New animated TV series and returning favourites for young viewers

Media Releases · Television · 6th October 2015

A new animated pre-school series encouraging kids to explore simple science ideas is the first co-production funded by NZ On Air that is hoping to access the revamped NZ Screen Production Grant scheme.

Darwin And Newts will take youngsters on a comical journey of learning as two brothers figure out how stuff works. Under scheme rules revised last year, qualifying television animation and children’s drama projects are eligible for rebates of up to 40% on qualifying NZ production expenditure. These are the only genres that can also apply for NZ On Air funding. These genres have high cultural value and access to the grant means more content can be produced.

NZ companies Whitebait Media and animation partner Toonz will be making the series for NZ children but with potential for international sales.

Also for our youngest viewers The Moe Show returns, as Moe continues to solve everyday problems wth the help of his friends.

For older child audiences the afternoon magazine show Sticky TV will return for its 15th season while the classic kiwi kids show What Now – one of NZ’s longest running programmes – celebrates 35 years in 2016. Meanwhile, the animated The Barefoot Bandits will return with a second series continuing the adventures of Tane, Riley and Fridge on the fictional island of Ngaro.

Also back is a rebranded daily afternoon show for teens, The Adam And Eve Show, previously The 4.30 Show.

“We are currently reviewing our Children’s funding strategy to ensure we are keeping pace with the demands of this very mobile audience. We anticipate making changes in the 2016/17 year,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson. “Children are still very well served by television but are also increasingly accessing content online via a range of devices.”

In recent days NZ On Air has also announced funding for four digital projects for children and young people from the Digital Media Innovation Fund and three webseries for child and teen audiences.

More information on the Children’s strategy review is available at

Funding details

What Now 2016, 40 x 2hrs, Whitebait Productions for TV2, $3,189,000

The Adam And Eve Show, 200 x ½ hr, Whitebait Productions for TV2, $3,080,400

Sticky TV 2016, 264 x 35 mins, Pickled Possum Productions for FOUR, $2,374,290

The Moe Show 3, 26 x ½ hr, Pop-Up Workshop for FOUR, $2,202,214

Darwin And Newts, 40 x 11mins, Whitebait Media for TV2, $1,523,177

The Barefoot Bandits 2, 10 x ½ hr, Mukpuddy Animation for TV2, $869,054