The most talked about game show in town is about to take to the television stage on Saturday, and Bradley Walsh will have nothing to do with it.

But a lot of people who talk just as quickly, and air their opinions sharply and very often astutely, will have plenty to do with it.

"Welcome to Election Night 2017 and tonight's contestants are ..."

And so it shall roll ... and roll and roll until there is a clear winner, although this time around that is not something a lot of people are predicting will happen on the night.


That could well happen out the back of the studios some time later when a deal is done.

At this stage of proceedings to say it is all "up in the air" would be the understatement of the political year.

And saying that the party which will eventually get the nod may need logistical back-up in the form of another albeit relatively minor party is potentially another understatement of the political year.

But hey ... you never know.

The poll results over the past six weeks resemble seismic waves soaring up and then down and then up again.

The only poll that will matter is the big one New Zealanders submit down at the polling booths.

And every vote will add to the great totals which the hosts of the rival channel "have we got a winner yet?" shows will be displaying and presenting.

Meanwhile, in this remarkable new and expanding age of social media and online news, reports and opinions will be surfacing everywhere, which is especially valuable for the regions which would otherwise just have to wait in the queue aboard the national presentations.

Both TVNZ 1 and Three open their polling/viewing booths at 7pm on Saturday night, and by that time some initial trends will have likely emerged ... but don't expect to see any results for the McGillicuddy Serious Party this time around as they quit back in 99.

TVNZ 1's show is called Vote 2017 while Three rolls it out as Decision '17.

Meanwhile, TVNZ 2 rolls out a film appropriately titled The Campaign and yep, it's about politics. But American politics and it is described as a satire.

Which is pretty well what American politics actually is these days.

Sky Sport 1 delivers a spot of Magpies coverage while the election shows start to get excited, although it's got to the stage where we can sort of predict the results of these clashes.

Taranaki are third on the Premier table and the Magpies are second from the bottom on the second tier Championship.

I get the feeling even Paddy Gower and his analytical political colleagues could pick this result without requiring a poll.

But hey, one day the black and white hoops must fire.

Maybe in time for the 2020 elections?

Crikey, that's three years away ... wonder who will lead the land until then?

Come Sunday morning we might have a good idea ... that's if the "we need a majority" deals have been wrapped up by then.

And that's if such a deal is required.

Ahhh, this is pretty much reality television at its best.

Vote 2017, TVNZ 1 at 7pm Saturday. This is all about election coverage.

Decision '17, Three at 7pm Sunday. This is all about election coverage.


Panda Babies, Choice at 7.30pm Thursday: It won't just be the little kiddies sitting there watching the screen and going "oooh they're so cute".

In this case that's a line I daresay all ages will embrace because the subject matter is ... so cute.

Little pandas.

The documentary crew steps behind the scenes at several specialist panda centres in China to check out what's happening in the vital pursuit of rearing the little bears.

Funny old thing the animal world.

If this was about the life and times of the hyena the kids would all be going "oooh they're so gross".

Dear Murderer, TVNZ 1 at 8.30pm Thursday: I wonder what Mike Bungay, one of the most colourful of lawyers who practised in these parts, would have thought of this drama series based around his life in the courtroom and out of it.

I suspect he would have smiled and nodded with acceptance.

He was indeed a colourful sort of character who was never reluctant to take on some, shall we say, "interesting" cases.

His private life was equally controversial so the foundations were all there for the scriptwriters to get their teeth into.

Actor Mark Mitchinson slips into the silk and wig very well, and in this episode some of Bungay's rather messy out-of-court activities are exposed.

7 Days, Three at 9pm Friday: I can assure you, when I jotted down a suggestion last week that Jeremy Corbett and some of his cobbers should stage a political debate and ask the leading contenders some dopey questions I had no idea this was going to screen.

It is an election special, although it is highly unlikely the leaders of the combat battalions we call political parties will be in attendance to answer questions.

But you never know. This is likely to be rather entertaining ... it gets my vote.