TV3 and C4 announce new line-up

 The Almighty Johnsons  is set to fill the local comedy-drama gap left by  Outrageous Fortune . Photo / Supplied
The Almighty Johnsons is set to fill the local comedy-drama gap left by Outrageous Fortune . Photo / Supplied

Mediaworks' television channels TV3 and C4 announce their new season line-up today as well as some network changes. Next year, C4 will become Four, and will pitch to an older demographic than it does now.

C4 was originally launched as a music channel and has retained that reputation, even though it offers a broad range of programmes. It currently pitches shows to 15 - 39-year-olds and will alter this to 18 - 49-year-olds when it becomes Four.

Programming director Kelly Martin says the aim is to make Four less youth-orientated and "shouty", as this has traditionally discouraged the more discerning audience from tuning in, despite it showing acclaimed shows like Breaking Bad and Misfits.

The music video component of C4 will move to Freeview, as will the roles of presenters Drew Neemia and Shannon Ryan.

TV3 will also adjust its demographic slightly from 18-49 to 25-54, but this is tipped to be more of a gradual change.

Notable changes to TV3 will be fewer crime dramas such as CSI and NCIS, which have loaded the schedule recently, and some cult favourites like America's Next Top Model, The Simpsons and Top Chef will switch to the new Four. New Zealand's Next Top Model will remain on TV3, which Martin says is because the local nature of the show makes it "event television" which appeals to the more serious audience.

New shows on TV3 next year include a modern version of the classic Hawaii Five-O; a legal comedy drama The Defenders set in Las Vegas and Australian reality series Farmer Wants a Wife.

South Pacific Pictures' The Almighty Johnsons replaces Outrageous Fortune as the flagship locally made comedy-drama next year. Starring Go Girls' Jared Turner, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Michelle Langstone of McLeod's Daughters, it follows five brothers who are trying to hide their superpowers from the public.

Highly popular comedy panel 7 Days returns after a successful first run and is also joined by Australian comedian Wil Anderson's panel show The Gruen Transfer, which has previously been running on Comedy Central.

Four's new shows include The Good Guys a police comedy starring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, Community, a comedy about a group of misfits at an American college and The Gates, about a police chief who leaves Chicago for a quiet life in a peaceful suburb where something doesn't seem quite right.

Mediaworks' television chief executive Jason Paris says the company will be able to tap into a larger potential audience by shifting the demographics of both channels, and the move should boost advertising revenue.

TVNZ announces its new season line-up on November 8.

- NZ Herald

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