The Handmaid’s Tale gets SBS airdate

SBS has now confirmed an on-air date for The Handmaid’s Tale, which until now has been available at SBS On Demand.

It will premiere Wednesday, 16 August at 10.25pm following The Good Fight.

The 10 part series has won plenty of buzz and rave reviews, including recent Emmy nominations.

Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States.

Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate.

In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss), is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.

Series One, Episode One: Offred
Offred, one the few remaining fertile women in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful commander and his resentful wife.

Wednesday, 16 August at 10.25pm on SBS.


  1. Tonight’s line up is peculiar with a double ep of ‘Versailles’ S2 followed by ‘Outlander’ S2 at the time of 10.30 or so, again late for a 1st run series that was popular for the premiere series.

  2. Yes, though not everyone has an unlimited internet plan or the internet for that matter, which is one of negatives when promoting streaming as the future of broadcasting, the SBS are recognising the rise of streaming and are making a separate business out of it, which is a shrewd and dare I say highly commercial plan. As the SBS receives tax payer funds it will be interesting to see how this plan progresses especially if more quality American shows like The Handmaids Tale are added in the future. Imagine if the SBS got the Australian rights to The Man in the High Castle.

  3. These niche premium drama rate small numbers: 70-150k (Overnights). The Sopranos and The Wire were on at midnight on Monday whenever Nine felt like showing them.

    SBS is trying to build On Demand as an advertising funded streaming site. They have done the same thing with The Midnight Sun, S5 of Spiral etc. I don’t see the problem. You can stream The Handmaid’s Tale anytime you want for nearly a year, watch it Wed. night, or DVR it.

  4. Why the delay? With sinking souffles and Tarzan tricks out of the way maybe the advertisers are turning to SBS. Perhaps the streaming fees are less than those for over-the-air and by dividing the audience SBS can save some money. At 10:25pm it’s straight to pvr for me.

  5. I am so excited for this! I’m not a network streamer (Ten, Seven, Nine, ABC, SBS) so I’ve been holding out hope of an on air broadcast. I’m not too fussed about the time… but I can understand that it is a strange time…

  6. That timeslot is absolutely ridiculous & makes no sense whatsoever… I’d say it’s as mind-boggling as some of Ten’s programming decisions of late. There has to be more to the story! Maybe it’s only for the 1st week… Maybe there’s something in the rights.

    David, did you not find this strange/befuddling enough to throw a comment into the article? You’ve got info out of SBS previously on this show… Any chance of a further explanation from them? Surely, they’re not using the poor timeslot as a means to drive traffic to their online state!

    • I’ve previously published quotes on their strategy surrounding Handmaid’s. I suspect they are presuming most fans have seen it through SBS on Demand and the slot it designed to sync with The Good Fight.

  7. Secret Squïrrel

    Yes, disgraceful timeslot but oh my goodness it’s here! It’ll definitely pick up more viewers as there are plenty of people who are unable or unwilling to stream TV shows.

    Now I don’t know whether to wait or binge it after I finish the last 2 completed seasons of GoT. Life is so hard…

  8. It was an amazing show, but I don’t understand the roll out. Before it was on SBS On Demand, it had already gotten rave reviews, so you would think they would have put it on the main channel instantly. Now, those who follow TV trends globally have already seen it via On Demand and you finally decide to air it on the main channel at 10:25pm! I get there is violence and sex scenes but I would have figured at least 9:30 would be sufficient. The whole thing just baffles me.

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