Nellie Andreeva

At the top of Starz‘s TCA presentation, the network’s topper Chris Albrecht announced a second-season renewal for the Michael Bay-produced Black Sails ahead of the pirate drama’s January debut. Albrecht said the network brass were already high on the series and had opened the writers room to start working on scripts for a second season when a strong reaction to Black Sails at Comic-Con solidified the renewal decision. “We thought that Michael Bay, (creator/showrunner) Jon Steinberg and their teams deserved all the time; these shows are massive undertakings and an early renewal gives them the opportunity to prepare for the second season the same way they prepared for the first, and it gives us the opportunity to keep the show on a 12-month cycle,” Albrecht said. Starz has a habit of giving shows a second season renewal before the premiere, it did it with Boss, Magic City and Spartacus. Additionally, Starz has picked up Stephen Poliakoff’s five-part BBC miniseries Dancing On The Edge, which will air on Starz in late fall. It is about a black jazz band in London in the early 1930s. The goal for next year is to have 50 hours of original programming, Albrechts said.

Related: TCA: Chris Albrecht On James Gandolfini: “He Changed My Life”

Also at TCA, Albrecht said that Incursion, the long-gestating alien drama project from Spartacus creator Steven DeKnight is “very much alive but on slow pause” as the network explores budget and production issues to may sure a series would be affordable. A season worth of of scripts will soon be completed. As for Magic City, which is awaiting word on a third season, “we’re exploring all options,” Albrecht said, teasing that the last few episodes contain a lot of surprises that will answer questions.

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