ABC to screen Wentworth & Grand Designs Australia

Foxtel titles Wentworth & Grand Designs Australia are set to screen on Free to Air with ABC acquiring rights to early seasons.

Season One of Wentworth, which debuted on Foxtel in 2013, will screen from 9pm Thursday April 12. While the show has been available internationally via Netflix, this marks it’s only broadcast outside the Pay TV platform.

ABC’s deal with Foxtel comes at a time when SBS was looking for second-window opportunities for projects with Screen Australia funding.

A date for Grand Designs Australia, which launched on Pay TV in 2010, is yet to be confirmed.

Wentworth is a contemporary drama set in a prison which initially follows Bea Smith’s (Danielle Cormack) incarceration and her subsequent rise to the top of the prison’s hierarchy.

This ground-breaking and much acclaimed Foxtel drama has gained popularity worldwide, and has garnered multiple nominations and numerous awards including three Logies; three AACTA awards and three ASTRA awards for both the show itself and members of its cast. Additionally, Danielle Cormack and Robbie Magasiva received (respectively) Outstanding Actress and Actor in a Drama Series at the Monte Carlo TV Festival.

Many of Australia’s finest and most loved actors have had ongoing roles or made guest appearances on Wentworth, including: Aaron Jeffrey, Sigrid Thornton, Kris McQuade, Kate Jenkinson, Catherine McClements, Leeanna Walsman, Libby Tanner, Lynette Curran, Hunter Page-Lochard, Martin Sacks and Kate Atkinson.

The ABC is also very excited that Grand Designs Australia is about to find a home on free to air. Grand Designs Australia – also from Foxtel – is a local adaptation of the British series of the same name, and sees host and architect Peter Maddison chronicle the construction of grand and unusual houses.

Grand Designs, the British version starring Kevin McLeod, has been one of ABC’s most popular programs since it first appeared on our screens more than a decade ago, so we can’t wait to present our viewers with this additional offering.


  1. Brilliant news to bring both shows to worthy larger audiences. Admittedly, I’ve always been ‘naughty’ with how I watch Wentworth because I can’t justify Foxtel’s charges for the little they have worth watching, but I always make it up by buying each season on blu-ray the second they come out because they’re so worth binge re-watching.

  2. Last week’s telly segment** topic on ABC Radio/Jon Faine prog: Grand Designs (UK+NZ+AU)!

    Just a coinkydink?

    ** Guest hosted by Ali Moore with Denise Ericsson (Ericsson Media/New Daily) for IWD.

  3. This is fantastic news. I have wanted to watch this for years and as I don’t subscribe to Foxtel I haven’t been able to and was relunctant to buy it on DVD. Thanks for sharing this great news with us.

  4. This is great news! Wentworth has to be one of the best Drama’s Australia has produced in years. Great that it’s finally available for everyone to watch and not just those with a Foxtel subscription, which I refuse to pay for as it’s just not worth the money.

  5. Good on the ABC, but it does need to keep up with the SBS who currently showing fast tracked episodes of ‘Homeland’ and later ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’, two shows that viewers may have expected would have been seen on the national broadcaster. Who knows as Foxtel downsizes its pay TV business to concentrate on developing it’s streaming service other opportunities for broadcasting ex Foxtel content on ABC FTA may be offered.

    • ‘Homeland’ had been a 10 staple until this year although it has had poor ratings for several years now-hasn’t worked much for SBS even as a ‘fast track’.

  6. This deal makes a lot of sense for both the ABC and Foxtel.
    Given the long-running popularity of the (original) UK Grand Designs, you’d confidently predict that the faithfully transplanted Australian version of Grand Designs, it being of equally high quality and featuring another knowledgably engaging presenter in Peter Maddison, would be a great success for its second-run free-to-air screenings on ABC.

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