Country music, history, comedy and brain power – new local programmes in the pipeline

Media Releases · Television · 23rd July 2015

NZ On Air is backing a raft of new local arts and culture television programmes to appeal to audiences across the spectrum.

Brainiacs will be able to exercise their grey matter against the contestants in a revival of the quiz show Mastermind. The new series will add New Zealand knowledge questions to the challenges faced by the expert contestants. It will screen in prime time on TV One.

For history buffs Heritage Rescue will see a team of experts explore regional museums and heritage sites, helping them make their exhibits appealing and bring history alive. The programme, made by Top Shelf Productions, is the first funded by NZ On Air for the newest free-to-air channel, Choice, which has been on air since 2012.

Country music fans will enjoy a Prime Rocks special The New Sound Of Country. The one hour documentary looks at the new wave of country music sweeping New Zealand and the artists at its forefront, including Tami Neilson, Marlon Williams, Delaney Davidson and Barry Saunders.

We continue celebrating the best in music, again supporting the live broadcast of The Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2015 to screen later this year on TV3.

Comedy fans will enjoy stories of the life and talent of beloved westie Ewen Gilmour, in a one hour special. Ewen Gilmour Westie Legend will feature the last stand up routine he performed the night before his death, along with archive footage and interviews with fellow comedians.

“These programmes add real diversity to the mix on local free-to-air television and will all be available online. We look forward to seeing the audience response to all of these projects,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Funding details

Mastermind, 13 x 45mins, Warner Bros New Zealand for TV One $685,360

Heritage Rescue, 8 x 30 mins, Top Shelf Productions for Choice $484,039

The New Sound Of Country, 1 x 1hr, Notable Pictures for Prime $189,172

Vodafone NZ Music Awards, 1 x 2 hrs Mediaworks for TV 3 $166,000

Anzac 2016 Dawn Service, 1 x 2hrs, Māori Television for Māori Television $77,450

Ewen Gilmour Westie Legend, 1 x 1 hr, Mediaworks for TV3 $19,180