By Dan Satherley
Target has been on the air for 14 years, but it seems no one was prepared for last night's shocking episode – not even the producer.
A supposed carpet cleaner, caught on camera masturbating to internet pornography and "finishing" into a pair of the Target actress' underwear, is facing charges of burglary and wilfully accessing a computer.
Producer Simon Roy of Top Shelf Productions says when he saw the tapes, he was in "disbelief".
"Fourteen years of the show, we've pretty much seen it all," he told 3 News. "We really weren't expecting that."
But perhaps they should have been. Mr Roy says in 2005, his first year looking after the show, a cleaner was busted doing something remarkably similar.
"But not as frequently, and he didn't steal broadband either," says Mr Roy.
"He was done for trespass, but he basically did the same sort of thing. He went into the actress' bedroom and grabbed underwear, lay on the bed and did the same thing, then put the knickers back."
Mr Roy confirmed the underwear the man repeatedly sniffed on last night's show, and "finished" in, did indeed belong to the actress, who hasn't met him since leaving the house prior to the sting.
The show's technicians saw what the tradesman was up to in a live feed from the house, and alerted the producers immediately.
"She's had nothing to do with him," says Mr Roy. "She basically left the house like we showed last night, and that was it. She's been dealing with the police since then."
Target didn't name the company, because the man's actions were "completely out of their control".
"I don't know whether the courts will gag it or not," says Mr Roy.
"Police will be reviewing his client base for the company that was involved. The company is doing a review of where he may have been as well.
"Also, the police do have possession of our computer, so those things are yet to be forensically examined, so when they've gone through that as well we'll know what he was actually looking at."
The man's employer condemned his "uncouth" actions, and sacked him.
The man appeared in Manukau District Court today, and received name suppression.
Since the show aired last night, #Target has been the top New Zealand trending topic on Twitter.
"With all this excitement over someone tossing off in a house, you'd think more people would tune into Parliament TV," tweeted viewer @missjenferguson.
"Well he cleaned the carpet. What more do you want?" asked Vaughan Smith, host for radio station The Edge.
"Let's not be too judgemental until we see what sort of job he's done on the carpets," tweeted 3 News anchor Mike McRoberts.
"#theGC still has more wankers than the @TV3nz #target show last night," quipped @BenLarter.
Media blogger @DanNews noted that daily deal website GrabOne today has a special on carpet cleaning.
Watch the episode On Demand.