Weta look to launch new kids TV show – WotWots

18 09 2008

Wotwots childrens TV Show

Wotwots childrens TV Show


A small steam powered spaceship lands in a local zoo. Inside are two young and very energetic aliens. They wonder who they are and what they will look like when they are fully grown adults. Will they look like one of the zoo animals outside?

DottyWot and SpottyWot are soft puppet-like characters who scoot around a local zoo on their steam powered hover-chairs. They are an inquisitive and energetic pair who embrace their adventures with gusto and enthusiasm. They have big hearts, take great care of each other and are not afraid to show the affection they have as brother and sister.

The adventures of these loveable aliens and their playful exploration of the zoo had a test audience of preschool children squealing with delight when previewed at Weta in Wellington , New Zealand .

The WotWots are launching onto the TV screens of Australia on ABC Children’s television in April 2009 and on New Zealand ‘s TVNZ in March 2009.

Developed and produced by the creative team behind the award winning TV series Jane And The Dragon , these adventures of the WotWots are set to delight, fascinate and educate a new generation of TV viewers across the world.

The multi Academy Award winning artists of Richard Taylor ‘s Weta Workshop have yet again joined with the story-telling talents of Martin Baynton and Theo Baynton to bring this endearing world of comedy and adventure to life.

Tim Brooke-Hunt, Head of Children’s for ABC Television said: “We are thrilled to broadcast this exceptional new series from WETA. We are confident that pre-schoolers will delight in the adventures of Spotty and Dotty, and that the WotWot’s will find an enthusiastic audience in Australia .”

Brief Bios (full details available on contact):

Weta Workshop is the multi Award winning special effects studio, best known for their work on The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong .

Richard Taylor , executive producer, is the five times Oscar award winning owner, co-founding director and the creative lead at Weta Workshop.

Martin Baynton , executive producer, has written and illustrated more than 30 books for children, published by Penguin, Walker Books, Scholastic, Greenwillow and Methuen .

Theo Baynton , director, was the art director and design supervisor for Jane And The Dragon and has also written and illustrated children’s books.

Andrew Smith, producer , was the supervising producer for Jane and the Dragon and is the commercial manager for Weta Workshop

Jan Haynes, producer, has worked in the film and television industry for over 25 years and has produced several award-winning series. She was the New Zealand Line Producer on Jane and the Dragon.

David Long, composer, composes, performs and produces music and has worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and King Kong .





New local drama series The Pretender set for launch

12 09 2008

Local series The Pretender is a fly-on-the-wall look at the inner workings of a typical New Zealand MP’s office. It follows the highs and lows, backroom machinations, and desperate measures of MP Dennis Plant (Bob MacLaren) and his team as they attempt to navigate the dog-eat-dog world of governmental politics. Disgruntled with his ineffectual back bench position with the National Party, Dennis joins forces with defecting Labour MP Joanne Williams to form the new political party, Future New Zealand, and hold the balance of power. Dennis suddenly finds himself launched from virtual obscurity into the spotlight of the national media, though whether he’ll survive it remains to be seen.

Behind every politician is his team: Johnny Green (Andre King), his jaded and cynical strategist and policy advisor; Ed Hamilton-Smith (Mark Neilson), Dennis’ hapless press secretary: under-paid, under-valued and over-worked; and Joanne Williams (Lucy Schmidt), a career politician, and Future New Zealand’s co-leader: idealistic, intelligent, conscientious, and uncharismatic to the point of invisibility.

Broadcast Sunday 21 September 2008, 10:00pm on TV One





This is Your Life back to reveal famous New Zealander

12 09 2008

Paul Henry honours another legendary Kiwi in the latest instalment of This Is Your Life.

The famous red book will be open again and another unsuspecting recipient will be surprised with the words “This Is Your Life”, before returning to TVNZ’s Auckland studios for the LIVE 90-minute television event.

Recipients are iconic New Zealanders who have made a significant contribution to the country. This Is Your Life looks behind their well-documented public stories, to reveal amusing anecdotes, interesting facts and personal insights.

Broadcast: Sunday 21 September 2008, 8:30pm on TV One





The 2008 New World International Netball series set for TV One

12 09 2008

ONE Sport will have exclusively LIVE coverage of the Silver Ferns playing arch-rivals Australia, in the second game of The 2008 New World International Netball Series, from the Vector Arena in Auckland. Host Toni Street will be joined by commentators Julie Coney, Jenny-May Coffin and Kiri Wills.

broadcast Saturday 20 September, starting 7:30 on TV One





Strong year sees TVNZ back in profit

3 09 2008

Television New Zealand made an after tax profit of $19.4 million for the financial year ended June 2008, Chief Executive Rick Ellis said today.

This was from operating earnings before non recurring items, interest, tax and financial instruments of $27 million, which represents a $14.3 million turnaround or a 112 % increase over the prior year.

Mr Ellis said the strong result was off the back of higher advertising revenues from higher channel ratings and getting the organisation’s costs under control.

Mr Ellis said the annual result meant TVNZ achieved a return on average equity of 8.3%, which was ahead of the 6.4 % target set for the year.

TVNZ would be paying a $10.3 million dividend to the Crown.

Excluding Government funding for the digital channels, total income for the year was $379.7 million, an increase of $4.7 million (or 1.3%) over the prior year. The primary driver of this increase was a $2.7 million (0.9%) increase in advertising revenue.

