MediaWorks revealed its new season line-up in fairly understated fashion last week. But TVNZ was 'avin it large on Wednesday night and took it back to the good old days with a big, expensive, Hollywood-esque launch event for its 2012 season. TVNZ's business marketing manager Lexie Ribot says it was all about "exciting and delighting"; about bringing back a bit of glitz and glamour to the TV industry. As such, all the local stars turned out in their finery to shake hands and kiss babies with the 800 or so guests.
She says it was a slight departure from previous launches in terms of its scale and the fact that there was just one massive launch in Auckland, rather than "watered-down" launches in Wellington and Christchurch as had been the case in the past. Instead, clients from outside of Auckland were invited to come north and there was a good turnout.
She says the idea was to let the shows do the talking on screen, rather than the TVNZ bods, so the speeches were kept to a minimum. And in an effort to bring TV to life, the event also featured a Masterchef kitchen, Michael Van de Elzen from The Food Truck, the Lion-inspired Mix bar and a few air hostesses (the launch was loosely themed around the new show Pan Am).
Unlike MediaWorks, which announced the launch of its new and potentially quite lucrative reality TV show The Block, there's no new 'holy grail' property like MasterChef that will be able to incorporate brands into the content and still attract the viewers. Still, Masterchef has been commissioned for a third series along with the Masterclasses and Ribot believes it's a very strong schedule.
"The one thing we wanted people to take away from it is that ONE is just going to get stronger next year and TV2 will maintain its record of 147 consecutive weeks at number one."
As for the shows themselves, Packed to the Rafters is back on ONE, as is successful local drama Nothing Trivial, while other new series include Unforgettable, Person of Interest and Alcatraz, which stars Sam Neill.
Nigel Latta will tackle The Politically Incorrect Guide To Grown Ups and Te Radar ventures into the South Pacific for his new show. And, following on from the success of this year's Sunday Theatre, which was sponsored by Audi, another series of locally made dramas is on its way, although Audi hasn't decided if it will have its name on the tin yet.
Intrepid Journeys, Beyond The Darklands, Fair Go, Coastwatch, Piha Rescue and Border Security are all back, as are Undercover Boss, Criminal Minds, Castle, Off Spring and a new series of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it seems to be the approach with TV2, so it's set to be much the same in 2012, with shows like Ashton's Kutcher's Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Cougar Town, Happy Endings, The Middle and Hot In Cleveland all returning. The new hit series in America, 2 Broke Girls, will join the Wednesday line-up, and new international shows include Revenge, Once Upon A Time, Dallas, Missing and Steven Spielberg's The River.
The Mentalist, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Body Of Proof, Hell's Kitchen, American Idol, the second series of The Walking Dead, My Kitchen Rules, The Amazing Race, local show Go Girls and the finale to the world's most popular drama, Desperate Housewives, are all on the schedule. And good old Shortland Street is turning 20 next year, so it will be celebrating with another feature length episode and a special birthday episode.
It wouldn't be modern TV without some dirty old reality programming, hence Neighbours At War, Police Ten 7, Rescue One, and Motorway Patrol.