Power of 10 new game show on TV3

4 08 2008

Power of 10 is going to be the biggest-money game show in the history of television, and I really hope someone wins the US$10 million.” – Drew Carey.

This week 3 proudly premieres one of the most exciting new game shows since Deal or No Deal; Power of 10 premieres Wednesday, August 13th at 7:30 on TV3.

Power of 10 Host Drew Carey

Power of 10 Host Drew Carey

Hosted by Drew Carey (Whose Line is it Anyway?, The Drew Carey Show), Power of 10 reaches out all across America to poll thousands of people and ask them just about everything, yielding questions like “What percentage of Americans said they were virgins the day they got married?” and “How many Americans believe they are smarter than the president?”

Each week, contestants find out whether they have their finger on the pulse of the people and can accurately predict the results of the nationwide surveys. With the first question worth $1,000 and only five questions to answer, each one increasing 10 times in value, the contestant who has the best take on the American mind-set could walk away with a $10 million payday!

This concept proved interesting enough for Carey to return to television with another game show after swearing off them after Whose Line is it Anyway?

“I would have been quite happy to never, ever be on another TV game show,” Carey says, “but this sounded so interesting to me, I said I’d do it. It was a big thing that [Who Wants to be a Millionaire? executive producer] Michael Davies was doing it, and I think people who watch it will rethink what they believe America believes.”

Carey also said that since he does not know the answers to the questions, he gets to “play along with the contestants,” for whom he has often has much empathy.

“I feel for people when they play the game. I want them to win, and I want to help them make the right decision. I guess that shows through,” he says.

“You don’t want to cheat anyone out of their opportunity to make money, but if somebody’s making a guess that’s so far off, you kind of have to go, ‘Whoa! Don’t blow it!’

And with US$10 million on the line it’s certainly easy to lose your nerve and “blow it”. Let’s hope our first bunch of contestants won’t have that problem when Power of 10 premieres on Wednesday, August 13th at 7:30 on TV3.


The 200kg Kid documentary

25 07 2008

At almost 200kg, 15-year-old Haumoana Kopua is believed to be New Zealand’s heaviest teenager. He is already showing early signs of serious diseases, but his family have embarked on countless failed diet and exercise regimes and they feel as though they are out of options. Could surgery be the answer? Inside New Zealand: The 200kg Kid finds out on Thursday, August 7th at 9:30pm on 3.

At 14-years-old, Haumoana hit 190kg. Now too big to exercise, he is unable to bend over to pick up a ball, and even walking is difficult. His family fear he could be bedridden within a decade and Haumoana’s, surgeon Dr. Rob Fris believes “medical intervention is his only chance at a normal life.”

Gastric banding has never been performed on someone as young as Haumoana in New Zealand. He could lose up to 100kg and be half his size, but only if he’s prepared to make big changes.

Only five teenagers in the last five years have been funded for obesity surgery by the Ministry of Health due to very limited public funding. However Haumoana’s family need to raise $15,000 for the operation to happen privately otherwise he could be on the waiting list for years.

Surgery for the morbidly obese is considered an extreme intervention by the MoH, but Dr Fris believes that in the long run they save the system money. Obesity related costs to the health system are between $450 million and $500 million per year, making the cost of an operation seem comparatively small. As Dr Fris advocates, “It’s not a cosmetic operation. It’s an operation to save lives.”

Inside New Zealand: The 200kg Kid learns the fate of Haumoana on Thursday, August 7th at 9:30pm on 3.

Documentary follows dwarf in his aim to find love

22 07 2008

Inside New Zealand: A Little Love Story, screening Thursday, July 31st at 9:30pm on TV3, is the unique New Zealand story of Matthew, a dwarf from Auckland who travels to the USA with the aim to find true love at the worlds’ largest gathering of Little People.

At 4 foot 5, Matthew is at the top end of dwarfism with the most common form of dwarfism, Acondraplasia. He has no distinguishing facial features and is fit and strong. He’s a typical kiwi guy who enjoys sport, going to pubs, dancing and hanging out with his friends, both average size and little.

Travelling to America in search of that special someone was something Matthew didn’t take lightly and every so often he found the process challenging.

“At times being followed all the time was hard. On several occasions I made sure that I lost the film crew so I could have personal time with some really nice women,” he says.

Matthew has made a great life for himself in Auckland. He has a job he loves at a cactus nursery, is a record-breaking bodybuilder and has his own apartment in the central city. All that’s missing for Mathew is a partner or better still a wife. Most of his girlfriends have been average sized women, but now he is in his 30s he is keen to settle down, preferably with someone who’s also a Little Person.

