Foxtel's summer line-up

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The Gates, The Glades, Ride-Along, Neighbors from Hell and Louie are to make their first appearances on Australian television, going to air from the end of 2010.

On the back of its exclusive deal with 20th Century Fox, Foxtel has announced the first-time broadcasting of a slew of dramas and comedies, fresh from their run in the States.

The shows will be spread across the range of channels available on Foxtel. Let's have a look at the broadcaster's new offerings...

Ride-Along

The first show up for discussion is Ride-Along, the new cop drama series from writer Shawn Ryan, who developed the hit show The Shield. Although it's not the snappiest title we've ever heard, it sums up the docu-style, which gives the audience a true-to-life point of view of the precarious world that the police inhabit.

Based in Chicago, the show follows a cop car through the streets, letting the audience witness first hand the trials and tribulations of the violent, drug-filled streets of the rough 'burbs. With an inevitable dash of corruption and ladles of danger, the program does not deviate from the well-trodden cop format that has been a ratings winner for years.

Starring Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) as the charmer with a dangerous edge, and Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, The L Word) as the woman fighting in a man’s world, this drama isn’t going to break new ground. Though Ride-Along seems to tick all the boxes that you would expect for a show of this genre.

Check out the video below for a sneak peek of what the new series holds.


The Gates

Continuing in the pop-culture vein of True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, The Gates takes us again into the vampire world, as they attempt to assimilate into modern culture. While True Blood focuses on the gothic, and The Vampire Diaries takes on the suburban underbelly -- The Gates gives the vampire genre a Desperate Housewives spin.

The show follows the new chief of police Nick Monohan (Frank Grillo) as he sets up home and office in a luxurious planned community. It becomes speedily apparent that the picket fences hold secrets slightly more macabre than just a prize-winning muffin recipe.

Infested with vampires, witches and werewolves, the supernatural drama genre would seem to have been taken to a new level.

Unfortunately, this show has been produced at the very end of the vampire boom and originality is nigh impossible, regardless of how many ghouls and ghosties you can pack into the show.

The writing is top notch (although the trailer for the series does not hint at that!), but you can't help but wonder if the team of writers could have clubbed together for something slightly more original than The Gates -- which, as stated at the outset, feels like a montage of the best bits from other superior shows.


Louie

Louie, starring comedian Louis C.K., is an offbeat comedy that will be soon included in Foxtel's line-up.

After spending several years as a leading comedy writer on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, Louis C.K. is now venturing out alone.

Bouncing between stand-up comedy and situation-based gaffs, Louie is a look into the rather depressing life of a divorced father of two.

Some parts of the show still feel like a work in progress, but it certainly has a ton of potential that can be expanded upon. Particularly its use of guest stars.

Click here to watch a truly hilarious clip, featuring guest star Ricky Gervais as Louie's doctor.


The Glades

Aussie talent leads in the next new show on Foxtel -- The Glades.

Based around another cop from the Windy City, who relocates to Florida (hence the title). The inevitable "big cop in small pond with crocodiles" story lines will follow.

Oh, and look, there's a pretty blonde (Kiele Sanchez) to be seduced by his goofy charms.

Matt Passmore (McLeod’s Daughters, Underbelly, The Cut), is our Australian hero (although, unfortunately, is strictly Americanised here). In its debut last week, the show performed exceptionally well on the A&E; Network in the US, securing its position as the network's highest rating drama.

The character of Jim Longworth is forced from his position in Chicago after accusations of impropriety, although this is not the time for sympathy. Longworth's smarmy and arrogant tendencies make him a dislikeable character. Passmore told Hollywood Today that his so-called charm stems from his unswayable knowledge of his superiority: "Because he's just right. He really likes being right. I think he looks at everyone else with pity, as wouldn't you like to be as right as me? But you're not."

After years of being at the top of his game, his character seeks out small-town living in search of an "easier life".

Ho hum, you can be certain that this is not what he will find, with murders afoot. Have a look at the preview below and let us know what your first impressions are.


Neighbors from Hell

New animation -- whoop! With a concept that essentially sounds and looks like The Addams Family, but more brightly coloured ... we’re not sure if this will quite cut the butter. Shows like Family Guy and Robot Chicken have already raised the animation bar pretty high.

From a little-known US station, TBS, the animation tells of a family of demons set to the Earth’s surface to protect Hell from a drill developed at the surface that will breach the "world" of hell. Dubious concept starter for 10?

The main crux of the comedy inevitably stems from the "need to fit in" complex, while holding up a mirror to the existences of people living in the real world. This could easily become exhausted unless the remit of the show is expanded, and the central "drill issue" can surely only hold the storyline for so long?

However, the cartoon does manage to maintain a cutting style throughout, closely related to Family Guy in that regard -- ripping apart modern culture and our shrines to consumerism at every available turn. The animation is pretty impressive too, with a lot of the characters' appearances seeming to channel Jafar from Disney's Aladdin.

With a star turn from Steve Coogan as Beelzebub, this is definitely worth checking out.

Will you be watching any of these shows when they air on Foxtel?

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