The W channel has had a chequered history as a channel, and while this change to SoHo isn’t a new one, the line-up and the inclusion in the basic Foxtel package looks to make it a compelling reason to sign up for the subscription TV service if you’ve not already. From the press release:

Foxtel has secured the hotly contested Aaron Sorkin series The Newsroom as the launchprogram for its new premium drama channel SoHo. SoHo replaces the W Channel and will be available to all Foxtel subscribers on the basic Get Started package.

SoHo launches on Monday August 20, at 8.30pm EST, with the exclusive Australian television premiere of HBO’s The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels as the anchor of a fictional cable newsservice.

The Newsroom is the brainchild of Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball. Starring alongside Daniels are Sam Waterston (Law and Order), Emily Mortimer and Dev Patel plus Jane Fonda as the CEO of the news network’s parent company.

Foxtel Executive Director Television Brian Walsh said “With its stellar cast and pedigree, The Newsroom has become the most anticipated and analysed drama of the new US season. It premiered as HBO’s third most watched series’ launch to date and has already been renewed for a second season.

“The Newsroom is an outstanding television event which exemplifies the calibre of the Australian and international programming on Foxtel’s new SoHo channel.”

In addition to The Newsroom, SoHo’s potent launch schedule includes the Australian premieres of Damages Season Five, the riveting series starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne and guest starring Ryan Phillippe in this final instalment; and Boss Season Two, which will premiere on SoHo, following on from its first season which began this month on the Wchannel.

“SoHo evolves from the W channel as we felt there was a demand to develop a pure drama schedule dedicated to discerning television fans and available to allsubscribers,” Mr Walsh said.

“The new SoHo channel complements the total Foxtel drama offering, across other channels such as showcase, UKTV and FX, and reinforces our commitment to being the home of the best television drama from around the world.” SoHo will premiere acclaimed and award-winning dramas from some of the world’s most successful production houses.

SoHo Channel Manager Penny Win said “SoHo will provide FOXTEL’s diverse audience with intelligent, dramatic and distinctive storytelling.” SoHo will feature Australian productions, including the premiere of Wentworth in 2013.

“SoHo’s weekday schedule will feature exclusive and premiere series and weekends will include Box Set blocks as SoHo runs entire seasons of celebrated shows,” Ms Win said. The majority of SoHo’s programming schedule will be telecast in high definition; however some renowned series were only produced in standard definition.

What does the name SoHo mean?
The name conveys the sophisticated and international pulse of Foxtel’s new drama channel, capturing the best of the US and high quality UK programming. The Soho districts of both London and New York are synonymous with contemporary living. So too is this new channel destination.

Australian premieres from international sources will include:
– The Newsroom (HBO) starting Monday, August 20;
– The Glades Season 3 (Twentieth Century Fox Television, Innuendo Productions, Grand Productions), starring Australian actor Matt Passmore, starting Monday, August 20;
– Damages Season 5 (Sony Pictures Television, KZK Productions) starting Thursday, August 23
– Boss Season 2 (Lionsgate Television, Grammnet Productions, Category 5 Entertainment) starting Wednesday, September 5.