Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Kiwi trio The Downlow Concept talk FX TV deal: 'We nearly wept'

7 Days stars Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego and Dai Henwood. The show was created by Auckland production team The Downlow Concept.
7 Days stars Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego and Dai Henwood. The show was created by Auckland production team The Downlow Concept.

A New Zealand television production team is celebrating after being asked to develop a show for American cable network FX.

The Downlow Concept, the Auckland trio of Ryan Hutchings, Jarrod Holt and Nigel McCulloch, have signed a script development deal for a comedy to screen in America.

The collective are the brains behind shows like 7 Days and Hounds, as well as upcoming movie Gary of the Pacific, starring local comedian Josh Thomson.

7 Days stars Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego and Dai Henwood. The show was created by Auckland production team The Downlow Concept.
7 Days stars Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego and Dai Henwood. The show was created by Auckland production team The Downlow Concept.

Holt says the opportunity with FX came out of the blue.

"When we were in Los Angeles we took a meeting with a guy at FX who'd always been super supportive and always said very nice things about our work. We initially thought he was just being polite ... but he would specifically talk to us about scenes in Hounds that he loved," he says.

"So we arranged a meet up with him and talked him through this other idea that we had. On the car ride to the airport, we got a phone call that FX had purchased the script for development and we just lost our s***."

Few details have been revealed about the show, but FX is known for crafting long-running leftfield comedy hits like Louie, Archer, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League.

A scene from Hounds, a TV3 comedy made by The Downlow Concept.
A scene from Hounds, a TV3 comedy made by The Downlow Concept.

Holt says working with the channel has been "the best experience of our lives".

"The way they approach the work and specifically comedy is like nothing we've ever dealt with before," he says.

"They've been incredible at guiding us through the process and pushing us to try new things.

"It's the first time we've ever heard from a TV network that they want the characters as f***** up as possible and not to spell everything out to the audience, to let them find things on their own.

"We nearly wept when they first told us this. It's made the writing so much fun."

- NZ Herald

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