Starz Greenlights OUTLANDER Season 2; Will Adapt the Second Book in Diana Gabaldon’s Historical Fiction Series

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Not even a week after the premiere episode of Starz’s Outlander debuted, the network has already given the greenlight for Outlander Season 2.  The show is based on the bestselling series of Diana Gabaldon novels and tells the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously transported back in time to 1743.  The books (there are eight in total) traverse the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure, making them ripe for the visual medium of TV.  Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ronald D. Moore is at the helm of the Outlander TV show, spearheading what looks to be a rather successful adaptation (read Allison’s review here).

Starz has ordered “at least 13 episodes” of Outlander Season 2, which will be based on the second book in Gabaldon’s series, Dragonfly in Amber.  This first season consists of 16 episodes, so one imagines that could be in the cards for the second season as well.  Whereas HBO is focused on a variety of heavy drama series, with Spartacus, Da Vinci’s Demons, and now Outlander, it appears that Starz has carved out a nice little genre-oriented niche for itself in the world of premium cable. Read the full press release after the jump.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht Talks Picking Up AMERICAN GODS, Trying to Do a FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Series, Splitting OUTLANDER Season 1 in Half, and More

by     Posted 46 days ago

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While at the Starz portion of the TCA Press Tour, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht took some time to talk about new and returning programming.  During the interview, he spoke about the new showrunner for Season 3 of Da Vinci’s Demons, that he’s optimistic about a third season of Black Sails, what viewers can expect from the BBC co-production The Missing, airing in the fall, how the first season of Outlander will be split into two parts, with the first half premiering on August 9th and the second half in early 2015, that if audiences get behind the show, they’ll continue the journey, why he decided to go ahead with American Gods as a series, after HBO decided not to move forward, and how he offered Universal three years, if they’d do Fifty Shades of Grey as a TV series, but they declined. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Starz Developing AMERICAN GODS TV Show; Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to Act as Showrunners

by     Posted 58 days ago

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Though Neil Gaiman fans were surely disappointed to hear that HBO recently let its option on the novel American Gods lapse, there is now reason to rejoice.  Starz announced today that it will develop its own American Gods TV show, with Hannibal and Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller acting as showrunner alongside Heroes alum Michael Green.  The two will pen the pilot script for the adaptation, which revolves around a brewing war between the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots and the new gods reflecting society’s obsession with money, technology, media, celebrity, and drugs.  The crux of the story follows Shadow Moon, an ex-con who teams up with a conman traveling partner to gather forces in preparation for battle.

It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking (HBO’s plans involved a $35-40 million budget per season), but Fuller has shown his knack for creative genius time and time again, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this comes together.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

Starz Orders Anthology Adaptation of Steven Soderbergh’s THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE

by     Posted 66 days ago

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Though Steven Soderbergh appears to be steadfast in his self-imposed retirement from filmmaking, he’s remaining quite active in the television realm.  He directed all 10 episodes of the upcoming Cinemax drama The Knick, and now he’s poised to be involved in a TV adaptation of one of his own films.  Starz announced today that it has greenlit an anthology adaptation of Soderbergh’s 2009 indie The Girlfriend Experience, with filmmakers Lodge Kerrigan (Keane) and Amy Seimetz (Sun Don’t Shine) writing and directing the series.  The show will consist of 13 half-hour episodes and “explores the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex.”

Soderbergh will serve as an executive producer on the series, and he came up with the idea for the execution of the show himself, “I thought: ‘let’s make it a different woman in a different city, let’s pair two independent writer/directors, one male and one female, and let them do the whole thing.’”  Long live Soderbergh.  Read the full press release after the jump.

A&E Orders Carlton Cuse’s THE RETURNED Remake to Series; Starz Orders Two Seasons of Jonathan Ames/Patrick Stewart Comedy BLUNT TALK

by     Posted 121 days ago

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A pair of interesting new cable shows have been ordered to series.  Firstly, A&E has given a straight-to-series 10-episode order for an American remake of the buzzy French series The ReturnedDeadline reports that Carlton Cuse (Lost) wrote the first episode and will write and produce the series alongside Raelle Tucker (True Blood).  The original show debuted in 2012 in France and has since become a crossover hit, earning strong ratings and high buzz (particularly from our TV expert Allison Keene).  The story revolves around the reappearance of a number of dead people in a sleepy town, and you can watch the original for yourself right now on Netflix.

This continues Cuse’s relationship with A&E, as his Bates Motel was recently picked up for a third season.  Cuse acts as showrunner on the Psycho prequel series as well as FX’s upcoming The Strain, and it’s unknown if he’ll also run The Returned or if he’ll hand off day-to-day duties while maintaining his role as an executive producer.  Hit the jump for news on Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames’ new Starz series.

