FOUR and EDGE TV to SMASH! together

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MediaWorks TV channels FOUR and The Edge TV are joining forces to create a new daily entertainment and pop culture progamme for 15-29 year-olds.

Launching in August, SMASH! will be broadcast LIVE weekdays at 4.30pm on FOUR and repeated at 10pm on The Edge TV.

Presented by The Edge Night Show hosts Marty Hehewerth and Stephanie Monks, SMASH! will feature the latest in music and entertainment, plus celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes access and competitions.

SMASH! will draw on the pop culture content and resources of The Edge, New Zealand’s biggest music entertainment brand. It will be produced in-house by the MediaWorks TV Local Production unit, the team behind 7 Days, Jono and Ben at Ten, The X Factor NZ, and FOUR Live, which SMASH! is replacing in the schedules.

The Edge Programme Director, Leon Wratt says: “SMASH! is a new take on the pop culture television show. We’re aiming to get viewers closer to the action than ever before, with social integration putting their thoughts (and their faces) on TV.

“There’s a synergy between The Edge audience and FOUR viewers, and SMASH! will be the daily LIVE TV show where that audience watches, listens and engages.”

MediaWorks TV Head of Local Production, John McDonald says: “After the success of Jono and Ben across TV3 and The Rock, It’s great to be working with the Radio team on another exciting project.

“I also want to acknowledge outgoing FOUR Live hosts Drew Neemia and Kanoa Lloyd. They’ve done a fantastic job on the programme, and I know we’ll work with them again in the future.”

Coming soon

4.30pm weekdays on FOUR (Freeview channel 4, SKY channel 12, and ondemand via 3NOW)

10pm weekdays on The Edge TV (Freeview channel 11, SKY channel 114, on mobile phones via The Edge App, tablets via 3NOW, and online at theedge.co.nz)

FOUR.co.nz

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The Block NZ returning soon

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Block-a-holics won’t have to wait much longer for their fix as the top-rating series The Block NZ gears up for its third season on TV3.

Hosted by Mark Richardson with Challenge Host Shannon Ryan, the pair will be joined by a new judging duo Shelley Ferguson and Mark Gascoigne, whose combined experience will add a whole new dimension to the show.

Your Home and Garden Managing Editor, Shelley Ferguson has a wealth of experience in lifestyle magazines – and she knows what it takes to create a beautiful and functional home.

Ferguson already has a house renovation under her belt. She knows exactly the kind of challenges the teams are about to come up against as they work to renovate their houses and take out the winner’s title on The Block NZ.

“I’m addicted to décor, design and renovating, so judging The Block NZ 2014 is an absolute privilege. The Block NZ is such a great showcase of creativity and Kiwi ingenuity – I can’t wait to see what this season’s teams have in store.”

Ferguson will be joined by registered architect Mark Gascoigne, who has nearly 30 years’ experience and has worked on the design of over 2000 projects both in New Zealand and overseas.

His passion for design will be reflected in his judging where he expects the teams to take into account all the needs and aspirations of a future buyer.

“I would like to see exceptional ideas that not only take into account the uses of each space but also show some real personality and a distinctive style,” he comments. “I love design challenges and hope I can also challenge this year’s teams to produce the best work ever seen on The Block NZ.”

TV3 is also pleased to announce Bunnings Warehouse is again broadcast sponsor for The Block NZ, supporting the hit series for the third year. Programme partners Kiwibank and Wild Bean Cafe also return for the third time, and are joined by new programme partner Honda.

More than 70% of the New Zealand population tuned into the last series of The Block NZ, with the 5+ cumulative audience ahead of the final reaching 2,948,200 New Zealanders (71.5%). The popularity of the series again built on the 2,697,600 (65.9%) viewers at the same stage of the 2012 competition.
Over a million Kiwis tuned in during the two-hour finale of The Block NZ in 2013, which saw Alice and Caleb Pearson win the competition – and a life-changing $261,000 after a dramatic auction that saw their house sold for $1,126,000 while televised LIVE on TV3. (5+ cumulative reach.)

Rangitikei brothers Pete and Andy were named the winners of the inaugural People’s Choice Award, decided by public vote.

