It's been billed as one of the most technologically advanced television events ever attempted in New Zealand.

And with John Campbell returning to television screens for the first time since his dramatic exit from Three, What Next? received plenty of coverage before it went to air.

But the future, it seems, has received mixed reviews.

The five-part show, which began last night and screens on TVNZ every night until Thursday, is co-hosted by Nigel Latta and attempts to predict what life will look like in 2037.


It kicked off with an episode devoted to future technology, including driverless cars, and asked what kind of advances we could look forward to.

More controversially, it questioned whether robots would take many of our jobs.

The answer appeared to be yes, leading one viewer to quip that the future looked "bloody boring".

"We're going to be unemployed, bored and controlled by corporates even more than we are now," wrote the viewer on Facebook. "Hell on earth is the future ... thank goodness I'll be drunk and die prematurely."

Another viewer said they were "really annoyed" by the first episode, claiming it made sweeping statements but gave few examples.

But others were more positive, saying Campbell and Latta were raising issues that needed to be addressed.

"I'm liking the way you're making us think even if I don't necessarily agree with the conclusions," wrote one.

"I wonder if there are any politicians out there inspired by these ideas or are they solidly entrenched in their agendas?" wrote another.

And several said they were in favour of Campbell's return to TV for the first time in two years.

What Next? drew an average audience of more than 365,000 viewers, and a little under 90,000 responses have been submitted to the questions John and Nigel have asked so far, with four nights still to go.

What Next? received $1,219,288 of NZ on Air funding. Tonight's episode is focused on the environment.