Australia’s Foxtel Expands Original Production Effort, Sets Brian Walsh as Scripted Head

Foxtel, Brook Rushton

Australian pay-TV and streaming service Foxtel is forging ahead with its originals slate.

Long-serving Foxtel executive Brian Walsh, who recently formally extended his consultancy agreement, will serve as executive director of drama for the Foxtel Group. He will oversee all Australian commissioned scripted content for Foxtel and its streaming service Binge.

“More than ever, the Foxtel Group [is] competing with the global streaming giants and we have to generate our originals to maintain and to grow our audiences,” Walsh told Variety.

Foxtel recently premiered its 10-episode courtroom drama, “The Twelve,” based on the Belgium series “De Twaalf.” It stars Sam Neill, making a long awaited return to Australian television, and is Foxtel’s most watched drama series this year.

“Our commissions, I would describe as premium,” said Walsh. “Because our major international suppliers are HBO and BBC, our audiences demand intelligent, smart drama that features marquee casts.”

Foxtel has eight upcoming projects in various stages of development which will include a second series of its generational romantic drama, “Love Me” (the first season was screened on Hulu in the U.S.), “The Twelve” and Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin’s “Upright,” which recently wrapped filming in Queensland.

Walsh also revealed a yet to be announced major event series in development with “Mystery Road” and “High Ground” producer Bunya Productions.

“Colin from Accounts”, an eight-episode romantic comedy written and starring Patrick Brammall (“No Activity,” “Evil”) produced by Easy Tiger Productions and CBS Studios and commissioned for Binge, will premier later in the year. It is already garnering significant international interest after showing at the LA Screenings.

“This will be our strongest slate ever of compelling Australian drama and entertainment,” Walsh said.

From Variety US