What Now

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This article is about the New Zealand children's TV program. For other uses, see What Now (disambiguation).
What Now
What Now Logo.png
Format Family
Created by Rex Simpson
Presented by
  • Gemma Knight
  • Ronnie Taulafo
  • Adam Percival
Opening theme What Now 2013
Country of origin New Zealand
Production
Camera setup Multi-Camera
Running time 120 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel
Picture format PAL
Original run 1981 (1981) – present
External links
Website

What Now is a long-running New Zealand children's television program that premiered in 1981. It is filmed before a live studio audience at Whitebait Productions in Christchurch.

The show airs every Sunday at 8 am on TV2 and has segments such as Game Zone Arena, Super Circuit and Target Ya Teacher. It has no adverts, due to the Broadcasting Act 1989 which states that no advertising can be shown on New Zealand television between 6 am and noon on Sundays.

History[edit]

What Now? was created by Rex Simpson before he left to head up his own production company, Kids TV.[citation needed] It originally screened on Saturday mornings on TV ONE between 7:30 and 10 am. Hosted by Steve Parr, he introduced segments covering morning keep-fit exercises, sketches involving recurring characters such as complaining old man Clive Grumble, simple recipes by Alison Holst, trivia from Frank Flash, law and safety with Constable Keith and Sniff, interspersed with regular cartoons. The theme song was Get Out of Your Lazy Bed, by Matt Bianco.[1]

When Steve Parr left the show after a couple of years, the format changed to live broadcast. The hosts increased in number, usually to three, beginning with Danny Watson (from Spot On) and Michelle Bracey added, and Frank Flash (Alasdair Kincaid) given a more central comedic manic role. When Michelle left the show, she was succeeded by Michele A'Court. Comedy sketches, interactive phone calls and competitions with the viewing audience, plus magazine-style segments going out and about, all became a more central part of the format.[citation needed]

The style remained this way for many years, as hosts evolved and were replaced, until today where the format now involves live audiences of crowds of children, but still is closely faithful with the core concept established early on.

In 1989 the show moved to TV2 and then in 1996 to Sunday mornings. An after school version of What Now, What Now PM, also ran on TV 2 during the week between 1997 and 2002.

The weekdays version of What Now? became its own separate show known as WNTV. First hosted by Carolyn Taylor and a face in a computer screen played by Mikey Carpenter. Later the show changed dramatically but kept the same WNTV name. It became a drama showing behind the scenes of a children's afternoon magazine show. This was hosted by Antonia Prebble and Tom Herne, and featured several other characters. Anna Allbury and Jo Tuapawa featured as reporters.[citation needed]

The What Now show was moved to TVNZ's Avalon studios in Lower Hutt in 1999 until TVNZ shut down its Children's Department at the end of 2004. What Now the show was then brought back to Christchurch in 2005 to be produced by an independent company Whitebait Productions, headed by Janine Morrell-Gunn and Jason Gunn. What Now? has been funded by NZ On Air since NZOA's inception in 1989; prior to that it was funded by TVNZ.

In 2006 the afternoon show WNTV was cancelled and replaced with the current children's afternoon TV show Studio 2 produced by Ian Taylor (Taylormade Media Ltd).

Various programme partnerships over the years have seen What Now? promoting ‘healthy eating healthy action', water safety and old-fashioned letter writing amongst many other things. What Now? has a long-standing association with the Weetbix Kiwi Kids Tryathlon, and with Sport and Recreation New Zealand whose ‘Push Play' message encourages children to be physically active.

Early What Now? presenters were also credited as writers. They were people like Michelle A'Court, Danny Watson, Al Kincaid, Michelle Bracey, Simon Barnett and Catherine McPherson, some of whom have gone on to roles as directors and writers. A more recent presenter who made a significant behind-the-scenes contribution was Anthony Samuels, who also trained as a director.[citation needed]

Off-screen personnel who have shaped What Now? over the years are many. They include camera operator and director Alan Henderson (also secretly rumoured to be the brains behind Jason Gunn's sidekick Thingee), Directors Keith Tyler-Smith, Bill de Friez, Peter Verstappen, Mike Rehu, Brian Wickstead, Mark Owers, Mike Ritchie, Jason Gunn and Richard Hansen. Producers include Richard Driver, Mike Rehu, Tony Palmer, Anne Williams, Reuben Davidson, and Janine Morrell-Gunn. Emma Gribble got her start opening the mail for the fan club and 10 years later became producer of the show.[citation needed]

