Faced with increased competition from online competitors such as Netflix and Stan, Foxtel is hoping by giving potential customers a free taste of five new HBO drama series, it will be able to convert them into potential paying customers.
The move comes following an initial free screening of the first episode of HBO’s new sci-fi drama Westworld, which received an overwhelmingly popular response from both subscribers and non-subscribers alike.
In addition to Westworld, Foxtel is now screening HBO’s Divorce and Quarry, with plans to add upcoming shows Insecure and High Maintenance, which viewers can watch at: www.foxtel.com.au/watch/dramas.html
Westworld (Episode one available until November 2) is a reality bending drama, starring Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs), Evan Rachel Wood (American Gothic, True Blood) and James Marsden (X-Men). Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, Westworld, based on the 1973 film, is a dark odyssey that looks at the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin and explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.
Divorce (Episode one available until November 2) starring Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) and Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, Broken Trail), centres on Frances, who, after more than a decade of marriage and two children, has suddenly begun to reassess her life and her strained relationship with her husband Robert. Other cast regulars include Molly Shannon (Enlightened, Saturday Night Live) as Frances’ high- strung friend Diane, who has a successful husband, a beautiful house and no children; Talia Balsam (Mad Men) as Frances’ close friend Dallas, who has been both widowed and divorced; Tracy Letts (Homeland) as Diane’s husband Nick; Sterling Jerins (World War Z) as Frances’ and Robert’s daughter Lila; and Charlie Kilgore (Moonrise Kingdom) as their son Tom. Season one guests include Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Dean Winters (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Joanna Adler (Orange Is the New Black), Robert Forster (Twin Peaks).
Quarry (Episode one available until November 2) is set during a tumultuous period in the early 1970s, and tells the story of Mac Conway, a US Marine who returns home to Memphis from Vietnam in 1972 and finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonised by the public. As he struggles to cope with his experiences at war, Conway is drawn into a network of killing and corruption that spans the length of the Mississippi River. Starring Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus, 24, Spider-Man: Homecoming) as Mac Conway, whose decision to return to Vietnam cost him a “normal” life; Jodi Balfour (Final Destination 5) as Mac’s wife Joni, whose job at a local newspaper led to a regrettable decision during Mac’s absence; Peter Mullan (Olive Kitteridge) as The Broker, whose promises come with cruel demands; Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther) as Ruth Solomon, wife to Mac’s Marine pal Arthur and mother of two; and Australia’s own Damon Herriman (Justified) as Buddy, an eccentric member of The Broker’s team.
Additional free first episodes arrive from November 4 – December 3 with the debut of new HBO series Insecure and High Maintenance
Insecure (Episode one available November 4 – December 3) is a new half-hour comedy that explores the friendship of two modern-day African American women, as well as all their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations. Insecure was created by, and stars, Issa Rae who brings her fresh voice to HBO with this painfully funny new comedy series, which follows best friends Issa (Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) as they navigate the tricky professional and personal terrain of Los Angeles, while facing the challenges of being two African American women who defy all stereotypes.
High Maintenance (Episode one available November 4 – December 3) follows an NYC pot dealer with a list of clients with neuroses as diverse as the city itself and provides a glimpse into the private lives of customers – and how they light things up. Created, written and directed by the husband-and-wife team Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, the new half-hour episode series explores the intriguing, often eccentric private lives of dozens of New Yorkers with one connection: their weed dealer. Guest stars include Michael Cyril Creighton (Horace and Pete), Australian actress Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Heléne Yorke (Masters of Sex), Greta Lee (Girls), Hannibal Burress (Broad City), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Miriam Shor (Younger), Lee Tergesen (Outcast, Oz) and Peter Friedman (The Affair).
Customers and non-customers who like what they’ve sampled can visit www.foxtel.com.au and sign up for the Foxtel Drama pack to watch the complete seasons along with a host of other great drama and entertainment both live and on demand.