Ex-TVNZ cooking show big surprise in TV3’s ‘game-changer’ lineup

MediaWorks has snatched reality cooking show MasterChef NZ from rivals TVNZ.

The coup was revealed last night as MediaWorks disclosed its 2015 content. As well as MasterChef NZ, details of controversial broadcaster Paul Henry's new breakfast show and local adaptations of international hits The Bachelor and Grand Designs were announced.

Media commentator Martin Gillman said he was surprised TV3 had swooped on MasterChef, but thought it was fantastic for the network.

"[MasterChef is] a really good thing and they'll use it in their armoury of similar reality shows like The X Factor ...

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"Those formats still have a lot to run and we should not go by what happened with MKR."

TVNZ executives were said to be disappointed with the ratings for the first of My Kitchen Rules, which served up underwhelming ratings despite being touted as a series that would "build momentum".

Mr Gillman said the lacklustre reception was simply due to MKR being screened at the same time as TV3's reality building show The Block NZ.

Henry's upcoming show has a working title of Breakfast 2015. The cross-platform show will be broadcast simultaneously on TV3 and Radio Live with a "strong focus on the digital, mobile and social media worlds".

The second series of The X Factor NZ and the fourth of The Block NZ are also big drawcards for the network.

The next instalment of The Block will be a "fans v favourites" theme, featuring some of the show's past stars.

Last night MediaWorks described the haul of shows as "the biggest investment" in the company's history.

The addition of major drama series Gallipoli and West Side Story - the prequel to Outrageous Fortune - and a new TV3 daily serial drama would join the best of new and returning international programming.

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"We've never had more breadth and depth of content, from the local reality juggernauts that will give us a huge advantage at 7.30pm, to big local drama series like West Side Story and Gallipoli, and the best in international drama," said MediaWorks TV chief executive Paul Maher.

"This level of investment is a real game changer for the company and will deliver fantastic value for our audience and our customers."

At the launch, MediaWorks also revealed the line-up of judges for The X Factor.

Former All Saints girl band member Melanie Blatt and Kiwi pop star Stan Walker will be joined by New Zealand-born musician, singer, songwriter and producer Willy Moon and English singer, actress, record producer and fashion designer Natalia Kills.

Fronting the local version of popular Grand Designs will be award-winning architect-urbanist Chris Moller.

TV3 will continue to screen The Graham Norton Show.
What we're paying
MediaWorks says its 2015 season is the biggest investment in local programming in company history. Here's what taxpayers are contributing through New Zealand On Air funding.

• West Side Story, Outrageous Fortune prequel, $4,838,254
• Jono and Ben At Ten: 2015 season, $1,326,135
• 7 Days: 2015 season, $947,692
• X Factor NZ: 2015 season, $800,000
• Funny Girls: Comedy show, $278,997

Dose of reality part of TV3 grand design

There's plenty that's familiar about the primetime line-up announced by MediaWorks for TV3 and Four's 2015 schedules. But here's a wrap of the new programmes the network is banking on next year ...

Grant Bowler and Tame Noema from The GC. Photos / Supplied

• TV3 will screen the next season of MasterChef New Zealand, the reality culinary series which TVNZ dropped this month. The chef-judges in the TV3 version haven't been named as yet and previous kitchen jurist Simon Gault has said he didn't wish to continue in his screen role. TV3's 2014 cooking show, The Great Food Race, was judged a ratings failure earlier this year.

• We're getting our own version of the long-time romance-reality format in The Bachelor NZ. Group Entertainment content director Andrew Szusterman says the show effectively starts on Monday with MediaWorks' radio station More FM "leading the nationwide search for our bachelorettes".

• Wellington architect Chris Moller has been named as the host of the New Zealand version of house-building series Grand Designs.

• TV3 will screen the Australian mini-series Gallipoli based on Les Carlyon's best-selling book. The eight parts will follow the entire campaign. "We thought if we're going to tell this story for television, we wanted to tell it from the beginning to the end," executive producer John Edwards told the Sydney Morning Herald. "The Carlyon book appealed because it's a complete history of Gallipoli, but also an intensely poetic, personal and humane one."

Outrageous Fortune's Grant Bowler appears as Kiwi war hero William Malone. "If I hadn't got the chance to do this I would have kicked myself," Bowler told the Daily Telegraph. "It's a way of being involved and saying thank you."

• Previously announced to be included in 2015's TV3 schedule is Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside Story which will star younger versions of Bowler's Wolfgang West.

• New US drama series coming to TV3 include include infidelity tale Satisfaction; Katharine Heigl as a White House CIA analyst in State of Affairs; superhero reboot Heroes: Reborn; yet another Dick Wolf law franchise in Chicago P.D.; and US military conspiracy thriller Odyssey.

• A new season of reality show The GC will screen on Four with much the same cast. TV3 will get new Oz reality show Gold Coast Cops.