Viewers invited to app along as TVNZ brings Mastermind back to Kiwi screens

TVNZ is bringing back an old favorite, Mastermind, on Sunday night and hopes to engage audiences better than ever by expanding the quiz show onto an app so all New Zealanders can play the game.

General manager of commissioning, production and acquisitions Andrew Shaw says Mastermind is a “TV institution”, and its thrilled to be reviving the series for TV One with Peter Williams as the host.

“…Williams is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and long serving broadcasters having been at TV ONE since 1979, and he is the perfect fit as the host for such an iconic show. After its 20-year hiatus, it’ll be exciting to see a new generation of New Zealand contenders come through and we look forward to crowning the next Kiwi Mastermind.”

TVNZ digital production and publishing manager Samantha Taylor says the move to bring it back with an associated game, by TVNZ Blacksand and Rush Digital, reflects how times are changing, with 86 percent of people watching TV found to have a second screen in their hands.

“We know that there is a huge opportunity for quiz shows in the New Zealand market so we really wanted to expand that on air experience. The idea of the Mastermind show is that there’s a family or group of friends around the TV on a Sunday night in the living room and people naturally will call out the answers to the questions, so we really wanted to expand that experience.”

She says the game is not intended to be played during the show, but about keeping Mastermind going after its Sunday night time slot.

Like the show, players will work through three rounds of questions based on their specialist subject, general knowledge and New Zealand, a new edition to the quiz.

When the game launches on Sunday, Taylor says there will be initially be 2,500 questions (close to 100 games), with more being added each week to keep audiences engaged. 

“All the questions from on air will be added to the game so if you watch the show you have a bit of a foot-up into the game and into that national leader board.”

While the specialist subjects on the TV show are quite specific, including Princess Bride to Stephen Fry and everything in between, Taylor says the specialist subject in the game are quite general, including music, history, animals and food, to make it more appealing and accessible to New Zealanders.

However, the four specialist subjects from each week’s contenders will be added and Taylor says, “if you think ‘I know Princess Bride’ better than who just competed on TV’ you can have a go at those questions as well”.

For those who get the chance to compete on the show, the prize is being crowned the Mastermind and winning the chair, a feeling Taylor says is mirrored in the game.

She says players can compete with themselves for a bit of fun, sharing results on social media to compete with friends and family or compete with masterminds around the country by submitting results to the national leader board.

“That reward is being the Mastermind whether that’s from a personal level or on the national level.”

Also adding some incentive to play is the chance to win flights flights for two to Australia each week, with the Emirates Extra section offering bonus questions. The airline is the show’s broadcast partner.

Emirates regional manager New Zealand Chris Lethbridge says the Mastermind partnership aligns well to Emirates brand values.

“Innovation, customer engagement and high quality production values match well with our product offering. We’re excited to partner with TVNZ, bringing Kiwis a modern twist on this classic format. The opportunity to integrate gameplay via a fun and engaging digital platform adds to the experience for viewers – not to mention the fantastic Emirates Trans-Tasman flight prizes.”

Mastermind is an institution around the world and Taylor says as far as it’s aware, TVNZ is the first to make a game with it.

She also says TVNZ has built a few other games to expand its programmes, which have gone really well, however, this is the first time time one has been made with a quiz format.

Mastermind will run for 13 episodes and the game will continue after that. It will be available for free download on 1 May from the Apple App and Google Play stores.


TVNZ Blacksand

Executive creative Ddirector: Jens Hertzum

Creative strategist: Ben Fisher

Campaign manager/producer: Vicki Keogh

Creative director and director: Sarah Kahi

Creative producer: Gina Kindred

TV ONE creative director: Edmund James

Digital production and publishing manager: Samantha Taylor

Digital producer: Hamish Russell

Senior digital designer: Laylu Yeoh

TVNZ marketing

GM marketing: Sarah Finnie

Media strategist: Paula Adams

Group marketing manager: Tim Aitken

Marketing manager: Jade Rook

TVNZ content solutions

GM content solutions: Lyndsey Francis

Content strategist: Claire Speedy

Integration project manager: Haley Booth

Agency partners

Media agency for TVNZ: Starcom

Media agency for Emirates: Mr Smith

Creative agency for Emirates: Federation

Mastermind NZ Game

Concept and design: Blacksand

Development and build: Rush Digital

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