[07/29/09 - 12:53 PM]
Starz Ramps Up Original Productions Slate
Projects from Rob Thomas, Matthew McConaughey and Martin Lawrence are among its development roster.

[via press release from Starz]


Thomas, McConaughey, Lawrence and Others Are Developing Projects as Possible Additions to Premium Channel's Lineup

Burbank, Ca. and Denver, Co � July 29, 2009 � Continuing its aggressive move into creating original, crowd-pleasing comedy and drama series, Starz is lining up some top talent to develop potential new hits for the premium service.

The projects range from comedies to dramas, and others that don't fit into traditional categories. And the producers include Rob Thomas, Matthew McConaughey, Martin Lawrence and others:

� "Waterloo" � an hour-long dramedy project from Rob Thomas (executive producer and co-creator of Starz's hit comedy "Party Down" as well as "Veronica Mars"), it's a coming of age story about a young rock band, based on Thomas' own experiences. Joining Thomas as producers on the project are Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk and Jennifer Gwartz.

� "Jonah and the Whale" � Matthew McConaughey, Mark Gustawes and Chad Mountain, through their company j.k. livin prods, are the executive producers of a comedy about a young man growing up in the shadow of a famous � and disapproving � father. j.k. livin prods previously produced "Surfer, Dude" which was released by Starz's sibling home entertainment company, Anchor Bay Entertainment.

� Untitled Martin Lawrence Comedy � The film and TV star, and executive producer of "Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment Stand Up" on Starz, is developing an interracial love story, being written and developed by Michael Soccio ("The King of Queens").

� Untitled Chris Albrecht/Rob Lee Project � This already announced project from the former chairman/CEO of HBO and the former head of worldwide programming at IMG Global Media, respectively, is about a rising, maverick female photographer trying to make her mark in the New York and international fashion scenes - and her relationships and battles with lovers of both sexes.

"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," Starz Media EVP Originals Production and Development Bill Hamm notes. "Whether these end up being projects for Starz or other networks, we're gratified to be working with such illustrious producing partners."

"Starz is committed to producing and airing original series that break new ground and bring accomplished producers to TV," Starz EVP, Programming, Stephan Shelanski adds. "The projects that 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."

Starz Media programs on Starz include "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," currently in production for its debut season; "Crash" (a co-production with Lionsgate), now shooting its second season; and "Party Down," gearing up for production of its second season. In addition, production is slated to begin in October on the newest series for Starz, tentatively titled "Failure to Fly," an offbeat dramatic comedy from producers Eric Schaeffer and Jill Franklyn, which is due to debut in spring of 2010.

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.

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.

  [july 2009]  


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