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Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock sold to Amazon U.S. in landmark deal for Australian drama

Media Release: Friday, July 21, 2017

Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock sold to Amazon U.S. in
landmark deal for Australian drama

Foxtel’s upcoming event drama series, Picnic at Hanging Rock is the latest series to be added to the Amazon Prime Video US line-up following a deal with FremantleMedia International. The epic new series, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 and 2, In Darkness) as English headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard, is a re-imagining of Joan Lindsay’s timeless Australian novel.

Picnic at Hanging Rock will have its world premiere on Foxtel in Australia in 2018. It is a FremantleMedia Australia production made with key production investment from Screen Australia. The series was shot in Victoria, Australia, with the significant assistance of the Victorian Government through Film Victoria.

“The sale of Picnic At Hanging Rock marks the largest U.S. commercial deal ever for an Australian television series,” said Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television.

“Negotiations between Foxtel, the distributor, Fremantle, and four major American based networks/streaming services, have been in train for many weeks. The partnership with Amazon marks the most lucrative programme sale ever struck for a locally produced television series and Foxtel is delighted with the outcome. The placement ensures that U.S audiences will see the outstanding craftsmanship of the Australian film and television industry on display, including the performances of an illustrious group of acting newcomers, who will now have their careers launched on the world stage.

“This is a landmark moment for our industry and for Australian storytelling. We are absolutely thrilled for everyone involved,” he said.

Picnic At Hanging Rock is Foxtel’s third major Australian drama series to be sold to the U.S market. All five seasons of prison drama Wentworth are seen in North America on Netflix, The Kettering Incident is available on Amazon Prime U.S. and long running rural drama A Place To Call Home is screened on Acorn and American Public Television.

A major sale of TV Week Logie Award-winning political thriller Secret City is expected to be concluded soon.

Picnic at Hanging Rock will plunge viewers into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900, taking the audience on a new journey into the revered Australian novel. The complex, interwoven narrative follows the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families and staff of Appleyard College, and on the nearby township.

The Appleyard College student roles are filled with an exciting contingent of rising stars, including Lily Sullivan (Camp, Jungle) as Miranda Reid, Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life) as Marion Quade, Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter) as Irma Leopold, Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) as Edith Horton and introducing Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Foxtel. Executive producers are FremantleMedia Australia’s Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis and Foxtel’s Penny Win, script producer and establishing writer is Beatrix Christian, Writer Alice Addison, producer Brett Popplewell, directors are Larysa Kondracki, Michael Rymer and Amanda Brotchie. For Amazon, the series will be overseen by Amazon Studios’ Head of International Series Morgan Wandell.


D-Link Smart Plugs Support the Google Assistant Consumers can now control their mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs from anywhere, hands-free

D-Link Smart Plugs Support the Google Assistant
Consumers can now control their mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs from anywhere, hands-free

SYDNEY, 20 July 2017 – D-Link ANZ has announced that its mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) is compatible with the Google Assistant on Google Home, eligible Android phones and iPhones. Consumers can control their mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs from anywhere by saying “OK Google” and asking the Google Assistant to turn the plugs on and off, opening up a world of possibilities for homeowners to manage their appliances. With the support of the Google Assistant, consumers no longer need to stress about forgetting to turn off the clothing iron or the lights after they’ve left home, because they can simply use voice-control to shut off the smart plugs wherever they are.

To configure the devices, owners of mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs need to simply go into the settings menu of their Google Home or Google Assistant app, select Home control and connect to their smart plugs. D-Link Smart Plugs are the first of many mydlink products to work with the Google Assistant. D-Link strives to continue expanding its range of Google Assistant-compatible products so that consumers can easily manage home automated devices in their smart home.

D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug is available from, and from all authorised D-Link retailers and resellers in Australia and New Zealand.

Picture credits
D-Link DSP-W215 mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plug


Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere smashes ratings records for Foxtel

Media Release: Tuesday July 18, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere smashes ratings records for Foxtel

The premiere episode of season 7 of Game of Thrones has smashed records for Foxtel, achieving the highest ratings ever for a series in the history of subscription television in Australia.

Airing exclusively on Foxtel’s showcase channel and streaming on Foxtel Now, the much-anticipated first episode of the worldwide television phenomenon was televised yesterday at 11.00am AEST in a global television simulcast.

The day one Episode 1 audience of 820,000 viewers was an all-time record and an increase of 13 percent on Season 6’s launch in 2016. This figure includes streamed views on Foxtel Now. Episode 1 reached a total of 893,000 unique individuals.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television said, “Game of Thrones has again broken records worldwide cementing its place in television history as one of the most watched programming events of all time. The audience of 820,000 who tuned in to Episode 1 is unprecedented for Foxtel and we are ecstatic with the result. I fully expect this number to tilt at 1.5 million by the week’s end once more customers have viewed the episode through our catch up On Demand service and encore screenings which are scheduled on the showcase channel throughout the week.

“As has been reported, HBO in the US, its affiliate in Latin America, and Foxtel all experienced some technical glitches with our respective streaming products and we reiterate our disappointment for those customers impacted by the outage. Foxtel engineers are working to resolve the issue to ensure smooth transmission for the remainder of the series,” he said.

Game of Thrones has received a mind-boggling 100 Emmy Award nominations since 2011, and has won a total of 38 Emmys – the most of any fictional series in history. After winning a record-shattering 12 Emmys in 2015, Game of Thrones matched that same total in 2016, repeating for Best Drama Series, Writing and Directing.

Based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin (a co-EP) and fuelled by storylines that have gone beyond the narratives set forth in those novels, Game of Thrones is set in the fantasy continents of Westeros and Essos, where summer can last years and winter (which is finally arriving) can last even longer. With David Benioff and D.B. Weiss again serving as showrunners, Season 7 was shot in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland.

Following each episode on Foxtel’s showcase channel, Game of Thrones will be available to watch from Foxtel’s On Demand library, or streamed On Demand via Foxtel Now or the Foxtel App.

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on Mondays at 11.00am at the same time as the US
Encore screenings at 8.30pm Mondays, Tuesdays at Midday and 9.15pm
Wednesdays at 1.20pm, Thursdays at 10.10pm, Fridays at 11.25am and Saturdays at 8.30pm (All times in AEST)
Only on Foxtel’s showcase channel or stream it on Foxtel Now


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