2017 Foxtel highlights

New and returning Australian drama, factual and lifestyle shows will join a suite of HBO and BBC titles and a new NRL channel on Foxtel in 2017.

Wentworth and A Place to Call Home return alongside new local dramas Australia Day, starring Bryan Brown, Shari Sebbens and Matthew Le Nevez, the mini series reboot Picnic At Hanging Rock and a second season of Top of the Lake with Elisabeth Moss, Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman.

In international titles there is more Game of Thrones, Ray Donovan, Orange is the New Black, Outlander, The Exorcist, The Americans, Nashville, Shameless plus new titles Big Little Lies with Nicole Kidman and Reece Witherspoon, Crashing featuring comedian Pete Holmes, Taboo (pictured top) with Tom Hardy, and Nazi fictional drama SS-GB starring Sam Riley and Kate Bosworth.

Also returning are local favourites The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Grand Designs Australia, Selling Houses Australia, Gogglebox Australia, Coast Australia, The Great Australian Bake Off, Crimes That Shook Australia and Stage & Screen.

They will be joined by Common Sense, Lawless: The Real Bushrangers, Court Justice, Demolition Man and The Real Housewives of Sydney.

On January 1st, Foxtel begins its new, partnership with HBO, securing every series first, including Game of Thrones, Girls, Ballers, Divorce, Veep and Westworld (date TBA). The deal includes HBO’s back catalogue including Oz, The Wire, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Sex and The City and more.

There is a new 24/7 NRL channel coming, plus Women’s AFL League on top of Foxtel’s already-impressive sports coverage.

Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh said: “Foxtel is passionate about storytelling and we continue to look for those quality productions which meet the audience appetite for Australian stories and tell them in an impactful and meaningful way.

“Our commitment will fund new Australian productions including the event dramas, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Australia Day, factual titles Lawless: The Real Bushrangers, Court Justice, Demolition Man and The Real Housewives of Sydney, to name a few.

“Foxtel is the leader in the lifestyle genre and in 2017 viewers will see new programs Love It Or List It Australia, Common Sense, and Great Australian Cookbook. We will celebrate the entertainment industry with awards programming including the CMC Awards, the Helpmanns and Live coverage of the Grammys, the American Music Awards, the BAFTAS, International AACTAs, the Tonys and the Emmys.

“Our investment in sport means Australians have access to thousands of hours of sport that otherwise would never have been seen on television. Our news service includes five Australian SKY News channels providing up-to-the-minute coverage on local and global events with special programming for elections and political priorities.

“At Foxtel, we’re looking forward to a bigger and better year in 2017 with more choice from the widest selection of content partners to bring the best of the world’s news, sport and entertainment to Australians – and in today’s globalised world – our subscribers expect nothing less.”

Comedy channel titles Whose Line Is It Anyway? Australia and Pacific Heat will also continue their current seasons into the new year.

But missing from the list is a second season of The Kettering Incident, which last week won two AACTA Awards including for its in-demand star Elizabeth Debicki, leaving storylines dangling as we await resolution. There is also no word yet on Australia’s Next Top Model, River Cottage Australia or The Recruit.

New productions

Australia Day – Foxtel Movies
Foxtel’s commitment to original drama continues with the bold new feature film Australia Day, co- produced with Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning producers Hoodlum. Bryan Brown leads a stellar cast with Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires) Sean Keenan (Glitch), Matthew Le Nevez (The Kettering Incident, Offspring) Daniel Webber, Elias Anton, Jenny Wu, Isabelle Cornish, Phoenix Raei and rising star 14-year-old Miah Madden. Acclaimed director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, A Place To Call Home) directs writer Stephen M. Irwin’s (Secrets & Lies) gripping and unpredictable script. Set in Brisbane over 12 hours, Australia Day explores the lives of three Australians from diverse backgrounds whose different worlds collide, illuminating contemporary issues that simmer beneath the surface of modern Australia. The heartfelt drama interweaves these three stories and highlights the aspirations of everyday Australians on the most controversial national holiday, Australia Day. Powerful, thought-provoking, and ultimately uplifting, Australia Day will be released in cinemas in 2017 and have its Australian television premiere on Foxtel.

Picnic at Hanging Rock – showcase
Picnic at Hanging Rock is a six-part drama re-imagining the timeless Australian novel by Joan Lindsay. With provocative explorations of the underlying themes of gender, control, identity and burgeoning sexuality, the drama will plunge viewers into the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day 1900 and the secrets this event lays bare in its wake. Picnic at Hanging Rock is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Foxtel.

