NZ TV show ideas

A new thread to discuss future programme ideas for New Zealand television. (Please note that this thread is for New Zealand programmes only.)


Woolshed Decorators - watch Shazza and Belinds tart up Brides-to-be’s uncles old woolsheds for their big days. How many ways are there to clear sheepshit? Find out on HGTV 2021!

I Killed a Kiwi! - real life reality action as motorists hit endangered animals and make a decision, pretend it didn’t happen or bury it beside the road. Those who flee are given a ten minute head start before the Doc Rangers come after them. Coming soon to Duke.

She’ll Be Right - a feminism programme for the modern Kiwi Sheila, buried late nights on Bravo.


The Chapman Group
A remake of The Ralston Group with RNZ’s Wallace Chapman as host. The Chapman Group is a live-to-air, weekly programme which gives punchy, provocative and sometimes outrageous opinions on the state of the nation.

Regular panellists appearing on a roster basis include:

  • Ali Mau (Stuff journalist and broadcaster)
  • Ben Thomas (PR specialist and former National Party parliamentary staffer)
  • Claire Robinson (Professor of Communication Design at Massey University)
  • David Cormack (managing partner at The Draper Cormack Group, columnist for the NZ Herald and former comms manager for the Green Party)
  • Emma Espiner (social commentator and medical student)
  • Heather Roy (business consultant and former ACT Party MP)
  • Jane Patterson (political editor at RNZ)
  • Josie Pagani (political commentator and executive director of the Council for International Development)
  • Laila Harré (former minister and trade unionist)
  • Morgan Godfery (political writer and author)
  • Peter Dunne (ex-cabinet minister and former leader of the United Future Party)
  • Richard Prebble (former Labour MP and ex-ACT Party leader)
  • Shane Te Pou (political commentator and former executive director of the Labour Party)
  • Simon Wilson (senior writer at the NZ Herald)
  • Tim Watkin (founder of the political blog site, Pundit, and executive producer of podcasts and series at RNZ)
  • Trish Sherson (PR specialist and co-founder of Sherson Willis)

Here’s a custom-made logo for The Chapman Group using Microsoft PowerPoint, as shown below.

@TV4 @nztv What do you guys think of The Chapman Group (similar in format to The Ralston Group)?

Yeah nah, I never liked Wallace Chapman… too much um’ing and ah’ing and waffle. I prefer interviewers who ask a succinct question and let the interviewee’s speak for themselves.

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Looks good Paddy. Haven’t seen much of Chris apart from one episode of Brain Busters but seems like a good talent!


So a mix between Countdown and Rage? Sounds interesting.

I think that’s a great innovation, as not too many shows use the platforms that are most being used, (ie they use email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., whereas the younger generation are using Snap and Insta).

So they will have “residency” on the show? I think that could be a good way to build an audience.

I think this show could be quite good, but I don’t know if it would be as popular nowadays, as you can go on YouTube and see the videos, etc. (I’m in Australia though, so don’t know the NZ audience, so I could be wrong).

By videos I meant the artists music videos.

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Friday Night
A live-to-air, late night music show featuring video clips, new music, live studio performances, interviews and artist profiles as well as gig guides, competitions, discussion of youth issues and interactive elements like music video requests, viewer dedications and discussion of youth issues via phone-ins, text messaging and social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat).

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, Friday Night is committed to supporting not only the New Zealand music industry but the emerging youth and youth culture of New Zealand. The show features a stellar lineup of live performances by some of the country’s biggest names in music (i.e. City of Souls, Devilskin, Villainy, Mermaidens, Reb Fountain, The Beths etc), combined with up-and-coming New Zealand bands.

Friday Night will be produced out of Auckland each week. Here’s a preliminary Friday Night logo courtesy of Pacalypse and

Friday Night

Chris Kirk
Chris Kirk, who is based in Christchurch, will be perfect for the role of host. In fact, Chris is no stranger to television work, having presented the longest running children’s programme What Now for the past five years (2015-2020). He is also the host of a brand new quiz/game show for kids, Brain Busters, which, in real life, screens on TVNZ and @OnAir described him as a good talent.

