Attempting to build off the relative success of original programming including “Crash” and “Party Down,” Starz has announced a development slate packed with big names.
The premium cable network is moving forward on development with Rob Thomas, Matthew McConaughey, Martin Lawrence and former HBO bigwig Chris Albrecht.
Of the slate, Starz EVP Bill Hamm says, “In the two years since Starz really began to focus on producing original TV series for its premium entertainment service, we’ve consistently aimed to work with top talent in front of and behind the cameras, and this lineup of possible upcoming projects surely illustrates how serious we are about doing just that. Whether these end up being projects for Starz or other networks, we’re gratified to be working with such illustrious producing partners.”
Thomas, one of the creators of “Party Down” (as well as a little show called “Veronica Mars”), is working on the drama “Waterloo, a coming-of-age story about a young rock band. The project is based on Thomas’ own experiences and will also be produced by Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk and Jennifer Gwartz.
From McConaughey’s j.k. livin prods comes “Jonah and the Whale,” about a young man growing up in the shadow of his famous father. Starz’ home entertainment company Anchor Bay previously worked with j.k. livin on “Surfer, Dude,” which didn’t really work out that well for anybody.
Lawrence, who executive produces Starz’ “Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment Stand Up,” is behind an untitled interracial love story from writer Michael Soccio (“The King of Queens”).
Former HBO chairman Albrecht and Rob Lee are behind a previously announced series about a female photographer trying to make it in New York City and abroad.
Starz EVP, programming, Stephan Shelanski adds, “Starz is committed to producing and airing original series that break new ground and bring accomplished producers to TV. The projects that we’re developing with Starz Media look like they could be the next to fit that bill. We’re excited to see where these talented writers and producers take their ideas.”