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New TV Comedies For The New Year

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New TV Comedies For The New Year

NZ On Air has announced an investment of more than $3 million in six TV comedy programmes, to screen on TV2, TV3 and C4 in 2009.

NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said the funding included a new series of the acclaimed The Jaquie Brown Diaries for TV3.

"The first series of Jaquie Brown screened to widespread praise from audience and critics alike," Ms Wrightson said.

"It was funded through our Innovation fund, where NZ On Air invites broadcasters to take a punt on new ideas. The series was a risky idea that paid off in spades, a reality parody with excellent performances and scripting that rapidly found an audience. NZ On Air is very proud of the series' success." Also funded is a new series of Moon TV for TV2, an audacious late night series continuing Leigh Hart's attempt to squeeze a whole night's worth of comedy programming into a half hour show.

"This is the fifth series of Moon TV supported by NZ On Air," said Ms Wrightson. Its cult success makes it one of our longest running comedies and, as far as we know, the only one with cops in speedos," she said. A new series, also for TV2, will be A Night At The Classic.

"We're very pleased to support this one, in particular," said Ms Wrightson. "It will give a rare opportunity for up and coming stand-up comedians to showcase their craft in front of the cameras, bringing new talent to late night TV audiences. The series has a fresh format, mixing stand-up with scripted 'reality' and should be great fun," she said.

"It is a nice complement to Comedy Gala, the prime time TV showcase for the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival, which we are also proud to support". Out of the Maori Innovation Fund will come Brown Bruthas, for prime time TV3. Two characters running a fictitious South Auckland recording studio will provide fresh comedy - combined with the release of new music onto real radio.

"We created a special contestable fund this year to find new ways to get Maori talent into mainstream broadcasting," said Ms Wrightson. "This project stood out as a clever - and funny - way to achieve this simultaneously on both television and radio," she said. Continuing the fraternal theme, a brand new series for prime time C4 and late night TV3 will be Bogan Brothers, from the producer behind Eating Media Lunch and The Pretender. Featuring Back Of the Y's Matt Heath and Chris Stapp, the comic duo will leave improv behind - but keep the stunts.

"The producer has promised us these two comics have matured," said Ms Wrightson. "We do doubt this, being the slapstick experts they are, but will be interested to see how long they can keep up the pretence", said Ms Wrightson.

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