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Chris Warner discovers son's nude picture in latest Shortland Street cliffhanger

Shortland St producer Maxine Fleming says it was "the cliffhanger of the year" for the soap which doesn't mind a few of those.

In Friday's episode, After bringing his girlfriend Lily home for some romancin', the teenage Harry Warner (Reid Walker) found his dad Dr Chris Warner (Michael Galvin) waiting for him.

Unbeknownst to Harry, his phone messages had synched to the family iPad. Chris confronted him with the tablet in hand:

Shortland Street's Chris Warner confronts his son Harry over some x-rated photos in the popular soap's latest cliffhanger.

"Please tell me that is not your penis!" he rages. Then the credits rolled.

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The scene has been a sensation online, prompting a staggering amount of reaction on the show's Facebook: at time of writing there were 343,000 views, nearly 9000 likes, and 10,000 comments.

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Fleming says she knew she had gold on her hands as soon as she read the script. "As soon as I read that script I was like, that is the cliff [hanger] of the year, for me."

She said the idea for the plotline came when she was talking with the show's writers about doing a coming-of-age story about Harry Warner losing his virginity.

The show, which enters its 25th year this year, has done similar plotlines before, and the writers saw the dick-pic scenario as a way to put a contemporary spin on it.

Fleming said the fact that the episode seemed to be resonating with both teens and their parents was a sign they had done their jobs.

"It is a comedy story, but like all good comedy there's a truth at the core of it, and it is social commentary, that story. Many teens are doing stuff like this, and many parents are worried about it."

Fleming said that since taking over as producer on Shortland Street a year ago, she had been working to inject more humour into the show.

"We definitely have pushed things back to the comedy, we like funny, funny and real. ... Shortland Street to me is at its best when it doesn't take itself too seriously," she said.

The scene's classic ending line came from the brain of script producer Nick Malmholt, and Fleming suspected it might become a bit of a classic.

"I think Michael now is going to have that line shouted at him across the street. ... So I'm sorry about that Michael!" she said.

The plotline will be developed further in subsequent episodes, Fleming said.

  • Shortland Street, weeknights 7pm, TVNZ 2.

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