Joey King Joins Lifetime’s ‘Outlaw Prophet’; Steven Cree In Starz’s ‘Outlander

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

Joey King (The Conjuring, Oz The Great And Powerful) joeyking1has been cast in Lifetime’s original movie Outlaw Prophet from Sony Pictures Television. It focuses on the true story of Warren Jeffs, the leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sect who spent more than a year on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, eluded authorities and was ultimately caught by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper. Based on Stephen Singular’s book When Men Become Gods, the movie chronicles Jeffs’ rise to power after the death of his father, Rulon Jeffs (Martin Landau). King will play Elissa Wall, the battered young woman who brings Jeffs (Tony Goldwyn) to justice. King, repped by Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment and Meredith Fine at Coast to Coast Talent Group, will next be seen in FX’s Fargo and Zach Braff’s indie Wish I Was Here.
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Starz Orders Filmmaking Docuseries From ‘Project Greenlight’ EP As First Unscripted Series

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 9:29am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

starzFourteen years after he greenlighted Project Greenlight at HBO, Chris Albrecht has picked up a followup as Starz‘s first original unscripted series. The pay cable network will air the 10-episode The Chair, created by Project Greenlight executive producer Chris Moore. The competition documentary series follows two directors through the process of bringing their first feature to the screen. The up-and-coming directors, Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci, are provided with an identical screenplay How Soon Is Now, which they must craft as their own film using the same budget and filming in the same city. The series documents the creation, marketing and theatrical release of both adaptations, which will also air on Starz. Read More »

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Starz Sets Premiere Date For Drama ‘Power’, Releases Key Art, Theme Song By 50 Cent

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 1:38pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

powerkeyartStarz‘s new original series Power will debut at 9 PM Saturday, June 7. The pay cable network made the announcement in conjunction with the release of “Big Rich Town”, a new music video by Power executive producer Curtis Read More »

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Starz’s ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ Down In Season 2 Debut, On Par In Premiere Weekend

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 6:30pm PDT

Da Vinci's Demons Season 2 debutStarz‘s fantasy drama learned the hard way last weekend just how important a lead-in can be. With the 2013 pic White House Down playing beforehand, the Season 2 premiere of Da Vinci’s Demons fell 44% from its Season 1 debut last year. The Saturday night 9 PM airing on March 22 had 580,000 total viewers. Having the series finale of Spartacus: War Of The Damned as its lead-in, the Season 1 premiere pulled in 1.04 million total viewers in its 10 PM airing on on Friday, April 12. The news for the David S. Goyer-created series’ Season 2 debut gets a lot better when all its plays over the whole weekend are Starz logo 2014counted up. The Adjacent Productions show drew 2 million viewers over all its broadcasts last weekend. That’s just a 6% dip from the 2.14 million that Demons had over its Season 1 debut weekend last year. It’s also a 41% rise over the show’s Season 1 finale weekend in early June. The total plays for that weekend were 1.4 million. On its own, the Season 1 finale at 10PM on June 7 garnered 380,000 viewers – 34% fewer than the Season 2 debut. With Season 1 of the show getting an average audience of 1.6 million over its weekend airings, the Season 2 debut weekend was up 25%. Read More »

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Mike Epps To Co-Star In Starz Series ‘Survivor’s Remorse’, Recur On BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 5:54pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

mikeeppsEXCLUSIVE: Mike Epps is adding a seasoned presence to Starz’s scripted comedy series Survivor’s Remorse, joining a cast of mostly 20-something up-and-comers as a regular. Additionally, Epps has booked a recurring role on the second season of the BET drama Being Mary Jane. Survivor’s Remorse, executive produced by NBA star LeBron James and Mike O’Malley, is set in the world of professional basketball. It follows Cam Calloway (Jessie T. Usher), a basketball phenom in his early 20s who is thrust into the limelight after signing a multimillion-dollar contract with a pro team. Read More »

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Starz Casts Quintet In Basketball Comedy ‘Survivor’s Remorse’

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 10:32am PDT

Jessie T. Usherronreacoleejessieusher (Level Up), Ronreaco Lee (Glory, Let’s Stay Together), Erica Ash (Scary Movie 5, The Real Husbands Of Hollywood), Tichina Arnold (Martin, Everybody Hates Chris) and Teyonah Parris (Mad Men, Read More »

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Josh Helman, Damon Herriman Cast In Starz’s ‘Flesh And Bone’

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 5:08pm PDT

helman1herrimanJosh Helman (X Men, Fury Road) and Damon Herriman (Justified) have landed roles in Starz‘s ballet drama Flesh And Bone from executive producers Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and John Melfi … Read More »

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Ben Daniels To Topline Starz’s ‘Flesh And Bone’; Nora Dunn Joins CW’s ‘iZombie’

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 10:17am PDT

Ben DanielsBen Daniels (House of Cards, Law & Order: UK) has been tapped to star in Starz’s ballet drama Flesh And Bone from executive producers Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and John Melfi and creator/exec producer Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad). Described as … Read More »

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Who Might Want To Buy AMC Networks, Scripps, Or Starz?