Jemma Peterson
Last time - shortly before it was deleted - I introduced you to a good friend of mine, who will be making her debut on New Zealand television and joining Chris as co-host on the show. Her name is Jemma Peterson, also known as Hidden Jem.

Originally from Napier in Hawke’s Bay but based on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, Jemma’s career started organising complex travel itineraries for Air New Zealand’s elite high-flyers. On the side was a leader of the Social Club, organising cabaret and burlesque-themed Christmas parties. This led her naturally into event management with Wild On Waiheke, organising corporate and private events to include travel, dining, team-building and entertainment experiences since 2014.

If you’re on Waiheke Island - and outside of work - you could find Jemma on or behind the stage assisting local music events and shows at Artworks Theatre. What started as a hobby soon became a strong passion and since 2018 she has been a part of the theatre’s team in varying roles from bar to general management, Jemma loves helping provide a platform for local and professional artists to express themselves and their work ranging from comedy, plays, concerts and festivals, whilst taking the audiences along for the journey.

And because Jemma has had many opportunities to be a part of events and shows as a dancer, actress and/or MC, she had a talent for on-stage entertainment as one of 12 Miss Pinup New Zealand contestants last year (2019).

As a founder of my dream television business, my intention is to bring in fresh faces, i.e. people who are new to television, just like Jemma. I also intend to hire her to co-host Friday Night with Chris Kirk, although background training - under the guidance of media personalities like Sharyn Casey, who hosts the drive show on The Edge and had worked in television in recent times - is required. And because I’m into the media landscape, I manage not to give up my dreams.


As I have deleted my previous posts, here’s an update in regard to one of my creations - Friday Night.

The Australian based @foxyrover thought the New Zealand acts would have “residency” on the show, and the show itself would be a mix between Countdown and rage on the ABC, but the format is similar to that of Ground Zero during the late 1990s and the acts perform live in the studio as special guests, not regulars.

Interactivity on Friday Night is a great innovation, as not too many shows use the platforms that are most being used (i.e. emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat). The phone hotline, text message service and social media are used to collect music video requests as well as viewer dedications and discussion of issues that are relevant to the young people of New Zealand.

We are in the 21st century and people from all over the world rely on YouTube for music videos. Friday nights, much like the United States, have lower audience numbers due to the fact that younger audiences are not at home watching television, though this varies depending on the country. Because of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Friday night activities have been cancelled or postponed.

@TV4 @nztv Once again, what do you think of my idea - and the hosts?

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this post is based on one of my ideas and acts as a starting point only.

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I don’t know Chris or Jemma but you write great bios… and more fresh faces on telly, yes please.


I really appreciate your concern, @nztv, but thanks for your suggestion. Once again, bringing in fresh faces on television is my intention when it comes to my dream network.

It’s a worthy idea, but I think the programme would be struggling to pay its way until (and if) you can get an audience built up. Musicians tend to like to be paid, and convincing advertisers to book on a Friday night could be problematic.

What about hosting it at a pub to start with, to test the water? At least then you’d be able to pay the muso’s (and maybe even the hosts/production crew!). Even take it on the road to different venues - ‘Friday Night, at XXX’ (you’ll probably have to limit yourself to greater Auckland to start with, unfortunately). It could help promote different pubs and bars around the place, especially if they’re looking to increase their profiles/patronage.

Have you seen the NPR mini concerts or Berlin Sessions on YT? If you could get a little more bio of the band as well as keeping it intimate like these do, I reckon that would make it… otherwise there’s an argument to just play music videos.

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@TV4 Friday Night is being recorded at the studios of NEP, which is located at 60 Stanley Street in Parnell (just a 6.5 minute drive from Queen Street in Auckland’s city centre).