Matthew found he learnt a lot about himself while filming the documentary.

“Everyone at the conference called me a conference virgin. Your first LPA conference knocks all new Little People over. I loved being one of the taller LP’s there. I wished I could have relaxed more too,” he says.

“It was hard sometimes to relax when you had a documentary crew with you. Next time I go to the conference I need to meet more people. I wished I had better time management. The eight day conference goes by really quickly.”

With only around 150 Little People in New Zealand the chances of finding a partner your own age with similar interests is remote. Matthew, like many other Little People only met his first Little Person in his mid 20’s; however the search for a partner means he must look further a field.

As one of the 1500 delegates attending, can he spark a connection with that special someone? This is his story. Find out more in Inside New Zealand: A Little Love Story, screening Thursday, July 31 at 9.30pm on TV3.

Australian comedy series The Librarians to appear on TV3

10 07 2008

A humble suburban library takes on a whole new meaning in TV3’s brand new comedy satire, The Librarians, premiering Friday, July 25th at 10pm on TV3.

The series centres on the trials and tribulations of Frances O’Brien (Robyn Butler), a devout Catholic and head librarian at the Middleton Interactive Learning Centre.

Frances’ life unravels when she is forced to employ her ex-best friend, Christine Grimwood (Roz Hammond) – now facing criminal charges – as the Children’s Librarian. Suddenly long buried feelings that Frances has suppressed since she last saw Christine 19 years ago rush at her like a truck. She must do all she can to contain her menacing past and concentrate on the biggest event of the Library calendar year – Book Week.

The brainchild of actors/writers Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope – who are married in real life – the show revolves around the fictional Middleton Interactive Learning Centre and the cross-section of society which inhabits it.

According to The Librarians co-producer and director Wayne Hope, the public library is one of the few remaining free spaces in our communities.

“It’s one of the last places you can go to now where you get heating or cooling and a copy of the newspaper for nothing, so naturally it attracts every freak under the sun,” Hope says. “Whatever walk of life they’re from, they’re all in there on a level pegging.”

While the idea for the show initially came from Butler, the library setting was inspired by Hope’s regular visits to the St Kilda Public Library in Melbourne.

“We were going there with our young daughter a lot for story time, which is basically an hour of relief for very anxious young parents,” he says. “It jumped out at us, ‘gee there’s a lot of very interesting people here’.”

“In our local area we’re right among the Jewish community of Balaclava, there’s housing commission homes, the gentrified portion of St Kilda, plus the constant stream of druggies there for a bit of a nap, so there is this great cross-section of people.”

The cross-section of characters who work at the Middleton Interactive Learning Centre library is similarly broad, there’s the mail thief serving community service (Bob Franklin), a paraplegic (Heidi Arena) and the terrible poet (Stephen Ballantyne).

Hope, who portrays Terry, Frances’s hapless and under-the-thumb husband, says the variety of distinct people at a library make it ripe for comedy material.

“Any place you’re told to be serious and quiet goes against the grain, and induces a response that can be comedy gold,” he says.

And The Librarians is certainly comedy gold. Make sure not to miss the new dark comedy which will make borrowing a book never seem the same again when The Librarians premieres Friday, July 25th at 10pm on TV3.

Sperm Wars on Inside New Zealand

10 07 2008

Reproductively speaking, it has been suggested that today’s man is only half the man his grandfather was. Inside New Zealand: Sperm Wars takes a look at some of the myths and truths around sperm on Thursday, July 24th at 9:30pm on TV3.

Does wearing boxers or good old tighty whiteys really make a difference to your sperm count and motility? Does the way you sit and cross your legs affect your swimmers? Is it true that if you work with a laptop on your lap you can become infertile? Studies have implicated various aspects of modern living in putting sperm under threat. Cell phones, laptop computers, junk food, alcohol and prescription drugs have all been discussed in recent studies suggesting that male fertility rates are dropping.

Inside New Zealand: Sperm Wars conducts tests on virile young men to see how they are affected by some of these factors, as well as meeting three couples who desperately want children, but are affected by the man’s fertility.

We meet one couple hoping that a vasectomy reversal will give them the baby they desperately want. Steve’s first marriage resulted in two children, and he thought that his family was complete. Seven years later, he has changed his mind, and wants to extend his family with his second wife, Nicola. But with less than a 50% chance of the operation being a success, will their baby dreams go begging?

