Trained at Ilam School of Fine Arts, John McDonald cut his teeth directing at TVNZ in the 80s before producing sport for Sky TV. An OE producing at MTV Asia was followed by roles for Screentime. Since joining Mediaworks (TV3) in 2000, he has led an award-winning run of live coverage (Fight for Life, Rugby World Cup, the NZ Music Awards) and comedy. He is Head of In-House Production at Mediaworks.

On shows such as The X Factor and Dancing with the Stars, it pays to expect the unexpected. Something surprising almost always happens, and how you respond to it either improves or diminishes the broadcast outcome. John McDonald, on the challenges of producing live event television
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Slice of Paradise

2017, Executive Producer - Television

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Family Feud

2016, Executive Producer - Television

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Ewen Gilmour: Westie Legend

2015, Executive Producer - Television

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AotearoHA

2015, Executive Producer - Television

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Jono and Ben

2015 - Ongoing, Executive Producer - Television

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After Hours

2014 - 2015, Executive Producer - Television

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Cadbury Dream Factory

2014, Executive Producer - Television

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The X Factor New Zealand

2013 - 2015, Executive Producer - Television

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Jono and Ben at Ten

2012 - 2014, Executive Producer - Television

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The Ridges

2012, Executive Producer - Television

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V8 Supercars Hamilton 400

2010, Executive Producer - Television

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7 Days

2009 - ongoing, Executive Producer - Television

Well-received comedy panel series 7 Days debuted on TV3 in 2009. The show takes an irreverent look at the past week in the news with such regular segments as “my kid could draw that” and “what’s the taxi driver talking about”. Jeremy Corbett hosts, and there are two teams of regular and guest comedians including Ben Hurley, Jeremy Elwood, Dai Henwood and Paul Ego. Corbett says 7 Days is the comedy show he has always wanted to make.

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New Zealand's Next Top Model

2009 - 2011, Executive Producer - Television

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Rugby World Cup 2007 (TV3)

2007, Producer - Television

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McDonald’s Cirque Rocks

2006, Producer - Television

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Snatch our Booty

2005, Executive Producer - Television

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Dancing with the Stars

2015, Executive Producer - Television

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McDonald’s Circus X

2004, Producer - Television

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Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards

2004 - ongoing, Executive Producer - Television

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Sportzah

2003 - 2004, Executive Producer - Television

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Comedy Gala

2012, Director - Television

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Fight For Life

2001 - 2003, Producer - Television

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Smokefree Rockquest 1999

1999, Producer - Television

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Rockquest

1998, Director - Television

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Christmas in the Park

2001 - 2013, Producer - Television

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5.30 with Jude

1997 - 2000, Producer - Television

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World of Wearable Art Awards

2003 - 2007, Producer - Television

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Live and Loud

1994 - 1997, Executive Producer - Television

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Land of Our Own

1990, Writer, Co-Producer - Television

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The Opening Shot

1990, Producer - Television

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Perigo

1990, Director - Television

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MTV Unplugged

1994 - 1997, Executive Producer - Television

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Sign of the Times - Herbs and The Eagles

1989, Director - Television

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Danny's Cafe

1988, Director - Television

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Fast Forward

1988 -1989, Director - Television

This Christchurch-based TVNZ science and technology show put science in primetime in the 1980s (notably on Friday nights before Coronation Street). The successor to Science Express, it sought to explain how science was changing everyday NZ life; and reporters (including Jim Hopkins, Liz Grant, Peter Llewellyn and Julie Colquhoun) attempted to engage the public without alienating the scientific community, and vice versa. Its run ended in 1989 when TVNZ decided it couldn't compete with the runaway success of Australian counterpart Beyond 2000.

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The Neglected Miracle

1985, Assistant Editor - Film

For this five year global inquiry into "who owns our seeds", director Barry Barclay used the 'marae approach' that he’d honed on TV series Tangata Whenua — canvassing the views of corporates (vying to profit by owning the DNA of major crop seeds), scientists, and farmers in the developing world. Barclay later argued that big business effectively suppressed the resulting film. NZ Herald’s Peter Calder called Miracle "chillingly prescient" in 2006. A 1988 screening helped spur the Wai 262 Treaty claim, for Māori intellectual property rights involving indigenous flora and fauna.

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Smash Palace

1981, Assistant Editor - Film

Smash Palace is a Kiwi cinema classic and launched Roger Donaldson's American career. Al Shaw (a brilliant, brooding Bruno Lawrence) is a racing car driver who now runs a wrecker's yard in the shadow of Mount Ruapehu. His French wife Jacqui is unhappy there and leaves him, taking up with Al's best mate. When she restricts Al's access to his young daughter, his frustration explodes and he goes bush with the girl, desperate not to lose her too. "There's no road back" runs the tagline. New Yorker critic Pauline Kael called the film "amazingly accomplished".