‘Stars’ ratings shine for TVNZ

World Brief

BBC format “Dancing With the Stars” is New Zealand’s biggest hit this year across all demos.

Series One debuted strongly on pubcaster TVNZ last year. But its older-oriented channel, TV One, waltzed away with even better ratings for a second series in its Sunday night timeslot.

TVNZ says audiences were up 9.5% to an average 800,000 per episode year on year.

Format sees local celebrities paired off with professional ballroom dancers and voted off by voters at home and a judging panel.

Ratings success will be welcomed by TVNZ given its hefty outlay for production.

But it will entrench the government view that public coin should not be used to finance pubcaster’s commercial ventures.

TVNZ had sought taxpayer funding for “Dancing With the Stars” but withdrew its request immediately before production began.

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