MediaWorks, Auckland, 3 May 2016: Earlier today, NBCUniversal International Networks and MediaWorks announced the formation of a joint venture (JV), to introduce Bravo – a new free-to-air (FTA) television channel – to New Zealand. Mark Weldon, CEO, MediaWorks and Chris Taylor, MD, New Zealand & Australia, NBCUniversal International Distribution & Networks , announced that MediaWorks’ channel FOUR will transform into the entertainment-lifestyle channel Bravo, in July 2016.*
As part of today’s announcement it was revealed that Bravo New Zealand has commissioned The Real Housewives of Auckland – the first local version of the global smash-hit franchise. For the past five months, NBCUniversal International Studios’ production company Matchbox Pictures – responsible for creating the popular The Real Housewives of Melbourne – has been searching for New Zealand’s very own group of privileged ladies, who are keen to showcase their fabulous lives to the world. The series will premiere in August 2016, exclusive to Bravo.
Chris Oliver-Taylor, MD, Matchbox Pictures comments: “It’s great to be building on the phenomenal international success of the Melbourne franchise and launch our wonderful Auckland Housewives through this exciting joint venture. We have secured a brilliant local production team, led by Hayley Cunningham and overseen by the Executive Producer of Real Housewives of Melbourne, Kylie Washington.”
Ramona Singer is an original cast member from The Real Housewives of New York, now in its eighth successful season. She has left behind the sky scrapers of Manhattan and flown to Auckland especially to welcome the new troop of ladies to the Bravo family.
Bravo New Zealand is now revealing the identities of our six glamorous Real Housewives of Auckland:
- Angela Stone – Angela is a fun, focused and creative fashion designer, stylist, author, lifestyle guru and mother. Along with her own wine label and her work as an international speaker on fashion and styling, Angela runs her own successful stylist service company which is based in both Auckland and her home town of Christchurch. Instagram: @angelastonenz
- Ann Batley-Burton – New Zealand’s own “Champagne Lady”, Anne has been importing Champagne and French wine into New Zealand for the last 16 years. An award-winning animal advocate, she also founded The NZ Cat Foundation to care for stray/ community cats. Instagram: @AnneChampagneLady
- Gilda Kirkpatrick – Known for being queen of Auckland’s social scene, Iranian-born Gilda lives in Paritai Drive with her two young sons and owns Rascals advertising and PR agency where she works as a creative and designer. Instagram: @gilda_kirkpatrick
- Julia Sloane – Author, businesswoman, athlete and former model Julia is familiar face in upmarket Parnell. Julia has recently remarried and is a mother of two teenagers as well as a successful children’s author. Instagram: @JuliaSloaneNZ
- Louise Wallace – A veteran television broadcaster and trained actor, Louise lives with her advertising exec husband in Auckland’s Paritai Drive and runs a Tadpole Theatre Productions on the North Shore. Instagram @LouiseWallaceNZ
- Michelle Blanchard – A former fashion model who hails from England but who’s been turning heads on the Auckland social scene for years. Sporting a love of fast cars and high fashion, Michelle lives with her husband and two teenage children in Coatesville. Instagram: @michelle__blanchard
The Real Housewives of Auckland gives an exclusive look into the glamorous galas, scintillating scandals, and enormous egos of this group of luxury-loving ladies as they navigate the social scene of the city’s elite, all while juggling their husbands, boyfriends, careers and families. Pedigree and status may grant an automatic invite to the most glitzy gatherings in town, but one stiletto out of place could shift anyone on to the blacklist and trigger social suicide. Pecking orders and relationships are at stake when old-money meets new-money meets no-money, and these ladies soon realise who will survive the twists and turns, and who will be left in the dust to lick their wounds.
Bravo will become the premiere destination for premium unscripted programming across all manner of passions including; pop culture, food and design. Some of the world’s most popular international franchises call Bravo home including: Million Dollar Listing (New York & Los Angeles), Top Chef (Duels, Masters, Just Desserts & All Stars) and The Real Housewives (Auckland, Beverly Hills, Orange County & New York City). In addition, popular series Vanderpump Rules, Shahs of Sunset, Made in Chelsea, Ladies of London, Below Deck will form part of the programming line-up. New series premieres in 2016 include Tour Group, Après Ski, Below Deck: Mediterranean, The Real Housewives of Potomac and The Real Housewives of Dallas.
*The joint venture between MediaWorks and NBCUniversal International Networks, and launch of Bravo, is subject to completion of due diligence and entering into of binding contracts by the parties.
Bravo is Life Lived Large. An entertainment-lifestyle brand carrying high-quality original content focused on the network’s passion points of glam, design, food and pop culture. Programming includes unscripted favourites such as Emmy award-winning Top Chef, Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck, Shahs of Sunset, Made In Chelsea, Après Ski, Tour Group, Southern Charm, Flipping Out and the popular Million Dollar Listing and The Real Housewives franchises. Watch Bravo content anywhere: On Demand via 3NOW for iOS and Android
Bravo is a joint venture between MediaWorks, New Zealand’s largest independent broadcaster, reaching 3.8 million Kiwis through its TV, Radio and Digital platforms and NBCUniversal International, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.*
About NBCUniversal International Networks
NBCUniversal International Networks is one of the world’s premier entertainment portfolios, delivering quality content and compelling brands to over 176 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. The channel brands in the portfolio include Bravo, Universal Channel, Syfy, E! Entertainment Television, 13th Street, DIVA, Studio Universal, Telemundo, The Style Network and Golf Channel. These unique brands deliver a full range of entertainment experiences to local audiences across the globe; the portfolio also includes Movies 24 in the UK. Further, NBCUniversal News Group, one of the most influential and respected portfolios of on-air and digital news properties in the world, operate CNBC and NBC News internationally.
NBCUniversal International Networks is a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
About Matchbox Pictures
Matchbox Pictures develops and produces scripted and non-scripted television programmes and feature films for audiences throughout the world.
Producing a wide range of programming, Matchbox is responsible for critically acclaimed international hit, The Slap, award-winning children’s drama, Nowhere Boys and leading dramas Deadline Gallipoli, Glitch, Wanted and Secret City. The business also produces a host of non-scripted shows including The Real Housewives of Melbourne, which airs on Arena in Australia, Bravo in the US and ITVBe in the UK.
An NBCUniversal International Studios company, Matchbox works with leading Australian talent to deliver content that is internationally renowned.