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Foxtel orders Picnic at Hanging Rock series

Scripted-logo-460_2Australian pay TV provider Foxtel has ordered an original drama, Picnic at Hanging Rock, with FremantleMedia attached to produce and distribute, and has extended its agreement with HBO.

The 6x60mins drama is currently in pre-production at FremantleMedia Australia following investment from Screen Australia. It follows the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day in 1900.

The drama, announced by Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh today, is a reimagining of an Australian novel from Joan Lindsay.

“Like many others, I am a fan of the 1975 Australian film which was pivotal in establishing the modern Australian film industry,” said Foxtel head of drama Penny Win. “This series, based on the classic novel, will take viewers on a new and in depth journey into this incredibly iconic Australian story.”

Win is executive producer, along with FMA’s Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis. Antonia Barnard is producer, and Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison are writing.

Casting is underway, and FremantleMedia International is selling the show worldwide. The series will debut on Foxtel on the Showcase channel in 2017.

Meanwhile, Foxtel has extended its agreement with US premium cable network HBO.

According to TV Tonight, this means Foxtel subscribers will be able to stream past and present HBO titles via the Foxtel Anytime platform from April 1, 2017.

This means ‘rest periods’ currently in existence are removed.

“HBO is known for creating some of the most compelling, must-watch TV the world has ever seen and Foxtel and HBO have a shared legacy of bringing these incredible shows to Australian screens everywhere,” said Tonagh.

“Together, we’ve recognised the changing ways subscribers are enjoying and re-enjoying their favourite series, and our newly strengthened relationship enables us to deliver our customers all of the amazing HBO stories they love, whenever and wherever they want.”

“The full value of HBO is recognised when our current and library programming live together as an offering to the consumer,” said HBO president of programming sales Charles Schreger.

“With this expansion of rights, Foxtel makes available the abundance of all HBO has to offer and we know from experience that this will further elevate Foxtel’s great service. They’ve always been a forward-thinking partner and we are thrilled with what we’ve been able to accomplish.”