NEP’s main studio (Studio 4) is 215m² and has plenty of space for the Friday Night set; it encompasses an audience seating area, a desk containing laptops and a scrolling LED display board (which allows the audience to call, text or head to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat during the show), an interview area containing a 2-seater sofa and a 3-seater sofa (where local acts and special guests are interviewed), a live music area (where local acts perform live in the studio), and a “Hot Spot” area similar to Ground Zero.

The “Hot Spot” area, as part of the set’s backdrop, contains three Acer desktop PCs which are used for interactivity with the audience right throughout the show (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and interactive chat via the show’s website). The PCs will be manned by a rotating pool of musicians, comedians and social media content creators as “Hot Spot” operators.

The advertising rate for Friday Night - which screens at 10.30pm each week on a second channel within my dream television business (but not the main channel) and run for two hours, finishing at 12.30am in the early hours of Saturday - will be $300 for 30 seconds (per spot). In order to pay for the local acts, especially bands and artists who perform live on the show, and provide an opportunity for advertisers, there will be a special advertising pack (i.e. 52 x 30 sec spots) valued at about $15,600.

Members of the studio audience need to be aged 16 years or older and smoking, alcohol and drugs are not allowed in the studio. It is the policy of Friday Night to support healthy living and lifestyles for youth.

It is unlikely that the show will be going to air live from a different venue within Auckland each week, such as a pub or a bar on K’Road. And nope, I haven’t seen the NPR mini concerts or Berlin Sessions, either.

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New Zealand’s Funniest Home Videos
Based on the Japanese variety show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan, the remake of New Zealand’s Funniest Home Videos (originally seen on TVNZ during 1990, 1991 and 1993 respectively) features humorous homemade videos that are submitted by viewers within New Zealand, combined with the best of international content (i.e. clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos in the US and You’ve Been Framed! in the UK).

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the show is divided into two 13-week seasons each year with plans to screen every Tuesday (at 7.30pm) for 26 weeks of the year.

The New Zealand made clips are the only clips eligible for prizes. Three videos will be chosen by the producers and voted on by the studio audience every week. The weekly prize for the best video each week will be a $1,000 cash prize and the prize for the best video from the entire 13-week season win a $10,000 cash prize.

There will also be a hour-long Christmas show at the end of each year with highlights from both seasons. Three videos from each season will be chosen by the producers as invitations and voted on by the studio audience. The grand prize for the year’s best video will be a family holiday for four (i.e. two adults and two children) to Fiji courtesy of Air New Zealand and Helloworld Travel - subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

Hosting the remake of New Zealand’s Funniest Home Videos will be Megan Mansell (from Dom, Meg & Randell, The Edge’s breakfast show).

Candid Camera
Following in the footsteps of Danny Watson and Andrew Clay during the 1990s, Megan Papas (from Fletch, Vaughan & Megan on ZM) and comedian Tim Batt will join forces to co-host a remake of New Zealand’s own Candid Camera, the classic US comedy programme, in which ordinary Kiwis unwittingly become the stars of the show.

Each half hour show will see unsuspecting members of the New Zealand public being placed in a series of confusing, impossible, embarrassing, ridiculous, and hilarious positions, while their reactions are recorded on a hidden camera.

Candid Camera will be shown in two 13-week seasons and partnered with New Zealand’s Funniest Home Videos (see above), with plans to screen every Tuesday (at 8pm) for 26 weeks of the year.

Give Us a Clue
Corin Dann will move away from current affairs and become the host of a brand new celebrity game show based on charades - Give Us a Clue. In fact, Brian Edwards did move away from current affairs and become the host of that show when it was on TV3 (now Three) during 1993.