We will also meet Wade, a man in his late twenties who is having trouble impregnating his wife Jo because his sperm count is so low he is classed as infertile. Will a naturopath have the answer for him? Can Wade really give up alcohol, cigarettes and junk food and replace them with healthy food and herbal tinctures and tablets? And if he can, will it even make a difference?

Finally, we meet Sam and Alastair, who have known for nearly eight years that Alastair’s motility is the reason they are unable to have children. As it is unlikely that Alastair’s sperm would ever be able to travel the distance to the egg, they have turned to science with ICSI fertilisation. The procedure is pricy, but if it works it will all be worth it. Are Sam and Alastair’s baby dreams about to come true?

Find out when Inside New Zealand: Sperm Wars screens on Thursday, July 24th at 9:30pm on TV3.

Jaquie Brown Diaries new show on TV3

10 07 2008

The Jaquie Brown Diaries, screening Friday, July 25th at 9:30pm on TV3, sees former C4 and Campbell Live reporter, Jaquie Brown move into the world of fictional television when she portrays an insecure, status obsessed, light relief reporter on a hard hitting current affairs show.

Each week Jaquie tries different ways to raise her public profile in the media both through her own methods and those of her morally bankrupt publicist Kim Sharee.

As if all this stress wasn’t enough, she also has to deal with a new reporter on the show, the beautiful, funny and multi-talented Serita Singh (Madeleine Sami) whose journalistic style is strikingly similar to Jaquie’s and who seems to be stealing her thunder at an alarming rate.

Although the series takes a satirical look at the life of a C-grade celebrity and brings the society supplements of the newspapers to frightening fruition, according to Jaquie, reality can indeed often be stranger than fiction.

“Many moments in the show have come from my own real life experiences, being recognised by my gynaecologist, interviewing rap stars that hated me and being called Jackie Clarke everywhere I go,” the star explains about her own struggles working in the media industry.

“Of course it’s not all autobiographical, I never punched Santa Claus in the mouth,” she adds.

The series is written and directed by Jaquie’s personal friend and former C4 On-Air Creative, Gerard Johnstone. Though primarily a promo director, Gerard made lots of great no-budget TV specials with Jaquie such as the 2004 Big Day Out documentary and Behind Brown’s Ring: A Lord of the Rings Extravaganza.

So what attracted you to work on The Jaquie Brown Diaries?

“I guess what attracted me to it was the chance to do a parody of things like Sex and the City and Bridget Jones’ Diary where the voice overs are full of wise and witty observations,” Johnstone says.

“Unlike Bridget and Carrie, Jaquie never learns anything from life and has nothing to offer in her internal dialogue besides naive and narcissistic drivel. In this way, I think we are both very similar.”

This week’s series premiere sees our unlikely heroine’s first introduction to her new pretty Fijian-Indian colleague, Serita Singh, with which Jaquie discovers she’s been scoring low with ethnic minorities on screen and tries to do something about it.

Find out how Jaquie deals with this latest setback when the highly anticipated The Jaquie Brown Diaries premieres on Friday, July 25th at 9:30pm on TV3.

Brian Tamaki – Life of Brian documentary

7 07 2008

Family man or gay basher? Charmer or manipulator? Man of God or extreme fundamentalist? You be the judge with this behind-the-pulpit look at Bishop Brian Tamaki in Inside New Zealand: The Life of Brian, screening Thursday, July 17th at 9:30pm on TV3.

Filmed over seven months, producer and presenter Ross Jennings negotiates a probing, honest and open look into Tamaki’s private and professional lives. We go inside the head of the Destiny Church’s home, inside his boat, inside his church and yes, even inside his flashy wardrobe.

Jennings puts the tough questions to the controversial Tamaki, and speaks to his disgruntled former finance officer. It is true that members are asked to sign a contract that tells them that by holding back their tithe they are robbing God?

Jennings also asks, how does he pay for his lifestyle? With public showings of parties and lavish vacations, were these paid for by Tamaki personally, or by the church? And is it true that the large donations of “first fruit” that Destiny Church-goers are encouraged to make go directly to Brian?

We will look at the non-financial controversies of Bishop Brian as well. Tamaki has long been outspoken on his views on homosexuality, yet he claims to believe that his is “the most tolerant religion on Earth.” But what would he do if one of his grandchildren were to become gay? Would he reject him or her?

Plus, what are Tamaki’s political aspirations? Does he really believe he can be Prime Minister? And what laws would he change if he were to get into power?

All of these questions are put to the man when Inside New Zealand: The Life of Brian screens on Thursday, July 17th at 9:30pm on TV3.