It only premiered 10 days ago - but locally made crime thriller Far North has already hit a huge milestone with viewers.
Based on the true story of an older married couple living in Ahipara who get caught up in an international drug deal involving half a tonne of meth, it’s the number-one local debut on Warner Bros. Discovery’s ThreeNow.
And it’s the second-highest show debut overall on the streaming platform, second only to Married At First Sight Australia.
Starring Temuera Morrison and Robyn Malcolm as husband and wife Ed and Heather, the show debuted on August 14 in New Zealand.
Now, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery has revealed Far North has seen the biggest weekly audience for any drama on ThreeNow since the platform first launched.
They added nearly half a million viewers watched the first episode, with 453,379 tuning in.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s senior director of production for Australia and New Zealand, Vicki Keogh, said in a statement: “The phenomenal success of Far North proves that New Zealand audiences have a strong appetite for premium local drama.”
“Far North drove a significant uptake in new registrations on ThreeNow in the past week. South Pacific Pictures, in partnership with White Balance Pictures, have delivered a world-class series with a stellar cast, and we’re delighted that it is resonating so strongly with viewers and critics alike.”
South Pacific Pictures CEO Kelly Martin said the results were a “massive win” for the New Zealand television industry.
“We are thankful for the creation of the Te Puna Kairangi Fund, which made it possible to turn this 100 per cent NZ story into a world-class series with international appeal, and the viewing results for Far North validate the necessity of this type of premium funding. We also acknowledge the support of New Zealand on Air.”
The show is also seeing success further afield, having already been picked up by Australia and the US. It’s set to launch on Australia’s Paramount Plus in September, and will arrive on the US platform Sundance Now by early 2023.
For fans of the show, it comes as no surprise. The Herald’s Karl Puschmann wrote in his review earlier this month, “It’s a delicate balancing act, and one that the show pulls off superbly as its moments of genuine tension give way to suspense or laughter. The episode that sees Ed on his tractor attempting to help the clumsy gang and the Chinese boss launch their hugely inappropriate boat into the ocean is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.”
Of Morrison and Malcolm, he said, “The pair bring a grounded sense of realism to even the most fanciful situations that their characters find themselves in. They’re simply fantastic ... Far North is addictive viewing, and one taste will be enough to get you hooked.”