Foxtel renews Matchbox’s ‘Housewives’ and has unapologetic channel revamp

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany. 

The ongoing reinvention of Foxtel under CEO Patrick Delany has extended to a fresh revamp of the network’s entertainment offering with the introduction of four new Fox-branded channels and makeover for its Lifestyle franchise.

The network has also confirmed that Matchbox Pictures’ The Real Housewives of Melbourne, which first launched in 2014, will be reanimated for a fifth season and air in 2020 on Arena.

The global Real Housewives franchise started from Orange County and has spread across the US in Miami, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Washington DC, Dallas and Potomac. Other international Housewives series include Auckland, Israel, Athens, Cheshire, Vancouver, Toronto, Johannesburg, Hungary and France.

The Foxtel Lifestyle Group, which includes Arena, has also been re-engineered under the recent appointment of former Pacific Magazines executive Wendy Moore.

“Our female audiences are incredibly important and this wholesale revision and revitalisation of the Lifestyle Group doubles-down on delivering more value through relevant and contemporary programming for Australian women and their families,” Delany said.

From September 25, Foxtel’s Lifestyle channels will undergo a brand revision and see the launch of Foxtel original series, Find Me a Beach House, starring Deborah Hutton and produced by Abode Entertainment.

The channel changes follow announcements earlier this week that the BBC’s new premium factual channel BBC Earth will launch on Foxtel on 10 October.

In a programming overhaul from November 7, Foxtel will introduce four new Fox-branded entertainment channels Fox One, Fox Funny, Fox Hits and Fox Crime.

These re-positioned channel offerings will sit beside existing Fox-branded entertainment channels Showcase, 8 and Classics in addition to Foxtel’s Fox-branded sports channels.

Delany described the exclusive channels as “unapologetically and unmistakably Foxtel.”

“They add to our existing flagship Fox-branded channels and will be home to thousands of hours of the best live and on demand TV. There is no other collection of channel brands like it on Australian television or streaming platforms,” he said.

  • Fox One: a new flagship channel featuring the latest premium US network and cable series and contemporary shows including Ballers, Chicago Fire and Mayans M.C. and new season premieres including Prodigal Son, All Rise and the War of the Worlds.
  • Fox Funny: Foxtel’s comedy offering with classics including The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, The Office, 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother.
  • Fox Hits: an ’80s and ’90s retro comedy channel featuring Friends, Will and Grace, Frasier and Malcolm in the Middle
  • Fox Crime: the crime genre channel with programming featuring the NCIS franchise, Criminal Minds and Bones.