Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Australian viewers who griped for years about having to wait to see American TV shows months after their Stateside launches finally are getting their way. Pay-TV platform Foxtel is fast-tracking the premieres of a sizable number of U.S. series beginning this month. They’re marketed under the banner “Express from the U.S.” Then the free-to-air networks do it next month. The first show to jump across the Pacific is Season Five of Sons Of Anarchy, which debuted on pay channel Showcase Wednesday, just 10 minutes after its West Coast premiere. Season Three of Boardwalk Empire kicks off on Showcase next Monday, two and a half hours after the U.S.
Peter Rose, chief executive of Showtime Australia, which owns Showcase, tells Deadline, “We had a huge number of complaints from subscribers about why some shows opened so late after the U.S. We want to go as close as possible to the U.S. In six months I think you’ll find that’s standard practice on Showcase with shows such as Season Two of Girls and Season Three of Game of Thrones.” Foxtel’s Fox8 will launch JJ Abrams’ new series Revolution next Wednesday 36 hours after its NBC debut. And 666 Park Avenue on October 1, about 12 hours after America.
Network Ten has indicated it will fast-track a suite of programs for next month, possibly including new seasons of Homeland, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, NCIS: Los Angeles, Law & Order: SVU, Glee, Modern Family and New Girl. Similarly the Seven Network will accelerate season debuts of The Amazing Race and Grey’s Anatomy.