The Block NZ is produced by Eyeworks Television for TV3.

Michelle Pickles to lead 3 News coverage of Comm Games

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3 News is gearing up to provide comprehensive coverage of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games across its portfolio of news and current affairs programmes.

Reporter Michelle Pickles will lead a seven-strong team based in Glasgow, supported by an around-the-clock operation in the Auckland newsroom, providing Kiwis the most up-to-date information.

Director of News and Current Affairs Mark Jennings says TV3’s team has the experience and passion to provide unmatched news coverage of the Commonwealth Games.

“Michelle Pickles has unrivalled experience at covering major sporting events, including the Beijing and London Olympics, the World rowing championships and the last Commonwealth Games in India. Michelle’s contacts in the sports teams competing at this year’s games will mean viewers get to know what is going on not just on the track, field or water but behind the scenes as well.”

Firstline will be essential viewing. New Zealanders will wake up to the results and reaction as each day of the Games wraps up, with Sacha McNeil and Michael Wilson joined each morning by 3 News’ European Correspondent Melissa Davies reporting LIVE from Glasgow.

At 6pm, Michelle Pickles will be LIVE from key Commonwealth Games sites during the bulletin, recapping the previous day’s events and looking ahead to the new day of competition.

Pickles is one of New Zealand’s most experienced sports journalists and will be active on the ground filing stories for Firstline, 3 News @ 12, 3 News at 6pm and Campbell Live.

Alongside Jeff Hampton, David Di Somma and Melissa Davies, she will follow our athletes through their final preparations, catching up with them once they’ve performed, and sharing the stories of their fans and families.

A dedicated section of 3News.co.nz and the 3 News iPhone and iPad apps will be continuously updated with the latest news.

Q & A with Michelle Pickles:

What are you most looking forward to about the Commonwealth Games?

Being part of the 3 News team, and bringing our viewers all the news. We’ll be live every day from Glasgow, with the latest news and interviews with NZ medal winners. Games coverage is always a very busy, but extremely enjoyable part of my job.

What makes these Games special/distinctive/memorable?

This is the first time Glasgow will host a Commonwealth Games. Given Edinburgh has hosted twice before, I’d imagine Glasgow and its people will go out of their way to make these games great. I think it will be a fantastic atmosphere.

What are your picks as NZ’s best medal chances?

Look for Valerie Adams to win her third Commonwealth Games gold. The NZ Sevens team have won every gold on offer since the sport debuted in 1998 – they’ll want to continue that trend. NZ cyclists will be strong medal contenders, and Lauren Boyle in the pool will be a strong medal prospect after her three World Championship bronze medals last year. Para swimmer Sophie Pascoe’s a good bet for gold at her first Commonwealth Games. Non-Olympic sports like lawn bowls and squash are always good medal prospects, along with the Silver Ferns who’ll be chasing their third gold in a row. NZ won 36 medals in Delhi – it would be great if that could be matched, if not bettered.

What will make the 3 News coverage special?

The people. We are a very tight knit team and we enjoy what we do. We work hard, but we also have fun. And that makes all the difference.

What is your favourite Commonwealth Games memory?

In 2006 in Melbourne, we got to go to the MCG and watch Asafa Powell win the 100 metres. Magic. And in Delhi four years ago, we got to watch Valerie Adams win her second CWG gold. It’s always great to see the NZ flag fly on the international stage.

Woman at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat sexual assault case speaks to 3rd Degree tonight

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The woman at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat sexual assault case speaks to reporter Paula Penfold in an exclusive interview on 3rd Degree tonight.

According to the woman’s wishes, a submission was made by her lawyer this week to have her automatic name suppression lifted. Suppression will lapse at the commencement of 3rd Degree tonight.

She has so far remained silent as politicians, commentators and pundits have debated the way the case has been handled.

“It’s not just the way the case has been bungled that she wants to talk about – although she certainly doesn’t hold back,” says Penfold.

“More importantly to her, there are things she wants to say about how what has happened represents wider problems around sexual violence in New Zealand. It’s a powerful, compelling interview.”

