Foxtel eyes local drama, int’l formats

Australian pay TV broadcaster Foxtel is ramping up its original drama output and local versions of international formats as part of its new programming line up.

The News Corp-backed network has also officially axed ITV-owned production company Granada Media from its long running fashion series Australia’s Next Top Model following a major gaffe in last year’s finale. The show, which will return for its seventh season, will be produced by Room 329 Productions, the production company owned by host Sarah Murdoch.

Foxtel will launch Cloudstreet, the television adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel, on its Showcase channel and is also launching gangster drama Killing Time and youth drama SLiDE.

It has also signed up Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, who is hosting CBS Studios International’s format Britain’s Next Top Model, and is producing local versions of Shine International’s Got To Dance, a third season of Project Runway and a second season of Talpa Media’s Dating in the Dark.

Separately, it will be launching three new comedies including Peter Berner-fronted You Have Been Watching, Balls of Steel, which features The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel and an untitled stand up show featuring new talent.