Summer. A time of BBQ’s, outside time and cricket. If you’re not a Summer sport fan then in the past you’ll have been sorely disappointed with the TV offerings, but this year Foxtel are set to change all of that. From the press release:

Foxtel delivers a summer of first-run international dramas, top-rating reality, factual and lifestyle programming, exclusive Australian productions with plenty of sport, documentaries, and live music festivals thrown in the mix. This summer there’s a show for every taste, any mood and for each room in the house.

Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said: “Other television networks just want to switch on the Christmas lights at this time of the year, but at Foxtel we keep programming at full strength over summer with an outstanding and diverse line-up for everyone’s tastes. This summer 2012-13 schedule captures the highs and passion of a huge line-up of live sport and the fun and intensity of our new and exclusive must-see dramas and documentaries, as well as a strong lifestyle, music and entertainment line-up. Many of these programs are screening express from the US. At Foxtel we deliver a better entertainment experience for our customers all year round.”

Leading the march this summer are the launches of two new and exclusive dramas ranging from fashion to firefighters. Both dramas are already creating enormous buzz in the US, and make their Australian debut this summer on Foxtel.
The Carrie Diaries (FOX8) is the much anticipated prequel to Sex and the City, exploring the teen years of modern femme television icon Carrie Bradshaw; before she became synonymous with single women’s dating disasters, love and the love of shoes. Starts January – express from the US.
• From renowned, Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (Law & Order) comes the high-octane drama Chicago Fire (FOX8), starring Australia’s Jesse Spencer. Starts January.

• The second seasons of HBO’s critically acclaimed Girls and Enlightened (showcase),both express from the US and screening back to back on Mondays from January 14 – Enlightened at 4.15pm Qld time (5.15pm AEDT) and Girls at 4.45pm Qld time (5.45pm AEDT)). Both shows have a primetime encore on Monday nights, with Girls at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT) and Enlightened at 8pm Qld time (9pm AEDT).
• Season four of Justified (FX), starring Timothy Olyphant. Starts January 16, Wednesdays at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT) – express from the US.
• Medieval mini-series World Without End (SoHo) is based on Ken Follett’s best-selling sequel to Pillars of the Earth. The eight-hour television event stars Cynthia Nixon, Ben Chaplin, Charlotte Riley and Miranda Richardson. Starts December 30, Sundays at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT) over four weeks.
Labyrinth (SoHo) follows the intertwined stories of two women searching for the secret of the true Grail; one of them is a modern PhD graduate and the other is a 17-year-old in the 13th century. Set in south-west France, the mini-series is based on a Kate Mosse thriller and the lead characters are played by Vanessa Kirby (The Hour, Great Expectations) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey’s Lady Sybil) with co-stars John Hurt and Tom Felton. Starts January 27, Sundays at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT) over two weeks.

Factual and factual entertainment
Some of the best drama comes direct from real life and rocks a nation and these two local productions for The History Channel will enthral viewers.
The People Speak (The History Channel) narrated by author Thomas Keneally, is a ground-breaking two-hour special featuring Australia’s leading actors and musicians delivering the letters, songs and speeches of rebels, visionaries and protesters from Australia’s rich past. Sunday, December 2, at 6.30pm Qld time (7.30pm AEDT), two hour special event – made for Foxtel.
The Train: The Granville Disaster (The History Channel) reveals the never before told true story of the courage and compassion, the heartbreak and heroes of the Granville Train Disaster. On January 18, 1977, an everyday train trip from the Blue Mountains instead became a journey that would end as the worst rail tragedy in Australia’s history. Friday, January 18, at 6.30pm Qld time (7.30pm AEDT) one-hour special – made for Foxtel.

From customs to crocodiles, Foxtel’s newest and fastest growing channel A&E has two new series to draw out the inner alpha male this summer.
Baggage Battles (A&E); shows that losing your luggage isn’t bad news for everyone as is revealed when we get a glimpse into the very profitable business of bidding, buying and reselling unclaimed property by following three teams of auction experts. Starts January 7, Mondays at 6.30pm Qld time (7.30pm AEDT).
Outback Hunters (A&E); is an adrenaline-filled series following a team of charismatic Aussies, as they manage and cull salt water crocodiles in the depths of the Northern Territory. Starts January 31, Thursdays at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT).