3rd Degree, tonight at 8.40pm on TV3. The programme will be available online via 3NOW and www.3news.co.nz immediately after screening.

Podcast: ZM radio star PJ talks to Dan about radio and her dream of being a weather presenter

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One of my favourite people on the radio, PJ Harding joined me for my latest podcast.

Check it out and subscribe the podcast on iTunes.

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Sci Fi fans can get in The Zone with SKY TV

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SKY’s brand new entertainment channel, THE ZONE, will have local fans of Science Fiction, Cult, Fantasy, Superhero and Horror genres battling for the remote.

Launching this November, THE ZONE’S line-up will include some of the planet’s most anticipated premiere series including Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain, Defiance featuring New Zealand’s own Grant Bowler and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn, along with a mix of modern and classic series including drama and comedy, movies and the odd documentary.

THE ZONE, made right here by Kiwis for Kiwis (with the occasional Kiwi appearance too), will be available to all SKY’s domestic customers at no extra charge as part of SKY’s Basic package and will also stream live from launch on SKY GO, so fans won’t miss a minute of the action wherever they are.

SKY’s Head of General Entertainment Karen Bieleski said “This is the channel that many of our viewers have literally been clamouring for. We looked at a variety of options for satisfying their requests and decided that the best way was to make our own channel, so that we could select from the widest possible range of international content.

Our research has uncovered an incredibly diverse fan base so it was imperative to make THE ZONE available to as wide an audience as possible by being included in SKY’s basic package.

THE ZONE has a fairly broad remit for acquiring programmes, our rule of thumb being that anything which could feasibly promote itself at Comic-Con has a place on the channel. We are very aware that fans of this type of content are keen social media users so once the channel has launched, we aim to screen our key shows as close to international premieres as possible to ensure that spoilers are kept to a minimum on their newsfeed.

THE ZONE AT A GLANCE:

· New entertainment channel encompassing a range of great titles from the Science Fiction, Cult, Fantasy, Superhero and Horror genres launching this November.
Will contain a mix of must-see premiere series as well as great classic content.
After launch, key shows will screen as close to international premieres as possible.
Available to all SKY domestic subscribers with the Basic package at no extra cost.
Weekly programming updates will be released on THE ZONE’S facebook page facebook.com/TheZoneTV and Twitter twitter.com/TheZoneNZ.

COMING TO THE ZONE:

Viewers can look forward to a range of great new & classic titles from the Science Fiction, Cult, Fantasy, Superhero and Horror genres including:

DEFIANCE
NZ PREMIERE

Set in the near future, this epic drama introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. At the center of this world is Lawman Jeb Nolan (Grant Bowler – True Blood), who enlists the help of deputies and occasionally some civilians in the struggle to maintain law and order in the town and region. To survive in this unforgiving landscape, it will take strength. It will take will. It will take Defiance.

Starring: Grant Bowler (Outrageous Fortune, True Blood), Stephanie Leonidas, Julie Benz (Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Graham Greene (Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Green Mile), Tony Curran (This Life, Ultimate Force, Blade II, Underworld: Evolution), Jaime Murray (Hustle, Dexter), Mia Kirshner (The L Word, 24), Jesse Rath (18 to Life).

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES
NZ PREMIERE

Expanding on the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez co-directed original film, this new series is a supernatural crime saga centered around the Gecko Brothers who are on the run from the FBI. After the brothers hijack a RV owned by former minister Jacob Fuller, taking him and his family hostage, an unpredicted stop at a run-down strip club in the middle of a desolate Mexican desert exposes the late night haunts façade and the legion of Mesoamerican vampires who dwell there. The series, directed by Rodriguez goes deeper behind the mythology of the creatures in the club and the backstories of the characters as they fight until dawn to stay dead.
Starring: D.J. Cotrona (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Zane Holtz (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Eiza González, Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show), Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges), Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera, Locker 13), Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, Incredible Crew), Jake Busey (Contact, Starship Troopers).

THE STRAIN
NZ PREMIERE

The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. Co-Creators, Executive Producers and Writers Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan co-wrote the pilot script for The Strain, which was directed by del Toro.

Starring: Corey Stoll (Homeland, House of Cards), David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), Mia Maestro (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2)