The New TV Season – A Preview

I’ve just checked out the listings for the new TV season, and it’s packed with some fantastic home-grown shows! Let’s take a look.


I was thrilled to learn that TVNZ decided to commission a new series of The Apprentice, because I am one of the show’s biggest fans. The last series was nail-biting stuff, as the wannabe apprentices flew all around the world searching desperately against the clock for a finance package to save Terry’s bacon.

My disappointment on learning that Terry wasn’t going to star in the new series was shortlived, because his replacement is just dynamite. Thanks to TVNZ I’ve had a sneak preview and I can tell you now that you won’t believe how good this show is.

Casting Mark Hotchin as the new boss was an inspired move. Hotchin brings a lot of credibility to the screen, and is one of the big movers and shakers of the financial world. There’s nothing about related party lending and Ponzi schemes Hotchin doesn’t know, and he’s got the wealth to prove it. Not that he’ll admit it!

I’m looking forward to watching as the would-be apprentices face a range of interesting challenges that test their mettle. If the first episode is anything to go by, they’ve got a wild ride ahead. In the one episode alone Hotchin gets them to issue a prospectus for a dodgy new business, offer first ranking secured debentures that are as solid as the CTV Building, construct a related party transaction that sucks all of the cash out of the venture and into their own pockets, and then once it bombs find a listed company stupid enough to buy the toxic assets of the business.

I’m told that in a later episode the contestants will be required to muck in and help build a multi-storied palace overlooking the Waitemata Harbour. I can’t wait to see them getting their hands dirty. And in a daring crossover with the US series, they go to Kenya to help Donald Trump find evidence of Barack Obama’s birth.

It’s the kind of sizzling TV everyone will be talking about the next day.

But if that doesn’t float your boat, there’s more. If you like do-up shows then you’ll love the reality show AMI Extreme Corporate Makeover starting soon on TV2. Each week the government sends a team of advisers and treasury officials to do a complete makeover of some lucky failed enterprise. Whether it’s an undercapitalised insurance company, an uninsured stadium or a dodgy finance company, no effort or taxpayer cash will be spared to prop up private businesses in trouble.


But it’s not just TVNZ with all the great new shows. TV3 has another series of the ever-popular New Zealand’s Next Tupperwaka coming soon. It also has a new reality show called The Biggest Budget Loser, in which government department heads battle it out each week to cut the most spending on important programmes.

And TV3 has a new drama series called John’s Outrageous Fortune. It’s the saga of the Key family, and their efforts to stay on the right side of public opinion. It features the patriarch, John, and a bunch of lovable characters, like big bumbling Uncle Gerry, the savagely cruel Judith, and the dopey misfit pairing of Anne and Melissa. It’s been written by the award winning writing pair of Crosby and Textor, so you know it will be compelling viewing.

But the undoubted star of the TV3 lineup is a new series Queers Out To Get The Straight Guys, in which an army of homosexuals takes over a political party and threatens the manliness of a straight-shooting West Coast MP. They may manage to consign his ghastly shirts to the dustbin, but his bigotry might prove tougher to shift!


Prime’s big scoop is scoring the rights to Political Fear Factor. It’s cringe-inducing stuff, as contestants are asked to do the unthinkable, like vote for what they actually believe in, and stick to their campaign promises.

The first episode of the new series will be essential viewing, as Epsom voters are asked to swallow a dead rat. 

Parliament TV

Meanwhile on Parliament TV they’re trialling a new stand-up comedy show, called Live Parliamentary Proceedings. If you aren’t wetting yourself with laughter as Bill English explains to the House what the government plans to do to lift growth, then, sister, you ain’t got no funny bone.

I also guarantee that you’ll be in stitches as you watch the Leader of the Opposition stumble on another banana skin.

With all this great TV on you won’t want to leave the house! So don’t. Why would you? It’s a shithole outside. Trust me – I went and looked.