Two new drama series and a returning favourite secure $18 million in funding


Media Releases · Television · 31st July 2014

Local drama has received an $18 million boost from NZ On Air. Three series will bring unique New Zealand stories to different audiences on each of the three major free-to-air channels.

From the Platinum Fund for TV One, Hillary will be a landmark series telling the complete story of Sir Edmund Hillary’s life. The six part drama series has been created by the experienced writing team of Tom Scott and Greg McGee and based on the story told by Sir Edmund exclusively to Tom Scott for his biography.

Legendary safe-cracker and criminal Ted West and his wife Rita are the central characters of a new series funded for TV3 that is a prequel to Outrageous Fortune. Set in 1970’s Auckland the historical drama will take Outrageous Fortune’s large and loyal audience on a journey into Ted’s murky past, set against a backdrop of social and economic upheaval.

Meanwhile on TV2 Dave and Cara’s unconventional love story continues in a second series of Step Dave. Following on from its successful first season, the light-hearted feel-good family drama is back with the trials and triumphs of blended family life.

“We are delighted to have supported three strong drama projects for all three major free-to-air channels in a difficult business environment. Our drama strategy aims to deliver a diversity of local drama programmes for audiences, and these funding decisions certainly give viewers choice,” says Jane Wrightson Chief Executive of NZ On Air.

“Our Platinum Fund investment in Hillary is an investment in a drama that will preserve one of our greatest stories for future generations, while West Side Story and Step Dave 2 give appreciative audiences more of these successful and uniquely New Zealand stories.”

Funding details

Hillary, 6 x 1 hr, Great Southern Television, for TV One, $6,418,835

Step Dave 2, 13 x 1 hr, South Pacific Pictures for TV2, $6,820,420

West Side Story, 6 x 1 hr, South Pacific Pictures for TV3, $4,818,254