Veteran US TV programme maker Lee Aronsohn is in Auckland this weekend and will talk at the Big Screen Symposium.

Aronsohn worked on nine series of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

While in New Zealand he will research a screenplay set in Auckland during WWII.

Aronsohn has been making shows for more than 30 years, and began as a writer on The Love Boat in 1978 before going on to contribute to such 80s classics as Charles in Charge, Who's the Boss and Murphy Brown.


In the 90s, as a writer and producer, he helped shape some of the decade's most popular sitcoms, in addition to writing and producing Two and a Half Men for nine seasons.

Film New Zealand chief executive Gisella Carr says it is an opportunity to showcase New Zealand and says the best way to promote the country is to have such people come here.

Opinions on bringing overseas entertainment professionals to New Zealand are mixed.

New Zealand TV film producer Tony Holden - who made series like the Spin Doctors and Funny Business - says Kiwi programme makers can learn from watching overseas people and markets.

But it was better to subsidise New Zealanders going to foreign markets, rather than them coming here.

The reality was that foreign markets and comedy did not necessarily transfer easily.

The nature of budgets and the way TV was made meant the two markets were very different.

It was nice to think that New Zealanders might make contact with Aronsohn on his visit, but realistically that was unlikely, he said.