Every week, two teams of four New Zealand celebrities - led by comedian Dai Henwood (of 7 Days and Family Feud NZ fame) and actress/media personality Kimberley Crossman (formerly of Shortland Street fame) - compete against each other in the remake of a classic, battle-of-the-sexes charades game. One member of a team is given a title to act out. It can be the name of a movie, book, TV show, play, song … whatever that name is! Then he or she has two minutes to act it out to convey to his or her teammates.

Points are awarded according to how fast the title is guessed. 10 points are scored for successful solves within the first minute and five points are scored if they get it after the first minute. If the first team does not get it at all, the opposing team has a chance to guess the subject for three points.

The remake of Give Us a Clue will typically be shown as a midseason replacement for New Zealand’s Funniest Home Videos in its usual timeslot (Tuesdays at 7.30pm) and run for 13 weeks.

It’s in the Bag
Last seen on Maori TV with Pio Terei and Stacey Morrison as hosts, I am taking It’s in the Bag back to its original form with a complete refresh and new hosts - Jason Reeves (from Coast Breakfast with Jase, Toni & Sam on Coast) as host/quizmaster and Matilda Green (nee Rice; winner of The Bachelor New Zealand 2015 ) as hostess.

The remake of It’s in the Bag, which will be divided into two 13-week seasons each year with plans to screen every Saturday (at 6.30pm) for 26 weeks of the year, goes out on the road to a different town each week and the set is assembled into a local community town hall. The contestants are locals selected from the audience by a pre-show qualifying process.

During the show, each contestant will be called onto the stage and asked three relatively easy questions. If all three questions are answered correctly, the contestant has the chance to play for ‘the money or the bag’. The contestant will first be asked to select one of 30 different bags. Each bag contains a prize unknown to both the contestant and the host. The prizes range in value from moderate to valuable, and also include three ‘booby prizes’ of negligible value, such as a clothes peg. The top bag is known as “Super Bag”; this bag contains a prize of high value or several items equally a high value, there is just one “Super Bag”.

The host of the show will then offer the contestant an increasing amount of cash in exchange for their unopened bag. The offers will continue until the contestant either accepts the cash or the host chooses to stop offering more money. If he or she chooses the bag, it will be opened at that point and his or her prize will be revealed. If the contestant chooses the money the prize the contestant turns down will be revealed.

The final round is the “Travel Bag” round in which one of the previously-appearing contestants will be randomly selected to compete. In this round, the contestant will be asked ten quite difficult questions. The contestant who has answered the most correctly at the end of each 13-week season will win the prize - a valuable travel-related prize such as a round-the-world trip, a matching set of travel luggage, and a Sony HD video camera.

The last segment of the show consists of the host going into the audience and selecting a participant. That lucky person will not be asked any questions but will otherwise participate in the normal bag selection and bidding process. The show also contains an “Email Bag” segment at the start where viewers across all of New Zealand will send in a cash bid by email. An entry will be drawn on the show with the ‘money or the bag’ process run through until the offer by the host exceeds the bid in which case the entrant will take the money, or until the host reaches a limit and in this case the entrant will take the prize in the bag.

@TV4 @nztv @OnAir @foxyrover What do you think of the remakes - and the host(s) of each remake? And when it comes to the remake of Give Us a Clue, what do you think of Corin Dann as host and Dai Henwood and Kimberley Crossman as team captains? It’s like going back to 1993 when Brian Edwards had hosted the show with teams led by Gary McCormick and Belinda Todd (formerly of Nightline fame).

More NZ show ideas to come…

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this post is based on one of my ideas and acts as a starting point only.

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Nowadays? Just give them a phone.

What kind of phone - an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy? If so, let me know if you like!


It’s as much fun as you think! Based on the format of a US game show created by Merv Griffin, the New Zealand remake of Jeopardy! will see contestants being presented with trivia clues in the form of answers and must phrase their responses in the form of a question.

There are three rounds: Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! The dollar values are $20 to $100 in the Jeopardy! round and $40 to $200 in Double Jeopardy!, with three Daily Doubles in each round. In Final Jeopardy!, contestants makes a minimum wager ($1) or the maximum wager which is the contestant’s current score.

