22 top TV shows

December 7th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

News.com.au has what they call the 22 shows most worth bingeing on. They are:

  • Breaking Bad – started watching Season 1 on DVDs a few weeks ago, and damn good.
  • Girls – I love how Hannah, the lead, is such an unsympathetic character.
  • Mad Men – just finished watching Series 5 on DVD. Great one to watch from the beginning
  • Homeland – first season rocked.
  • Boardwalk Empire – yet to watch
  • Downton Abbey – my parents love it. Yet to view myself
  • The Sopranos – watched when live on TV – scheduled for a DVD binge
  • Friends – very easy to watch reruns, which is just as well as it has been on TV2 non stop for 15 years!
  • The Walking Dead – watched a few episodes, but not got into
  • Friday Night Lights – never heard of
  • The West Wing – have watched every episode at least six times. Love it.
  • House of Cards – am beyond addicted. Kevin Spacey as Frank is compelling.
  • Seinfeld – watched at the time, but not one for reruns
  • NCIS – watching both live and older episodes
  • House – watched live – excellent first few seasons but drifted off
  • The Newsroom – too preachy
  • Buffy – the first TV series watched from series beginning to end on DVD – lots of fun
  • Arrested Development – not watched
  • Game of Thrones – watched within hours of release
  • Scrubs – mildly funny at first, but annoying
  • Doctor Who – loved the Day of the Doctor
  • The Wire – have got Season 1 to watch as friends insist I will love it, but yet to get into

 

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More TV productions for NZ?

August 1st, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Move over The Hobbit, Avatar and King Kong – New Zealand wants to get its hands on some big TV hits.

Changes announced yesterday to government funding for screen productions are expected to open the door to more television productions, in the wake of previous big money-spinners such as Hercules, Spartacus and Xena: Warrior Princess.

“We are very keen to encourage television. It’s the economic bread and butter,” New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason said yesterday. “You have a couple of movies come out a week, compared to hundreds of hours of television.”

Hit shows such as Game of Thrones have been big winners for countries where they were filmed, with its first three seasons generating £65 million (about NZ$124m) for the Northern Ireland economy.

I would die of happiness if Game of Thrones was filmed here!

Other changes to government grants are likely to attract more post-production, digital and visual effects work, which was welcomed yesterday by Park Road Post general manager Cameron Harland.

“When it was announced I got straight on the phone to a company in New York who’d been umming and ahhing over whether to do post-production here,” he said. “It’s opened up a discussion now.”

The changes have brought down the thresholds at which various productions can attract government grants.

The Large Budget Screen Production Grant was previously open only to those valued at $15m or above, which excluded most TV shows. The threshold has now been reduced to $4m.

Seems a sensible threshold change. Having such series filmed here bring in far more in tax revenue and spending than the amount of the grant, and that is before you even consider tourism benefits.

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What is happening to NZ drama?

July 10th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A reader writes in:

Basically, what’s happened to NZ tv drama?

This week The Almighty Johnsons returned and produced a dismal +5 rating of 3 . In its target audience of males 18-49 it rated just a 4, about half of the previous series.

Go Girls has ratings of 5 in +5. Blue Rose on TV2 was a fizzer, rating 3s and 4s in 5+. TV3s Harry did a dismal 3.

It’s a good question. NZ drama has rated well in the past, but at the moment it is all rating pretty badly.

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Current Affairs shows

February 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Seven Sharp is not current affairs so much as infotainment. I don’t have a problem with that because I am not sure enough happens in NZ for a daily current affairs show. This leads to manufactured stories and the like.

But I do think current affairs shows are important, even if not daily. And Rachel Glucina points out how many we have now:

  • Sunday, TV One
  • 360, TV3
  • 60 Minutes, Prime
  • Native Affairs, Maori TV
  • 3rd Degree, TV3
  • The Vote, TV3
  • 20/20, TV2
  • Q+A, TV One
  • The Nation, TV3

When people say there is no current affairs in New Zealand, well far from it.

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Yeah lets not listen to our customers

October 19th, 2012 at 10:36 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Australian television boss Tim Worner says the station will not be spooked into fast-tracking imported television series and dramas because of internet pirates.

Yeah, stuff the viewers who want to see their favourite shows promptly. They’ll see them when we tell them they can see them.

