Foxtel has announced what it labels a bold new programming strategy, which will see a new or returning drama series launch every single week. The move highlights the incredible lineup of television drama available to Foxtel customers, both on demand and across its suite of linear channels.
Foxtel said the announcement secures the platform as Australia’s home of drama, featuring a collection of brand new scripted drama series from Australia and around the world.
Kicking off the new strategy is the much-anticipated HBO series Sharp Objects, starring multi-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, and from the director of the Emmy Award-winning series Big Little Lies.
Foxtel’s director of channels Stephen Baldwin said: “Foxtel is the home of must-watch drama series and we are committed to bringing our customers a diverse range of content, both locally and from around the world.
“Our partnerships with HBO, FX, BBC and many other renowned distributors enable us to provide our customers with an exciting new drama series every week of the year, via our streaming service and linear channels.”
The weekly drama lineup commences with the following:
HBO’s highly anticipated thriller series Sharp Objects premieres this week, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Mondays at 11am, with a primetime encore at 8.30pm. Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and Australia’s own Eliza Scanlen in her breakout role as Adams’s half-sister, the eight-part series, based on the book by Gillian Flynn (bestselling author of Gone Girl) tells the story of reporter Camille Preaker (Adams) who returns to her small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to cover the murders of two young girls. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too closely.
The eighth season of hit legal drama series Suits launches on July 19, screening on Universal TV on Thursdays at 8.30pm. Joining the series this season is Katherine Heigl, who stars as powerhouse attorney Samantha Wheeler. Suits centres on a Manhattan corporate law firm led by legendary lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), his intelligent but delicate partner, Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) and secretary-turned-COO Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty). After surviving leadership turmoil and the loss of key partners, the trio continue to tackle top corporate cases with the support of formidable Alex Williams (Dule Hill) and the talented Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull). After muscling her way into the firm, Samantha Wheeler (Heigl) joins the ranks and challenges the status quo.
Brand new drama series Patrick Melrose starring Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch premieres on July 23, screening on BBC First on Mondays at 9.30pm. This five-part series is based on the acclaimed novels by Edward St Aubyn and tracks Patrick Melrose (Cumberbatch) from a privileged but deeply traumatic childhood in the South of France, through severe substance abuse in his 20s in New York and ultimately, towards recovery back home in Britain. At once harrowing and hilarious, Cumberbatch stars as the troubled, titular character.
The latest instalment in Ryan Murphy’s hit series, American Horror Story: Cult, launches on July 26. Screening on showcase on Thursdays at 8.30pm, the whole season can also be watched in its entirety on demand from July 26. The 11-part horror drama stars Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourde, Evan Peters and guest stars include Lena Dunham. The series is set in the fictional city of Brookfield Heights – a city that is left divided by the 2016 presidential election. Local resident Ally (Sarah Paulson) is distraught about Trump’s victory, while fellow resident Kai (Evan Peters) rejoices at the results. In the months following, Kai begins running for city government, while Ally is terrorized by masked clowns. Those close to her struggle to decide whether the attacks she alleges are real or merely anxiety-fuelled hallucinations.
The sixth season of the hit series Orange Is The New Black starts on July 27, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Fridays at 5.00pm. The series follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), whose decade-old relationship with a drug runner, Alex (Laura Prepon), results in her arrest and a 15-month-long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes about herself and the world at large.
Brand new 10-part fantasy series Siren premieres on July 30, streaming on demand and screening on Fox8 on Mondays at 8.30pm. Legend has it that Bristol Cove was once home to mermaids. Now, this coastal town has a mysterious new visitor named Ryn (Eline Powell), who may prove the stories to be true. Ryn catches the eye of local marine biologist Ben (Alex Roe), while other townfolk become suspicious of the new resident. The battle between man and sea then takes a dangerous route, as these predators seek to claim their birthright.
The third season of animated HBO series Animals premieres on August 7, streaming on demand and screening on The Comedy Channel on Tuesdays at 9.00pm. The brand new instalment in the edgy half-hour series focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to Earth’s least habitable environment: New York City. Whether it’s lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons or ageing bedbugs in the midst of a midlife crisis, the awkward small talk, moral ambiguity and existential woes of non-human urbanites prove startlingly similar to our own.
Fear the Walking Dead 4B, the second half of the series’ fourth season, launches on August 13, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Mondays at 1.30pm with a primetime encore at 7.30pm. In the back half of the season, the characters will explore who they are now – as individuals and as part of the greater group – and how they will forge ahead. They will find themselves pitted against new adversaries – human, walker, and even nature itself. Theirs will be a journey wrought with danger, love, heartbreak, loss, and ultimately, hope. The series stars Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Maggie Grace and Jenna Elfman.
The sixth and final season of Foxtel’s hugely popular drama series A Place to Call Home premieres on August 19, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Sundays at 8.30pm. The 10-episode season will take the much-loved characters into 1960 and will be brought to life by award-winning actresses Marta Dusseldorp and Noni Hazlehurst, along with Brett Climo, Abby Earl, Craig Hall, Sara Wiseman, Tim Draxl, Frankie J Holden, Deborah Kennedy, Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood and David Berry.
Top photo: Amy Adams in Sharp Objects