The first teaser trailer for the upcoming Starz comedy series Blunt Talk let’s us know: “Some people toe the line, others walk the line. Walter Blunt will do a line (*if politely offered).”
Patrick Stewart plays Walter Blunt, “a British import intent on conquering the world of American cable news.” The half-hour series (which Starz immediately greenlit for 20 episodes over 2 seasons) comes from Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death), with Seth MacFarlane serving as executive producer.
Blunt Talk also marks Starz’s first foray into original comedy programming. In the last two years, it has debuted a startling number of excellent, awards-nominated drama series (many of which are high-cost, high-profile period pieces) like Outlander, The Missing, and miniseries Dancing on the Edge, and The White Queen. It’s also home to the popular and well-received Black Sails, Da Vinci’s Demons, Magic City, and Power. This fall, Starz also introduced an unscripted competition series from Zachary Quinto and the creators of Project Greenlight, The Chair, which was an exceptionally well-wrought and gorgeous production.
Starz has really begun to define itself as a network that can compete with HBO and Showtime when it comes to premium original content (the same is true for HBO network Cinemax, which also has been expanding its catalogue of series). It will be interesting to see how Blunt Talk is received among all of this far more dramatic fare, although Patrick Stewart in just about anything is worth watching.
“In the character of Walter Blunt, Seth, Jonathan and Patrick have found the alchemy that makes a borderline alcoholic, mad-genius-Brit the man you want fighting in America’s corner. Seth and Jonathan have struck the right balance between biting wit and outright absurdity in building this world, and we cannot wait for Patrick to breathe life into Walter.”
Stewart followed-up with,
“My career took an abrupt and radical left turn when Seth MacFarlane created CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock on American Dad. This new character, Walter Blunt, is not at all like Avery, thank God, because this is live action and I am a Knight of the Realm. Blunt is, however, much smarter than Avery and has his own TV show, which has to be better than being Deputy Director of the CIA.”
Blunt Talk is set to premiere this summer. And for my Brits and fellow Anglophiles, see if the show’s synopsis doesn’t remind you of Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge ….
“Blunt Talk” is a character-driven comedy revolving around Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart), a British import intent on conquering the world of American cable news. Through the platform of his nightly interview show, Blunt is on a mission to impart his wisdom and guidance on how Americans should live, think and behave. Besieged by network bosses, a dysfunctional news staff, numerous ex-wives and children of all ages, Blunt’s only support is the alcoholic manservant he transplanted from the U.K. to join him in Los Angeles. The series follows the fallout from Blunt’s well-intentioned, but mostly misguided decision-making, both on and off the air.