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MediaWorks has a week of it

If it wasn’t for the distraction of the US election, even more media space would have been given to the continued writhings of MediaWorks’ TV channels, sorry, channel.

The launch of its 2017 season, now for TV3 alone, coincided with the day many people were coming to realise what a bad idea democracy is sometimes. But, as the people stumbled around, dazed, confused, and wondering how telephone polls designed to exclude about 50% of America’s eligible voters could possibly have got the result wrong, MediaWorks’ 2017 season launch offered a beacon of stability.

Will America change come January? Undoubtedly. Will those changes affect everyone else? Almost certainly, although not according to the NZ government, which gamely ploughed into a third reading of the bill to sign us up for the TPP – even if America’s next president is likely to use it as toilet paper.

Just as our government decided steady as she goes was the best course of action in uncertain times, so did MediaWorks – at least with those programming decisions it could control. So, life will go on in 2017. And so will The Bachelor NZ, The Block NZ, Westside, Grand Designs NZ, 7 Days and Jono and Ben to name but a few. Always assuming nobody else decides they’d rather have a bit of lie-in than do the job they signed up for.

One of the challenges of NZ TV season launches has long been that the chances of a new NZ show being in the mix are slim. Mostly, they’ve been announced already, usually by NZ On Air. Support for the third season of Westside was announced in July. That a third season will screen on TV3 next year doesn’t come as much of a surprise in November, although given MediaWorks’ recent track record of shuffling around and then canning stuff for which it’s already cashed NZ On Air’s cheque, that’s perhaps not entirely true.

There is a NZ-created show in the mix of new programmes, Australian drama Hyde & Seek, which was conceived and written by Dirty Laundry and Filthy Rich creators Gavin Strawhan and Rachel Lang. It’s currently on air in Australia where, unlike here, broadcasters have discovered YouTube.

Just in case anybody had managed to forget about the White House’s next occupant for a few minutes, MediaWorks also announced its new season would include Arnold Schwarzenegger stepping into the Don’s shoes for Celebrity Apprentice.

The announcements MediaWorks had been hoping to keep under wraps until the launch were blown earlier in the week. The happy dances were already under way at TVNZ with the news that Paul Henry had decided not to continue the breakfast show. It wasn’t the first time MediaWorks has let slip a broadcaster who can take on TVNZ.

Rearranging the deck-chairs, MediaWorks will shuffle Duncan Garner (pictured, top) into the morning slot for which – as Duncan Greive pointed out yesterday – Garner is well-suited. What of Garner’s current home, the 7pm Story? Gone by Christmas, and to be replaced by yet another show for which the party line is that it’s the right show for the time-slot.