In his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying, Oscar Wilde observed that, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." And in the more modern context, where reality TV has become one of the more popular forms of entertainment, this expression could be evolved to say something like: 'real life imitates reality TV far more than reality TV imitates real life'. And nowhere is this clearer than in the example of a Reno Rumble poster that has been pasted onto the wall of the TVNZ building, which is currently under construction.
“With a format as huge as Reno Rumble we wanted to make the promo feel like the screen could barely contain the entertainment, emphasising the scale of the show itself,” says Blacksand creative director Jens Hertzum. “The billboard on the TVNZ building was a nice opportunity to play around with the show’s scale again, this time, disrupting the TVNZ Building which is itself going through a renovation”.
Reno Rumble is the latest in a string of DIY shows to hit TVNZ screens, and it features The Block (AU) and House Rules (AU) contestants competing against each other for renovation supremacy.
If anything, this show serves as precursor to the local reality drama that's set to unfold later in the year.
TVNZ head of content Jeff Latch says that local reality shows Our First Home and My Kitchen Rules New Zealand will soon be returning to TV screens.
From a viewer perspective, this will again create an interesting battle between TVNZ and MediaWorks.
Over the last few years, The Block NZ has been the strongest performing show in the MediaWorks stable, and TVNZ has attempted to chip away at its supremacy. Thus far, the show has held strong, but there is a possibility that a fourth season could result in viewer fatigue—and this is something that TVNZ will be hoping to capitalise on.
Latch does however point out that the broadcasters are also starting to work together on some initiatives.
"There is healthy and strong competition in the New Zealand TV industry," Latch says. "Kiwi audiences are fortunate to have the best of International content available across a relatively small number of channels. New initiatives such as FreeviewPlus allow TVNZ and other New Zealand broadcasters to work together to bring our OnDemand content onto the big screen."
And while there is increased collaboration between the networks, this will do little to dissuade journalists from comparing show ratings once the multi-night local programming battle kicks off.