New Zealand audiences have plenty to laugh about, with a resurgence of comedy shows available on local screens.

NZ On Air has funded one new and three returning comedy projects following successful debut seasons this year, providing new opportunities for comedy writers and actors.

Top Kiwi comedians will be pushed to the limits of comic invention in a new prime time series for TVNZ 2. Taskmaster NZ follows in the footsteps of the hit UK version, which this season featured award-winning NZ comic Rose Matafeo alongside British panellists.

The New Zealand version will set a series of bizarre, tricky and ingenious tasks for five local comedians who are expected to bring the kiwi ‘number eight wire’ approach to delivering results and laughs.

Educators, the improvisational comedy set in a secondary school, will be back for another season of gently poking fun at school systems, after a very successful debut season on TVNZ On Demand.

The two projects selected from last year’s Comedy Pilot week on Three, Mean Mums and Golden Boy have both found receptive audiences in the first full season, meaning they’ll be back next year.

The family-friendly sitcom Mean Mums celebrates school mums Jess, Heather and Hine in all their crazy, earnest, exhausted glory. It has had strong ratings and positive critical reviews.

Also well-received has been Golden Boy, in which recent graduate Mitch lives in the shadow of her All Black brother Tama, after returning to her hometown to work at the family dairy.

“Added to a growing slate of comedy, the investment over the years in comedy writing and performing talent through the likes of 7 Days, is paying off. It’s also encouraging to see strong On Demand audience numbers for this type of content, showing how linear TV is evolving,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Funding details

Mean Mums 2, 8 x 24 mins, South Pacific Pictures Ltd for Three, up to $1,080,000

Golden Boy 2, 8 x 22 mins, Mediaworks for Three, up to $1,034,808

Educators 2, 8 x 15 mins, South Pacific Pictures for TVNZ On Demand, up to $999,999

Taskmaster NZ, 10 x 44 mins, Kevin & Co for TVNZ 2, up to $734,953