Lucy Lawless zombie series to premiere in NZ

Taken from NZ Herald, by Ricardo Simich.

Global zombie fans will be green with envy to hear that New Zealand will be the first country in the world to see Lucy Lawless star in Ash vs Evil Dead, when it hits our screens at the end of this month for Halloween on Sky Channel The Zone. Australia has boasted it will be first, but it is running two hours behind us. The US screening will be a day later, according to Zone channel.

It's a coup for New Zealand. That the series is being produced in Auckland by Lawless' husband, Rob Tapert, with Sam Raimi, makes it all the better.

Lawless stars alongside king of the "horror" genre, Bruce Campbell, who has told fans at Comic-Con to expect "kegs of blood". Spy asked Lawless what her favourite Halloween outfit was this year and how she was finding shooting in New Zealand.

Read the full article here.

Oz’s top show is about an Aussie shifting to NZ

Taken from NZ Herald.

A New Zealand-written and produced drama about an Aussie heading to Aotearoa to live is topping the ratings across the Tasman.

The third episode of the series, 800 Words, created by former Canvas columnist James Griffin and Maxine Fleming, and which stars Erik Thomson from Packed to the Rafters, was the most watched show on Australian television on Tuesday night for a second week in a row.

Its 1.17 million viewers beat the top-rated Seven News (1.11 million) and the X Factor Australia (1.083 million) as well as The Block (855,000) and long running soap Home and Away ( 827,000).

The series is a joint production between Auckland's South Pacific Pictures and the Seven network. It is due to screen on TVNZ in the New Year.

Read the full article here.

Webseries: Showgirls

Taken from Screen NZ.

Set in a cinema, this mad cap web series centres around the capers of two girls and their eccentric boss. With never a dull moment and more film references than you can shoot a Nerf gun at, this is home-grown NZ hilarity at its best.

Featuring Sia Trockenheim (Step Dave, 2014 NZFA Best Actress Winner for Everything We Loved), Brian Gibb (King Kong, Lord of the Rings) and hot new talents Lisa Sorensen and Summer Gribble.

Showgirls is co-written by Alex Casey (staff writer for The Spinoff TV, contributor to NZ Herald and Flicks NZ) and produced by The Creative State.


Westside goes 80s in leather, lace and leopard print

Taken from NZ Herald, by Ricardo Simich.

In the second season of Westside, the Wests can finally get down to some 80s Iron Maiden. The Outrageous Fortune prequel started filming its second season on Sunday and, as speculated by Spy, the 70s have moved up a decade to 1981, the year Charles and Di got married and the true NZ Westie identity began to take shape.

Costume designer Jaindra Watson and hair and makeup designer Maya Bailey are the maestros behind updating the characters looks from the 1970s to the early 80s.

But they've passed over power suits and the new romantic look as they are dealing with, well, Westies. Instead, the Wests' look is faded denim and 80s bad taste chic with big earrings. The girls have big, back-combed hair and there is bound to be a mullet trend coming for the guys.

Read the full article here.

TV3’s all-female comedy show

Taken from NZ Herald, by Ricardo Simich.

TV3 will be trying out an all-female cast in a new comedy show, in the male-dominated comedy scene. Funny Girls will feature Rose Matafeo, Jackie van Beek, Laura Daniel, Kimberley Crossman, Siobhan Marshall, Natalie Medlock, Madeleine Sami, Antonia Prebble and many more.

The show will be a series of sketches linked by a behind-the-scenes narrative and recurring characters, commenting on being a woman, modern life and the world we live in.

It was described to Spy as a bit like Inception - a skit within a skit. ­

Read the full article here.

Investigating the second season of Brokenwood

Taken from NZ Herald, by Calum Henderson.

There can be few more enduring pleasures in TV watching than settling in and spending an evening solving a nice juicy murder. And the good news is we're at absolutely no risk of ever running out of them. Poor saps are forever meeting their untimely ends in Midsomer. Old Miss Marple's always got her beak in a case. And then there's Poirot, Frost, Morse. Murders never cease.

The Brokenwood Mysteries, which returned to Prime for its second series last night, has carved out its own niche in the genre. Its first series, which screened last year, drew upon the abundance of essential murder mystery ingredients on offer here in New Zealand - small towns, eccentric locals, strange love triangles, petty infighting - and distilled them all into the fictionalised country town of Brokenwood.