Current presenters[edit]

Host Role Duration
Gemma Knight Studio Host 2010–present
Adam Percival Studio Host 2011–present
Ronnie Taulafo Studio Host 2011–present
Toby the sock puppet Mascot 2012–present
Layla the dog Pet 2013–present

Previous presenters[edit]

  • Steve Parr 1981 - 1983
  • Jim Hopkins (as Clive Grumble) 1981 - 1987
  • Alasdair Kincaid, A.K.A. Frank Flash 1981 - 1988 and The Answer Guy (in the 90s)
  • Eddie Sunderland (arts and crafts) 1984(?)-1992
  • Danny Watson 1984 - 1987
  • Michelle Bracey 1982 - 1984
  • Michele A'Court 1985 - 1987
  • Darren Young 1991 - 1994
  • Fifi Colston (arts and crafts) 1987 - 1993
  • Catherine McPherson 1988 - 1992
  • Simon Barnett 1988 - 1992
  • Thingee 1989 - 1997 (puppet who also co-hosted Son of a Gunn show and Chatterbox)
  • Jason Gunn reoccurring guest/presenter since the early 90s. Creative writer
  • Carlos Miller in a cooking segment "Let's Cook" 1989-1990
  • Steven Zanoski 1994 - 1995
  • Fiona Anderson 1994 - 1998
  • Stacey Morrison (Daniels) in a cooking segment 1995 - 1997
  • Karl Jeno Schmid 1995 - 1998
  • Anthony Samuels 1995 - 2004
  • Jason Fa'afoi 1995 - 2004
  • Eugene Blick (What Now's first DJ) 1996 - 2002
  • Shavaughn Ruakere 1997 - 2001
  • Richard Hamond 1999 - 2001
  • Carolyn Taylor 1999-2004, 2005–2006 and on WNTV (2008)
  • Danny Talbot 2002 - 2004
  • Soheel Ali 1984 - 1985
  • Antonia Prebble 00's (WNTV)
  • Tamati Coffey 2005 - 2007
  • Vicki Lin 2005
  • DJ Vinyl Richie (Richie Mills) 2005 - 2007
  • Steve Joll 1996 - 1998
  • Mike Carpinter (as the character Props Boy) early 00's
  • Virginie Le Brun 2005 - 2006
  • Serena Cooper-Rongonui 2006 - 4 July 2010
  • Camilla the Gorilla 2006-2013
  • Charlie Panapa 2006-2011
  • Tumehe Rongonui (Roving Reporter/Slam Host) 2007 - 2010
  • Johnson Raela 2011-2012

Regular segments (past and current)[edit]

  • Serial Stuff - Serial comedy/drama. Late 1990s - early 2000s
  • Celebrity Traffic Island - Satirical take-off of Celebrity Treasure Island. Written by Andy Gunn - Jason Gunn's brother.
  • Pie-in-Yer-Ear House - Satirical take-off of Pioneer House. Written by Andy Gunn.
  • Game Zone
  • SLAM!
  • SLAM!: Family Edition
  • Foul's Kitchen
  • Stars in Dusgise
  • Da Apprentice - Based on The Apprentice
  • Balls Of Fortune
  • Splat Cave
  • Live in Your Living Room
  • Fairytales Got Talent
  • Knockout - Based on the American and British TV series Wipeout.
  • LOL
  • Wobblies - Satirical take-off of children's music group The Wiggles.

Cartoons and other TV programmes[edit]

Throughout the early years of What Now, many cartoons and other short television shows were broadcast throughout the show almost always without showing the opening or closing credits and occasionally out of order leading to lack of story continuity.

Talent shows[edit]

What Now has hosted a number of Talent segments; "Kids Got Talent" and "The One". Both segments challenged kids aged 5–14 around New Zealand to show off their talent.

The most recent talent segment is "The One". There are 7 sections for each talent segment.

