Today FOXTEL announced an exciting new direction for its newly named FOXTEL CHANNELS GROUP including a strengthened and focused commitment to home-grown programming and a continued investment in exclusive international programming acquisitions.
The FOXTEL CHANNELS GROUP includes many of the most-watched channels on the platform including FOX8, Arena, W, THE COMEDY CHANNEL, FOX Classics, Bio, Crime & Investigation Network, THE HISTORY CHANNEL, 111 HITS, MAIN EVENT and FOXTEL Box Office.
Over the next year, FOXTEL will significantly increase the amount of local programming produced by these channels across a range of genres such as entertainment, reality, factual and comedy.
In making the announcement, FOXTEL Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said, “Traditionally we have invested heavily in local productions, but in the 2010/11 season the new look FOXTEL CHANNELS GROUP will be committing to even more exclusive and first-run Australian programming across a broad range including FOX8’s Got To Dance Australia, THE COMEDY CHANNEL’s Balls of Steel and CI Network’s Kalgoorlie Cops.”
“In addition to the new drama series Spirited starring Claudia Karvan premiering on W next week, FOXTEL is thrilled to announce a third season of Arena’s viewer favourite, Project Runway Australia. In just two seasons, Runway has become a powerhouse brand for FOXTEL and has resonated strongly with both audiences and advertisers.”
“I am also pleased to announce a seventh season of our longest running and most-watched series, Australia’s Next Top Model to air mid 2011, as well as a co-production with SKY New Zealand of a Trans-Tasman series of The Contender, which will premiere on FOX8 in early 2011.
“Additionally, we have made a significant investment into international acquisitions and our landmark deal with 20th Century Fox continues with an exciting line-up of new series, perfect for FOXTEL. With Ride Along, The Glades, The Gates and Terra Nova we have international first-run product covered.”
New local productions for 2010/11 include:
Got To Dance Australia will premiere exclusively on FOX8 in late 2011. Got To Dance will showcase Australian dance acts of all ages, styles and sizes as they compete for an ultimate cash prize. Australian dance superstar, Adam Garcia is in discussions with FOXTEL to appear as a judge on the series. Produced by Shine Australia.
SLiDE is a sassy, cheeky multiplatform drama designed specifically for FOX8 that follows the unpredictable exploits of a group of teenagers as they prepare to face life after school. SLiDE utilises multiple entertainment platforms and features a unique online experience. The 10-part drama series will commence production in Brisbane in late 2010 and will be produced by Playmaker Media.
Dating in the Dark Australia is based on the US and UK hit versions and will premiere exclusively on FOX8 in December 2010. Produced by Shine Australia, the show brings a new spin to television dating as the contestants conduct their dates in the dark, and as a result never see each other. Once the dating is over, the participants are revealed so they can decide whether to continue in a relationship.
Cricket Superstar is an elimination reality competition format based on the successful FOOTBALL SUPERSTAR franchise. Cameras will follow the journey of Australia’s most talented young cricketers as the boys are culled through an intense elimination process before the last man standing is crowned Cricket Superstar. Cricket Superstar will be produced by North One and will exclusively premiere on FOX8 in 2011 and will be co-hosted by Lee Furlong.
Balls of Steel is a new local comedy which will air exclusively on THE COMEDY CHANNEL in early 2011. BALLS OF STEEL is a show where a range of comedians and comedy characters do a variety of stupid, dangerous and highly ill-advised stunts in order to impress the voting studio audience and claim the title of having the biggest “Balls of Steel” that week. The program will be produced by Southern Star Entertainment.
The Statesmen of Comedy is the comeback of Trevor Marmalade to mainstream Australian television, and with him he brings the best of the best of Melbourne’s comedy community. The half-hour show is segment based and will premiere on THE COMEDY CHANNEL in 2011 and is produced by McGuire Media.
Kalgoorlie Cops will air in February 2011 on Crime & Investigation Network. There’s never a dull moment for Kalgoorlie’s cops as they try to control the legendary frontier town that is rife with money, murder, miners, hookers, gold-theft, crooks and outlaw bikers as well as plain old-fashioned Friday night punch-ups. This documentary series will be produced by Eyeworks Australia.
Tony Robinson Digs Australia is an exclusive world premiere for THE HISTORY CHANNEL in May 2011. This documentary series is hosted by Tony Robinson (Worst Jobs in History, Time Team and Blackadder), and looks at the impression the British have left on Australia to reveal the astonishing quirks of history on our island continent. Produced by WTFN Entertainment & West Park Pictures.
The People Speak – Australia is an Australian version of the landmark US television event produced by actors Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. The one-off special has been commissioned exclusively for THE HISTORY CHANNEL in late 2011. In front of a live audience the greatest speeches of ordinary people that changed the course of history are delivered by accomplished actors and personalities.