Excluding costs for the digital channels which are covered by Government funding, total expenses were $352.6 million for the year, a reduction of $9.7 million (2.7%) on the prior year’s operating costs.

That means TVNZ had a year on year improvement in earnings (before non recurring items, interest, tax and financial instruments) of $14.4 million from the $4.7 million improvement in income and the $9.7 million of cost reduction from the core business.

“Our revenue targets for the year were all exceeded. This is year one of the TVNZ three year turnaround plan and it’s a credit to a highly motivated and focussed staff working to a well thought out strategy,” he said.

“Our increase in advertising revenue is particularly pleasing given the broadcasting of the 2007 Rugby World Cup occurred on a competing channel in September and October 2007 and the market conditions in the latter part of the financial year. TVNZ television advertising revenues were strong in the second half of the year with a year on year increase of 3.4 % for the January to June period.

“While the economic outlook for the 2009 financial year is challenging for many New Zealand businesses we are cautiously optimistic about the environment and confident in our abilities and plans.”

He said local content hours on TV ONE and TV 2 were at similar levels to the previous year at 4,867 compared with 4,822 and 15 of the 20 top rating programmes for the year were on TVNZ channels. It was particularly pleasing that 17 of the 20 top rating programmes on TV ONE were locally produced.

That quantity of local content doesn’t count the impact of TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 and is more than three times TVNZ’s nearest rivals.

“We’ve had a very strong year on screen. Our flagship ONE News at 6pm has had consistent lifts in its ratings, shows like Dancing With The Stars have proved extremely popular, coverage of major events like Sir Edmund Hillary’s state funeral captivated the public and the launch of TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 has enabled TVNZ to extend its range of programmes and its value to New Zealanders as the country’s public broadcaster.”

He said TVNZ continued to work hard on its strategy of ‘inspiring New Zealanders on every screen’ with commercial deals signed with Bebo, Google, Telecom, Fairfax, South Pacific Pictures, Greenstone Pictures and Chinese Television.

TVNZ ondemand had become enormously popular in the space of 18 months with 30,000 hours of television watched on average each month, while tvnz.co.nz. has monthly average unique visitors of 826,000.

He said other highlights included:
*higher than anticipated uptake of digital platform Freeview, of which TVNZ is the largest shareholder;
*the beginning of a $30 million investment in TVNZ’s digital infrastructure;
*conducting the first statutory review of the TVNZ Charter;
*the use for the first time in the annual report of a framework to measure TVNZ’s delivery of the Charter; and
*more than 600 hours of content broadcast to 14 Pacific nation broadcasters via the TVNZ Pacific Service.

N.B. This is the first year that TVNZ has used the new New Zealand International Financial Reporting Standards.





Department of Conservation and TVNZ 6 Family combine for events

27 08 2008

Kiwi children will be able to learn more about their local wildlife and wild places during Meet the Locals Conservation Week celebrations at Auckland Zoo on September 7 and Wellington Zoo on September 14.

The events are the brainchild of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and TVNZ 6 Family, and an extension of the partnership they formed with the Meet the Locals television series.

The series, currently screening on TVNZ 6 Family, introduces viewers to New Zealand’s native species – local plants, local animals and the local humans who love to look after them.

The Department of Conservation’s General Manager of Marketing and Communications, Sue Paterson, said Meet the Locals had proved to be a fantastic way of engaging Kiwis in the importance of conservation, and their partnership with TVNZ 6 is helping DOC to reach a wider audience.

“Meet the Locals Conservation Week is another great opportunity to work with TVNZ 6 to extend the Meet the Locals message into the wider community. At the zoo events children and their parents will be able to learn more about their environment and its inhabitants and see species like kiwi and tuatara up close.”

TVNZ General Manager Digital Services, Eric Kearley said partnerships such as the one TVNZ 6 enjoys with DOC were important in ensuring TVNZ’s digital channels delivered local and relevant content.

“Our relationship with DOC has produced some fantastic local content for TVNZ 6 and helped spread the conservation message via television to young New Zealanders in particular. Celebrating Meet the Locals Conservation Week through the events at Auckland and Wellington Zoos is taking our partnership to another level by bringing the TV show to life.”

Mr Kearley said TVNZ 6’s partnership with DOC was possible because the two organisations measured success in terms of public value.

“We’re hoping to develop more relationships with other like-minded organisations that share the same public value ethos,” he said.

For more information on Meet the Locals Conservation Week activity:
visit www.conservationweek.org.nz





TVNZ apologises for Olympic broadcast glitch during Men’s 200m Butterfly Final

13 08 2008

TVNZ apologises to viewers who missed the end of the Men’s 200metre Butterfly final in which Kiwi swimmer Moss Burmester was placed fourth.

A switching failure at the TVNZ headquarters in Auckland meant that viewers receiving the broadcast via satellite – either through SKY or on Freeview – missed the race

Viewers with analogue transmission in the South Island were also affected.

Live streaming on tvnz.co.nz – which uses a satellite feed – was disrupted.

The satellite outage lasted for about 6 minutes, and the South Island analogue viewers lost reception for about 8 minutes.

The race was replayed on TV ONE shortly after 3pm, and is now available for viewing on tvnz.co.nz.

TVNZ says it greatly regrets that a technical failure has interfered with New Zealanders’ appreciation of Moss Burmester’s tremendous effort.

All broadcasters undertaking technically complex transmissions run the risk of occasional switching failures, but the company says everyone involved is distressed at the timing of the glitch.