NZ On Air has today announced funding for a major new drama series, intended for prime time on TV One, from the writers and producers of Outrageous Fortune and Go Girls.
Nothing Trivial is a warmly comic drama based around a pub quiz team of five friends with one thing in common: each is unlucky or unhappy in love. The 13-part series will receive $6.9 million.
“We’re very excited to be supporting this project,” said NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson. “We’ve been looking for a quality drama to serve TV One audiences for a while now, and this one has all the credentials. The series deals with matters common to us all – life, love and the pursuit of happiness – in a witty and quintessentially Kiwi way.”
Made by South Pacific Pictures, New Zealand’s most successful drama production company, the series has been created by award-winning writers Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan.
Nothing Trivial is supported from NZ On Air’s contestable TV fund, from which around $66 million a year is invested to create a varied range of content for different audiences. Programmes include dramas, documentaries, children’s programmes, Maori programming in English, and special interest programmes (for example ethnic, rural, spiritual and arts).
“Our funding aim is to support innovation, diversity and value for money. We invest in worthwhile programming that the market alone cannot support,” Ms Wrightson said.
In this latest funding round, NZ On Air has committed $10.8 million to new programmes. This includes a new series of 7 Days for TV3, the weekly showdown between panels of comedians sharing their wit on news events of the week.
“7 Days has given Kiwi comedians high-pressure television and script writing experience, helping develop the New Zealand comedy scene. And, most importantly to our funding requirements, it’s a bona fide hit with audiences,” said Ms Wrightson.
Several documentary series also received funding, including three for TV One; Surviving Modern Medicine – a series reviewing the growing use of prescription medicine, Chef on a Mission, where chef Simon Gault looks to provide healthier meals inside some unique New Zealand institutions, and Keep Calm and Carry On – a unique guide for new parents presented by impending mother Jaquie Brown.
Ms Wrightson said the new projects were based on very polished proposals and are a great reflection of the talents and diversity in Kiwi television-making.