Filthy Rich: NZ’s most expensive TV show starts filming

Taken from NZ Herald.

Filming has begun on the country's most expensive television series, appropriately titled Filthy Rich, set to screen on TV2 next year.

The multi-night drama will star Miriama Smith opposite a cast of up-and-comers, including Josh McKenzie, Alex Tarrant, Taylor Hall and Emma Fenton.

They'll be joined by familiar faces, including Elizabeth Hawthorne and Jodie Rimmer.

The series, produced by Shortland Street's Steven Zanoski, received $8.25 million of funding from New Zealand on Air, the most money ever handed out to a single drama series.

Read the full article here.

Maori TV’s home-grown winners enrich comedy scene

Taken from NZ Herald, by Alex Casey.

Overshadowed by other seismic shifts in our TV landscape, Maori TV recently debuted local Friday-night comedies Brown Eye and Find Me a Maori Bride. Going head-to-head with comedy juggernauts Jono and Ben and 7 Days, both shows are adding some much-needed fresh perspectives to New Zealand television comedy.

... Find Me a Maori Bride is the second new comedy kid on the block, a fantastic mockumentary following two culturally-estranged cousins forced to marry a Maori woman in order to return to tradition - and secure a $47 million inheritance. It's the perfect blend of comedy, culture and chaotic camerawork - shambolically following the characters on their equally shaky journeys to love.

We meet George and Tama as they begin dating and desperately trying to claw back their cultural roots to win over the wahine. Stereotypes are brought to the fore and treated playfully; a comedic exploration of what it means to be Maori in modern New Zealand.

"I'm allergic to seafood, I've never owned a Bob Marley CD in my life," George laments. Te reo is peppered throughout the script, and subsequently misused by Amanda Billing's character Crystal. Subtitles reveal the English names for her children (one is called Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls.)

Read the full article here.

Must-see TV: Find Me A Maori Bride

Taken from NZ Herald.

No, it's not the Maori TV answer to The Bachelor NZ. Though there are plenty of moments in the early episodes of Find Me A Maori Bride just as excruciatingly hilarious as the recent reality show.

Only this time they are intentional - Find Me A Maori Bride is a mock reality series, one that has much fun skewering the fly-on-the-wall genre.

Fortunately, the makers of Find Me A Maori Bride have had some practice with that, having done the same on Auckland Daze, which mocked a bunch of struggling actors and their fragile egos.

Fans of Daze will find a lot to like here. Folks who don't like flash Aucklanders will too.

Read the full article here.

Westside: Outrageous Fortune rewinds the clock

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkins.

It opens at Mt Eden Prison, January 24, 1974, with Ted West walking out of the gate, finally free. He's all sideburns and leather jacket, mixed with a cheeky grin and sidelong glance. It turns out he's been inside for three years, having copped the sentence for the bungled burglary of a safe at Smith & Caughey's.

Yes, Ted West, criminal mastermind, is back. But it's not Outrageous Fortune, season seven. The original show's creators Rachel Lang and James Griffin have turned back the clock to find Ted in his prime. He's a charismatic 30-something, with a firecracker of a wife in Rita, and an 11-year-old son,Wolf, who's already showing signs of following in his father's footsteps.

There are lamingtons and screwdrivers, sausage rolls and crates of beer, lots of orange, lots of brown, vintage Holdens and Fords. This is Westside, the tale of Ted, his family and his gang, cruising and bruising through the 1970s.

Lang and Griffin never expected to return to the notorious West family - as Lang says, after they finished Outrageous Fortune in 2010, they were "really quite shagged". But though she was looking for a local historical criminal event to base a new series on, the idea for Westside popped up.

Read the full article here.

What Now’s new presenter Bianca Seinafo

Taken from

Bianca Seinafo has just been named as What Now's new presenter. She tells James Croot a bit about herself and what she's most looking-forward to in her new role.

Firstly, congratulations Bianca. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Bromley, Christchurch with a household of three brothers and two sisters, so my parents had their very own version of The Brady Bunch. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my wonderful church family - The Tafesilafa'l Community. This is where I got to strut my stuff on the Sunday school stage, I guess you can say. That's where my love for performance started. I love eating, laughing and spending time with my family.

