Foxtel and Ten divide NBCU pickings

Foxtel will pick up the new Farrelly Brothers sitcom The Rules for Starting Over and the post-Hurricane Katrina cop drama, K-Ville, in a joint deal with Channel Ten.

Under the licensing deal, Foxtel has first air rights for the two programmes before they air on Ten later in 2008.

Foxtel also picks up Gossip Girl by writer Josh Schwartz from the Nine Network after it didn’t fit Nine’s programming.

TEN, meanwhile, confirms first-air rights to other NBCU programmes, previously revealed including Back to You, Women’s Murder Club, Journeyman and Life.

TEN also picks up re-screening rights to The View and Rock Star.

TEN Press Release:

TEN stocks up the war chest as four of the most talked about shows to come out of the new US season from both 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal Television make their debuts on the Network.

After activating TEN’s multiple first-look agreement with 20th Century Fox Television,Back to You, Women’s Murder Club and Journeyman will premiere on TEN in Australia.

They will be joined by NBCU’s off-beat crime drama Life.

TEN’s chief programming officer, David Mott, made the announcement today after selecting first-run rights to these series.

NBCU has been a successful long-term partner for TEN, delivering hit series House and the impeccable Law & Order franchise, while 20th Century Fox has been one of the most prolific, and successful studios in recent years, creating hot new programming targeted at viewers aged 18-49.

New 20th Century Fox series premiering on TEN:

Back to You – KELSEY GRAMMER of Frasier fame and PATRICIA HEATON from TEN’s hugely successful Everybody Loves Raymond team up as on-air TV news presenters in this riotous half-hour sit com. Back to You is the first guaranteed full season pick-up of the new US season and was a firm favourite with other international program buyers at this year’s LA Screenings.

Women’s Murder Club – “re-defining women’s work”, this thrilling new crime series is based on the best-selling James Patterson novels, starring ANGIE HARMON (Law & Order), LAURA HARRIS (Dead Like Me, 24) and PAULA NEWSOME (Little Miss Sunshine).

Journeyman – The highest-testing new series for US broadcaster NBCU in five years, KEVIN MCKIDD (Rome) stars in this one-hour drama as a guy who thought he had it all until he’s sent into the past with a purpose – but will he impact on people’s lives for better or worse?

New NBCU series premiering on TEN:
Life – from the studio that brought us the damaged but beloved HUGH LAURIE in House comes Life starring DAMIEN LEWIS (Band of Brothers) as complex, offbeat detective Charlie Crews, who’s given a second chance on the force after serving years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Mr Mott said: “Back to You, Women’s Murder Club, Journeyman and Life have impeccable pedigrees and are four of the hottest shows to come out of the LA screenings, perfect for TEN’s audience.

“Our preferential entitlements in selection and volume in the Fox deal, partnered with our NBCU pick, strengthen TEN’s position moving into the business end of 2007 and build an enviable cache for the new year.”

Under program sharing agreements announced last year, Foxtel has selected first-run rights to The Rules for Starting Over and K-Ville.

These two programs will appear on TEN from the second half of 2008:
The Rules for Starting Over – the much-anticipated television debut for the Farrelly brothers (creators of There’s Something about Mary and Shallow Hall), this half hour comedy stars CRAIG BIERKO (Boston Legal), JOHNNY SNEED (The Guardian) and SHAUN MAJUMDER (24) as a group of newly single friends learning painfully hilarious lessons about starting over in their 30s. Mid-season launch (January) on Fox.

K-Ville – two years after Hurricane Katrina, armed criminals roam the streets of New Orleans, many police have quit, the law enforcement infrastructure has yet to be rebuilt, and it’s up to the cops who remain to reclaim their city. Starring COLE HAUSER (The Break-Up) and ANTHONY ANDERSON (The Shield, The Departed) this impressive crime drama airs on Fox at 9pm Mondays with an ideal lead-in from Prison Break.

TEN has access to 100 per cent of the new 20th Century Fox series each year; Foxtel’s selections will appear on TEN from the second half of the following calendar year.

Foxtel will have access to the 20th Century Fox shows TEN premieres after TEN broadcasts the season final first-run episode in a particular series.

Foxtel Press Release:

FOXTEL today confirmed a new wave of premium first-run programming, through its landmark output deal with leading Hollywood Studio, 20th Century Fox Television.

Two of the most keenly-anticipated programs to come out of America this season will be seen first on FOXTEL and within days of their US broadcast.

The “day and date” strategy was flagged first by FOXTEL to Australian journalists in May 2006, at the time the 20th Century Fox/FOXTEL/Ten deal was announced.

FOXTEL will be home to the Australian premieres of the hilarious Farrelly Brothers’ (Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene) new series THE RULES FOR STARTING OVER and K-VILLE, a heroic police drama set in New Orleans from writer and executive producer Jonathan Lisco (NYPD Blue, The District).

FOXTEL Executive Director of Television and Marketing, Brian Walsh, said: “20th Century Fox has delivered a vibrant slate and I am thrilled that FOXTEL will bring Australian audiences some of the most anticipated and marketable shows to come out of this year’s LA screenings. And instead of keeping our viewers waiting, we’ll air the series within days of their screening in the States.

“FOXTEL’s acquisitions signify a major shift for subscription television as we join the commercial networks in screening major first-run series from the Hollywood studios.”

In addition to the 20th Century Fox deal, FOXTEL has secured exclusive Australian rights to one of the year’s hottest series, GOSSIP GIRL, from Warner Bros.

The buzz-worthy drama, set on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, focuses on the lives of a group of privileged prep school teens who learn all the important news of their lives from the secretive, all-knowing GOSSIP GIRL.

From Josh Schwartz, the executive producer of smash hit The OC, GOSSIP GIRL features a sexy up and coming cast whose appealing characters will draw viewers into their complex world.

“Gossip Girl is truly living up to its name, definitely the most-talked about series for the new season. It is young, fresh and sexy and a perfect fit for FOXTEL.

“Beyond being a terrific series, Gossip Girl is a very strong brand with huge marketing and promotional potential,” Walsh said.

FOXTEL will also air the subscription television premieres of BACK TO YOU, starring Kelsey Grammar, JOURNEYMAN and WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB, which will screen immediately following Network Ten’s first season run.

2008 Show Watch

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