Outrageous Fortune prequel cast

Taken from NZ Herald, by Russell Baillie.

One of its stars is going from goalkicker to safecracker. Another plays her own television grandmother.

That's the cast of Westside Story and its stars are promising it will be a sexy and stylish 1970s-set prequel to Kiwi television classic Outrageous Fortune. The actors in the leading roles have been revealed exclusively to the Weekend Herald as the wide-collared big-moustached retro-revival of hit Kiwi dramedy begins shooting in Auckland tomorrow.

Original series star Antonia Prebble has been confirmed as playing her grandmother Rita in Westside Story. It's a role she took on earlier while starring as Loretta West in OF, during flashbacks to the earlier days of safecracking grandpa, Ted West who was played by the late Frank Whitten.

Read the full article here.

MediaWorks seeking new soap

MediaWorks has released a RFP for “a long running, daily serial drama”, with the intention of moving it forward fairly quickly.

The deadline for submissions is a tight 29 October, with the RFP available for download here

The MediaWorks release follows:

Mediaworks is very pleased to announce that we will be looking to commission a long running, daily serial drama for TV3, for on-air in 2015.
We invite production companies (and their co-production partners) to submit an initial proposal by 29 October, 2014.

We are looking for a broad appeal, five day a week, contemporary soap which will play a critical role in attracting viewers to TV3 in 2015 and beyond.
We want appealing, accessible characters and rich, dramatic narrative.
The series must be bright and entertaining, compelling and at times provocative. It will deal with real issues.
It’s likely to be family-centric (and suitable for a G timeslot). It must be firmly rooted in contemporary New Zealand, have must-see story lines and inherent longevity.
The soap must connect with the New Zealand audience, in particular TV3′s target demographic which is primarily 25-54.

We appreciate the tight three-week turn around but would like your initial proposal to include:

Brief concept, setting, core characters, treatment, and ideas for story arcs
We need to see evidence of a high calibre creative team – producers, directors and an experienced writing team. If you do not have direct experience in daily soaps or network television drama, this should not stop you submitting a proposal as we may be able to match you with someone who has the relevant experience.
We are also keen to see ideas for integrating cross platform – online, interactive, radio – which may involve creating specific content for those platforms.
We are very open to new and innovative production techniques and settings to ensure the high-volume, quick turnaround, nature of a daily soap.

Your initial proposal should not exceed 20 pages and should be submitted electronically to Pip Lovell-Smith ( no later than 5.00pm Wednesday, 29 October, 2014.

You will be advised within two weeks of submissions closing if you have been successful in making it through to stage two of our process.
Stage two will involve a pitch to a panel.
Mediaworks plans to begin development immediately upon choosing the successful proposal. The successful company will be required to follow a specific timetable for development over early summer.

We thank you for your interest and we are very excited about receiving your great ideas.

NZ On Air funds television comedy

Taken from NZ On Air.

There will be lots to laugh about next year with the two new and three returning television comedy series funded by NZ On Air.

In its latest funding decisions, NZ On Air has committed support for a new sketch comedy series that will give local female comedians a platform. Funny Girls will be written by and predominantly feature women. Made by Mediaworks it will screen on TV3.

The second new series is Word Up which will be made by South Pacific Pictures for TV One. With a quiz show format, three comedian-led teams will compete for laughs.

NZ On Air will also fund new seasons of the popular 7 Days and Jono And Ben At Ten on TV3 and Best Bits on TV One.

"Locally made comedy is performing well on TV right now. We are happy to see new concepts coming through, as well as continuing to support existing series that have built faithful audiences. In particular it is good to see a show specifically written for our excellent female comedians," says Ms Wrightson.

Read full funding details here.

Coverband: Even losers get lucky

Taken from NZ Herald, by Greg Dixon.

So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star?

Then listen now to what I say: just get an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play. Then, maybe, if your hair's combed right and your pants fit tight, you'll have a big hit and move to LA and ... then what?

Well hopefully, like Meatloaf bellowed, your rock 'n' roll dreams will come true. Bt what if they don't? It is with this alternative universe, the shaky afterlife following the half-life of rock 'n' roll success, that new local comedy, the terrifically silly and rather mishchievous Coverband (9.30pm, Thursdays, TV One) has decided to have some fun.

This is the story of the brothers Gibson, Matt and Alex, who started a band at high school. They played guitar and bass; Ivy was the singer. At first they called themselves Ivy and the Poison (ha!) "It was Ivy's idea," the opening voiceover from Matt told us, "to change the name of the band to just 'Ivy'." (a poke at the ego of singers! ha again!) And then they had the big hit and Ivy and Matt moved to LA - dumping brother Alex and drummer Knuckles in the process - and then ...

it all went pear-shaped.

Read the full review here.

Brokenwood Mysteries: A moment of sleuth

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkin.

It was Miss Scarlett, in the billiard room, with the candlestick.

TimeOut wanted to find out whether Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland's roles in new murder mystery series The Brokenwood Mysteries had heightened their powers of deduction. So we challenged them to a game of Cluedo, the winner being the first to discover Miss Scarlett's misdeeds.

