TCA: Starz’s Chris Albrecht On 2014 Plans, ‘White Queen’ Sequel, ‘Magic City’s Demise

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 11:49am PST
Nellie Andreeva

At the top of Starz‘s TCA session, CEO Chris Albrecht did his semi-annual State Of The Network overview, TCADeadline__140109155905__140109183154laying out his programming plans for the next year. Starz will continue to push into original programming, which accounts for almost half of Starz’s top telecasts despite representing only 5% of the pay cable’s network schedule and has fueled Starz’s streak of eight consecutive quarters of subscriber growth. First off this year is the January 25 premiere of pirate drama Black Sails, which already has been renewed for a second season — a move Albrecht called “a good and economically responsible” decision following the enthusiastic response at Comic-Con. Starz_logoIt will be followed by the second season of Da Vinci’s Demons, which Albrecht announced will premiere on March 22; the contemporary crime underworld drama Power in late spring; and Ron Moore’s adaptation of the blockbuster Outlander books in Q3. Starz had originally slotted Sky Atlantic’s upcoming drama series Fortitude for the fourth quarter. Last month, Starz pulled out of the project because of its changed filming schedule. The network put several internal projects on fast track — including ballet drama Flesh And Bone, which already has been casting and has hired a choreographerSurvivor’s Remorse, exec produced by LeBron James; and WonderWorld, set in Ronald Reagan’s America — and Albrecht today said he plans to make a decision on which one would fill the Q3 series slot within the next couple of weeks. Read More »

Comments 25

Starz’s ‘Magic City’ To End Run After Two Seasons; Series Finale Airs Friday

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 4:19pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: It is the end of the road for Starz‘s Magic City. The pay cable network has opted not to order a third season of the period drama, with the Season 2 finale on Friday serving as a series finale. Magic City, which chronicled the collision of mobsters, politicians and entertainers at a posh Miami hotel in 1959, just as Fidel Castro took control of Cuba, was created by Mitch Glazer based his own recollection of growing up in Miami. “We are tremendously proud of the series and everyone involved,” Starz said in a statement. “From the writers, to the cast and crew, it has been an incredible collaboration. This was a story born from Mitch Glazer’s singular vision of Miami, the Magic City of his childhood, and we are grateful to him for bringing it to life on Starz. The season’s story arc will allow us to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the series, and we thank all the fans who checked in to the Miramar Playa.” At TCA last month, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht teased that the last few episodes of the show contain a lot of surprises that will answer questions. Read More »

Comments 408

WME Signs Mitch Glazer

By | Tuesday April 23, 2013 @ 2:51pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Mitch Glazer, the veteran screenwriter who has been spending most of his time recently writing his Starz dramatic series creation Magic City. Glazer had long been a client of Jeff Berg, and moved … Read More »

Comments (4)

‘Magic City’ Season 2 Premiere Is June 14

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 12:21pm PDT

James Caan and Esai Morales joined the cast for Season 2 of Magic City, the Starz original series set in 1950s-era Miami at the glamorous Miramar Playa Hotel. The network today announced the second season will bow Friday, … Read More »

Comments 51

TV Teaser: Starz’s ‘Magic City’

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 10:44am PST

No Season 2 summer premiere date yet for Mitch Glazer’s Starz mob drama, which is set at the glamorous Miramar Playa hotel in turbulent 1950s Miami. But here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the new season of the original series Magic City, which includes cast newcomers James Caan and … Read More »

Comments (4)

Starz’ ‘Magic City’ Heads For Havana, Chicago With James Caan: TCA

By | Saturday January 5, 2013 @ 12:36pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Season 2 of StarzMagic City will expand the action to Havana, Cuba and Chicago, and adds to the cast Godfather veteran James Caan as the … Read More »

Comments 23

James Caan And Esai Morales Join Starz Drama ‘Magic City’ For Second Season

By | Wednesday September 19, 2012 @ 11:02am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Starz‘s Miami-set period drama Magic City is beefing up the cast for Season 2 with major additions. I’ve learned that Sonny Corleone himself, veteran actor James Caan, is joining the series in a major recurring role, along with NYPD Blue alum Esai Morales.

Set in 1959 Miami shortly after the Cuban Revolution, Magic City tells the story of Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the owner of Miami’s glitzy Miramar Playa hotel, who is forced to make a deal with local mob boss Ben Diamond (Danny Huston). Caan will play Sy Berman, the head of the Chicago mob and Diamond’s boss. A father figure to Ben, Sy saw the potential in the young con and encouraged Ben’s criminal talents — creating “The Butcher.” Unbeknownst to Ben, Sy also has a secret connection to Ben’s wife Lily (Jessica Marais). Morales will play Carlos Ruiz, a former rebel who once fought beside Castro but now works to free Cuba from the man he once considered a brother.

