The second series of NHNZ produced Our Big Blue Backyard premieres this week, promising even more awe-inspiring moments from New Zealand’s extraordinary marine environments.
The first season was a smash hit and one of TVNZ 1’s most successful new series to air in 2014. Production began on the second series in early 2015.
NHNZ Managing Director Kyle Murdoch says that the company was excited to dive back into New Zealand’s oceans: “Our Big Blue Backyard was loved by kiwis and international audiences alike, with the first series airing in ten languages since its New Zealand premiere.”
For the six new “backyards”, the production ventured further afield to the Kermadec Islands, over 1000 kilometres north east of the North Island; White Island; the Chatham Islands; Banks Peninsula; Fiordland; and nearly 500 kilometres south of the South Island to the Auckland Islands.
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 include humpback whales, huge groper, longfin eels, Hector’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, seven-gill sharks, yellow-eyed and Fiordland crested penguins, southern royal albatross, New Zealand sea lions and giant spider crabs.
Series Executive Producer Judith Curran says the public’s response to the first season guaranteed the production of the new season.
“The response to the first season was outstanding, with so much positive feedback from viewers of all ages. It was as if many New Zealanders fell in love with their ocean environment all over again. This time we are looking at 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 offering drama, humour and sometimes tragedy.
“A hallmark of this series is presenting memorable facts about our marine and coastal creatures that elicit a ‘Wow! I didn’t know that’ response from our audience. A bizarre sea urchin that displays an eyeball that is actually its anus; Chatham Island skua females that take up to seven mates to help parent their chicks; sea hares that have gender-bending sex parties which go on for days; and duck parents that encourage their chicks to jump ten meters from the nest just after hatching are just some of the delights in store.”
Funded by NZ on Air, Our Big Blue Backyard series 2 premieres on TVNZ 1 7:30PM Sunday, 30th October.
Top image: A curious New Zealand sea lion investigates the camera, Auckland Islands.
Photo : Jenny Oliver
NHNZ is a major global producer of factual television creating original content for National Geographic Channels, PBS, Animal Planet, Discovery, NHK and CCTV. NHNZ’s storytelling prowess has been recognized with more than 250 international awards including Emmy awards and the prestigious Wildscreen Panda. With a market focussed approach, NHNZ is made of three central divisions. Highly regarded for its 35-year plus natural history heritage, NHNZ core continues to go from strength to strength in the wildlife blue chip arena, with the upcoming series Big Pacific set to be the company’s biggest global co-production to date. NHNZ has also cemented its expertise in clip shows via The Archive Unit which, since launching in 2014, has produced over 28 hours of premium archive content for broadcasters around the globe, including original series Wild 24 and Extreme Animal Babies. Following the recent success with US-based commissions like I Survived… and LA Frock Stars, NHNZ this year launched a US production division, Outrun the Sun, based in Washington, D.C.