Screentime New Zealand Prepping Popstars for TVNZ 2


The talent reality show Popstars, reimagined for 2021, is set to return to TVNZ 2 in partnership with Screentime New Zealand and Warner Music New Zealand.

The genre-breaking TV series of the late ’90s followed the creation and development of the all-female pop band TrueBliss. This time around, soloists, duos and groups will have the chance to audition. Those who make the cut will get the opportunity to work on their music, beats and performance with host Kimbra Lee Johnson and a selection of other artists and producers in the business.

The contestants will live, practice and perform together as the Popstars cameras follow them 24/7  through all the ups and downs. The final acts will release their singles and perform to crowds and music industry executives, with the winner taking home a $100,000 prize and a chance to live their music dream.

Popstars  is an Essential Productions Format, distributed by Banijay Rights and produced by Screentime NZ in partnership with Warner Music NZ.

Johnson said: “I remember waiting in line for a TrueBliss signing outside Tracks with my Mum. I was waiting for my favorite member’s autograph, Carly Binding! I was always fascinated by the world of pop music from a young age and the whole process that goes into it. I entered the Rockquest at 14 and became the only girl in the national finals in 2004. Looking back, I think a lot of my confidence to enter came from feeling inspired by other female artists pursuing their dreams as singers and songwriters. I’m excited to share some things I’ve learned with young artists and inspire them to grow and thrive in this industry.”

Philly de Lacey, CEO of Screentime New Zealand, said: “Since its inception in New Zealand, Popstars has taken the world by storm to become one of the most successful television formats globally. We’re ecstatic to have a star like Kimbra involved and to bring Popstars back to its original home.”

Cate Slater, TVNZ’s director of content, said: “The original Popstars was a huge contributor to the reality-entertainment genre, inspiring the likes of the Idol franchises that continue to dominate the small screen. We’re excited to be reimagining the show for a modern audience, and bringing it back to TVNZ 2—the home of big entertainment.”

Lucas Green, head of content at Banijay, said: “Now more than ever, people are looking for tried and tested entertainment, warmth, joy and escapism. Popstars delivers all those things. It is also a welcome fresh spin on the talent genre, placing greater emphasis on behind-the-scenes storytelling. We’re all looking forward to welcoming the next generation of viewers to the show and identifying the next generation of talent.”

Format originator Jonathan Dowling added: “The timing feels right with outstanding New Zealand artists like Benee and Jawsh 685 going global. Our music industry has changed massively in 20 years, and the 2021 Popstars will be an exciting reboot for new performers.”