Media Release: Monday November 27, 2017

Foxtel announces scorching summer line-up

With summer about to hit, Foxtel has revealed its upcoming slate of programming with the hottest new dramas, high-stakes reality and some of the most anticipated returning series leading the way.

Foxtel will also be offering a range of programming stunts to keep viewers entertained over summer, including 25 Days of Drama featuring all the most-watched local and international drama series from the past year on Foxtel; and The Monarchy: A Major Royal Event that will showcase a range of royal themed programming across December.

Foxtel’s Director of Channels, Stephen Baldwin, said: “This summer there’s never been a better time to have Foxtel. While others take a break, our programming isn’t going on holidays with a wide range of new and returning series across entertainment, factual and lifestyle. Our movie line-up is especially designed for summer with pop up channels and blockbusters titles, and viewers will also be treated to a huge array of live sport, music specials and kids programming.”

Headlining Foxtel’s schedule this summer are a number of new and exclusive dramas already making waves overseas including UK drama from BAFTA-winning writer Kay Mellor, Loves, Lies & Records (December 16 on BBC First); US crime drama S.W.A.T. (January 14 on FOX8) starring Shemar Moore and Australian Alex Russell; the epic new historical drama Britannia (January 22 on showcase) from award-winning writer Jez Butterworth; and Steven Soderbergh’s murder-mystery, Mosaic, starring Beau Bridges and Sharon Stone (January 24 on showcase).

Returning drama series include the second season of showcase’s Divorce (January 16) as well as the seventh seasons of popular BBC First drama Call the Midwife (January) and Universal Channel’s long running legal drama, Suits (Express in January).

Foxtel’s summer dramas will be complimented with a slate of red-hot reality programming. Kicking off on December 6, The Real Housewives of Melbourne returns for a fourth season on Arena with more outrageous accusations, scandalous gossip and jaw-dropping surprises. Arena will also premiere Vanderpump Rules S6 (December 5); The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills S8 (December 20); and a new series featuring Real Housewives of New York’s Bethenny Frankel and Million Dollar Listing’s Frederick Eklund, Bethenny and Frederick Flip Manhattan (January 21).

FOX8 will premiere two new survival reality series: Kicking & Screaming (December 12) teams 10 expert survivalists with nature-phobic partners as they face the toughest challenge of their lives – dropped into a tropical jungle in Fiji, they must overcome dangerous animals, raging rivers, hunger and extreme weather. Hunted (December 13) follows nine teams of two in a real-life manhunt. Contestants attempt the nearly impossible task of disappearing in today’s vast digital world as highly skilled investigators combine state-of-the-art tracking methods with traditional tactics to pursue and catch them.

Those after a laugh can tune in to The Slot (December 14 on The Comedy Channel). From the makers of cutting-edge comedies We Can Be Heroes, Open Slather and Summer Heights High, The Slot features a stellar line-up of comedy talent who between them have amassed billions of online views with their captivating, weird and at times absurd style of comedy.

Lifestyle lovers are in for a feast this summer with the premiere of Lifestyle FOOD’s Nigella: At My Table on December 6, as well as the highly anticipated third season of The Great Australian Bake Off returning on January 16. Also returning in January is Grand Designs Australia S7, hosted by Peter Maddison (January 11 on Lifestyle).

On the factual front, Matt Wright is back for a third season of Outback Wrangler (December 6 on National Geographic) as he sweeps across Australia risking his life in the relocation and conservation of giant crocs; and acclaimed international archaeologist and historian Neil Oliver returns for another epic voyage of discovery in the second season of Coast New Zealand (January 8 on HISTORY).

Crime buffs will be captivated by Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography (January 24 on crime + investigation) – a two-part special about the infamous abduction and ultimate rescue of Elizabeth Smart. And of course it wouldn’t be summer without Shark Week! Hosted by Andrew ‘ET’ Ettingshausen, this long-running event will air around the clock from December 7 and is loaded with documentaries from Australia and around the globe.

Those wanting to kick back to some summer beats have plenty to choose from, including highlights from this summer’s first [V] Island Party in which musical festival favourites PNAU hit the decks (December 2); and 24K Magic: Live at the Apollo, an electrifying hour-long special featuring Grammy Award-winning Bruno Mars and his band, the Hooligans, performing atop New York’s famous Apollo Theatre marquee (December 9 on [V]).

When the heat gets too much, movie lovers can bunker down with a series of exciting pop up channels on Foxtel Movies. Best of 2017 will kick off from December 30 and feature stand-out films from the past year; Heath Ledger will remember the work of the Australian acting legend from January 19 in the lead up to the 10th anniversary of his death; and Aussies in Hollywood will celebrate 20 of Australia’s most powerful Hollywood heavyweights over the Australia Day long weekend.

There’s even plenty for the kids, who won’t complain about being bored these holidays thanks to Summer Belongs to You – Disney’s Summer of Movies Stunt. Every night in January, Disney will air a Disney Channel Original Movie, with titles including Cheetah Girls, Camp Rock, Descendants, Teen Beach and High School Musical.

Of course sport is what defines an Australian summer and this year doesn’t disappoint. The Hyundai A-League and the Westfield W-League continue on FOX SPORTS throughout December and January; and the fast and furious HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series launches on December 1 on FOX SPORTS, with the action returning to Sydney over the Australia Day long weekend.

Basketball fans can enjoy some stellar action with five NBA games broadcast live and back to back on ESPN/ESPN2 on Boxing Day, while the NBL and WNBL continues on FOX SPORTS over summer. And don’t miss Australia’s WBO World Welterweight Champion, Jeff Horn, as he makes his first title defence against hard-hitting Englishman Gary Corcoran on December 13 in Brisbane, with all the action of Horn v Hellraiser on Main Event.

A full list of Foxtel’s summer programming can be found in the attached document.