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TV3 Turns 25

Curated by the NZ On Screen team
18th November 2014

 TV3 Turns 25

TV3 Turns 25

 NZ On Screen team

Curated by the NZ On Screen team


November 2014 marks 25 years since New Zealand TV’s third channel began broadcasting. This 25th birthday sampler pack looks back at iconic drama (Outrageous Fortune), upstart news shows (Nightline), fresh youth programming (Ice TV, Being Eve) and comedy high watermarks (bro’Town, Jaquie Brown, 7 Days). As the launch slogan said "come home to the feeling!"


TV3 25th Collection

 Outrageous Fortune - Episode One

Watch the first episode that began the dynasty. The Westie flag-bearer for contemporary NZ TV drama won unprecedented viewers and local screen awards. Outrageous staunchly proved - in all its grow-your-own glory - that genre TV in NZ could be so much more than overseas' stories pasted to a NZ setting.

 bro'Town - The Weakest Link

This animated comedy series followed the adventures of five kids growing up in suburban Auckland. Developed from the poly-saturated comedy of the Naked Samoans, its fearless, un-PC wit saw it screen for five series and win multiple best comedy gongs at the NZ Screen Awards. “Morningside for life!”

 3 News - 'Corngate' interview with Helen Clark

In July 2002, on TV3 News, John Campbell confronted PM Helen Clark over the suspected release of GE corn seed. Upset at the ambush, Clark reacted tersely (she later labelled Campbell a "sanctimonious little creep"). With an election looming the encounter was immortalised as 'Corngate'.

 Ice TV - Best of

Ice TV launched the careers of hosts Jon Bridges, Nathan Rarere and Petra Bagust. Irreverent, fast-paced, and imbued with a (mostly) family friendly sense of fun, the youth show took in skits, music, satire, gags and interviews, and a sign-off where L&P bottles were subjected to various stresses.

 The Almighty Johnsons - Series One, Episode One

In the first 10 minutes of this TV3 comedy, Axl has a close shave outside the bottle store on the eve of his 21st birthday, but that’s nothing compared to the meteors, earthquake and a blood red Mission Bay that follow. By episode end Axl learns that he and his Kiwi bloke older brothers are also Norse gods!

 Pulp Sport - Series Seven, Episode One

Pulp Sport began life as a radio show - the brainchild of writers Ben Boyce ("Ben") and Jamie Linehan ("Bill"). The TV3 version later won two Qantas Awards for Best Comedy. Wayward, fast moving and skit based, it saw its presenters risk life and limb, and featured guest celebs sending themselves up.

 Pulp Comedy - Series Seven, Episode Four (Flight of the Conchords)

Pulp Comedy succeeded the talent quest A Bit After Ten as a TV outlet for stand-up comics. Its origins lay in Auckland's live Comedyfest show. Showcases at the Powerstation led to a request from TV3 for a television series. Produced by Mandy Toogood and Simon Sinclair, it ran for eight years.

 The Early Bird Show - Excerpts

A foundation TV3 programme, The Early Bird Show mixed overseas cartoons and locally made inserts. The puppet line-up of Russell Rooster, Kiri Kea, Dawn Chorus and Quack-ups was joined by Suzy Cato from mid-1990. These 1991 excerpts include cameos from bugman Ruud Kleinpaste and Billy T James.

 Melody Rules - Going, Going ... Goner (Episode One)

Situation comedy Melody Rules starred Nightline host Belinda Todd, and has gone on to become one of New Zealand's most celebrated TV failures, obtaining affectionate cult status as a result. Take a look back at the first episode and make your own call.

 Homeward Bound - Episode One

Set in a rural hamlet south of the Bombay Hills, this early TV3 soap revolves around the Johnstone family, who have farmed there for 100 years. The cast includes a young Karl Urban — worlds away from Mega-City One and his title role as the gruff law enforcer in Dredd — and Simone Kessell.

 Skitz - 'Best Of' Excerpts

This popular sketch-based comedy screened for four series in the 90s. Seasoned comedians featured alongside new faces, such as future-Conchord Jemaine Clement. Regular characters included the Semisi family with their 'fresh off the boat' antics inspiring mirth and groans in equal measure.

 Nightline - 20th Anniversary Episode

TV3’s late night news show gained notoriety for its regularly infamous ‘third break’ where presenters (Belinda Todd, Bill Ralston, Dylan Taite, David Farrier) pushed boundaries as newsreaders (Joanna Paul, Janet Wilson, Leanne Malcolm, Carolyn Robinson) did their best to keep a straight face. 

 The Jaquie Brown Diaries - Brown Sweat (Episode Three)

TV personality Jaquie Brown plays (and plays up) herself for delightful comic effect in this satire. Brown plays an egomaniacal journalist looking to climb the media ladder any which way she can. The show won Best Comedy at the 2009 Qantas Film and TV Awards. The Listener gushed: "A local sitcom that doesn't suck."

 Being Eve - Being a Couple

This quirky, upbeat comedy-drama looked at teen life through the eyes of 15-year-old Eve (Fleur Saville). The series' fresh, self-aware style appealed directly to media-savvy teenagers, fostered young screen talent, and sold to over 40 territories, screening in the US on Nickelodeon.

 7 Days - Series One, Episode Three

This well-received comedy panel series takes an irreverent look at the past week in the news. Jeremy Corbett referees two teams of guests and regulars, including Ben Hurley, Jeremy Elwood, Dai Henwood and Paul Ego. Segments include "my kid could draw that" and "what’s the taxi driver talking about".

 You and Me - Toilet Training

The irrepressible Suzy Cato presents this long-running series for pre-schoolers. Set in a house, Cato presents stories, songs, animations and puppetry; on-set companions are a doll, teddy bear, clown and scarecrow - and a sock puppet family. More than 2000 episodes were made in eight years.

 Suzy's World - Digestion (Episode)

After fronting TV3 children’s shows (Early Bird Show, 3pm, You and Me) Cato presented this science show for five to nine year olds. With the emphasis on lively practical demonstrations as teaching aids, it sought to explain everyday phenomena like how smoke alarms work, and why birds sing.

 The Blue Rose - Episode One

In this 2013 murder mystery from writers Rachel Lang and James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, Almighty Johnsons), Outrageous stars Antonia Prebble and Siobhan Marshall are cast east to Auckland's CBD as a sleuthing odd couple. This opening 10 minutes of the TV3 series begins with a body floating in the Viaduct.

 The Strip - Season One, Episode 12 (Choose)

This sex in the capital city series centres around 30-something Melissa, who has shed a corporate legal career to set up a male strip revue. The Gibson Group-produced show married the fretful modern woman protagonist of Ally McBeal with the hen's night appeal of Ladies Night; it screened for two series on TV3.

 Cover Story - Episode One

This Gibson Group drama series centres on a team of TV journalists working on a weekly current affairs programme. Katie Wolfe plays stroppy journalist Amanda Robbins, who has been lured back to Wellington from Australia by a network boss hoping her tabloid style will help ratings.

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