What made you decide you wanted to be a What Now presenter?
Reading the job description and thinking back to when I was a kid watching. I knew I wanted to be part of the chaotic, funny, quirky and fast-paced world of What Now. The biggest factor in my decision to putting myself forward, was my two gorgeous nephews Cassius and Corleone. They watch the show and LOVE IT, so being able to say Aunty Bee is going to try and be on What Now and them seeing me pursue a goal of mine, was definitely very motivating!

Read the full interview here.

Dancing with the Stars full line up revealed

Taken from NZ Herald.

Heavyweight boxer Shane Cameron, broadcaster Simon Barnett and former Bachelor contestant Chrystal Chenery have been confirmed to join a new reboot of Dancing With The Stars, as the full line up is revealed.

The announcement confirms a Herald on Sunday story this week, which reported Pam Corkery, Maz Quinn, Siobhan Marshall, Teuila Blakely, Colin Mathura-Jeffree and Ben Barrington had signed up for the new series.

Radio host Jay-Jay Harvey was the first contestant to be announced last week. She will partner with South African dancer Enrique Johns, who she has already nicknamed "Brown Sugar".

No official launch date has been announced for the popular dance contest but the Herald understands it is due to launch at the end of this month.

Read the full article here.

Lucy Lawless to co-star in Starz’s ‘Evil Dead’ sequel

Taken from Hollywood Reporter, by Lesley Goldberg.

Starz is staging a Xena and Spartacus reunion.

The premium cable network has tapped Lucy Lawless to co-star in its Evil Dead sequel, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Starz announced Monday.

Bruce Campbell will reprise his role as the title character Ash, a stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the past three decades avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons — personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its evil grip.

Read the full article here.

Starz’s Evil Dead sequel casts pair

Taken from Hollywood Reporter, by Lesley Goldberg.

Ray Santiago (Touch, Meet the Fockers) and Dana DeLorenzo (Growing Up Fisher) will co-star in Starz's straight-to-series Ash vs. Evil Dead sequel, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Bruce Campbell will reprise his role as the title character Ash, a stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spend the past three decades avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons - personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its evil grip.

Read the full article here.

Chelsie Preston Crayford wins at AACTA Awards

Taken from The Age, by Garry Maddox.

Like a good thriller, the country's leading film and television awards have finished with a dramatic surprise.

The top prize at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards - best film - was a tie between Russell Crowe's hit drama The Water Diviner and the acclaimed-but-little-seen horror pic The Babadook.

With voters among the academy's 1733 members unable to split the two films, it was the first time in the almost four decades of best film being awarded that two contenders have shared the prize.

While the result was a talking point amond the industry crowd after the awards, academy chief executive Damian Trewhella insisted it was "not unprecedented", citing past AFI votes in other categories and the tie at the Producers Guild of America Awards between Gravity and 12 Years A Slave last year.

Read the full list of winners and the full article here.

Antony Starr relaxes after brutal Banshee shoot

Taken from NZ Herald, by Chris Schulz.

Bruised, battered and bloody, and with a split lip "hanging off my face", Antony Starr desperately needed to go to hospital.

But he couldn't. It was day one on the shoot for the first episode of Banshee, a bold but risky new TV show for HBO's sister cable network Cinemax that had plenty riding on the shoulders of the former Outrageous Fortune star.

Cameras were rolling, they were filming on location "in the middle of nowhere", and there wasn't time to fix Starr's injured lip. There was too much at stake.

"I was doing a fight scene with another actor. We mis-timed it and he threw his head up and split my lip," Starr explains.

"It was just hanging off my face. We were in a river and the director came up and said, 'Do you think you can keep shooting?' I went, 'Uh, yeah, sure.' We kept shooting for six hours, I went to hospital and they stitched me up."

Moments like that have become reasonably common for Starr, thanks to the punishing demands of his lead role in Banshee, with the show's third season starting on SoHo on Monday night.

Read the full article here.
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