We now live in a global market. Channels are, in my  opinion, losing relevance. People are about content, and will bypass traditional channels too get it. Evenetually I hope the future will be that people can purchase their favourite TV series directly from the producers within a day of release.

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Top 12 events watched on NZ TV

October 27th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

TVNZ sent these out. This is for combined viewers, regardless of channel.

  1. RWC 2011 Final (NZ v France) 23/10/2011 – 2,036,900
    2. RWC 2011 Semi-final (NZ v Australia) 16/10/2011 – 2,024,000
    3. RWC 2011 Opening Game (NZ v Tonga) 09/09/2011 – 1,930,000
    4. Boxing – Tua v Lewis 12/11/2000 – 1,841,230
    5. ONE News Special – Diana’s death 31/08/1997 -1,703,310
    6. 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony 15/09/2000 – 1,654,310
    7. ONE News Special – Diana’s Funeral 06/09/1997 – 1,649,710
    8. RWC 2011 Qtr Final (NZ v Argentina) 09/10/2011 – 1,624,400
    9. RWC 2003 Final (England v Australia) 22/11/2003 – 1,604,800
    10. Diana Exclusive 21/11/1995 – 1,516,780
    11. RWC 2011 Opening Ceremony 09/09/2011 – 1,499,160
    12. RWC 2007 (NZ v France) 07/10/2007 – 1,410,410

I find it interesting that a boxing match was 4th highest (and 1st before the 2011 RWC).

Of the top 12, seven are RWC matches. three are the death of Diana, and one boxing and one Olympics.

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We’re going digital

September 16th, 2010 at 10:11 pm by David Farrar

The Government announced:

The Government announced today that New Zealand will complete the switch to digital television by 2013.

‘’Our election promise was to achieve digital switchover (DSO) by 2015 at the latest. With 70 percent of New Zealand households already watching digital television, we are in a good position to set a date for DSO,” says Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman.

‘’In achieving DSO by the end of 2013, all of New Zealand will receive the benefit of enhanced reception, better picture quality and more channels. There will be a substantial wider economic benefit generated by the use of freed up spectrum for new technology.

It is the spectrum that is freed up, which has exciting possibilities.

Digital switchover will be phased starting with Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast in September 2012. The rest of the country will switch over in three stages with an end date of November 2013.

I got a new TV a couple of years ago that is digital, so no problems with me. Plus I do all my viewing through My Sky anyway.

Labour are supportive:

Am at NZ Computer Society 50th anniversary conf in Rotorua and about to speak, but want to say that it’s the right decision. Am a bit suprised. it loooked as though the government was going to delay til 2015.

Wonder why they changed their minds. The mobile companies investing in 4G will be pleased.  And it means that we wont lag in the next generation of ultra-fast broadband over mobile.

The “loser” is Kordia, who provide the current transmissions. But they are well on their way with developing other business models.

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US shows being shown earlier here

November 16th, 2008 at 9:58 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

An explosion in online piracy has forced New Zealand’s free-to-air TV networks to fast-track the screening of top international shows.

Superhero drama Heroes and British car series Top Gear topped the list of the most illegally downloaded TV shows in New Zealand last year, with millions of copies hitting cyberspace as soon as they were made available overseas.

As a result, those shows and others including House, Private Practice and Survivor are aired within days of their international release.

And that is the logical response. We live in a borderless world and if people can read online the latest Heroes episode is out, they want to see it now – now in six months. If NZ is only a few days behind few will pirate it, but if it is a choice of waiting for months or downloading a copy of something that will be free to air  anyway, people download.

As a matter of principle I will not download movies, as they are distributed in NZ within days of overseas release, and you have to pay to see them.

I have occassionally downloaded a TV show if it either does not show in NZ at all, or the wait to see it will be too long. I always watch it again on the TV once they do show here also. At present I haven’t downloaded a TV show for months – partly too busy, but partly because TV networks here are screening them faster.

Tony Eaton, the executive director of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, says that the authorities in New Zealand had yet to conduct extensive research into illegal downloads.

“Our primary focus has been the film industry but in saying that we have turned our attention to television more,” he said.

“It makes sense for networks to make shows available as soon as possible on television here.”

Good to see FACT agreeing.

The trend may explain why the big two free-to-air networks offer legal downloads of top shows for a limited period after they screen on TV.

“It may be that online availability of programming is actually having the effect of boosting television viewing – that is certainly the case with `catch up’ television,” said Richards.

I have no doubt this is the case.

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