Zach McGowan Talks BLACK SAILS, His Attraction to the Series, What He Enjoys Most about Playing Captain Vane, Doing His Own Stunts, and More

by     Posted 180 days ago

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The Starz drama series Black Sails is set in 1715, when the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean is at its height and the former British colony of New Providence Island is now lawless territory controlled by the most notorious pirate captains in history.  As the British Navy returns to these waters and the threat of extinction looms, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) finds an ally in Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), the daughter of the local smuggling kingpin who is looking to make a name for herself, and together they devise a plan to hunt the ultimate treasure and save their home.  From Platinum Dunes, the show also stars Luke Arnold, Zach McGowan, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Tom Hopper, Toby Schmitz, Clara Paget, Mark Ryan and Hakeem Kae-Kazim.

During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actor Zach McGowan (who plays Captain Vane, a financially successful pirate with a vicious temper) talked about how he came to be a part of Black Sails, what attracted him to this project, how easy it was for him to find this character, how much he enjoys getting to do all of the fights and stunts himself, and what he enjoys most about playing Captain Vane.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Watch the Pilot for BLACK SAILS Online for Free

by     Posted 220 days ago

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No need to pirate the series premiere of the Michael Bay-produced Starz series, Black Sails, as the network is offering it up free for the watching.  Sure, it may be edited a bit for mature content, but the free offering gives a great first look to the new pirate series.  If it wets your whistle, you still have a few days to subscribe to Starz before the show premieres this Saturday.

Starring Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Luke Arnold, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Tom Hopper, Zach McGowan, Toby Schmitz, Clara Paget, Mark Ryan, and Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Black Sails premieres on Starz January 25th at 9pm ET/PT.  Hit the jump to watch the pilot.

Starz Reveals Premiere Date, New Images and Season Two Trailer for DA VINCI’S DEMONS, Plus a New Trailer for BLACK SAILS

by     Posted 230 days ago

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Starz has hit the ground running with two of its new flagship series, releasing new trailers for both the sophomore season of Da Vinci’s Demons and the series debut of Black Sails.  The former finds the title character, played by Tom Riley, using his near-superhuman skills to defend Florence against the forces of Rome.  The latter, produced by Michael Bay, takes place 20 years before the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and centers on Captain Flint and a young Long John Silver as they fight to defend the notorious criminal haven of New Providence Island.

Season one of Black Sails premieres January 25th at 9pm ET/PT.  The second season of Da Vinci’s Demons will debut Saturday, March 22nd at 9pm ET/PT.  Hit the jump for the new trailers, images and more details on the upcoming Starz series.

DANCING ON THE EDGE Review: Starz’s Jazz Drama Is Pleasantly Lulling

by     Posted 313 days ago

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Starz, like PBS and BBC America, has had some success in second-runs from or co-productions with the British.  But are we getting a delicious second brewing, or leftovers?  Dancing on the Edge (which originally aired last winter on BBC2) is, in many ways, both the perfect British export, and the perfect mix of English and American-ness.  It feels a great deal like an Agatha Christie novel — wealth! garden parties! intrigue! murder! — but also incorporates the very American element of jazz.

The miniseries covers the rise and quick unravelling of the fictional Louis Lester Band from 1932 to 1933.  They’re a hidden gem of a group, lead by their highly educated and charming band leader Louie (Chiwetel Ejiofer), and a pair of alluring chanteuses, Jessie (Angel Coulby) and Clara (Wunmi Musaku).  Their introduction and integration into London society is helped along by an ambitious and cocky music writer, Stanley (Matthew Goode), who arguably also helps usher their downfall.  Hit the jump for more.

THE WHITE QUEEN Review: Max Irons and Rebecca Ferguson Watch the Throne

by     Posted 1 year, 18 days ago

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Viewers will not have to wait until spring to get another dose of the middle ages.  The White Queen, a BBC limited series picked up by Starz, chronicles the Wars of the Roses, which incidentally was an inspiration for George R. R. Martin when writing Game of Thrones.  The White Queen is based on the book series The Cousins’ War, by author Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl).  It begins in 1464 just as Edward IV (Max Irons) rose to power as King of England after taking the throne from his cousin, Henry VI, and follows the course of York and Lancaster backstabbing that eventually leads to Richard III’s rule.  Hit the jump for more on the series.

