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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Gay TV doubtful again this year

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 3rd April 2009

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Local television producers are giving up on getting a Kiwi LGBT television series on air this year, as broadcasters are rejecting their proposals and funding from NZ on Air for gay 'special interest' programmes has not confirmed for 2009.

(Flickr: James Good)

After a disappointing 2008 when for the first time in several years no new episodes of an LGBT show was created for TV2, TV producers had hoped for a fresh start this year.

"The money's not there and any new ideas for local shows are on the backburner, as the recession has hit broadcasters badly," one TV insider told "We're still hoping for good news but it's now a slim hope".

Kiwi media funder NZ on Air has yet to comment on the situation for LGBT programmes this year. The Government agency funded episodes of The Outlook for TV2 in 2007, and put money towards Maori TV's long-running Takataapui series last year. Despite it being a popular programme on its channel, Takataapui is not yet confirmed to return in 2009.

Last September, digital channel TVNZ7 hosted a debate on 'the state of NZ's gay media', and TVNZ also recently played episodes of American animated comedy Rick & Steve - The Happiest Gay Couple in the World, which rated well in a late-night slot on TV2.

The demise of independent channel Alt TV last month has left gay TV presenter Steven Oates' weekly live LGBT chat and music show without a broadcaster, but Oates is now hinting that the show may return in another form. "Watch this space," he teases