Robyn Malcolm (centre), pictured with (from left) Theresa Healey, Roy Billing, Adam Gardiner and Kayleigh Haworth, stars as a novice real estate agent in Agent Anna, the new comedy drama from Queenstown-based Great Southern Television. Photo supplied.
Queenstown and Auckland-based production company Great
Southern Television is behind a new comedy drama with the
star of Outrageous Fortune which debuts on TV One
later this month.
Robyn Malcolm leaves behind the leopard-print skirts and fish
pies of the formidable matriarch Cheryl West to play a naive,
unassertive and way-too-trusting real estate rookie in
Anna Kingston (Malcolm) is forced to reinvent herself as a
real estate agent at the age of 47 when her husband abandons
her with two teenage daughters at private school and a
mountain of debt.
Anna soon finds her skills as a muffin baker do not help in
the cut-throat world of real estate.
Malcolm said she always felt real estate would be an
interesting profession to centre a drama around and it seemed
many real estate agents came from somewhere else first.
''I was interested in what would happen if we had a
Pollyanna, an unskilled, `nice' middle class mum who needs
money, needs an identity because of her past and is utterly
unprepared,'' she said.
''What would happen if she fell into this world of sharks and
commissions and deals.
''I verbally pitched all this to Rachel Gardner and Phil
Smith at Great Southern Television.
''I'd been told previously that real estate was not good
subject matter for TV, but I felt that because I was
interested in it, at least someone else might be.
Fortunately, Rachel and Phil were `with bells on'.''
Producer-developer Rachel Gardner (The Cult, The
Pretender, Apron Strings), of Auckland, said yesterday it
was ''a real coup'' to be able to work with Malcolm.
''She wanted to play a character who had no hint of the hero
about her. The reality is we all do stupid things and make
fools of ourselves.
''We pitched it to TVNZ and developed it over the course of
eight months, then went into production over the winter and
post-production in November. We have high hopes for it, as
does TVNZ. They've really supported it by putting it in a
prime time spot.
''It's really great for a company based in the South Island
to produce scripted comedy and we hope all New Zealand will
- Agent Anna, premieres on TV One, January 31, 8.30pm.