Starz Cancels MAGIC CITY After Two Seasons

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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This coming Friday’s season two finale of the drama series Magic City will also act as the show’s series finale.  Starz announced today (via THR) that it has opted not to move forward with a third season of the Jeffrey Dean Morgan-fronted show, which takes place in 1959 Miami and centers on the owner of a glamorous hotel.  The series suffered from low ratings and mixed critical reception throughout its run, so Starz’s decision isn’t necessarily surprising.  Spartacus still remains the only Starz original series to last longer than two seasons, but the network has plenty of new offerings in the coming months.  The Michael Bay­-produced pirate drama Black Sails begins in January and Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ronald D. Moore’s adaptation of the Diana Gabaldon series Outlander just received a series order.  Moreover, David S. Goyer‘s period series Da Vinci’s Demons was renewed for a second season.

AMC Orders 1980s Computing Boom Show HALT & CATCH FIRE and Revolutionary War-set TURN to Series; Starz Renews BLACK SAILS for Season 2

by     Posted 1 year, 33 days ago

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Some developments regarding upcoming pay-cable series have been announced.  First up, AMC has given series orders to a pair of pilots: Halt & Catch Fire and Turn.  The former takes place during the 1980s computing boom and “is told through the eyes of a visionary and an engineer prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time.”  Halt & Catch Fire is set in Texas’ Silicon Prairie and appears to be loosely based on the rise of Apple and Microsoft.  The impressive cast is led by Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, and Kerry Bishe, with Jonathan Lisco acting as showrunner.  The series was created by Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, with Breaking Bad’s Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein acting as executive producers.

Hit the jump for more on AMC’s new Revolutionary War show Turn and Starz’s very early renewal of Michael Bay’s pirate series Black Sails.

Starz Greenlights BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Producer Ronald D. Moore’s New Series OUTLANDER

by     Posted 1 year, 64 days ago

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It’s been a few years since Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ronald D. Moore had a series on the air, but he’s now poised to be behind not one but two shows on television.  Moore is an executive producer on the upcoming Syfy series Helix, and now Starz has ordered to series Moore’s adaptation of the Diana Gabaldon book series Outlander.  Described as spanning the genres of romance, science-fiction, history, and adventure in one tale, Outlander follows a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously transported back in time to 1743 where she is forced to marry a romantic young Scottish warrior.

Production on the 16-episode first season will begin in Scotland this fall, with the show poised to air on Starz next year.  Moore will write the series himself and will serve as executive producer alongside Jim Kohlberg.  Gabaldon’s series currently spans seven novels with an eight to be released later this year, so Moore is definitely not at a lack for source material.  Starz is geting pretty heavy into the period series game, as it recently renewed Da Vinci’s Demons for a second season and has the pirate drama Black Sails and the miniseries The White Queen on tap.  Hit the jump to read the press release.

Starz, Rod Lurie and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment Developing Post-Civil War Drama, MONSTERS OF GOD

by     Posted 1 year, 77 days ago

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Starz is teaming up with screenwriter Rod Lurie (The Contender) and Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment for the post-Civil War drama Monsters of God.  Starz has really stepped up to the table with premium competitors HBO and Showtime in creating worthwhile original entertainment, such as Magic City and Da Vinci’s Demons as well as the one that kicked it all off: Spartacus.  It’s upcoming collaborations with The Departed‘s William Monahan as well as a series about the Vietnam War, Airborne, also sound very promising.

Monsters of God will take place in 1867 Texas during the Comanche Wars, a period of American history Lurie has spent a long time studying.  Also, as a West Point graduate and former Army artillery officer, he certainly has the background to pen such a work.  Hit the jump for more on the project and what else Starz has coming down the pike.

Official Trailer for Starz’s New Limited Series THE WHITE QUEEN

by     Posted 1 year, 79 days ago

Starz has released a full-length trailer for its new limited series The White Queen.  Based on Phillippa Gregory’s best-selling series of novels that dramatize the War of the Roses, the show is told from the perspective of three women who laid claim to the English throne in the mid 15th century: Elizabeth Woodville (The White Queen), Margaret Beaufort (The Red Queen), and Anne Neville (The Kingmaker’s Daughter).  It’s clear from this debut trailer that the show is very heavily influenced by the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones, but the prospect of telling an historical story from a female perspective is certainly promising.  Moreover, the “limited series” (ie. miniseries) nature of the show means that Starz will be telling a complete story from beginning to end in 10 episodes.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The show stars Rebecca Ferguson, Max Irons, Janet McTeer, James Frain, Amanda Hale, Faye Marsay, David Oakes, Eleanor Tomlinson, Aneurin Barnard, Ben Lamb, and Tom McKayThe White Queen will premiere on Starz on August 10th.

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