Foxtel has acquired the Australian rights to the new US action drama Chicago Fire. The series stars Australian actor Jesse Spencer. Spencer is best known as a former Neighbours star who landed on his feet in Los Angeles, snagging a role as Dr Robert Chase in the long-running medical drama House. Chicago Fire is produced by the legendary Law & Order executive producer Dick Wolf and also stars Eamonn Walker (Oz) and David Eigenberg (Sex and the City). It launches in the US this week. Foxtel has not set an airdate.
Housos live on
SBS has commissioned a second series of its controversial comedy Housos. The series, set in a public housing estate on the outskirts of Sydney, was created by Paul Fenech and rattled sections of the media with its uncompromising portrayal of the so-called ''housos''. It stars Fenech, Jason Davis, Elle Dawe, Kiri Leigh Schmitt, Melissa Tkautz, Amanda Keller and Angry Anderson. Nine new episodes have been commissioned and will air next year. A feature film version, featuring the TV cast, will be released in cinemas later this year.
Table for four
The LifeStyle Channel has commissioned a fourth series of its Australian reality series Come Dine with Me. The series pits everyday Australians against each other to present and score dinner parties. It is narrated by radio personality James Valentine. The series of five one-hour episodes will be produced by Granada Media Australia. It will air later this year.
The ABC's telecast of the London 2012 Paralympic Games delivered record audience numbers for ABC2. The result is a boon for the national broadcaster and also reflects positively on the Australian TV viewing audience. In bigger markets, such as the US, the Paralympics were not even televised. The specific numbers are difficult to assess, largely because the ABC is emphasising a 1.8 million-viewer ''reach'' (the total number of people exposed to part of the telecast), a ratings measure rarely employed. But the ABC2 channel scored its highest share - almost 5 per cent - since launching in 2005.
The second season of the Foxtel talk show Rove LA kicks off on September 30. The first series was a hit for Foxtel in creative terms, securing access to high-profile celebrities, including Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake, k.d. lang and Steve Carrell. The second series will be filmed at LA's iconic Warner Bros Studios, where the Ellen talk show and The Big Bang Theory are based.
Ten goes shopping
Never let it be said Australia's commercial networks aren't using all of that valuable spectrum. (You know, the spectrum we own, and that the elected government licenses the networks to use for our entertainment?) The Ten Network has managed to scrape together some spare bandwidth to launch a shopping channel. No doubt it has been eyeing off Channel Nine's Extra and Channel Seven's TV4ME, similarly created by scraping together spare megahertz. Ten is partnering with TVSN to package the channel. TVSN is already available on Foxtel.