Some of television's biggest stars will be out tonight to celebrate the New Zealand Television Awards, which return after a five-year hiatus.

Toni Street, Antonia Prebble and Jesse Mulligan are just some of the stars set to walk the red carpet, as 86 finalists compete across 25 categories.

Follow our live updates on Spy's Instagram account @seenbyspy

But don't expect to see TVNZ's news team on show, after the network opted not to enter its news or current affairs programmes into the awards.

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Head of news and current affairs John Gillespie said news does not belong next to entertainment programming and should instead be judged as part of the Canon Awards for journalism.

That will see Mediaworks' stars compete against one another the Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs category, where The Project's Kanoa Lloyd will face off with her co-host Jesse Mulligan and Newshub's 6pm host, Mike McRoberts.

Newshub also claimed three of the four finalist spots for Best News Coverage, with Maori Television's Te Kaea also in the mix, while stuff.co.nz and newsroom.co.nz will compete with Three's The Hui for Best Current Affairs Programme.

Laura Daniel, Jackie Van Beek and Rose Matafeo star in Funny Girls. Photo / Supplied
Laura Daniel, Jackie Van Beek and Rose Matafeo star in Funny Girls. Photo / Supplied

Australian series 800 Words and Cleverman, which are produced in New Zealand for the Australian market, will compete with Westside for Best Drama, Jono & Ben, Funny Girls and 7 Days will face off for the Best Comedy crown.

Esther Stephens (Westside), Kate Elliot (Jean) and Antonia Prebble (Westside) are all up for Best Actress, alongside Andrew Munro (Hillary), Kahn West (Terry Teo) and Dean O'Gorman (Hillary) for Best Actor.

Best Factual Series

Our Big Blue Backyard - TVNZ1

Great War Stories - Three

Te Radar's Chequered Past - TVNZ1

Why Am I? - The Science of Us - TVNZ1

Forensics NZ - Prime TV

Best Documentary

The Women of Pike River - TVNZ1

Born This Way: Awa's Story - TVNZ1

Making Good Men - Prime TV

Best Reality Series
Dare to Dream - TVNZ1
Songs from the Inside - Maori Television
Sidewalk Karaoke - TVNZ1

Best Lifestyle Programme
Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty - TVNZ1
Te Araroa: Tales From the Trails - Maori Television
Karena & Kasey's Kitchen Diplomacy - TVNZ1

Best Current Affairs Programme
The Hui - Three
The Politician, The Police and The Payout - newsroom.co.nz
Private Business, Public Failure: Inside Our Prisons - stuff.co.nz

Best Web Series
Amy Street - amystreet.net
Friday Night Bites - TVNZ On Demand
Loading Docs - loadingdocs.net

Best Children's Programme
Terry Teo - TVNZ2
Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - Maori Television
Smokefree Rockquest 2016 - Three

Best Māori Programme
Waka Huia - TVNZ1
Kiingitanga - Maori Television
The Hui - Three

Best Pasifika Programme
Fresh - TVNZ2
#TalesOfTime - thecoconet.tv
Tagata Pasifika - TVNZ1

Best News Coverage
Port Hills Fires, Newshub - Three
NZ Herald, Te Kaea News - Maori Television
US Election Night, Newshub - Three
Kaikoura Earthquake, Newshub - Three

Best Sports Programme
The Crowd Goes Wild - Sky TV
Shaun Johnson: Across The Mekong - Sky TV
John Campbell: All Blacks in Apia - Sky TV

Best Live Event Coverage
International Rugby: All Blacks vs British & Irish Lions - Sky Sports
Dancing With The Stars - Grand Final 2015 - Three
Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2016 - Three

Best Comedy or Comedy Entertainment Programme

Jono & Ben - Three

Funny Girls - Three

7 Days - Three

Best Director: Documentary or Factual
Amanda Evans, Gloriavale - TVNZ2
Mitchell Hawkes, Born This Way: Awa's Story - TVNZ1
Peter Young, The Art of Recovery - TVNZ1
Yvonne Mackay, Doubt: The Scott Watson Case - TVNZ1

Best Director: Drama
Josh Frizzell, The Brokenwood Mysteries - Prime TV
David Stubbs, Belief: The Possession Of Janet Moses - TVNZ1
Robert Sarkies, Jean - TVNZ1

Best Director: Multi Camera

Nigel Carpenter, Dancing With The Stars - Grand Final 2015 - Three

Mitchell Hawkes, Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2016 - Three

Kingsley Hockley, What Now - TVNZ2

Best Script: Comedy
Roseanne Liang, Friday Night Bites - TVNZ OnDemand
Rose Matafeo, Nic Sampson & Laura Daniel, Funny Girls - Three
Millen Baird & John Argall, Darryl: An Outward Bound Story - TVNZ OnDemand

Best Script: Drama
John Banas, Bombshell - TVNZ1
Tom Scott, Hillary - TVNZ1
Paula Boock & Donna Malane, Jean - TVNZ1

Best Actress
Esther Stephens, Westside - Three
Kate Elliott, Jean - TVNZ1
Antonia Prebble, Westside - Three

Best Actor

Andrew Munro, Hillary - TVNZ1

Kahn West, Terry Teo - TVNZ2

Dean O'Gorman, Hillary - TVNZ1

Best Presenter: Entertainment
The Topp Twins (Jools & Lynda Topp) Topp Country - TVNZ1
Rachel Hunter, Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty - TVNZ1
Te Radar, Te Radar's Chequered Past - TVNZ1

Television Personality Of The Year
Pua Magasiva
Jack Tame
Miriama Kamo
Rachel Hunter
Hilary Barry
Toni Street
Kanoa Lloyd
Dai Henwood
Anika Moa
Jono Pryor

Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs
Kanoa Lloyd, The Project - Three
Mike McRoberts, Newshub Live at 6pm - Three
Jesse Mulligan, The Project - Three