CBS, Disney, Fox, and Time Warner are the easy answers — and the ones that many financial types believe are eyeing the independent programming network companies following Comcast’s $45.2B agreement to buy Time Warner Cable. AMC Networks logoBut Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger takes the conversation a step further today with an intriguing report that suggests several less obvious potential buyers for AMC Networks, Scripps or Starz. Distributors including DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter, AT&T and Verizon might want to take a page from Comcast’s playbook when it bought NBCUniversal. DirecTV doesn’t offer broadband, so it has “additional motivation to take some action to future-proof the business,” possibly by offering exclusive access to certain networks, Juenger says. Charter and Dish are long shots: Charter probably could only afford AMC. And Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen seems intent on acquiring airwave spectrum, although “nobody really knows Mr. Ergen’s potential plans, and they could change.” AT&T and Verizon’s corporate cultures are “a step (or three) further removed from the content business.” Yet here, too, they might take a leap since “their historical core businesses are not exactly growing, and they could amass the financial resources.”

Related: What A Comcast-TWC Could Mean For Hollywood

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Starz Boards BBC Limited Drama Series ‘The Missing’

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 10:25am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Starz_logoStarz has partnered with the BBC on the British broadcaster’s eight-episode limited drama series The Missing. Starz will co-produce the project, starring James Nesbitt (The Hobbit trilogy), which has begun filming in Brussels. Written by Harry and Jack Williams and directed by Tom Shankland, the thriller will air on BBC One in the UK and Starz in the U.S. in fall 2014. It is produced by New Pictures and Company Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures and Colin Callender’s Playground. All3media International has funded development of The Missing and retains all U.S. rights not obtained by Starz. Missing reunites the auspices behind The White Queen limited series, which was a success for Starz; it also hailed from BBC One, Company Pictures, Playground and all3media. Read More »

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New Development Model From Writers’ Perspective: More Opportunities, Less Pay?

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 11:40am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Like any change towriters_room_middle a well-established model, the networks’ efforts to break away from the traditional development cycle is undergoing growing pains. There have been issues for studios who don’t have a pilot to show to international buyers at the May screenings because production has been shifted to off-season or because projects have received what Fox refers to “an off-cycle commitment for further investment towards series production,” meaning an order for backup scripts and a bible but no tape. Then there is the issue for writers hired on the projects that have no formal green light.

Related: Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: How Will It Work

networklogosThis is not a new phenomenon — Starz, for example, assembles a writers room and gets scripts ready as part of its development process because it only orders projects straight to series. But more and more broadcast networks are now embracing the off-cycle and straight to series models and, hedging their bets, invest in small writers rooms (an average of 3 people) working for 4-10 weeks to produce multiple scripts and a bible that network brass evaluate before making an episodic commitment. Fox and NBC have been the most active in the field, with the others also exploring the idea. The model has raised concerns for writers as it allows the studio to hire scribes at scale (minimum pay) per WGA article 14 (“writers in additional capacity”) and not adhere to writers’ “quotes,” which is the per-episode fee to which they are entitled based on experience. It also allows studios to ask for lengthy holds of up to 6-8 months on the writers after they finish work while the network makes a decision on the series. Read More »

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David Michôd To Direct First Episode Of Starz’s Ballet Drama Series ‘Flesh And Bone’

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 12:28pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

David Michod Flesh And Bone StarzAustralian filmmaker David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) will direct the first episode of Starz‘s new drama series  Flesh And Bone, created/executive produced by Breaking Bad‘s Moira Walley-Beckett and executive produced by Lawrence Read More »

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Jeff Bewkes Irks Starz With Mistaken Comment About Cinemax Viewing

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 3:05pm PST

Does the Time Warner CEO need a refresher in the difference between TV “viewers” and “ratings”? It couldn’t hurt after he mistakenly confused the two in a comment to analysts on Wednesday that Starz challenged. Jeff Bewkes 2Jeff BewkesRead More »

