FOXTEL today announced a major commitment to Australian productions and a substantial increase to its local commissions, including 10 major drama and comedy series, more than 20 new documentary and lifestyle programs and its biggest ever line up of marquee Australian sport.
Returning for its seventh season will be FOXTEL’s most successful and highest rating locally- produced entertainment series, Australia’s Next Top Model, to be hosted by Sarah Murdoch, who will also serve as an Executive Producer through her production company, Room 329 Productions.
“FOXTEL is proud to announce that we have signed Sarah Murdoch for a further season of Australia’s Next Top Model,” said Brian Walsh, FOXTEL Executive Director of Television. “It is our most enduring and most successful locally made series and Sarah is an integral reason for the show’s success. Next year will mark a new chapter in the program’s history and we are confident it will, again, be compelling television.
FOXTEL also announced the signing of Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, to the company. Elle will host Britain’s Next Top Model and appear on promotional campaigns to be seen exclusively on FOXTEL in 2011.
“FOXTEL is delighted to have entered into a commercial arrangement with Elle Macpherson, whose series, Britain’s Next Top Model, will be seen on FOX8 from January,” Mr Walsh said. “Elle will be featured on the FOXTEL platform throughout the year promoting her show and its delivery through FOXTEL’s world-class PVR, the iQ.”
The Australian and British series of the Top Model franchise will join the original, America’s Next Top Model with Tyra Banks, all to be seen on FOX8 HD in 2011.
Joining them in the television fashion stakes on FOXTEL in 2011 will be a new local version of the international television hit Project Runway Australia. The Australian edition will enter its third cycle with an all new look.
Another major Australian entertainment series to feature in 2011 will be the local spin off of the UK hit, Got To Dance, featuring internationally successful, Sydney-born dancer Adam Garcia, as head judge and mentor. Got to Dance Australia will be joined in the schedule by the second season of the original UK series and the debut of its US counterpart, titled Live To Dance, which will hosted by Australia’s Andrew Gunsberg and feature Paula Abdul.
Also in the general entertainment genre will be the premiere season of Cricket Superstar, scheduled for the second half of the year, along with a second season of this summer’s break-out hit, the Australian series of Dating In The Dark.
Australian children’s and family programming will include Nickelodeon’s popular Kids Choice Awards and Disney Channel’s As The Bell Rings.
In local comedy programming, THE COMEDY CHANNEL will debut three new series in the first half of 2011; You Have Been Watching to be hosted by Peter Berner, Balls Of Steel with The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel and an untitled stand-up project which will feature some of the country’s emerging comedy talent.
In lifestyle programming, there are new seasons of locally made, Grand Designs Australia, Selling Houses Australia, Come Dine With Me Australia, the debut of Relocation Relocation Australia and Donna Hay- Fast, Fresh, Simple – all to be seen on The LifeStyle Channel.
The most anticipated drama event of 2011 and exclusive to FOXTEL, is the television adaptation of the Australian best seller Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, which will have its premiere on Showcase. Also premiering on FOXTEL will be a controversial new Australian youth drama series, SLiDE, currently filming in Brisbane, to be seen on FOX8 HD, TV1’s eagerly awaited mini-series, Killing Time, featuring David Wenham, and Movie Extra’s Small Time Gangster.
The new dramas will be joined by a second season of the most watched locally made drama on FOXTEL this year, W channel’s Spirited, starring Claudia Karvan, plus a third series of the award-winning Tangle on Showcase and a second season of The Jesters on Movie Extra.
Australian-produced documentaries and observational reality will feature heavily on FOXTEL’s 2011 roster.
FOXTEL will premiere Kalgoorlie Cops, an eye-catching series for the Crime & Investigation Network, which follows local law enforcers in the country’s most remote city. Park Street will be observational television of a different kind as cameras go behind-the- scenes of the magazine industry and the women who rule it. Danni Minogue – Style Queen follows many days in the life of the often controversial Australian entertainer, now fashion designer in an intriguing new series to be seen on FOX8 HD.
Lifestyle YOU! will premiere Eat Yourself Sexy and Trinny & Susannah’s Australian Makeover Mission and UK television figure Tony Robinson is down under to host his new series, Tony Robinson Explores Australia, for The History Channel.
The History Channel will also premiere locally made documentaries including Lachlan Macquarie, The Digger – A History, The Irish In Australia, Kapyong, Your Shout – The Story of Australian Beer and an Australian production of the The People Speak (inspired by the US version created by actors Matt Damon and Josh Brolin) and a captivating new interview series to be hosted by Australia’s most successful radio broadcaster Alan Jones.
National Geographic Channel has two major Australian productions, Aussie Strike Force and 62 Days at Sea, Discovery Channel will deliver Rocket Compulsion whilst on Crime & Investigation Network, Tara Moss will return with a second series of Tough Nuts: Australia’s Hardest Criminals.
Underpinning FOXTEL’s commitment to Australian production is FOX Sports unrivalled coverage of every major AFL, NRL, Rugby and Australian soccer fixture as well as 24/7 sports news and comment across six channels, three of them in High Definition, plus Sky Racing with its three channels, also TVN and Main Event Television.
Other major local sports highlights throughout the year will include ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on FOX SPORTS and Australian Surfing events on Fuel TV.
SKY News will continue to monitor and report on the nation, and the world, seven days a week, around the clock, with The Weather Channel on alert, recording and reporting updates from around Australia, also 24/7.
Music television features something for every one with extensive coverage of events such as Big Day Out on Channel [V] and CMC Rocks on Country Music Channel. MTV Networks will stage a major live music production as well as launching a new documentary-style music series Breaking, and MTV Style and MTV News will continue in 2011. MAX Sessions continues on MAX. Channel [V] will have a third series of B430.
FOXTEL commences its 16th year of delivering Australians the widest choice in home entertainment with 2011 set to be the biggest year to date for the local production slate.