The contestants only see their own scores, although, at the end of each round, they are told their relative positions, i.e. who is in first, who is in second, and who is in third. This has the side effect of reducing ‘runaways’, a common phenomenon in the American show where contestants heading into Final Jeopardy! with more than double their nearest opponent will be guaranteed victory by betting a small amount; most players do not pay enough attention to others’ correct or incorrect responses to know if they have clinched a runaway game.

The response has to be grammatically correct ‘in addition to’ the usual requirement of phrasing in the form of a question, e.g. a response that begins “Who is…” when a “What is…” prefix is grammatically correct will be disallowed, and the contestant will be charged a penalty. (This conceit had been abandoned on the American show since the mid-1960s.)

The player leading after Final Jeopardy! wins whatever total amount of money they have, and wins a new Suzuki car after five consecutive nights with the undefeated champion retiring.

Hosting the new show will be Walter Neilands (formerly of Sticky TV fame), with plans to screen every weekday (at 5pm) for 45 weeks of the year.

Celebrity Jeopardy! will also be produced as a midseason replacement for the first half of The Price Is Right (Saturdays at 7.30pm) and screened for 13 weeks. During its 13-week run, three celebrity contestants compete to win cash for their chosen charities.

The last time “New Zealand’s own Jeopardy!” aired on our screens was in 1992 via TVNZ, with Mark Leishman as host.

Wheel of Fortune
After more than a decade’s absence from New Zealand screens, I am desperate to bring back the Wheel - Wheel of Fortune, the world’s favourite game.

With a complete refresh and new hosts - Matt Gibb (well known from his TVNZ days, from Squirt and Studio 2 to U live, Kiwi Living and the live Lotto draw) as host and Diamond Langi (Miss Universe New Zealand 2019) as hostess - the remake of “New Zealand’s own Wheel of Fortune” - based on the format of a US game show created by Merv Griffin - will be a must-watch for all New Zealanders and those who grew up watching the show during the TVNZ era (1991-96 and 2008-09).

It’s where contestants are shown a word or phrase with the letters covered. They must spin a wheel marked with prizes or penalties for chances to win money by guessing the missing letters. The winner is the one who can guess the complete answer to the hidden puzzle by solving it.

The new look Wheel of Fortune will follow the same format as the Australian version during the Grundy/Fremantle era (1981-2006), with the dollar values in multiples of 5 instead of 50 in the American version.

There will be three rounds and a “Top Dollar” in each round: $750 in round one, $1,500 in round two and $2,500 in round three. The “Lose a Turn” wedge (i.e. ends a contestant’s turn without affecting their current round’s winnings) will appear once in rounds one and two and twice in round three, as does the “Bankrupt” wedge (i.e. ends a contestant’s turn and loses their money currently earned for the round, although any money won from a prior round is not affected by that wedge).

In round one, there will be a “Free Spin” token placed at the top of the said wedge with black “Free Spin” text. This token allows a contestant to continue his or her turn in the event of solving a puzzle incorrectly, selecting a letter that is not in the puzzle, or landing on Bankrupt or Lose a Turn.

In round two, there will be two $500 spaces marked with a stylized question mark placed on the wheel. These are known as mystery wedges. If a contestant lands on one of these mystery wedges and correctly guesses a letter in the puzzle, said contestant is given an option to risk their current winnings by ‘flipping’ the mystery wedge (contains either a Bankrupt or a special prize, which will only be awarded if the contestant solves the puzzle correctly), or takes a buyout with a $500 per consonant. After one mystery wedge has been flipped, the remaining wedge functions as a regular $500 space.

Another key features of the show’s gameplay will include:

  • the Surprise wedge (appearing on a sporadic basis) which contains a Mystery prize won by the contestant who picks up that wedge and only solves the puzzle correctly on the same round; and
  • the Red Mystery Letter, i.e. a consonant that appears in red on the puzzle board doubles the money awarded for choosing that letter.

