Nothing Trivial

Nothing Trivial
Nothing Trivial
Format Drama, Romantic Comedy
Created by Gavin Strawhan
Rachel Lang
Developed by South Pacific Pictures
Written by Gavin Strawhan
Rachel Lang
Directed by Mark Beesley
Murray Keane
Starring Blair Strang
Tandi Wright
Debbie Newby-Ward
Shane Cortese
Nicole Whippy
Opening theme 'The Stars Came Out Once The Lights Went Out' by The Veils
Country of origin New Zealand
No. of seasons 1
Executive producer(s) Kathleen Anderson
Tina Archibald
John Barnett
Rachel Lang
Gavin Strawhan
Producer(s) Chris Bailey
Britta Johnstone
Cinematography Dave Garbett
Running time 42 mins. (approx)
Original channel TV1
Picture format 576i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original airing July 20, 2011 (2011-07-20)

Nothing Trivial is a New Zealand comedy-drama television series, produced by South Pacific Pictures. The series is created by the duo of Gavin Strawhan and the co creator of Outrageous Fortune, Rachel Lang. The pair, who also created the shows Go Girls and This Is Not My Life, both write and executive produce the show.

The series is set around five characters who meet at a pub quiz. All share the characteristic of being unlucky in love.[1]

The series began airing on TV One in July 2011 and the first episode had the highest number of viewers of any locally-made drama debut since 2000.[2]




  • Shane Cortese plays Mac Delany; an advertising guy with a heart of gold who specializes in general knowledge.
  • Tandi Wright plays Catherine Duvall; an attractive, intelligent and acerbic doctor who specializes in medicine, science, anything about France.
  • Blair Strang plays Brian King; a plumber and serial womanizer who specializes in sports, eighties music and geography.
  • Nicole Whippy plays Michelle Hardcastle; a franchise owner and vengeful recently divorced wife who specializes in celebrity gossip.
  • Debbie Newby-Ward plays Emma Wedgewood; a teacher and eternal optimist who does good sympathy and specializes in food and animals.


  • Will Hall plays Cory; The antagonistic leader of the opposition pub team
  • Katherine Kennard plays Jo Delany; Mac's vindictive ex-wife and mother of his children
  • Barnie Duncan plays Scotty; Michelle's philandering ex-husband
  • Aaron Ward as the Quiz Master; The man who runs the quiz
  • Manon Blackman plays Celeste Duvall; Catherine's teenage daughter
  • Elizabeth Hawthorne plays Anne; Catherine's mother
  • Tim Balme plays Jules; Celeste's father
  • Ray Woolf plays Micky Delany; Mac's father
  • Simon Mead plays Noah Delany; Mac & Jo's eldest son
  • Dylan Holmes plays Frank Delany; Mac & Jo's youngest son
  • Jason Hoyte plays Smudge; Mac's business partner, real name Malcolm.
  • Maggie Tarver plays Donna Ashford; Brian's biological mother
  • Nicole Thomson plays Alisha Ashford; Brian's biological half-sister
  • Calvin Tuteao plays Matiu Renata; Brian's biological father

Cortese said that the cast were already friends before filming started.[3]


In November 2010 it was confirmed that the creators of Go Girls had created a new show and it may be airing on TV One.[4] In December 2010 funding was approved for the show and NZ on Air representatives were said to be excited.[5] 6.9 million was given to the show for a 13 episode run.[6] In March 2011 it was confirmed the show will air later in the year and was described as; "a light-hearted and comedic drama based around five friends with two things in common: a pub quiz and the fact that each of them is unlucky or unhappy in love." Blair Strang, Shane Cortese, Tandi Wright, Nicole Whippy and Debbie Newby-Ward were announced to be in the cast.[7] The show made its debut in July 2011. On 10 October 2011 it was announced that funding had been given for a second season.[8]


The show was met with commercial and critical acclaim. The show gained the record of the highest number of viewers of any locally-made drama debut since 2000.[2] Deborah Hill Cone from the New Zealand Herald stated; "The writing on Nothing Trivial is good enough to be have been penned by the guru of romantic comedy, Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and A Funeral, Bridget Jones's Diary). The characters in Nothing Trivial really come alive from the first episode. They seem like people you could know but, of course, wittier... It is a treat."[9] While Simon Wilson agreed with the well structured writing, saying; "(The writing) is witty, it's sharp, it's very tightly put together. The people are walking clusters of mistakes and they are trying to come to terms with that and deal with that. The series will become a celebration of friendship and where friendships might lead. If you do that well, it makes charming television and they are so far doing it well."[9] Melanie Parkes of Yahoo also stated; ""The humour is uniquely and distinctly Kiwi... You don't have to be interested in competitive quizzing to enjoy Nothing Trivial, although if you're a regular pub quizzer yourself, you'll certainly find something pleasantly familiar about it."[9]

It was reported in August 2011 that pub quiz popularity were receiving a huge surge in popularity due to the success of Nothing Trivial.[10]

List of episodes

Season 1: 2011

Episode #
Director Writer(s) Original airdate
1 "Who Was the lady love of John Wayne Bobbitt?" Mark Beesley Rachel Lang & Gavin Strawhan July 20, 2011 (2011-07-20)
2 "What Colour is a Bichon Frise?" Mark Beesley Rachel Lang July 27, 2011 (2011-07-27)
3 "Who Performed the 1987 hit song Time of My Life?" Murray Keane Gavin Strawhan August 3, 2011 (2011-08-03)
4 "What is a Petard?" Murray Keane Kate McDermott August 10, 2011 (2011-08-10)
5 "Who wrote The Art of War?" Mark Beesley Nick Ward & Rachel Lang August 17, 2011 (2011-08-17)
6 "Which street in LA is known as Bad Boy Drive?" Mark Beesley Rachel Lang August 24, 2011 (2011-08-24)
7 "What is the expression 'Seize the Day' in Latin?" John Laing Gavin Strawhan August 31, 2011 (2011-08-31)
8 "What is a Pyrrhic Victory?" John Laing Rachel Lang September 7, 2011 (2011-09-07)
9 "Who said "I'm extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end"?" John Laing Kate McDermott & Rachel Lang September 14, 2011 (2011-09-14)
10 "Who said "Risk! Risk anything?"" Peter Salmon Gavin Strawhan September 21, 2011 (2011-09-21)
11 "Who had the hit single "Look Back in Anger" in 1996?" Peter Salmon Kate McDermott & Rachel Lang September 28, 2011 (2011-09-28)
12 "Who said "A happy family is but an earlier heaven?" Murray Keane Gavin Strawhan October 5, 2011 (2011-10-05)
13 "All the news that's fit to print" is the motto of which newspaper?" Murray Keane Rachel Lang October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12)


  1. ^ "New Drama for TV One" (Press release). NZ On Air. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "TV One's Nothing Trivial". Throng. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Hurley, Bevan (13 March 2011). "Nothing trivial about Cortese's new role". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "What can you expect from TV One in 2011". Throng. November 2010. Retrieved September 2011. 
  5. ^ "New show from Go Girls writers Nothing Trivial". TVNZ. December 2010. Retrieved September 2011. 
  6. ^ "New drama series, Nothing Trivial, confirmed for TV One". South Pacific Pictures. December 2010. Retrieved September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Nothing Trivial: New Drama from South Pacific Pictures". Throng. March 2011. Retrieved September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Nothing Trivial renewed for second season". Throng. October 2011. Retrieved October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "What the critics are saying". TVNZ. July 2011. Retrieved September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Quiz popularity surges on back of TV show". August 2011. Retrieved October 2011. 

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