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NZOA commits $15 million to TV dramas

Productions for TVNZ have scored all the drama funding announced today out of NZ On Air’s first funding round of the new financial year. Three Platinum Fund dramas are confirmed for the Sunday Theatre slot, with a fourth telemovie and and a second season of Filthy Rich also confirmed.

When Filthy Rich began its run in February, it quickly became the poster child for everything that some commentators believed was wrong with NZ drama commissioning and programming – at least until Terry Teo went online. Announcing support for a second season of Filthy Rich, NZ On Air notes that the first season met the funder’s objective of being “a bold local drama engaging its audience” and achieved a 5-plus audience of 250,000 and a total of more than 700,000 on demand streams across the series.

The second season will, however, be shorter (14 hours against 20 for season one), but 20% more expensive per episode. Season one cost an average $412,500 per episode; season two comes in at an average $492,600.

Also supported in the funding round was Charlotte Purdy’s Rogue Productions (Operation Overdue), for Kiwi, the story of NZ’s first female jockey and the eponymous Melbourne Cup winner.

Screentime, which has had a strong run of one-off and Sunday Theatre dramas over the last couple of years, is supported for Resolve. The production is the story of Chris Crean, killed in his home 20 years ago for his willingness to testify against Black Power.

Michele Fantl’s MF Films (Bliss) is supported for Vermilion, a film about a woman composer whose synaesthesia causes her to see colours when she plays musical notes.

Great Southern, which also picked up support for a second series of Coast NZ in the NZ On Air funding round, will take rock’n’roll journey through the 1980s with The Exponents in Why Does Love?. Both projects are supported by the Platinum Fund.

Funding details
Filthy Rich 2, 14 x 1hr, Filthy Productions for TV2, $6,896,419
Kiwi, 1 x 2hrs, Rogue Productions for TV One, $3,043,975 (Platinum)
Resolve, 1 x 2 hrs, Screentime New Zealand for TV One, $2,549,955 (Platinum)
Why Does Love?, 1 x 2hrs, Great Southern Television for TV One, $2,549,330 (Platinum)
Vermilion, 1 x 2hrs, MF Films for TV One, $199,000

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