[07/29/09 - 12:56 PM]
Starz Pacts with Eric Schaeffer and Jill Franklyn for New Dramedy Set in Unlikeliest Place for Laughs
The show, tentatively titled "Failure to Fly," is set to debut in early 2010.

[via press release from Starz]



Burbank, CA and Denver, CO � July 29, 2009 � Eric Schaeffer has demonstrated a wicked and offbeat sense of humor in his acclaimed independent features and forays into TV. Writer/producer Jill Franklyn showed there are Emmy�-worthy laughs in a simple phrase like "Yada, Yada, Yada." Starz, for its part, has proven itself a home for unconventional programming with original series that have helped set them apart from the typical TV fare. So it makes sense that Starz has joined forces joining with Schaeffer and Franklyn to create a new half-hour series that wrings big laughs out of some profoundly troubled people.

The show, tentatively titled "Failure to Fly," is set to debut, exclusively on Starz, in early 2010, Starz EVP, Programming Stephan Shelanski, and Starz Media EVP, Originals Production and Development Bill Hamm jointly announced today. The 10-episode series is a surprisingly affirming dramatic comedy that revolves around the funny, sometimes poignant members of a support group for people who once tried to commit suicide but who are now embracing a new chance at life.

Schaeffer, the actor/director/writer/producer quadruple threat behind such features as If Lucy Fell, as well as the TV series "Starved" and "I Can't Believe I'm Still Single," will costar in "Failure to Fly" as well. The new Starz Originals series will be shot in New York City, where Schaeffer is based.

He is partnered with Franklyn, who was nominated for an Emmy� Award for co-writing the "Yada, Yada" episode of "Seinfeld," and has written on numerous series and amongst her features is the screenplay for My First Mister.

Dan Pasternack ("Starved," "Beggars and Choosers") will be executive producer along with Schaeffer and Franklyn on "Failure to Fly." Daniel Hank ("Starved") is producer on the series.

"Eric and Jill have the ideal sensibility and the track record for creating smart, funny and original entertainment, which is why we're sure they'll create TV's next stand-out comedy series," Shelanski said. "At Starz, we are focused on giving our audience the kind of quality programming they can't find anywhere else, and this new series will continue that tradition of fresh, fearless comedy."

"There will be nothing morose or morbid about this show; instead, we're looking at people who have seized a second chance at life, but they're a decidedly unusual group of people," Schaeffer said. "Jill and I can't wait to bring them to life � and keep them alive!"

"The best comedy typically comes from placing unforgettable characters in the most unexpected situations, and the setting of this show certainly speaks to that," Franklyn added. "Eric and I are really excited to be part of the original series and great movies on Starz."

Starz has already enjoyed success and critical acclaim for its ground-breaking comedies "Party Down" and "Head Case." The channel is equally committed to barrier-smashing drama series, with "Crash" getting set for its second season debut this fall, and the utterly original "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" due to premiere in January, 2010.

About Starz Entertainment

Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. It offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz� and Encore� brands with approximately 18.1 million and 31.9 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Encore HD, Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, MoviePlex On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, Encore HD On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and Starz Play. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Entertainment Group, a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.

About Starz Media

Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company operating worldwide. It includes the Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action programming � including theatrical films � and programming created under contract for other media companies. It distributes that programming, and programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers, theaters, broadcasters, ad supported and premium television channels, and Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Capital Group.

  [july 2009]  


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