As New Zealand's film industry plots its survival with limited Government subsidies, spare a thought for local television drama Nothing Trivial which was killed off this week.
Cast and crew learned on Monday the TV One show won't return next year for a fourth series because TVNZ won't renew it following low ratings.
"We have to follow the lead of our audience," TVNZ told The Diary. "If they're walking away from a show in significant numbers we have to pay attention."
The third series, currently screening, has suffered the lowest rating season to date with audiences 38 per cent down on last year, the network said.
South Pacific Pictures, makers of Nothing Trivial, said it was disappointed the show had been dumped.
"We love the show and are very proud of it and we know that this news will be upsetting to cast, crew and loyal fans."
TVNZ insists it's "committed to supporting the local drama industry" - but try telling that to the cast of Nothing Trivial who see a bleak future.
Lead actor Shane Cortese said the cast had "committed for at least two more seasons" and writers were developing more storylines.
He told The Diary he's trying to be philosophical about the show's demise.
"As disappointed as I am, I understand that it's for commercial reasons. Our ratings dropped. There were still stories to tell on it, but all things come to an end. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to play with such great actors on both Nothing Trivial and Almighty Johnsons.
"I'll spend the rest of the year concentrating on Chicago and sit down with [my wife] Nerida and plan out next year."
LOMU LASHES BACK AT IRISH DEVOTEE
Rugby legend Jonah Lomu, who has been touring the UK and Ireland with speaking engagements after the All Black matches, has lashed out at a fan who complained he was refused an autograph at an exclusive event but asked to sign as a kidney organ donor.
Rory Flanigan, who describes himself as a "lifelong Lomu fan", attended An Audience with Jonah Lomu at Dublin's Clyde Court Hotel on Sunday night - where tickets sold for up to 100 ($164) each - but he left less than impressed.
Flanigan vented on Twitter to Lomu, and The Diary tracked him down.
He told us he'd paid 80 to attend the intimate meet-and-greet session to see his hero, but Lomu refused to give him an autograph. The matter was made worse, he said, because he was asked to sign an organ donor card.
"It was for the Irish Kidney Association and we were given pamphlets when we entered and asked to sign up and register as organ donors.
"It left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm a lifelong fan of Jonah Lomu, but I was disgusted that he could ask us to sign up as organ donors and yet he wouldn't sign a single autograph! It was a bit rich."
Lomu suffers from the kidney disorder nephrotic syndrome, and his wife/manager, Nadene, blogged last week that he "has been having dialysis treatment in between his busy schedule" while touring the UK.
But the rugby legend lashed out at Flanigan on Twitter saying the organ donor cards were not his responsibility.
"Get your facts right before you shoot your mouth off. I was invited to the event and the donor cards had nothing to do with me," Lomu snapped.
Nadene blamed the event promoter for the gimmick and fired a parting shot at the young Irish fan online.
"Fact 1: Jonah was a guest not the host! Fact 2: You were not asked by Jonah to be an organ donor! WARNING! Stop now for yr own sake!" she cautioned Flanigan. "A guest is a guest, that's Jonah Lomu during the tour. A promoter promotes. See the promoter for each tour."
Mrs Lomu did not return our messages.
Lonergan's fight against freebies
Normally they say take it to the ring, but sports promoter Dean Lonergan from Duco Events told The Diary yesterday he's fed up with big name celebrities looking for freebies. After outing one prominent sportsman on radio for begging for free tickets to Fight for Life last year, Lonergan said it wasn't a one-off request.
"Mate, I get pissed off. Some of these guys make a sh**load of money and come and ask for free tickets." Alas, Lonergan wouldn't elaborate on who the scroungers were.
Fight for Life takes place on December 14 with a string of rugby and league big-shots taking to the ring for charity and Shane Cameron as the main event.
The revolving door
While Labour MPs hit Lambton Quay during their lunch break to collect money for the Red Cross Philippine relief appeal - "nearly $2000 in just 30 minutes" - their former spin doctors are rising through the ranks of one of New Zealand's largest and most successful companies.
Helen Clark's former press secretary, Mike Munro, is group manager of corporate affairs at the Todd Corporation, and now former David Shearer staffer Fran Mold is at subsidiary Todd Property Group in external relations.
It's a bit of a revolving door. Conor Roberts, Len Brown's former chief political adviser, had the same role before moving to Telecom.
Todd Property is the developer of Stonefields in Mt Wellington and South Auckland's Ormiston Town Centre, to name but a few of its sites.
Next time the Labour lads are fundraising, perhaps they should stand outside Todd's corporate office in Auckland's exclusive PWC Tower for a few coins from former luvvies.