Great Southern Television

Great Southern Television is a New Zealand film and television production company with offices in Auckland and Queenstown. The company specialises in film, drama, factual, comedy, light entertainment and documentary. It was launched on June 1 2002, and is owned and run by producers Philip Smith and Rachel Gardner. Smith and Gardner are both former journalists on the London Financial Times.

In the past five years GSTV has grown quickly and is now one of New Zealand's largest production companies. Its benchmark show, Eating Media Lunch, is about to enter its 8th season - and popular factual series, The Lion Man, has sold globally to 120 countries via distributors All3Media, London. Factual series, Remarkable Vets, has been broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. Key broadcasters include TVNZ, TV3, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, ABC (Australia) and BSkyB (UK). GSTV is part owned by former retail magnate David Levene.

The company owns the rights to the gameshow format Who Wants to be a Millionaire in New Zealand and has made the first season for TVNZ, debuting September 2008 on TV One. The series was shot in Melbourne in conjunction with Channel 9 - but using New Zealand contestants and a New Zealand audience.

In April 2008 GSTV announced it first major acquisition, Maxim Films. Two movies will be released in 2008 under the Great Southern Films title, Apron Strings and Show of Hands. Apron Strings was selected for the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. Show of Hands was selected for the Montreal Film Festival.

In July 2008 Great Southern rebranded as Great Southern Film and Television, and moved its head office into the Oktobor Building in central Auckland.

In September 2008 its comedy series Eating Media Lunch was voted best comedy at the Qantas Film and Television awards. In the same month GSTV had five comedy series on air on New Zealand television: The Unauthorised History of New Zealand, The Pretender, 1000 Apologies, the Millen Baird Show and Back of the Y.

It currently has two factual series in production: Birdland, hosted by Jeremy Wells for TV One, and Four Families for TV3.

A new series of Eating Media Lunch launches on TV2 in November.

The company has four feature films in funded development, and three dramas in funded development.

Shows Produced



  • Show of Hands (Anthony McCarten) release - Sept 2008
  • Apron Strings (Sima Urale) released August 2008
  • Patchwork Bear (Scott Reynolds)
  • Death of a Superhero (Anthony McCarten)


  • The Lion Man x 3 series
  • The Lion Man Specials
  • Remarkable Vets x 2 series
  • Real Escapes x 1 series
  • Truth Files x 1 series
  • Taking Off x 1 series
  • NOW x 1 series
  • Village People x 1 series
  • Birdland x 1 series TVNZ
  • Four Families x 1 series TV3

Light Entertainment

  • Singing Bee
  • 2Tube
  • Who Wants to be a MillionaireDocumentary
  • Kiwi Spirit x 42 minutes
  • Hairraising x 42 minutes
  • Cocktail World Cup x 23 minutesSport
  • Compaq 50k
  • Golf Tour of New ZealandCommercial Non Broadcast
  • 42 Below
  • AJ Hackett
  • Kawerau Jet
  • NZ Hothouse

External links

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