While the show mercifully never strays too far from the conventions of the genre, it has always had a good eye for our local peculiarities. One episode in the first series revealed that Brokenwood has an emergent and highly competitive wine industry, for example, and Peter Elliott's pretentious, wine-obsessed big city radio host was almost certainly a gentle parody of Mike Hosking.

It's playful, often quite funny, but rarely feels quirky or contrived. There are steady hands at the wheel - the credits are full of people who have been around long enough to have a sense for what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn't. And despite the uniquely local tone, there is a definite universal appeal. Brokenwood is weirdly big in France - earlier this year an episode was watched by 3.5 million viewers, the second most watched thing on French TV that night.

Read the full article here.

TVNZ set to get dirty

Taken from NZ Herald, by Ricardo Simich.

The star of today's TVNZ season launch was the hot, sexy, scandalous multi-night TV2 drama Filthy Rich. Glossy TVNZ show reels showed a stellar line-up of programming across TV One, TV2 and On Demand for the coming year.

Multi-night TV has been the domain of reality television until now, but today's launch signaled drama is now on trend, with reality television on the outer.

TVNZ unveiled its new season line up to media at the Viaduct Events Centre this afternoon, where the broadcaster reiterated its strong focus on local content, alongside some of the best of what's available from around the world.

Key members of the TVNZ executive beamed smiles as they delivered sales-worthy pitches on the brand new and returning shows that will grace our screens next year.

Leading the local slate is the Filthy Rich series (which indeed looks hot!); spectacular Sir Edmund Hillary drama series Hillary; and the gritty new drama Dirty Laundry.

Read the full article here.

New Aussie drama 800 Words set mostly in NZ

Taken from NZ Herald, by Ricardo Simich.

A new feel-good drama is bound to strengthen trans-Tasman relations.

Called 800 Words, the show is an Australia-New Zealand co-production that's expected to be a hit with heavy promotion in the Australian Media and across the Seven Network over the past week.

The man with the golden pen, Outrageous Fortune writer and former Canvas columnist James Griffin, along with fellow star writer Maxine Fleming have written the new series.

The show is mainly shot in New Zealand with a few opening scenes in Sydney. The series is produced by South Pacific Pictures and Seven Network Australia.

It follows newly-widowed George Turner who decides to start afresh and take his teenage kids from Sydney to the New Zealand coastal town of Weld, where Turner spent his summer holidays as a child.

Australia will get to see the series first when it premieres on Tuesday night on Channel 7.

Read the full article here.

NZ Herald: Let’s see Dave step it up in season two

Taken from NZ Herald, by Alex Casey.

The second season of Step Dave, created by Nothing Trivial and Go Girls' Kate McDermott, premiered last night, stepping into the spotlight as a much-coveted and exceptionally rare difficult second season for a locally made production.

I once spoke to James Griffin, New Zealand television writing royalty, who told me he had never imagined that Outrageous Fortune would be renewed for another season, let alone six. So has Step Dave stepped up?

The premiere of season two opens with Dave and Cara's eight-month anniversary. It's the first of many reminders of their gaping age chasm - this is the longest relationship young Davey boy has ever had. Cara looks on at him like he's a puppy who has just learnt to do "paw" for the first time. He's so cute! So naive! But at least he's learning. These reminders come thick and fast, perhaps because on-screen the much alluded to age gap is almost imperceptible.

Jono Kenyon as the titular Step Dave plays the boy-playing-a-man role particularly well, soothed and slowed by the calm charisma of Sia Trokenheim as Cara. They are a convincing couple, and I'm glad that there was a resistance to dressing Cara in Ezibuy tunics and dusting talcum powder in her hair to age her beyond her years. It gives the premise, which could easily slip into some awful Cougar Town caricature, the right amount of realism and respect it requires. "I always thought having a relationship was about having a regular shag," Dave muses, eyes wide, "but it's so much more than that".

Read the full article here.

NZ-made fantasy series to premiere on Sky then show free on web

Taken from NBR.

Sky TV's sci-fi channel, The Zone, has announced its first-ever local co-production, AFK, a 12-part fantasy webseries which follows the adventures of six gamers trapped inside their characters’ bodies in the world of an online RPG (Role Playing Game).

Created by local writer-director Peter Haynes, AFK was entirely written, filmed and produced right here in New Zealand with local actors and crew who have all volunteered their time and skills.

“It’s basically The Lord of the Rings meets Battle Royale meets The Breakfast Club, with a distinctly Kiwi flavour," Mr Haynes says.

Read the full article here.
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