NHNZ’s second round of blue-chip wildlife series Our Big Blue Backyard swings into production this month, promising even more awe-inspiring moments from New Zealand’s extraordinary marine environments.
The first season was a smash hit, with a 24% share of viewers AP25-54 and a cumulative audience of +870,000 New Zealanders 25-54 (Source: Nielsen), so TVNZ committed to a 2nd season earlier this year.
For the six new “backyards”, the production crew are venturing further afield to the Kermadec Islands, 1000 nautical miles north east of the north island; White Island; the Chatham Islands; Banks Peninsula; Fiordland; and two of New Zealand’s Sub Antarctic islands – Campbell and Antipodes.
Underwater and topside camera crews will once again reveal the daily dramas, challenges and triumphs of the extraordinary marine animals living in these neighbourhoods. Hero characters this time will include mako sharks, marlin, longfin eels, Hector’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, seven-gill sharks, yellow-eyed and Fiordland crested penguins, southern royal albatross, NZ sea lions and elephant seals.
Executive Producer Judith Curran says the team couldn’t wait to get back into researching and filming for season two.
“The response to the first season was outstanding, with so much positive feedback from viewers of all ages. It was as if many Kiwis fell in love with their ocean environment all over again.
“For the second season we will be undertaking some major expeditions, with considerable assistance from DOC, as we explore New Zealand’s much bigger blue backyard, taking viewers from the sub-tropical to the sub-Antarctic.”
Curran says that while iconic species dominate the storylines, a cast of fascinating supporting characters will also feature.
“A hallmark of this series is presenting memorable facts about our marine creatures that elicit a ‘Wow! I didn’t know that’ response from our audience. Strawberry sea cucumbers that breathe through their bums and parent their young despite having no brains; Chatham Island skua females that take up to seven mates to help parent their chicks; and tiny pea crab males that massage green-lipped mussels to open up so they can slip inside to mate with the female crabs that live inside are just some of the delights in store.”
Funded by New Zealand on Air’s Platinum Fund, Our Big Blue Backyard season #2 is slated to air on TV One in the 2nd half of 2016.
NHNZ is a major global producer of factual television creating original content for Discovery Channels, A&E Television Networks, Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic Channels, NHK and CCTV. Highly regarded for its 35-year plus natural history heritage, NHNZ has also had success with factual entertainment like Redwood Kings for Animal Planet and L.A. Frock Stars for Smithsonian. NHNZ launched The Archive Unit in 2014, which in the last year has produced over 20 hours of premium archive content for broadcasters around the globe. The company’s storytelling prowess has been recognized with more than 250 international awards including Emmy awards and the prestigious Wildscreen Panda. In addition to its one stop hub in Dunedin, New Zealand, NHNZ has offices in Beijing and Washington DC.