Remember last year when MediaWorks announced they were accepting pitches for their own local five-night-a-week soap? Remember the massive buzz around it? Remember the phenomenal pitches that came flooding in, bursting with as many ingenious plot lines as high profile TV3 celebrities?
Hitting up the powers that be to see where the project is at, all we could find out is that the industry responded in droves (duh), and that more than one project has been picked up for further development (whoa). Time to take the investigation into our own hands.
The first port of call was naturally South Pacific Pictures, makers of Shortland Street and therefore patron saints of serialised television, who confirmed that they have nothing to do with the developing soap. This seems like vaguely momentous news – they’re the only studio with anything like the current resource and experience to take on a project of this scale, which means someone else will soon be gearing up (and quite possibly poaching key personnel). Let us take a brief look at the other frontrunners for the role:
Feeling good about this one. Responsible for Neighbours at War, possibly New Zealand’s most groundbreaking soap opera, which bodes well for sustaining the drama needed for five nights a week. Over the years they have worked with television royalty such as Temuera Morrison, Suzanne Paul and Paul Henry. If they can churn out the twists and turns of Does My Bum Look Big?, we could be onto a winner here.
The Down Low Concept
They have proven that they can create great television week-to-week, working on both TV3’s 7 Days and TV1’s Best Bits simultaneously like some current-affairs-comedy plate spinning beast. Off the success of their 2012 comedy series Hounds, maybe we could do with a five night comedy? Plus, their dominance of the 48 Hour Film Competition goes to show that they can speedily whip up a quality project in a weekend, if things get really desperate.
These chums have proven before that they can make gritty New Zealand drama, so I can’t see why they couldn’t stretch their talents over five days of the week. In 2010 they made This Is Not My Life, a mystery thriller that sowed the most seeds of doubt about my identity since The Truman Show. In 2013 they poured some serious grit over Oscar Kightley in Harry, a dark tale of an Auckland Detective investigating the meth underworld while his family life disintegrates around him. If it’s drama that TV3 needs, they can clearly deliver.
I’m really hoping it’s Eyeworks, one glance over their extensive catalogue just goes to show that there is so much potential for these folks to churn out a LOT of hilariously entertaining content. And so many of them already come with catchy taglines! Looking forward to a return season of The Fence (“everyone is taking sides!”). If all else fails, they could always go for a meta-production entitled Matthew and Marc’s Rocky Road to Making a Soap.
They’re the brains behind cooking television in New Zealand. With Masterchef NZ, My Kitchen Rules NZ and Chef on a Mission under their belts, maybe it’s time for Imagination TV to slip out of the kitchen and into the bathroom (because of soap, bad I know). I worry though, that with them at the helm of Masterchef NZ, Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty, MKRNZ and Grand Designs NZ this year, there might be a little too much on their plate to handle a five-nighter.
We will keep our private eyes on the case and update you as soon as we have more hot tips.