The Great Australian Cookbook – Lifestyle FOOD
Lifestyle FOOD takes you on an adventure around the country to meet the nation’s culinary legends. Over 10 episodes, The Great Australian Cookbook highlights our best chefs cooking their favourite dishes for the people they love most. The series features 25 of our top chefs and cooks including Darren Robertson and Magdalena Roze as they share their joy and love for food – with the recipes that are closest to their own hearts: the special dishes they cook for their family, friends and staff. They also let us into their homes as they reveal the stories behind those favourite dishes, whether it’s the treasured family recipe handed down over generations that inspired their own stellar career, or the tried and true simple crowd pleaser the kids can’t get enough of. We also meet our unsung local Aussie heroes – the CWA baking champion, the bush tucker expert, plus fishermen, farmers and pastry cooks. From Alice Springs to Bruny Island, Freemantle to Far North Queensland, The Great Australian Cookbook is an affectionate culinary snapshot of the food Australians love to cook, eat and enjoy.

Common Sense – Lifestyle
From the creators of the global phenomenon Gogglebox comes Common Sense – a highly entertaining new format launching on Foxtel’s Lifestyle and Network Ten in 2017. Produced by EndemolShine Australia, Common Sense will feature a cast of real people and their real opinions as they round up the week’s most talked about news topics in conversation with one another in their workplace. From general news and current affairs to the latest in politics, sport and popular culture. Common Sense will bring genuine and immediate reactions that collectively highlight the nation’s unfiltered take and different points of view on the best talking points that week. Drawing from newspapers, radio, magazines and websites, Common Sense will tackle every topic that shouldn’t be talked about at dinner parties, and filter the news of the week into an informative, insightful and entertaining hour. Common Sense is the second jointly commissioned series between Foxtel and Network Ten, and follows on from the enormous success of Gogglebox, which debuted in Australia in 2015.

Love It Or List It – Lifestyle
Hillary Clinton’s favourite show – Love It Or List It – is another new local addition to the Lifestyle family in which homeowners have to decide between keeping their newly renovated home, and selling it. With the associated costs of moving, along with the emotional toll it can have, sometimes it’s easier and more economical to stay put. What happens though when a house has been outgrown, or has just become old-fashioned or a little unloved? Enter our property expert and interior designer. The former will try and find “list it” options while the latter will transform the current property with tight budgets, often recycling items already in the house, and try to persuade the owners to “love it” once again. Already a hit in Canada, USA and the UK, the all-Australian version of the show will be produced by Beyond Productions exclusively for Foxtel’s Lifestyle.

The Real Housewives of Sydney – Arena
The highly anticipated, glamorous reality series, The Real Housewives of Sydney, features seven charismatic and engaging Housewives who enjoy the extravagant, stylish and cosmopolitan lifestyle of Sydney. Between them they run successful companies, travel the world in luxury, attend the most exclusive parties and are the matriarchs of their million dollar mansions. All women are fascinating in their own right and when put together create a diverse mix of magic and mayhem. The Real Housewives of Sydney are; artistic, free spirit AthenaX Levendi; energetic ex-model turned real estate agent Krissy Marsh; funny, opinionated mother of two Lisa Oldfield; cosmetic nurse and beauty expert of Sydney Matty Samaei; triple threat, actress, model, singer Melissa Tkautz; photogenic party planner and former Miss Australia Nicole O’Neil; and last but not least, entrepreneurial mum and social scene queen Victoria Rees. The ten-part series is produced by Matchbox Pictures in conjunction with Foxtel and premieres early 2017 on Arena.

Lawless: The Real Bushrangers – HISTORY
This four-part HISTORY channel documentary series unearths the truth behind Australia’s legendary bushrangers. Australian colonial history is full of stories of violent murders and gun toting mayhem, foundation tales of those that make and break the law. From the birth of the Ned Kelly legend to the violent death of Ben Hall, these pivotal events are often shrouded in mystery and folklore. Now Mike Munro, Australia’s own television icon returns to our screens to present a ground-breaking series examining these stories like never before. For the first time on television, a specialist team, accompanied by living descendants, investigates the legends of these rebels and the people who fought against them using the full force of modern day science. Lawless: The Real Bushrangers combines cinematic re-enactments and high-end graphics together with a specialist team of highly credible experts, historians, archaeologists and forensic scientists. This series will take you on a remarkable journey to uncover new evidence, deliver new insights and reveal some deeply inconvenient truths in a series that will change how Australians see their folk heroes – and themselves. Lawless: The Real Bushrangers is produced by Genepool Productions.

