×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Naked Samoans’ toon ‘bro’ is a go with Kiwis

Adult-skewed skein compared to 'Simpsons'

AUCKLAND — After years of low to average ratings for Kiwi comedies, CanWest Mediaworks TV3 in New Zealand has found its biggest hit with “bro’Town,”the country’s first adult-skewed animated primetime series.

Written and voiced by comedy theater group the Naked Samoans — Oscar Kightley, Dave Fane, Shimpal Lelisi and Mario Gaoa — “bro’Town” chronicles the misadventures of five teenagers growing up in Auckland.

Like the Naked Samoans’ sell-out theater shows, the skein satirizes the boys’ Pacific Island heritage and describes what is like to grow up as a minority in Auckland, the largest Polynesian city in the world.

Chief executive Rick Friesen is ecstatic with the firstrun of six episodes for “bro’Town,” which has drawn up to 70% of the 15-29 audience and around 35% of the wider TV3 target, ages 18-39.

Producers have listed the series with Irish sales agent Monster and say they are getting wide interest for the skein that is billed as “The Simpsons” of the South Pacific.

TV3 commissioned just the six half-hour episodes, and the long production time for animation means there is a long wait for the next run.

“But we’re confident the first series will work as a repeat in primetime,” Friesen says.

“Bro’Town” is produced by Firehorse Films’ Liz Mitchell, a former promotions exec at TV3 who says she was goaded into production by a visiting scout from Nickelodeon.

Even she admits to being shocked by the upbeat reaction to “bro’Town.”

By the standards of Kiwi budgets, its NZ$400,000 ($277,000) per half hour is high.

But, in a first for the genre, the toon found 10% of its budget from product placement of youth-oriented brands including Vodafone and Puma.

Government fund New Zealand on Air provided 60% of the budget.

The taxpayer investment in a show with heavy product placement has raised eyebrows in the local industry. But the web and the funder say they have been careful to ensure it is not intrusive.

More TV

  • Televisa Sets Development Pact With Mexico's

    Televisa Sets Development Pact With Mexico's Endemol Shine Boomdog (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Televisa and Endemol Shine have inked a new pact for content development, cementing a long-standing relationship of 17 years. Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog, run by CEO Alejandro Rincon, and Televisa Studios will co-produce a slew of original scripted and unscripted series for the Hispanic markets of Mexico, the U.S. and the rest of [...]

  • Tamron Hall

    NATPE Briefs: Tamron Hall Adds Stations, HBO Grabs 'Post,' Grammys Set Sales

    The new Disney-distributed talk show fronted by Tamron Hall has reached the 70% national clearance threshold now that stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Cox and Meredith have signed on for the topical talker. Hall, the former “Today” anchor, is making the rounds at NATPE on Tuesday in preparation for the show’s fall launch. [...]

  • Super Bowl LI Tom Brady

    Marijuana Advertiser Sees Super Bowl Dreams Go Up in Smoke

    Here’s a lesson for the nation’s burgeoning medical-marijuana market: You may be growing, but you can’t bogart that Super Bowl commercial. Acreage Holdings, a company that works to make marijuana available to adults for medical and/or recreational use where legal, is hoping to spark a haze of publicity by noting CBS declined to run a [...]

  • Beta Sells Alex Pina’s Movistar +

    Beta Film Rolls Out Alex Pina, Esther Martinez Lobato’s ‘The Pier’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI  — Clinching more deals on one of Mipcom’s highest-profile premieres, Beta Film has closed early major territory sales on Movistar + Original “El Embarcadero” (“The Pier”), Alex Pina and Esther Martínez-Lobato’s follow-up to Netflix phenomenon “La casa de papel” (“Money Heist”), identified by the streaming giant in its first-quarter results last April as its [...]

  • Blue Ant Locks Down International Deals

    NATPE: Blue Ant Locks Down International Deals for British ‘Prison’ Series

    The sales arm of Blue Ant has closed a raft of programming deals with international channels, including for British series “Prison,” as the NATPE market gets underway in Miami. Blue Ant International has sold “Prison,” the factual series about life inside a jail in Durham, England, to multiple territories. Germany’s WELT, Belgium’s VRT, Norway’s TV2, [...]

  • NBCU Cooks Up Brazil Deal for

    NATPE: NBCU Cooks Up Brazil Deal for ‘Top Chef’

    Brazilian network Record is adding “Top Chef” to its menu. The popular cooking competition format is on NBCUniversal’s Bravo in the U.S. where it is in its sixteenth season. The format deal with Record will take the number of international remakes of the show to 24. Recent deals include with ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany. NBCUniversal’s International [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content