A nice save for fans campaigning to return A Place To Call Home to television screens, though they better make sure they’ve got their Foxtel subscriptions in order. It’s a unique move as while we’ve had shows change networks in their life (A Country Practice and Neighbours two notable examples) this is the first time a program has been saved from the cancellation death knell by subscription television. From the press release:
Foxtel commissions Seven Productions’ A Place to Call Home
The Seven Network and Foxtel today confirmed the signing of a landmark agreement that will see Seven Productions produce one of Australia’s most-watched drama series, A Place to Call Home, exclusively for Foxtel.
In a move that will delight passionate fans of the show, Foxtel has made an initial order of two seasons of the popular period drama. The third series of the top-rating program, which averaged 2.2 million national viewers during its first two seasons on the Seven Network, will premiere only on Foxtel’s SoHo drama channel next year. The agreement underlines Seven Productions’ leadership in Australian programming and is a significant step for the business in expanding its production of programming beyond the Seven Network.
Today’s agreement was announced by Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, and Seven’s Network Director of Production, Brad Lyons.
Mr Walsh, said: “A Place to Call Home is Australia’s most loved drama series and has captured the hearts of millions of fans across the country. We are proud to partner with the Seven Network on this landmark deal and ensure that audiences can continue to enjoy this beautifully crafted and elegantly produced series for a further two seasons.
“The Seven Network has produced Australian television’s most successful drama series of all time and we are delighted to partner with the highly experienced creative team at Seven, who will now work their magic for Foxtel subscribers,“ he said.
“Foxtel is committed to bringing our subscribers captivating and entertaining television from around the world. This new addition to our slate means that we have a burgeoning Australian drama story to complement the outstanding series we have secured exclusively from HBO and more recently, the BBC. There has never been a better time to have Foxtel,” he said.
Seven Productions has recently created two new international programming ventures 7Wonder and 7Beyond. Both are well-advanced in the creation of new programming for the United Kingdom and United States television markets that builds on Seven’s leadership in the creation and production of highly successful programming, including Home and Away, My Kitchen Rules, Border Security, A Place to Call Home, House Rules and Packed to the Rafters. Seven’s original formats and produced programmes are sold into more than 130 markets around the world.
Commenting, Mr Lyons said: “This is a terrific signing. All of us are proud of A Place to Call Home and its success.Today’s agreement is great for Seven Productions and it is also a tremendous signing for the cast and crew of the programme and the millions of people who love the programme.
“Seven Productions is expanding its presence in the creation and production of programming and content for markets here and overseas. Our partnership with Foxtel is an important cornerstone in the continuing rapid development of our production business and builds on the continuing international success of our programmes, including Home and Away and My Kitchen Rules.
Foxtel’s Head of Drama, Penny Win, added: “A Place to Call Home continues Foxtel’s strong commitment to Australian storytelling and locally produced drama. It is the ideal project to complement our other major scripted series for 2015, Wentworth, The Kettering Incident and Deadline Gallipoli.
“We look forward to welcoming the fine cast of A Place to Call Home, including Marta Dusseldorp, Noni Hazlehurst, Brett Climo and Craig Hall to Foxtel screens next year.”
A Place to Call Home is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1950s rural Australia. Created by Bevan Lee (Packed to the Rafters, Winners and Losers, Always Greener), the series follows the lives of the Blighs, a wealthy and complicated pastoralist family, who live in Inverness, New South Wales. The first season, which screened in 2013, was watched by a combined weekly audience of 2.2 million viewers. It has been lauded by critics who hailed it as ‘captivating’, ‘mesmerising’ and ‘a class act’.
Development on the new third season will begin shortly.