Demolition Man – A&E
Join Lawrie Voutier the demolition man and his crew of misfits, big trucks and excavators as they smash, crash and bash everything from heritage mansions to industrial warehouses for cash. Don’t be fooled, Lawrie’s not just a demolition man, he’s also a treasure hunter. He salvages stuff that would otherwise end up at the tip, finding rare items which he’s accumulated into one of the world’s best collections, worth millions. Ripping down buildings means ripping down history and amongst that history there’s always something to be salvaged (as long as you can recognise it) for big money. From vintage cars to a bucket of roofing screws, Lawrie has found it all – in, under and around these building. Lawrie’s a master negotiator, and it’s his job that is part precision chaos, part treasure hunt and every job is unique with its own set of dangers and potential for hidden gold. What he finds he drags back to his shop to sell, and he knows how to sell it for a quid. Demolition Man is produced by CJZ for Foxtel’s A&E.

Court Justice – Sydney – CI
For the first time on Australian television, cameras are allowed inside Australia’s busiest local court complex – The Downing Centre in Sydney. This observational documentary series gives viewers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the daily dramas facing the Magistrates as they hear all kinds of cases from drug possession and drink driving, to assault, theft, fraud and vandalism. The range of human stories is as broad as society itself. Defendants are rich and poor, young and old, serial offenders and first timers. The only constant is that they are all equal in the eyes of the law. When the magistrates pass their final judgments, lives change forever. Produced by CJZ.

Returning

A Place To Call Home – showcase
It is 1958 and four years have passed since we left Sarah and the Bligh family. Those four years have seen ever increasing changes in Australian society. The world of wealth and privilege is being eroded, moral values are fraying and a new young generation rises full of disaffection with the world of their elders. To them the War is a matter of the dead past, bringing conflict with those who suffered its pain and deprivation. Economic change and the devious actions of unseen enemies threaten Ash Park. Friends become bitter rivals and former enemies become unlikely allies. And in the midst of the turmoil, love becomes the only sure place anyone can call home. Stars Marta Dusseldorp and Noni Hazlehurst. A Place to Call Home is produced by Seven Productions for Foxtel.

Wentworth – showcase
Wentworth returns for a fifth season, resuming the story in the days following Bea Smith’s tragic death at the hands of Joan Ferguson. Emotional, psychological and professional shockwaves pound the inmates and staff of Wentworth prison. Vera (Kate Atkinson) is under fire from Corrective Services and, with Will (Robbie Magasiva) on suspension, she is relying more on her deputy Jake (Bernard Curry), not realising he is now Ferguson’s (Pamela Rabe) puppet. New Top Dog Kaz (Tammy MacIntosh) has a challenge to restore order amongst the traumatised inmates, though Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) remains aloof focusing on her upcoming trial. On the outside, it falls to Franky (Nicole da Silva) to break the devastating news to Allie (Kate Jenkinson). The bold and confronting drama also stars 2016 TV Week Logie Award-winner for Most Outstanding Supporting Actress Celia Ireland as Liz, Shareena Clanton as Doreen, Katrina Milosevic as Boomer and Socratis Otto as Maxine. Wentworth is a FremantleMedia Australia production. It is Foxtel’s longest running Australia drama,

Top of the Lake – BBC First
Elisabeth Moss, Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman star in the second season of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Top of The Lake from Oscar winner Jane Campion. Moss (Mad Men) reprises her Golden Globe-winning role as Detective Robin Griffin, in the second series of the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Top Of The Lake for BBC First and Foxtel from See-Saw Films. Set in Sydney, Top Of The Lake season 2 is a crime mystery story that begins four years on from the explosive ending of the first season. When the unidentified body of an Asian girl washes up onto Sydney’s Bondi Beach the case seems hopeless – until detective Robin Griffin discovers that ‘China Girl’ didn’t die alone. Also joining the cast for the six-part season two are David Dencik (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures) and Ewen Leslie (The Daughter).

Best sports and best for news from Australia and around the globe
With an unrivalled sport offering including 17 dedicated high definition sports channels with hours of Live sports Foxtel is the undisputable home of sport in Australia.

From now until at least 2022 Foxtel will have every match of every round of both the AFL and the NRL, Live and ad-break free during play. 

Foxtel has the best football offering in the country delivered reliably on our three world-class beIN Sports channels as well as three English Football club channels from Chelsea, Liverpool FC and Manchester United broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week; plus FOX Sports broadcasts three English football club programming blocks from Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. FOX Sports also has Live coverage of every match of the Hyundai A-League competition.

