: “Kingi’s a protector but he is also very sensitive. He knows what’s right and he goes for it, he believes in himself 100% and is not afraid to take a risk. He’s passionate about upholding the mana of his whānau with integrity”.

Viewers will also recognise Katie Wolfe, Xavier Horan, Rena Owen, Dean O’Gorman and Te Kohe Tuhaka, who had a starring role in The Dead Lands, TVNZ’s co-pro with AMC’s Shudder last year.

An action-packed thriller which balances dark subject matter against moments of genuine comedy, Vegas shows that there is always hope, no matter the situation, and it is never too late to shift course. This is a story of love and brotherhood, against all odds, inspiring hope, and redemption.

On the final product, producer Harriet Crampton, who alongside Michael Bennett is a series co-creator, says: “Like all good stories, at the heart of Vegas is a quest.

Told through the lens of a gripping action series, the mission of our heroes Toni and Kingi, if they succeed in picking up the wero, is to revolutionise their town into becoming the whānau they long for.”

Filmed entirely in Rotorua, the series is produced by Greenstone Television, in collaboration with 10,000 Company and the Steambox Film Collective, with the support of NZ On Air and Te Reo Tātaki.

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