Bringing in Caan to Magic City is fitting as the series is said to be inspired by The Godfather, which co-starred Caan in his signature, Oscar-nominated role as Sonny Corleone. On Magic City, Caan will be reunited with follow Godfather alum Alex Rocco, who recurs as Ike’s father Arthur. Read More »

Comments (18)

Starz’s ‘Magic City’ Ratings Up In Week 2

By | Wednesday April 18, 2012 @ 4:26pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Magic City TV RatingsRatings for Starz’s new period drama Magic City are still low, but they are moving in the right direction. In its second week, the period drama drew 370,000 total viewers in its premiere airing … Read More »

Comments 25

Starz’s ‘Magic City’ Off To Very Slow Start In Official Premiere, Boosted By Previews

By | Monday April 9, 2012 @ 5:27pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In its official premiere at 10 PM on Friday, Starz’s new period drama Magic City drew only 295,000 viewers, well below the network’s most recent series premiere of Boss (659,000) and far off the debuts of Spartacus: Gods Read More »

Comments 37

Starz Renews ‘Magic City’ For Season 2

By | Tuesday March 20, 2012 @ 4:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Magic City StarzStarz has done it again — renewing a series before its premiere. The pay cable network has given a second-season pickup to period drama Magic City ahead of its April 6 debut. Word is … Read More »

Comments 26

Starz To Preview New Series ‘Magic City’ Behind ‘Spartacus’ Finale

By | Monday March 19, 2012 @ 7:09am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Starz will preview the pilot episode of new period drama Magic City after the season finale of Spartacus: Vengeance on March 30. That will be followed by a massive sampling campaign for Magic City ahead of its April … Read More »

Comments (2)

Starz Stands Behind ‘Boss’, ‘Spartacus’, Touts ‘Magic City’: TCA

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 7:18pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA

Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said today at TCA the cable channel will support its struggling series Boss during its second season, but acknowledged the show needs to begin to “resonate” … Read More »

Comments (19)

Starz Sets Premiere Date For ‘Magic City’, Encore To Air British Mini ‘Crimson Petal’

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 1:05pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Starz’s new period drama Magic City, set at a Miami Beach hotel in 1959, will premiere on Friday, April 6, the network announced at TCA today. It stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the hotel’s owner.

Meanwhile, sibling Encore will air the … Read More »

Comments (4)

Does John Malone Have A Big Deal In Mind For Starz?

Analysts attending Liberty Media’s annual investor day on Thursday will be listening carefully when Starz CEO Chris Albrecht discusses his channel’s plans. His boss, Liberty Chairman John Malone, loves to buy, sell, and swap assets — as long as he can do so without paying a big tax bill. And there’s a growing belief that Malone is positioning Starz for a deal as the company focuses its branding efforts around more than 50 hours of original programs — including Boss, Magic City, Spartacus, and Da Vinci’s Demons — instead of theatrical films from Disney and Sony. For example, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says in a blog post today that “a transaction may…be coming to turn Starz into an asset based security” instead of just part of the Liberty Starz tracking stock. Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible says that Starz’ “strategic benefits could make it an M&A target.” Maxim Group’s John Tinker agrees that Starz “should be merged into a larger entity.”

Albrecht reinforced those views recently by talking up his desire to have the channel stand out as a premium service. On Friday he elaborated at the Monaco Media Forum on points he made earlier in the week on the Liberty earnings call: The channel scrapped its effort to negotiate a new streaming deal with Netflix because it didn’t set Starz apart from the video pack. Read More »

Comments (4)

TV TEASER: New Starz Series ‘Magic City’

By | Thursday October 27, 2011 @ 10:55am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Starz recently released the first trailer for its upcoming period drama Magic City, set in 1959 Miami. It stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a hotelier and family man with ties to the mob. Co-starring are Olga Kurylenko as his wife and Danny Huston as a mob boss. The series … Read More »

Comments (19)

Starz’s ‘Magic City’ Adds 3 More To Cast As Series Begins Production

By | Thursday June 9, 2011 @ 10:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kelly Lynch, Seymour Cassel and Danny Huston have been added to the cast of Starz’s upcoming drama series Magic City, which starts filming this week in Miami. The series, set in 1950s Miami, was created by Mitch Glazer and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Here’s Starz’s start-of-production release:
Read More »

Comments (17)

Ioan Gruffudd To Star In CBS Pilot ‘Ringer’, Duo Closing In On Starz Series ‘Magic City’

Nellie Andreeva

Fantastic Four alum Ioan Gruffudd is set to star opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the CBS drama pilot Ringer. The project centers on troubled young woman Bridget (Gellar) who, while on the run from the mob, … Read More »

Comments 20

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Poised To Star In Starz’s Period Drama Series ‘Magic City’

By | Monday January 24, 2011 @ 8:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Grey’s Anatomy alum Jeffrey Dean Morgan is in final negotiations to play the lead in Starz’s upcoming 10-episode drama series Magic City. Set in Miami in the late 1950s-early 1960s, Magic City chronicles the collision of mobsters, … Read More »

Comments (9)

Starz Gives 10-Episode Order To 1960s Miami Drama From Mitch Glazer

EXCLUSIVE: Starz has made a 10-episode commitment to Magic City, a period drama series that captures the collision of mobsters, politicians and entertainers at a posh Miami hotel just as Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba and shuts down Havana as … Read More »

Comments 24