'Nephs' and 'aunties' rejoice as Crown entity Te Mangai Paho (TMP) funds a second season of TV3's The GC, forking over more than $419,000 towards the production of eight more 30-minute episodes.
The GC features twenty-something Maori as they find their footing on the Australian Gold Coast, this is usually segmented in between copious amounts of nightclubbing and time spent at the beach.
The show was heavily criticised for being a New Zealand clone of The Jersey Shore, although it remained popular with TV3 viewers. The broadcaster says The GC averaged around 330,000 (age 5+) viewers in its 8pm slot, with almost a third of that in the channel's target audience of 25-54 year olds.
New Zealand On Air partially funded the show for the same amount last year on the basis it would highlight Maori cultural issues. The original proposal for funding by production company Black Inc Media featured several older cast members who never made it to the final version of the show, including a young family starting a new business in Australia. The proposal gave the impression the show (originally called Golden Mozzies) would be an observational documentary about Maori living and working on the Gold Coast, and how they balance their new lives with their cultural heritage.
TMP has a statutory obligation to fund TV and radio programming which revitalises the Maori language and culture, while sustaining its target audience. The GC can surely claim to do the latter, but the former is in doubt – raising the question why TMP funded the show after its colleagues at NZ On Air passed it up?
A TV3 spokesperson says the the new season of The GC has to meet certain cultural criteria in order to receive funding, although she was not willing to go into further details about what this entails. StopPress has contacted TMP for comment on its decision to fund the show for a second season, and is yet to hear back.
The GC was among a group of eight shows to receive funding from TMP for its 2012-13 funding round, which included another reality TV show by Black Inc Media called Finding Aroha. The majority of the programmes air on Maori Television.
Production for the second season of The GC begins later this year.