In 2017 FOX Sports will launch a dedicated 24/7 Rugby League channel providing fans with more coverage than ever before. A week long line-up of programs will keep viewers entertained and informed, with FOX Sports delivering every game of the regular season and Finals in September Live, with no ad-breaks during play and in high definition. The most comprehensive pre, half and post-match coverage will complement Live action from Thursday to Sunday spearheaded by the country’s best commentary team.

Foxtel will broadcast the inaugural AFL Women’s League on FOX Footy. The NAB AFL Women’s Competition will commence on Friday February 3 in Melbourne and FOX Footy will televise every match of the home & away season Live and ad-break free during play.

There is amazing coverage of motor sports with every Formula 1, Supercars and Moto GP race, rugby union, golf and so much more.

Best for movies
Foxtel currently provides over 1200 of the hottest movies on demand, anytime, and ad-break free, plus the big new releases and all-time favourites available to rent from our Store. Foxtel hosts pop-up channel events showing all the films from favourite movie franchises in back-to-back marathons, with new pop-up movie channels launching in 2017. These “pop ups” will include a dedicated 007 channel, featuring every James Bond movie ever made, a Batman vs Superman channel, an X–Men channel and more.

Featured theatrical titles over the coming summer on Foxtel Store & Box Office include The Secret Life Of Pets, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad, Inferno and Jack Reacher.

Best for families
The Foxtel Kids Pack has 17 times more new kids shows than our competitors had last year and in 2017 will welcome Slime Cup, Mighty Magiswords, Mickey and the Roadstar Races and many more from the world’s best kid’s channels.

A better entertainment experience
Foxtel’s services are underpinned by technology that ultimately put customers in control. Foxtel is a leader in on demand content through its ingenious internet-connected iQ box, Foxtel Go, Foxtel Play and Foxtel On Demand which seamlessly lets subscribers view shows, movies, sport and complete seasons either Live or available as catch up or On Demand streamed to television or across a range of devices. In addition, Foxtel offers a unique opportunity for anyone to experience the first episode from a host of new Foxtel-made and HBO programs for free via the Foxtel.com.au.

15 Comments:

  1. Armchair Analyst

    The new NRL channel could be called NRLonFox bit of a mouthful but would make sense ! They can’t call it FoxFooty! As for the rest well there’s nothing new in here! Its all the same! Sports and HBO content! Everything else is boring and doesn’t rate!

  2. Housewives and Wentworth are probably the only 2 things in there that are at least in my demo. The rest of this stuff is for 55+ – Bryan Brown is kept well employed by Foxtel, is there any drama that he is not in? It’s nothing to do with him he is a great actor – but there are other actors out there. If Foxtel want to be a player – why not make something edgy instead of relying on re-hashed dramas or stories that only the older generation care about and would watch. The Whose Line – Aussie version – is the worst television I have seen this year – so much promise, but a very sad execution I was really looking forward to it, but it is not funny at all.

    • Thoroughly agree with your comments about the Aussie Whose Line, I wouldn’t go far as to say it is the worst television I’ve seen this year, but its got one more week to dramatically improve otherwise I’m dropping it. Tegan Higginbotham is the best (for me at least) of a very poor cast, on the other hand Cal Wilson and Rhys Darby have joined Dave Hughes in the “I’d rather have a body part caught in a meat grinder than listen to their painful attempts at ‘comedy'”

    • I think you will fid that most Australian made shows have a fair percentage of old familiar faces playing regular character roles, it does come across as being somewhat nepotistic in the acting industry especially when new young talent need the breaks, then off they go to Canada and USA.

  3. I baulk against those who refuse to watch Wentworth without Bea Smith. I think they’ve set up season five to be rich with drama, revenge and power struggles. Such a bold move to kill off their most popular character, but I believe they’ll pull it off. Can’t wait! (Oh and who is that woofsome bloke in the headline pic?!)

  4. Still no sign of free HD, $10 per month is a rip off when I am already paying for the HD compatible IQ3 box. If Netflix can offer me all their content with HD for $11.99 per month, then surely Foxtel can drop this ridiculous charge.

    • You make a good point, though Netflix do not show sport or same day as USA HBO etc the quality of 4K and HD makes the investment in your new UHD TV more worthwhile. Foxtel need to make HD as standard for their services at current non HD prices with the inclusion of 4K streaming as an option if they want to survive in the future.

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