It's official: television originality got thrown out with the funding bathwater.

In their quest to make TV irrelevant and their own jobs redundant, TV executives have proven that original thought has no place in the heads of modern programmers.
Instead, they have opted to buy franchise rights from the United States, Britain and Australia and screen banal overseas reality shows with Kiwi accents.

The latest is The Great Kiwi Bake Off in which New Zealand home bakers demonstrate their ineptitude in front of barely qualified celebrity judges.

Before that — and some are still running — we "enjoyed" franchise fee-paying rip-offs like New Zealand's Got Talent, The Block NZ, Grand Designs New Zealand, Gogglebox NZ, The Bachelor NZ, My Kitchen Rules NZ, Dancing With the Stars, Survivor NZ, Project Runway NZ, Celebrity Treasure Island, First Dates NZ and so much more lowbrow drivel from the imagination of overseas writers.


To make it worse, if the New Zealand version is still in production or in recess, TV still proudly screens its overseas original (or the Australian version), showing how it should be done, before gamely showing its diluted, low-budget Kiwi copy. It's embarrassing to compare.

They're all pretty bad, but Gogglebox NZ takes the cake, showing people watching television in their own homes, playing up for the camera, trying to be hilarious for the viewing audience.

The overseas originals are just as bad — just different levels of ignorance.

TV in NZ makes money; we know that by the excessive numbers and length of ad breaks. Even there we are subjected to far too many Aussie-made commercials with Kiwi taglines.

The death of TV is a self-fulfilling prophecy, forcing people to sign up to pay channels for their entertainment by screening too much rubbish and too many commercials.

And when they do screen a drama worth watching, they over-sell commercial content so the programme is ruined with ad breaks.

If the channels really want us to stop watching, why don't they stop broadcasting altogether? It would save a lot of agony.