MediaWorks is revisiting the West household with an Outrageous Fortune prequel called Westside, which follows the infamous Grandpa back in his hey day. In the lead up to the series MediaWorks has released all seasons of Outrageous Fortune online for free online to get fans excited, and in terms of streaming numbers it seems to be successfully rekindling interest.
The prequel, produced by South Pacific Pictures and created by Rachel Lang and James Griffin (who both worked on Outrageous Fortune) follows legendary safe cracker and career criminal Ted West, his “firecracker” wife Rita and their son Wolfgang and is set in 1970s Auckland against a backdrop of real-life historical events, according to 3 News online.
The prequel will be a six-part series, with each episode being an hour long and stars Antonia Prebble as Rita, who played Loretta in Outrageous Fortune and David de Lautour as Ted.
To build up anticipation for the show MediaWorks uploaded every season of Outrageous Fortune to its online platform 3Now and according to MediaWorks head of marketing Amanda Wilson the show is taking off with 150,000 streams to date “Fans are binging with nearly 50 percent of the audience consuming more than 10 episodes per week and [they]appear to be working through the seasons chronologically, starting at season one before moving on to season two.”
The show is also being promoted on TV3’s Facebook page and at the time of writing the show’s TVC has had 332 shares. Its Twitter has been a bit quieter, focusing more on the resurrection of Dancing with the Stars which premieres on 31 May.
MediaWorks group head of corporate communications Rachel Lorimer says last week Outrageous Fortune was its number one VOD show with the Bachelor NZ as second and X Factor NZ as third.
Wilson says there is an enormous media community of Outrageous Fortune fans on Facebook “[There are] 276,000 on Facebook, we are lucky to have been able to tap into that and mobilise original fans,” she says. “We have been promoting Westside heavily on air since earlier in the year with a powerful series of promos; not least the 60” currently running which is getting great feedback from viewers.”
She says a tactical campaign largely focused around the digital, along with extensive publicity and support from MediaWorks’ radio partner The Rock will be implemented to ensure the message reaches viewers “The premiere of Westside has an incredible lead in, being the launch of Dancing with the Stars on Sunday 31 May – with Siobhan Marshall (Pascalle West) recently announced as part of the cast.”
According to data from Nielsen, the final season of Outrageous Fortune in 2010 had strong ratings, with an average of 539,300 people tuning in in the five-plus age range, and an average of 346,000 in the telling 25-54 age bracket.