It initially took us a while to remember the rules of the game (correct protocol must be adhered to) and get a little momentum going with our investigations, but once we discovered the secret passageways that ran between the kitchen, study, conservatory, and lounge, we were on a roll. Questions began flying as we tried to out-manoeuvre each other in figuring out who had killed poor Dr Black, with what handy implement, in which room of Tudor Close.

Both Rea and Sutherland claim to have figured out who the killers were early on in the likes of Broadchurch and The Killing, and their fictional counterparts - Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd, and Detective Kristin Sims - have recently solved four murder mysteries in Brokenwood.

So you'd think one of them would win...

Read the full article here.

Flat3’s new season trailer

Flat3 follows Lee, Jessica and Perlina as they try to figure out who they are, what they're doing in this life, and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper.

Sometimes smart, often silly, a little rude and a lot awkward, Flat3 is a Kiwi comedy with a unique cultural take - universal in its specificity and relatable in its fresh perspective.

The series is co-written and directed by Roseanne Liang, director of My Wedding and Other Secrets, and features new Go Girl JJ Fong.

Season 3's release date is 26 September, 2014.

FLAT 3 Season 3 Trailer from Flat3 on Vimeo.


David Farrier: I was Rhys Darby’s straight man

Taken from NZ Herald, by David Farrier.

I met Rhys Darby in 2007. I was interviewing him about the success of a small show called Flight of the Conchords. His wife Rosie was in the room, giggling away. Their first child was in a pram, sleeping.

My questions were pretty good, before my brain went to that bad place journalists have, full of terrible questions like "How did it make you feel?"

The questions I pulled out was. "Where do you get your ideas?" Rhys looked me directly in the eyes, paused, and guffawed. "That's a hack question!" He'd never been more right.

Years later and we'd become friends, mainly bonding over our low-fi radio show/podcast about Bigfoot called The Cryptid Factor. I'd usually do the interviews on the show, and at some point Rhys hit me with the concept of a TV show he was writing, in which he wanted to cast me ... as me. I thought it was a joke at the time, then Short Poppies happened.

Read the full article here.

Coverband: Playing jukebox for jokes

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkin.

Sticky-carpet pubs filled with rowdy drinkers, basly lit living rooms filled with inebriated party guests, sterile office dos with staff only there for the free beer - such is the glamorous life of a covers band. But the creators of a new local TV show thought it could be fodder for a comedy series.

It all started in 2007, when Johnny Barker's 48Hours film competition team, called Lens Flare, won the grand prize with a short musical comedy, Lease, about three hapless musicians. With the prize money, Barker decided to shoot a trailer with his teammates Jared Kahi and Brendon Morrow for a TV series idea they had rattling around, and see if they could get anyone interested.

It was when The Down Low Concept (Nigel McCulloch, Ryan Hutchings and Jarrod Holt, who also created 7 Days and Hounds) came on board that NZ On Air and TVNZ also came to the party with some funding.

"With The Down Low Concept's reputation, things finally worked out," Barker explains. "Initially I thought of it as a music-based drama, and now it's got that Down Low stamp on it, it's taken a very quirky turn. They're great writers."

Read the full article here.

Flat3’s ‘most ambitious season’ out this month

Taken from 3News, by Daniel Rutledge.

Kiwi cult comedy web series Flat3 is back for a third season, starting September 26.

The show follows three Kiwi-Asian flatmates as they figure out who they are, what they're doing in love and life and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper. It's been described as Girls meets Flight of the Conchords, with a touch of Bridget Jones' Diary.

Flat3 was created by stars JJ Fong, Perlina Lau and Ally Xue, who were inspired to make it through a combination of annoyance at typecasting and the desire to take the kind of comedy they loved and make it their own. The show is written and directed by Roseanna Liang and produced by Kiel McNaughton.

"At the beginning we didn't know whether people would like the show or feel they could relate to it, but the overall response has been so positive," says Lau. "People have been very generous in their responses and open about the show. We really appreciate the feedback and love that we've dreated something people can watch and recognise themselves or their friends in their characters."

Read the full article here.

The Brokenwood Mysteries - Coming soon to Prime TV

The Brokenwood Mysteries comprises four two-hour murder mystery stories set in a seemingly quiet country town where the town's newest resident, Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd, finds that murder lurks in even the most homely location.

Neill Rea (Scarfies, Legend of the Seeker, Go Girls) stars in the lead role of DI Shepherd while Fern Sutherland (The Almighty Johnsons) plays Detective Constable Kristin Sims.

Each telefeature in the series is a standalone story which sees the show's two lead police officers trying to solve a murder case. Chris Bailey (Nothing Trivial, Street Legal) is Producer, while Tim Balme (Stolen, The Almighty Johnsons) is the lead writer. James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Sione's Wedding) has also penned one script.

The Brokenwood Mysteries was filmed in the greater Auckland region and will screen on Prime TV in New Zealand later in 2014. The production received funding from NZ On Air.

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