It's been a mixed year for local television. While shows like Terry Teo and Real Housewives were instant hits, things weren't so rosy for the likes of Filthy Rich or Dirty Laundry.
It hasn't always been this way. We've produced some great shows over the years, but many were never given the chance to build an audience.
We put our thinking caps on and came up with five shows that deserve a second chance - and a slice of Filthy Rich's huge budget.
had so much promise. Dark, gritty, intense and unlike any other local drama, with a stellar cast that included Oscar Kightley and Sam fricking Neil, it was a show that should've taken off. In
, critic Paul Casserly praised it for presenting a realistic version of Auckland and compared it to overseas crime hits
. However, the show was the opposite of a ratings success and ran for just six episodes. Sam Neil has had a career resurgence thanks to his role in
so probably couldn't do a revival, but for something this good, he just might make the effort.
Not renewing Hounds for a second season will likely go down as one of the biggest mistakes TV3 and NZ on Air ever made. The Downlow Concept's low-key comedy about dog racing was planted behind 7 Days for the six episodes it ran, and it should have done well. It has universal acclaim, with critic Chris Schulz calling it "the most perfect three hours of Kiwi comedy ever".
However, despite its cushy timeslot, the show was too quirky for the masses and didn't get that rare second season, despite many demanding it get a second shot to sell itself. Now the creators are off making shows for Hollywood - it seems all our best creators are destined to find better fortunes overseas.
This Is Not My Life
It's not often sci-fi or fantasy emerges in New Zealand television after 7.30pm, but for one season at least, TVNZ 1 gave high concept television a go with This is Not My Life. Starring Charles Mesure as a man who can't remember anything and wakes up in a futuristic eco-town, it was one of the more promising and intriguing shows to be made here for some time. Critic Russell Baillie praised it for having "sufficient grown-up intrigue, compelling characters and special effects-enhanced production values to make it a challenging human drama". Despite selling the concept overseas, TINML was deemed unworthy of a second season, robbing us of one of the more original shows TVNZ has ever done.
Given the types of shows we have been getting locally this year, you wouldn't really imagine we could pull of a dark, psychological thriller about a mysterious cult organisation that asks questions about who we are as humans. But that's just what The Cult managed to do back in 2009, TVNZ 2's big new drama that year. Chris Schulz described it as being "as dense and brooding as anything dreamt up by similar conspiracy theory shows Lost and The X-Files". It had one of the starriest casts of a show here ever, with Danielle McCormack leading alongside Renato Bartolomei, Sara Wiseman and Lisa Chappell, but it too failed to garner a second season, ending what could have been one of our most compelling mysteries far too soon.
The Blue Rose
Following the end of Outrageous Fortune, writer James Griffin reunited with two of the shows stars, Antonia Prebble and Siobhan Marshall, for this light crime drama that was brimming with potential. The first season revolved around the mysterious death of legal secretary Rose, whose job Prebble's character Jane takes over. Believing there is more to the death, she teams up with Rose's friend Linda to find out who killed her. The show was bumped around in the timeslots after it failed to reach Fortune level ratings and didn't get a second season. It thankfully got to wrap up the plot, but left the door open for more crimes and investigations. It's such a shame they weren't given the chance.