TV

MediaWorks stops production of Dancing With The Stars NZ

The move was made due to the Government's current restrictions in regards to the closure of non-essential services and the move to Alert Level Four, MediaWorks said.

MediaWorks has stopped production on its local entertainment shows, Dancing With The Stars NZ and The Block NZ.
The news has come after the country has moved into a state of national emergency and Alert Level Four lockdown, and all New Zealanders must stay at home unless they work in essential services.
In a statement released today the TV production company said MediaWorks will continue to run its news programmes.
"However, due to the Government's current restrictions in regards to the closure of non-essential services and the move to Alert Level Four, MediaWorks has taken the unfortunate but necessary step to close production on all our local entertainment shows.
"This means that Dancing with the Stars NZ will not be airing in April as scheduled and production on The Block NZ is currently on hold.
"All Newshub bulletins will continue to run on Three and ThreeNow as normal including; The AM Show, Newshub Live at 4.30PM, Newshub Live at 6PM, Newshub Late, The Project and Newshub Nation. Breaking news specials will also air on Three and ThreeNow as required."
Former DWTS judge and dancer Carol-Ann Hanna challenged the production company last week, asking why the show was going ahead in the current climate.
"In my personal opinion it should probably be postponed because there's so much contact and so many people required for a production like that. It's not just the dancers, it's all the production crew, there are a lot of people working closely together which puts a lot of people at risk.
"And it's not just your DWTS or celebrity partner [that you're in close contact with]. There's the group dances as well where you're dancing with a whole bunch of other dancers...
"If we don't isolate ourselves and practise proper social distancing [keeping at least two metres apart] - which you can't do with dancing - then it's going to spread."
A MediaWorks spokesperson responded with the statement, "We care about Kiwis' health which is why we have now made the decision that we will not be filming Dancing with the Stars NZ or any other shows in front of a live studio audience until we feel it is completely safe to do so."
Some ballroom dance studios in New Zealand have begun running online classes in a bid to keep classes going.
In today's statement MediaWorks said that it would be "reviewing all of our local content and our capacity to return to full production as soon as it is safe to do so.
"MediaWorks' radio on-air teams continue to operate as usual, with the addition of extended Magic Talk shows.
"All our stations have increased their news output during this time so listeners can keep up-to-date with all the important Covid-19 information, while also receiving light-hearted entertainment and inspiring stories. Edge TV is also airing on Freeview Channel 11."