MediaWorks TV has unveiled its 2014 local and international programming tonight with new season highlights for TV3 and FOUR announced at an evening launch emceed by Hilary Barry and Jeremy Corbett.
TV3 will build on The Block NZ and The X Factor NZ with three television series in 2014; a new season of The Block NZ, which finishes its popular second series next week and two major new local format shows, Cadbury Dream Factory and The Great Food Race.
Created by TV3, Cadbury Dream Factory will feature Brooke Howard-Smith as host accompanied by Jesse Griffin, Kimberley Crossman, Walter Neilands and Guy Montgomery. The show promises to "bring to life dreams of all shapes and sizes, from incredible life-changing surprises, to random acts of kindness".
The Great Food Race is a new competition format from the makers of The Block NZ, hosted by Zoe Marshall and judged by restaurateur brothers Leonardo and Lorenzo Bresolin. Eight couples who believe they can provide a world class home dining experience - anywhere in the world - are put to the test in a race against the clock and each other.
Paul Henry is returning to New Zealand screens five nights a week with The Paul Henry Show. TV3.co.nz describes the show as "covering everything from the erudite to the outrageous ... Expect Henry’s trademark blend of news and entertainment as he shares his unique take on the world. Insightful, satirical, and always truthful, Paul Henry will call it as he sees it."
Also coming to Mediaworks TV is high-profile new James Spader drama out of the US The Blacklist; Emmy Award-winning drama House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey; The Michael J Fox Show; Gaylene Preston's drama Hope & Wire, set in the aftermath of the Canterbury quakes; plus brand new shows from Kevin McCloud, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, and Richard Hammond.
Returning shows include: new series of The Graham Norton Show, 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten; controversial The GC; international versions of The Block and The X Factor; local factual series The Secret Lives of Dancers that follows members of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company; House Rules; and the top-rating NCIS and CSI franchises.
MediaWorks TV Chief Executive, Paul Maher says TV3 will again "own" local content in 2014, with the very best in event television, drama, comedy, and factual entertainment, and news and current affairs from New Zealand and around the world.
"What makes MediaWorks different is its commitment to local content, the unique ability to work across television, radio, online and social assets to create real event television, and a willingness to be innovative, brave and bold," he says.
"In 2013 we set the news agenda with 3rd Degree's Teina Pora and David Bain investigations, had the nation talking about (and tuning into) The Block NZ and The X Factor NZ, premiered acclaimed local drama series The Blue Rose and HARRY, and continued to light up Friday nights with 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten.
"Our focus on local has paid great ratings dividends for TV3 in 2013, particularly in the branded content area where MediaWorks is the undisputed market leader, and we're taking the same successful two-channel strategic approach for 2014, with FOUR our pure entertainment channel aimed at 18-49 year-olds."
Mr Maher also announced tonight that MediaWorks TV was increasing its investment in local programming, as a result of advantageous new relationships with international suppliers.
"In 2014 we will have even more ability to invest in local content, as a result of reducing volume commitments to Hollywood studios," he says.
"International and studio content remains very important to our brands, TV3 and FOUR, but we are moving to create greater flexibility in our deals. We see this as critical to our future, and a major competitive advantage that will enable us to deliver even better solutions to our commercial clients and partners.
"The new relationship with Sony is a great example, delivering shows like The Blacklist, which I know will be a huge hit for TV3, without tying us into an output relationship, and we'll be able to buy more progammes on the open market, where we currently acquire some of our most popular shows such as The Graham Norton Show, The X Factor USA, House Rules and Grand Designs."
The full list of programmes and additional information is available at mediaworkstv.co.nz.