TV3: 25 years of entertainment

LOCAL BROS: Bro’Town nf was New Zealand’s answer to The Simpsons .
TV3

LOCAL BROS: Bro’Town nf was New Zealand’s answer to The Simpsons .

It might have been responsible for TV travesties like Melody Rules , The GC and The Ridges, but TV3 also created and hosted some clever, challenging and classy programming. As the network prepares to celebrate their quarter-century, James Croot selects 25 of the best shows they've put to air.

America's Next Top Model Now a shadow of its former self, this reality series provided drama, comedy and plenty of quotable catch phrases when it debuted in 2003.

Boston Legal Before topping The Blacklist, James Spader teamed up with William Shatner for this hilarious legal dramedy which spectacularly morphed out of the more dour The Practice .

Bro'Town Finally allowing The Naked Samoans to showcase their talents on network TV, this animated series was New Zealand's answer to The Simpsons when it ran between 2004 and 2009.

CSI The show that launched a hundred science-based police procedurals, Jerry Bruckheimer's original series introduced us to William Petersen, CODIS and luminol when it first appeared in 2000.

The Good Wife Despite some truly shabby scheduling in recent years, this legal drama is still one of the best US shows on television, thanks largely to a cast that includes Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming.

Gone Fishin' Running since 1993, this magazine-style fishing show has kept its loyal followers enthralled with its mix of action footage, tips and recipes.

The Graham Norton Show Earlier iterations might have screened elsewhere, but TV3 have been the ones to embrace the world's best talkshow and make it truly must-see Friday night viewing.

House Taking the CSI formula to a hospital setting, this eight-season show, which finished up in 2012, was mainly notable for the terrific performance of Hugh Laurie in the eponymous role.

THE ORIGINAL: The Simpsons has been a consistent hit.

THE ORIGINAL: The Simpsons has been a consistent hit.

House of Cards Another US gem buried in the late night line up, this Netflix series sees Kevin Spacey's politician going to extra-ordinary lengths to grab and retain as much power as possible.

Ice TV What Now for teens and 20-somethings in its day, this 1990s "yoof show" launched the careers of Jon Bridges, Nathan Rarere and Petra Bagust and subject L&P bottles to various indignities.

Modern Family Now residing on Prime thanks to TV3's brief standoff with Fox last year, this US sitcom provides regular laughs thanks to its strong writing and ensemble cast.

Nightline Running from April 1990 until the start of this year, this late night news show took a sometimes an anarchic look at the day's events and featured a host of colourful characters from Bill Ralston to David Farrier.

PIONEERS: Joanna Paul and Belinda Todd on Nightline, back in its risky early days.
TV3

PIONEERS: Joanna Paul and Belinda Todd on Nightline, back in its risky early days.

The Oprah Winfrey Show While TVNZ ran Kilroy and Sky The Jerry Springer Show, TV3 took the high ground with Oprah's mix of celebrity guests, heartwarming stories and audience giveaways.

Outrageous Fortune Proving that we could do something other than Shortland Street, this West Auckland dramedy helped launch the careers of Antony Starr, Antonia Prebble and Grant Bowler.

Prison Break Launched to plenty of hoopla in 2005, this US drama had viewers on the edge of their seats as the now appropriately named  Wentworth Miller's character led an audacious bid for freedom.

Project Runway Another recent loss to Sky, this fashion-themed reality series allowed a nation to fall in love with Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and the phrase "make it work".

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Pulp Sport Before Jono and Ben at Ten , Mr Boyce teamed up with Jamie Linehan for this Monty Python-esque sports-themed sketch series.

Rocked the Nation Rhys Darby and Dai Henwood have been amongst the hosts for this occasional documentary series which has raided the archives for New Zealand's greatest sporting and musical moments.

The Simpsons Despite a now on-off love affair with the show, the longest-running US comedy has consistently delivered on laughs and memorable catch-phrases.

Sports Tonight Without it there would have been no The Crowd Goes Wild . And they haven't got the addictive Howard "Dobbo" Dobson's Plays of the Week.

7 Days The show that finally proved that we've got comedic talent to burn. Also, it's the place where many Kiwis get their weekly news wrap thesedays.

Target  Fair Go might have preceded and outlasted it, but TV3 brought hidden cameras and Ian Orchard in a bluecoat to the consumer affairs genre.

Twin Peaks Launched with a controversy baiting campaign, David Lynch's wild and wacky 1990 drama entranced and confused audiences in equal measure. Now, a comeback is on the cards.

What's Really In Our Food? Starting out as a documentary in 2007, this consumer-affairs show mixed frightening facts with mad taste-tests.

You & Me Suzy Cato and friends were the Playschool and Romper Room for Generation Y after TVNZ abandoned pre-schooler entertainment.

Jono and Ben Celebrate TV3's ½ Half Century , Friday, 7.30pm, TV3.

 - Stuff

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