TVNZ have revealed their new season line-up for next year. Victorian beards, country dirges and serial killers feature amongst TV One's offerings, while comic book characters and haunted buildings are on the menu for TV2's 2013 televisual banquet.
Let's take a closer look at what our state broadcaster has got concealed up their billowing sleeves for our entertainment.
TV OneMr. Selfridge
Jeremy Piven ('Entourage') dons a top hat to portray Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American entrepreneur who founded the famous English department store in 'Mr. Selfridge', a 10-part period drama from ITV.
While the life of a shopkeeper might sound exceedingly dull fodder for a TV drama, Mr. Selfridge was not your average retailer. Known as 'The Earl of Oxford Street', Selfridge was a flamboyant character famous for his fondness for gambling and the ladies; engaging in affairs with two of the most famous dancers of the twentieth century, Isadora Duncan and Anna Pavlova.
Piven told entertainment website Showbiz 411: "It’s an incredible role, I couldn’t not do it."
Katherine Kelly (‘Coronation Street’) also stars as socialite Lady Mae.
We're most excited for 'Nashville', the new drama starring Connie Britton ('American Horror Story') as a country music star at a crossroads in her career. Created by Callie Khouri (who won an Oscar for her screenplay for 'Thelma and Louise'), 'Nashville' tells the familiar story of a singer (Britton) whose star is fading, and the young ingenue (Haydn Panettiere) set to take her place in the spotlight.
While it's a familiar theme, 'Nashville' has received praise from critics and was nominated in the Most Exciting New Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards. As ‘Nashville’ is a sort of ‘Glee’ for grown-ups, Connie Britton had to employ her childhood musical training and her vocal talents to portray her character, country music star Rayna Jaymes.
The series incorporates modern country music, including duo The Civil Wars, who were set to perform in New Zealand in March but have since cancelled their tour.
Kevin Bacon is following in the footsteps of wife Kyra Sedgwick ('The Closer') and trying his hand at TV with new horror drama, 'The Following'.
Bacon stars as Ryan Hardy, an FBI agent who brought serial killer, and Edgar Allan-Poe obsessed literature professor Joe Carroll (James Purefoy, ‘Camelot’) to justice 10 years earlier.
When Carroll escapes from prison, it's up to Hardy to hunt him down. However, Carroll has help from an unlikely bunch of allies, a cult of online groupies who form 'The Following' of the title.
In a world populated with people who idolise serial killers, the premise of 'The Following' is frightening in its potential to blur truth with fiction.
'The Following' debuts in the U.S. in January and early reports indicate it's going to be one to watch.
Robyn Malcolm ('Outrageous Fortune') is back on our screens next year in local comedy drama, 'Agent Anna'. When Anna Kingston's husband runs off to Australia, he leaves her with two teenage daughters, debts and a mortgagee sale.
With the bills mounting, Anna (Malcolm) remembers once hearing a piece of advice that has stuck with her, "When all else fails, you can always sell real estate." With that in mind, she turns her hand at becoming wheeling, dealing Agent Anna at the offices of Eden Real Estate.
Malcolm, who also incepted the idea for 'Agent Anna', told the New Zealand Herald earlier this year, "It's a comedic drama about our relationship with money and our obsession with real estate."
Roy Billing (‘Suspects’) also stars as Anna's alpha-male boss Clinton.
Alongside ‘Agent Anna’, TV One has a plethora of local content lined up for next year. 'Showtime' takes you backstage at New Zealand’s suburban theatre groups, while 'Meet The Frockers' follows a bride's quest for the perfect wedding dress. New seasons of ‘MasterChef New Zealand’ and ‘New Zealand’s Got Talent’ will also return in 2013.
‘Women In Blue’ follows the lives of seven female police officers working on the streets of New Zealand and from the makers of ‘South’ and ‘Intrepid Journeys’ comes ‘Beyond the Bombays’, described as a celebration of the New Zealand landscape and the characters who dwell in it.
Hotly anticipated new show Arrow, based on the DC comic character, Green Arrow will air on TV2 next year. ‘Arrow’ has drawn the biggest ratings in three years for U.S. network The CW.
Billionaire playboy (why are costumed vigilantes always billionaire playboys?) Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell, ‘Private Practice’) returns home after being stranded on an island for five years following a shipwreck that killed everyone on board, including his father.
Carrying out his father’s dying wish to right the wrongs of their family, Oliver resolves to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante, with his trusty bow and arrow as his weapon, and motif, of choice. Other characters from the DC Comics universe will also appear.
666 Park Avenue
Spooks are making a TV comeback! The intriguingly titled ‘666 Park Avenue’ is a supernatural drama based on a series of books by Gabriella Pierce, and which also sounds a bit like ‘Bedlam’, which airs on UKTV in New Zealand.
Vanessa Williams (‘Desperate Housewives’) and Terry O’Quinn (‘Lost’) star as Olivia and Gavin Doran, owners of an upscale Manhattan apartment building possessed by a demon presence, which the owners are not only aware of, but may be in league with!
Williams told TV blog Zap 2 It that she modelled her character on Ponzi scheme fraudster Bernie Madoff and his wife, Ruth.
"It's the Upper East Side. It's luxurious. It's a couple that are very powerful. I thought about the Madoffs immediately because they were extremely wealthy. They had incredible land holdings all over that people knew about and knew that they had a great amount of wealth. And then we all saw the dark side and what happened and how they created their empire."
Sadly, despite promising reviews, ‘666 Park’ Avenue failed to attract ratings and was cancelled earlier this month. Spookily, only 13 episodes were produced.
Anthony Edwards (‘E.R’) stars as Hank Foley, editor of a skeptic’s magazine in ‘Zero Hour’. When his wife Laila (Jacinda Barrett, ‘The Last Kiss’) is kidnapped after purchasing an antique clock that holds the key to a secret, Hank must enter into a world he knows all too well, but has spent his career debunking and deriding; the realm of the conspiracy theorist.
Parallels to ‘Zero Hour’ have been drawn with the ‘Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’, both valid comparisons judging by the trailer, which is filled with clocks, priests and Nazis.
Also airing on TV2 in 2013 is ‘Mistresses’, an American take on the popular UK series of the same name. Starring Alyssa Milano (‘Charmed’), ‘Mistresses’ follows the lives of a group of four girlfriends.‘Mitre Ten Dream Home’ is back after a three-year hiatus, and this time the couples will be competing in Christchurch. ‘Go Girls’ also returns in 2013 for its fifth season.