And, of course, no summer viewing is complete without the majestic terror and jaw dropping awe that is…
Shark Week (Discovery Channel) with Andrew Ettingshausen. Starts December 2, Sunday to Saturday at 6.30pm Qld time (7.30pm AEDT).
• Also premiering is Discovery Channel’s new series How We Invented The World, hosted by Rugby Union legend John Eales. The series examines how the inventions that define the modern world were made – mobile phones, cars, planes and skyscrapers – and celebrates the people that made them possible. Starts December
10, Mondays at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT).

National Geographic celebrates greatness with Explorer 125 throughout 2013. Over one whole year and 52 big nights, join the celebration of 12 and a half decades of ground-breaking expeditions, legendary explorers, historical milestones and ideas that changed the world.
• The season begins with the special Exploring New Frontiers: National Geographic At 125 (National Geographic). Starts January 13, Sundays at 5.30pm Qld time (6.30pm AEDT).

General entertainment and reality
Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia, featuring comedian Josh Thomas, model and actress Chloe Maxwell, former English footballer turned model Kris Smith and public relations guru and media commentator Prue MacSween, on Tuesday, December 11 at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT), across all four LifeStyle channels.
Then, Come Dine with Me Australia S4 (The LifeStyle Channel) starts January 8, Tuesdays at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT). The special and the series are both made for Foxtel.
• The premiere of six-year-old beauty pageant prodigy Alana Thompson’s own series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (Discovery Home & Health). She shot to fame in Toddlers & Tiaras, but this series goes beyond the stage and into her unapologetically outrageous family life. Starts January 31, Thursdays at 7pm Qld time (8pm AEDT).
Watson & Oliver (UKTV) the eagerly anticipated series from Lorna Watson and Ingrid Oliver, regarded as two of the hottest new names in television comedy with writing and performing credits including Peep Show, The IT Crowd, School of Comedy and We Are Klang. Watson & Oliver showcases their impeccable comic instincts in funny, clever and often downright silly sketches. Starts January 7, Mondays at 6.30pm Qld time
(7.30pm AEDT).
• The shockingly hilarious new local series, hosted by the ultimate Aussie Sam Kekovich, Off Their Rockers (THE COMEDY CHANNEL). Hidden cameras, outrageous sketches … a gang of elderly pranksters, when it comes to behaving badly, today’s kids have nothing on this group of oldies who refuse to grow up. Starts January 13, Sundays at 6.30pm Qld time (7.30pm AEDT).
2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (FOX8) the ultimate lingerie fashion show, starring our very own Miranda Kerr, on Sunday, December 9, at 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT) – express from the US.
The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Arena) will be telecast live from Los Angeles, on Monday, January 14, at 10am Qld time (11am AEDT).
The 19th Annual SAG Awards (TV1) will be telecast live from Los Angeles on Monday, January 28, at 11am Qld time (midday AEDT).
Homebake 2012 (Channel [V]) – Against the backdrop of Sydney comes the ultimate summer music festival. Join presenters Danny Clayton, Carissa Walford, Billy Russell and Marty Smiley as they bring you all the highlights and backstage interviews with Australia’s hottest bands. Sunday, December 23, at 4pm Qld time (5pm AEDT).
• Then there is the ultimate in home grown … Do you remember when “The Loco-Motion” hit the airwaves? Australia’s most successful music star, Kylie Minogue, is celebrating 25 years in the music industry. In the special event Kylie 25: 25 Years in 25 Hours, Foxtel’s MAX dedicates a whole day (plus one hour to make it 25) to all things Kylie, including music videos, concert footage and interviews. Saturday, December 8, from 7.30pm Qld time (8.30pm AEDT).

Sport has long since defined an Australian summer and this year does not disappoint. Big battles ring in the New Year at home and abroad as FOX SPORTS’ summer of cricket, football and tennis turns on the heat in January.
• The KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League rocks the New Year with 10 straight days of action from January 1, before summer’s smash hit tournament reaches its crescendo with the semi-finals and BIG Final from January 15-19 (FOX SPORTS).
Hyundai A-League (FOX SPORTS) live and exclusive, with high definition coverage of every match, every week. Plus there’s all the action from the UK with weekly LIVE coverage of the Barclays Premier League (FOX SPORTS).
• FOX SPORTS is the home of all four tennis Grand Slams including live coverage of the Australian Open from January 16, featuring commentary from Australia’s leading tennis analyst Wally Masur.

All these programs and so much more will be on Foxtel this summer.