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Starz Picks Up Basketball Comedy From LeBron James & Mike O’Malley To Series

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 11:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Lebron James Starz Basketball ComedyStarz has given an official series pickup to Survivor’s Remorse, a half-hour scripted comedy series executive produced by NBA star LeBron James, Mike O’Malley, Tom Werner, James’ manager Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter. I hear the order is for 6 episodes. The project, written by O’Malley, had been on fast-track development and considered a front-runner for the Q4 slot that became open in December when Starz pulled out of itsstarz commitment to Sky Atlantic’s upcoming drama series Fortitude. Survivor’s Remorse, which had assembled a small writers room and had started preliminary casting for the two leads in anticipation of a series pickup, will debut next fall. Its green light comes on the heels of Starz ordering ballet drama Flesh And Bone for 2015. Read More »

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Starz’s ‘Black Sails’ Debuts OK

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 2:12pm PST

BlackSails1_041913_3790.mediumThere was lots of high drama on the high seas for the premiere of Starz‘s new series Black Sails on Saturday night. Debuting at 9 PM ET, the Michael Bay-produced Treasure Island prequel pulled in 846,000 viewers, down from … Read More »

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Ballet Drama ‘Flesh And Bone’ Gets Series Order At Starz, Casts Lead

By | Sunday January 26, 2014 @ 3:59pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

sarahStarz has picked its next original series, giving a series order to drama Flesh and Bone, created/executive produced by Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad) and executive produced by Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and John Melfi. The green light comes after an extensive nationwide search involving thousands of hopefuls resulted in the casting of dancer Sarah Hay (Black Swan) in the lead role. Flesh And Bone follows a young ballet dancer, Claire (Hay), who has a distinctly troubled past, as she joins a prestigious ballet arabesque photocompany in New York. The dark and gritty series will unflinchingly explore the dysfunction and glamour of the ballet world. “From the beginning, we all agreed this project could not go forward unless we found a world class dancer who had the ability to convey the widest range of emotions that Moira has written,” sais Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “This is one of the most challenging and dynamic characters I have even seen and am thrilled to say we found our Claire in Ms. Hay.” Added Moira Walley-Beckett, “Sarah Hay embodies the role of Claire just as I dreamt her.”

Flesh and Bone had been on the fast track, picking up speed in November when the project locked in four accomplished dancers for supporting roles, Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Ellen’ Is First U.S. Daytime Talk Show In China; Starz’s ‘Power’ To Premiere At MIP-TV; More

China’s First Daily U.S. Talker? ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has become the first U.S. daily talk show to be carried in China with the current 11th season now available on-demand via online video service provider Sohu Video. Episodes of the Warner Bros International Television Distribution property will be subtitled in Chinese and delivered within 48 hours of the original U.S. broadcast. Ellen is the top-rated daytime talk show in the U.S. with women 25-54. The talker seems well-suited to the Chinese audience with its brand of family-friendly humor and big stars. Here’s a clip of DeGeneres welcoming her new audience:

Starz’s ‘Power’ To Premiere At MIP-TV
Power, the Starz original series exec produced by Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent) will have its world premiere at this April’s Starz_logoMIP-TV market in Cannes. MIP-TV and sister market Mipcom have been increasingly drawing big-ticket premieres and talent to the Riviera in recent editions. In October, Mipcom hosted the world premiere of The Tunnel, the Franco-British adaptation of The Bridge. The eight-episode first season of Power was created by showrunner Courtney Kemp Agboh. Jackson also stars in the story of a wealthy New York City nightclub owner (Omari Hardwick) who caters to the city’s elite. He’s also living a double life as the kingpin of the most lucrative drug network in New York. His marriage, family and business all become unknowingly threatened as he is tempted to leave his criminal life behind and become the rags-to-riches businessman he has always dreamed. Mark Canton, Randall Emmett and David Knoller also serve as executive producers. The screening will be held April 7. Read More »

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Starz Ups Kevin Kasha To Head Of Acquisitions

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 11:54am PST

kashaKevin Kasha is moving up from his current role as EVP Worldwide Acquisitions at Anchor Bay Entertainment to the newly created position of Head of Acquisitions at Starz, the parent company of Anchor Bay. In his new role, Kasha will oversee … Read More »

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Hot Teaser: Starz’s ‘Outlander’

By | Saturday January 11, 2014 @ 5:08pm PST

Starz today unveiled its first trailer for new series Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling books. Ronald D. Moore exec produces the sci-fi-romance adaptation which stars Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall and brought a sneak peek to the … Read More »

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