TV

CONFIRMED! Foxtel renews Wentworth for 20 more episodes

The rumours are true…

By Tina Burke and Thomas Mitchell

Foxtel has announced that Wentworth has been renewed for 20 more episodes! This will take the prison drama series forward with an eighth and ninth season, on top of the already-wrapped seventh season, which is set to air in 2019.

The history-making announcement will see Australia's longest-running one hour drama series remain on air until 2021.

Foxtel's Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh says the network is proud to renew the series.

"Foxtel is proud and delighted to confirm a further 20 episodes of Wentworth. The renewal of this much loved drama is testament to Foxtel's unwavering commitment to Australian story-telling," he says. "This story will be remembered by generations to come.

"Wentworth has captivated audiences in Australia and all over the world with its gritty nailbiting storylines, remarkable performances by an extensive ensemble cast and high production values. The commissioning of these additional episodes will see it reach an extraordinary 100 episodes".

The cast of *Wentworth* at today's announcement.
The cast of Wentworth at today's announcement.

The announcement was made at an event in Sydney earlier today, where it was revealed that the writers are madly at work developing the story and the characters. It was said that this will be the best season of Wentworth yet.

Susie Porter - who plays Marie Winter - tells TV WEEK she is grateful for the renewal.

"It is a big call to return but I'm so grateful that I've been part of Wentworth before it ever finished," she says. "I feel so lucky to be part of it and for women all ages sizes ethnicities. Gone are the days where older women aren't represented and that's also essential and Wentworth is part of that. I've loved every minute of being part of it."

Leah Purcell (Rita Connors) tells us the show will just continue to get better and better.

"I love this family, I miss these guys and every day is a gift." she says. "I'm a newbie to the show, the old jailbirds set the bar and we matched them. It's just going to get better."

Kate Atkinson (Vera Bennet) spoke fondly of the years she's spent working on the show.

"I never dreamed I'd be involved in a show that continually gets stronger and more confident," Kate tells TV WEEK. "I lost my 40s to this show but I couldn't be happier about it. My character Vera has had an incredible run, I look back at season one and can't believe how far we've come, also want to thank my costar Pamela Rabe for being such a big part of our success."

The confirmation is welcome news for fans, who were sent in to overdrive when the rumour mill churned out a similar story in November.

Viewers were hopeful that the prison drama series would return after its jaw-dropping sixth season, which heavily focused on the drama of Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson's (Pamela Rabe) "death" and featured the demise of one of the series greatest villains, Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton).

The sixth season focused heavily on Pamela Rabe's character The Freak, and whether or not she was dead.
The sixth season focused heavily on Pamela Rabe's character The Freak, and whether or not she was dead.

The hit show scored big time at the 2018 TV WEEK Logie Awards, picking up three Logies on the prestigious night.

The series won Most Popular Drama Program, Most Outstanding Drama Series and Most Outstanding Actress for Pamela's Joan "The Freak" Ferguson.

"It's really lovely when you put your heart and soul on the line in your work and you get that recognition," actress Nicole da Silva said of the Logies wins.

We're so excited to see Wentworth on our screens for years to come!

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