Drama-skewing pay-TV network SoHo is heading to Australia with a slate of domestic and international programming including HBO series The Newsroom.
SoHo launched on Sky Television in New Zealand at the end of October last year. The channel is now set to roll out on Australian pay-TV platform Foxtel, where it will replace female-skewing net W.
The channel will launch on Foxtel on Monday August 20.
Kicking off the channel will be The Newsroom, the new HBO drama from The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin about a fictional cable news programme. It has already been renewed stateside for a second season.
Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s exec director of television, described the HBO series as an “outstanding television event, which exemplifies the calibre of Australian and international programming” that will air on SoHo.
The arrival of SoHo in Oz will also see the Australian premieres of other US series, including season five of Damages, season two of Boss and season three of The Glades. The channel will also air Wentworth, a new prison drama from FremantleMedia Australia that will debut in 2013.
SoHo’s weekday schedule will feature exclusive series while weekends are earmarked for “box-set blocks,” according to Foxtel.
Walsh added that SoHo, which will complement other drama channels on Foxtel such as UKTV and FX, “evolves from the W channel as we felt there was a demand to develop a pure drama schedule dedicated to discerning television fans and available to all subscribers.”
In related news, long-running US daytime drama The Young & the Restless will have a new Australian home, after the closure of the W Channel.
General entertainment network Arena will pick up the show, which has aired on W since Foxtel acquired exclusive rights from Sony Pictures Television (SPT) in 2007.
With W closing on August 20 to make room for SoHo, The Young & the Restless will move on the same date to Arena, where it will retain its 12.00 slot. The show is from Bell Dramatic Serial Company and SPT.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp wholly owns Australia-based News Ltd, which has 43% shares in Sky TV and 25% in Foxtel.