Tonight saw Foxtel hold their annual upfronts for Programming and technology launch for 2014 in Sydney with some news on the new highly anticipated iQ3 system plus news on new programs and information on existing ones too!
First off, It seems model Jennifer Hawkins must have impressed with her hosting duties on Australia’s Next Top Model. She’s just been announced in a deal with her signing to Foxtel for another two years. She’ll be joined by Naomi Campbell who is expecting to start filming a local version of her modelling show “The Face” next month. Popular shows including Veep, House of Cards, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones will continue to be broadcast through the pay-TV network, making it’s mark on the ratings board.
Foxtel announced that “The Devil’s Playground” a mini series based off the 1976 movie of the same name and starring Simon Burke (He appeared in the original movie) will be aired through it’s Showcase channel. Almost four decades on, Burke is to reprise his role as Tom Allen, now a respected psychiatrist and secular confessor to the Catholic clergy, who becomes entangled in political and theological intrigue. The US version of ABC1’s Rake and starring Greg Kinnear will be screened through a re-branded Universal channel.
As we already knew – Wentworth will be back on SoHo for it’s anticipated second season! In a sneak preview (below) we see the officers and prisoners being introduced to new prison officer Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson (in what looks like inspired casting of Pamela Rabe for the role). UK’s Channel 5 which picked up the rights to air the show (and was drawing in an average of 2 million viewers) have also picked up the second season.
Foxtel also announced news about it’s new iQ3 system and some of the new features it comes with. This third generation set-top box and digital recorder will come with WiFi capabilities allowing for an integrated internet entertainment. An electronic program guide (EPG) enhancement will allow viewers to browse back in time by up to 26 hours in the TV Guide on selected channels to watch shows that have already been screened – via the internet. The 26-hour viewing service has begun a roll-out to internet-capable iQ and iQHD subscribers and it will be available nationally over the next month.
Also announced were new channels coming to subscribers. Beginning Jan 1st 2014, TV HITS will start broadcasting favourites including Friends, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS plus much more along with the new Syfy channel bringing classic science fiction and fantasy programming, which will launch in high definition early in the new year.
Foxtel Bets Big on Drama in 2014 – Nelbie.com