At the end of each show, the bonus round gives the day’s champion a chance to win one of several major prizes, including a new car. The dollar values on the wheel are replaced with the major prizes, two wedges being the car. It is known as “The Golden Wheel”.

The contestant is given help with the final puzzle in the form of consonants and vowels; they start with two consonants and one vowel to start with, plus an additional consonant for every $2,000 scored in the main game. Theoretically, enough money ($38,000) can be earned so as to call every consonant. The winning contestant then gets 10 seconds to solve the puzzle and win the prize. Contestants can make many guesses during the time limit so long it does not expire. If a champ is unable to solve the puzzle in the bonus round, any score will carry over to the next show; however, once the top prize is won, the value is reset back to zero.

The new look Wheel of Fortune will partner with Jeopardy! with plans to screen every weekday (at 5.30pm) for 45 weeks of the year.

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune will also be produced as a midseason replacement for the second half of The Price Is Right (Saturdays at 8pm) and screened for 13 weeks. During its 13-week run, three celebrity contestants compete to win cash and prizes for home viewers.

The last time Wheel of Fortune aired on New Zealand screens was in 2009 via TVNZ with Jason Gunn as host and Sonia Gray as hostess, although Greer Robson-Kirk temporarily replaced Sonia as hostess.

@TV4 @nztv @OnAir @foxyrover In my book, The Chase screens daily on TVNZ 1 in the all important 5-6pm slot. The question is, will the Kiwi versions of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune become even better and draw a bigger audience than The Chase?

More NZ TV show ideas - including NZ’s own The Price Is Right - to come in Part 3…

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this post is based on one of my suggestions and acts as a starting point only.

I have a soft spot for Jeopardy! (The American version). Has anyone seen the 1992 NZ version? Is it on YouTube?

Looks good @PaddyTePou, big fan of a local Jeopardy version.

What about a local The Chase?

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@OnAir I prefer bringing the classics back to life instead of opting for more contemporary formats like Tipping Point or The Chase.

Typical “Early Morning News” format (6-8.30am, Monday to Friday)

:00 past the hour - News
:12 past the hour - Commercial break
:15 past the hour - Headlines, followed by business update
:17 past the hour - Sports news, followed by weather
:27 past the hour - Commercial break
:30 past the hour - News
:42 past the hour - Commercial break
:45 past the hour - Headlines, followed by sports update
:47 past the hour - Business news, followed by weather
:57 past the hour - Commercial break

8:00 - News
8:12 - Commercial break
8:15 - Headlines, followed by business news
8:20 - Sports news
8:27 - Weather and closing headlines

Here’s how the “Early Morning News” format works.

The 2.5 hour, all-news format (until 8.30am) is made up of five half hour bulletins running back to back. Each bulletin contains national and international news, sport, business and weather information with a particular focus on overnight events, and the format itself does not include magazine or lifestyle segments.

Headlines are delivered every 15 minutes (i.e. beginning at 6am and updated at 6.15, 6.30, 6.45, 7.00, 7.15, 7.30, 7.45, 8.00 and 8.15am). Summaries of the morning’s newspaper headlines are at 6.11, 7.11 and 8.11am, prior to a commercial break.

First two hours (from 6am)
In the 6am and 7am bulletins, there is a brief update on the morning’s business headlines and a longer segment devoted to overnight sports news, followed by a national weather forecast. In the 6.30 and 7.30am bulletins, there is a brief sports update and a longer segment devoted to business news and the financial markets, followed by a weather forecast for the main centres.

Final half hour (from 8am)
The last half hour of this format begins with an update on the morning’s news. After a commercial break, the news headlines (at 8.15) are followed by business and sports news. A national weather forecast and a final recap of the headlines finish off the programme as a whole (6-8.30am).

What do you think of the all-news format at breakfast time?

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