Filthy Rich

Filthy Rich is what happens when an incredibly wealthy family finds out it has three cuckoos from the wrong side of the tracks in its golden nest. Who will ultimately rise to the top of the Truebridge Empire?

The gap between rich and poor gets a whole lot narrower when three unsuspecting young kiwis find out they’re the illegitimate offspring of one of NZ’s wealthiest men.

Award winning writers Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan have teamed up to create Filthy Rich - the latest local drama for TV2. Rachel and Gavin have numerous collaborations under their belt, including NZ dramas Go Girls, Nothing Trivial and Mercy Peak.

Series producer Steven Zanoski also has extensive experience in the television industry, having created a name for himself in both writing and producing. Before taking the role of producer for Filthy Rich, Steven was a writer for the NZ On Air funded series Step Dave.

We asked Steven for some insights to producing this 20 episode drama series.

What’s different about Filthy Rich as a NZ drama?

It’s been a long time since New Zealand has screened a prime time serial, as opposed to shows with episodic stories. TVNZ were looking for a show with strong story hooks that would compel an audience across multiple episodes screening twice a week. This automatically suggested a show where each episode culminated in a strong cliffhanger – a serial of high stakes and larger than life characters.

Matching this storytelling, the overall look of the show embraces a heightened reality unlike the naturalism of other shows in similar timeslot. Many of these creative decisions came down to necessity - the mother of invention – to depict a wealthy world... on a budget.

What’s the magic trick for making local drama that audiences want to watch?

If there were a formula – either magic or a science – to guarantee viewer numbers then we’d all be filthy rich. Sadly, there is no a formula that I know of. I just want to make shows that I want to watch. And while I might not be the TV2 demographic per se, Filthy Rich is certainly a show that I would binge on.

With the deluge of foreign content available on multiple platforms, how does NZ content compete?

Our stories, our voices. We can only put it out there and hope our shows resonates with local audiences.

Why is it important to have local drama?

We’ve got to retain a presence for our unique identity on screen. We’re a country made up of cultures, ideologies and attitudes unlike anywhere else in the world. These aspects of New Zealand are what define us – and make our stories different to the dramas and comedies we see from other English speaking countries. It’s a nation’s artistic output that often defines its point of difference internationally. Our television and film are a great part of this.


Filthy Rich is a Drama Programme.

Filthy Productions Limited for TV2

20 x 1 hour

NZ On Air Funding $8,125,000

Filthy Rich was funded as an opportunity to once again have a strong local drama presence for a slightly younger audience, on TV2. TVNZ Commissioner of Drama and Scripted Comedy, Kathleen Anderson explains how it fits with their drama strategy.

Working with a wide range of local producers, writers and their teams, TVNZ - in partnership with NZ On Air - is committed to developing and showcasing the best ideas to the audience. TV One is home to our award winning Platinum One-Off Drama strand. On TV2 we continue to support New Zealand’s longest running and most popular drama series, Shortland Street, and we’re also on the hunt for a new returning series to replicate the success of past crowd pleasers, Go Girls, Nothing Trivial and Step Dave. This is where Filthy Rich fits in. The Filthy team are some of our most talented local story tellers.

Watch this show

This show is now off-air.
Missed an episode? Catch up On Demand.

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