December 6, 2015 by Doug Coutts
Mediaworks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Halfbaked Notions/Hamfisted Productions Joint Venture GBH, has announced a new series in the pipeline, with production slated already but still scheduled to begin in June.
“The Great New Zealand Reality Television Script-off will do for tv narration writing what Masterchef did for our ratings,” Mediaworks Vice President in charge of Media Bluffery, Wanda Weithy-Stillwotchiss, told WWNews. “The public is fascinated by the sometimes mystical making of reality television, as is Mediaworks, and we see this as a great way of showcasing the process as well as desperately trying to find another angle in an already dead format.”
GNZRTSO will feature ten contestants attempting to write scripts for a Mediaworks reality show, Ms Weithy-Stillwotchiss said. “Obviously we won’t be using a real show, largely because we don’t have any left, but there’ll be a format they have to follow and who knows, if it’s any good we’ll stick Mark Richardson in front of it and try to sell it to Endemol.”
Each week the contestants will face three challenges – coming up with thirty seconds of narration to cover a wideshot unrelated to the action to be described, writing two minutes of flowery exposition of their choosing to be cut when the sportsperson reading the script struggles with anything longer than one syllable, and a Showstopper which involves inventing new ways to say “In next week’s show…” One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the others forced to stay on to the bitter end.
Auditions have already been held, with a phenomenal number of entries received, Ms Weithy-Stillwotchiss said. “Unfortunately we had to reject nearly all of them as they weren’t related to someone in Mediaworks, or couldn’t get day release. Or both.”
In a surprise twist, two celebrity judges will critique performances and select the non-winning participant each week, although Ms Weithy-Stillwotchiss was unwilling to go into specifics. “Let’s just say they’ll be instantly recognisable household names with extensive experience in reading producer’s briefing notes. And good availability at weekends,” she added.
The winner of the Grand Finale, probably someone who isn’t aware Grand Finale is a nonce term, will win, according to Ms Weithy-Stillwotchiss, a great prize. “We’re offering the lucky winner a six-month internment, I mean internship on ‘Story’, coming up with ratings-winning journalistic coups, briefing lawyers and writing all of Duncan’s ad libs. There’ll be no actual salary, but it sure will look good on a CV!”