New drama series on flamboyant lawyer’s life


Media Releases · Television · 13th May 2016

In the last funding round of the financial year a new five-part drama series based on the life and career of the late high profile criminal lawyer Mike Bungay has been supported by NZ On Air.

Made for TV One, Dear Murderer draws on the biography of the same title.

The producers, Screentime New Zealand, say “ the series will have you roaring with laughter one minute and weeping the next. It will not just be a ‘crime and trial’ piece but, rather, an intimate, personal encounter with one of New Zealand’s great and enduring characters.”

For a younger and family audience, a second series of Cul De Sac will be produced. The first series of this quality, dystopian drama has found an appreciative prime time audience on TV2. In series 2 Rose and her siblings continue their journey to find sanctuary from the dark forces that have invaded their world.

“Audiences will delight in the Dear Murderer story about one of the most flamboyant and outrageous men in New Zealand legal history. Stories such as this provide a creative new way to view historical events in New Zealand. We are also thrilled to have a successful science-fiction series for a family audience, adding to the diversity of funded drama content,” says Jane Wrightson, Chief Executive of NZ On Air.

This financial year NZ On Air has invested *$30.8m in local drama. That investment will produce 46 hours of viewing across a range of programmes including the acclaimed crime series The Brokenwood Mysteries to the yet-to-screen series Dirty Laundry, one-off telefeatures on the life of Jean Batten and the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, and the box-office hit Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

*Figure does not include comedy.

Funding details

Dear Murderer, 5 x 1 hr, Screentime New Zealand for TV One, $3,945,000
Cul De Sac 2, 6 x ½ hr, Greenstone TV for TV2, $1,139,997