5 December 2022

Local comedy is getting a boost in 2023, with six new and returning series receiving up to $5.8m funding in NZ On Air’s latest Scripted funding round.

A fresh Scripted comedy series for TVNZ+, The Queen, The Club, The Boy, The Girl And Everything In Between follows the journey of a son reconciling his relationship with his father, who just happens to be the most famous drag queen in the country.

Screening on Prime and Whakaata Māori, Broken Backs And Mountains is a new dark comedy series that explores the “ups, downs, tears and tantrums, joys and losses” of living with a disability.

A new sketch comedy show written 100% by wāhine Māori, Only In Aotearoa 3: Wāhine Edition will feature emerging and established comedians on both sides of the camera and will premiere on Whakaata Māori, Māori+ and Prime.

Volunteer journalist Guy Williams will return for the fourth series of New Zealand Today on Three and ThreeNow, as will coverage of five local events in the 2023 New Zealand Comedy Festival.

Five new comedians will complete an assortment of baffling and bizarre challenges in the fourth series of Taskmaster NZ for TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+.

“We’re delighted to support three brand new projects that will deploy humour to mine themes such as resilience, prejudice and discrimination, as well as three returning audience favourites that will continue to showcase our brilliant comedic talents from across the motu,” said NZ On Air Head of Funding Amie Mills.

Three feature films have also been supported for up to $700,000 in NZ On Air’s latest Scripted funding round.

Acclaimed director of Scarfies and Out Of The Blue, Robert Sarkies will helm a new as-yet untitled feature film for Three, ThreeNow and theatrical release.

Following the success of Lion King Reo Māori and Frozen Reo Māori, two new Disney films will be reimagined for audiences in Aotearoa, supporting the development of Te Reo Māori language revitalisation, music composition, Māori screen performance, production, and post-production.

Funding details

Note: Projects intended for the new ANZPM (TVNZ and RNZ platforms) are funded up to end of June 2023.

Broken Backs and Mountains, 6 x 22 mins, Great Southern Television for Prime and Whakaata Māori, up to $1,980,000.

Only In Aotearoa 3: Wāhine Edition, 6 x 22 mins, Kura Productions for Whakaata Māori, Māori +, and Prime, up to $1,134,000.

New Zealand Today 4, 8 x 22 mins, Kevin and Co for Three and ThreeNow, up to $972,997.

Taskmaster 4, 10 x 44 mins, Kevin and Co for TVNZ 2 and TVNZ +, up to $882,119.

The Queen, The Club, The Boy, The Girl And Everything In Between, 6 x 22 mins, Lucky Legs Media for TVNZ+, up to $629,120.

Feature Animation Series 2, 2 x 105 mins, Matewa Media for Whakaata Māori and Māori+, up to $500,000.

New Zealand Comedy Festival Partnership 2023, 5 x 60 mins, Three – Local Production for Three and ThreeNow, up to $265,377.

Untitled Robert Sarkies Project, 1 x 100 mins, POP Film for Three and ThreeNow, up to $200,000.