  • YouTube Auditions - Acts must submit a YouTube video of themselves performing along with their application. A large number of applicants are then emailed and selected to progress through to the producers auditions.
  • Producers auditions - Producers pick who will perform in front of filming crews and a live audience.
  • Filming and Live audience - Performances are recorded but only a few will be chosen to screen on TV. The chosen performances are then split up into heats.
  • Heats - In the first series of "The One", there were 8 heats with 5 acts making up a top 40. In series 2, there were 5 heats with 6 acts making a top 30. Performances are screened on TV and then posted on What Now's YouTube Channel. The public can then vote on What Now's website.
  • Semi Finals - Contestants with top 2 most votes progress to semi-final where public will vote again for who will progress to the next round.
  • Finals - The top 5/6 acts will perform live in studio and be voted for by the public. The top 3 acts with the most votes progress to the grand finale.
  • Grand Finale - The 3 finalists will perform for the last time infront of a live audience where a winner will be announced.

Prizes range from having a chance to record music to cash prizes.

The One[edit]

Series summary[edit]

Season Winner Age Runner-up Age Third place Age Judges
1 Jaedyn Randell 11 Peachez Vetenbiua 8 The Head Turners 10-13
2 Mia Downing 9 Micah Heath 14 Ralph Zambrano 13

Series 1[edit]

In January 2013, What Now announced that they would be hosting a nation wide talent show for kids aged 5–14. Over 2,000 kids applied to audition for the first season. The Top 40 acts, chosen by producers made it through to the televised rounds. The judges for season one where New Zealand Pop Singer Brooke Duff, TV Personality Erin Simpson and CEO of Illegal Mukic Recording Mark Arona. The first season of "The One" premiered on February 15, 2013 and ended on July 24 2013.

Top 40

  • Heat 1 - Shatoria Sofai, Allao Knife Dance, Ephraim Matafai, Fraser & Ella, Georgia Baker-Trebilco
  • Heat 2 - Billie MacGibbon, Krystal Morante, Hannah Fleming & Lily Smythe, Deja Rees, Destiny-Rose Anderson
  • Heat 3 - Te Rina Kahle, Henry French, Madison & Grace, Jaedyn Randell, The Burt Brothers
  • Heat 4 - Jaymie -Leigh Lloyd, Madison Collins, Mikayla Cooper, Kenna Hill, Morgan Barrimore
  • Heat 5 - Senuka Sudus, Sarah Penn, Lisa Kelly, Peachez Vetenibua, Bess & Jess Jenkins
  • Heat 6 - Kim Hall, Boyz Dance, Peyton Morete, Head Turners, Otila Laumua
  • Heat 7 - Canada's Finest, Esther Terrill, Joshua Telepe, Hannah Yarranton, O'Shea Suafoa
  • Heat 8 - Oriana Topai-Aveai, Tehei Pounamu Simpkins, Anika Hayes, Rongomai Callaghan, Leslie Punou

Series 2[edit]

After a successful first season "The One" returned for a second. Just like the first season over 2,000 kids aged 5–14 applied to auditioned to compete on "The One". Brooke Duff, Erin Simpson and Mark Arona all returned to judge the second season. For the second season only the Top 30 acts made it to the televised rounds; compared to last seasons Top 40. "The One" premiered on August 4, 2013 and ended on November 7 2013. This was "The One"'s final season as it was not renewed to return for a third.

Top 30

  • Heat 1 - Alex London, Angela Chen, Dominique Mauahara, May Ioka, Rahui Huata, The T.A.X
  • Heat 2 - Bethany & Zemira Vena, Molly Brown, Anna McCabe, Ethan Hicks, Phoenix Hamilton, Dallas, Doolan
  • Heat 3 - Hayley Mason, Brandi Ladyman Miller, Eleni Motuliki, Ralph Zambrano, Ava Thornley, Mercy Mataia
  • Heat 4 - Casey Messant, Mia Downing, Hawaiki Dancers, Koopu Waipara, Caleb Rawson, Kaleesha Messent
  • Heat 5 - Faith Ward, Holly Main-Grant, Faith Kalekale, Jocelyn Scott, Micah Heath, Lily Barrowcliffe

Gunge[edit]

Throughout the years, What Now has maintained the use of gunge and slime. Children, celebrities, parents and sometimes the presenters are often the subject of embarrassment in various gunge games. Examples include Fill Ya Pants, Foam a Friend, Flushed Away, Gunge on the Run, Gunge on the Road, Weekly Gunge Games, The Gunge Machine, Tank of Terror, Super Circuit, Brain Freeze, and general gunging.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What Now? Christmas Special 1991". Video. NZ On Screen. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 

External links[edit]