STARZ, LIONSGATE AND VIRGIN PRODUCED TEAM UP TO DEVELOP NEW SERIES, "FLEET STREET," FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PIERS MORGAN
Octagon Entertainment Attached to Produce
Beverly Hills, Calif. - May 8, 2013 - Starz and Lionsgate announced today that they will again join forces to develop a new original drama series, "Fleet Street." Set in 1970's England, the provocative new series will chronicle the rise of tabloid journalism, the sexual revolution and class warfare, all seen through the eyes of an American journalist.
The drama will be produced by Lionsgate in association with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Produced, Octagon Entertainment, and Piers Morgan's Ferret Productions. Executive producers are Piers Morgan (Piers Morgan Live on CNN, America's Got Talent), Octagon Entertainment's Managing Director John Ferriter ("Arsenio Hall Show," "It Gets Better"), and Jason Felts, Justin Berfield and Michael Forman (Virgin Produced). BAFTA Award- winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst ("Shameless" UK, "Clocking Off") will write the pilot episode and also serve as executive producer.
"Imagine an industry where every single opponent worked in the same street, competing with each other by day - drinking, brawling, fornicating, nightclubbing and cocaine-snorting with each other by night. A street full of the most ruthless and amoral people in the world existed, and it was called Fleet Street," said Piers Morgan. "In the early '70s, it became the breeding ground for modern popular journalism, as foreign media tycoons stomped over the British establishment to re-define 'news,' suddenly exposing the rich, powerful and famous in spectacular front-page scoops. It was the dawn of the celebrity era, in all its gruesome detail - a revolution that changed pop culture, and the relationship between the press and politicians, royals, and stars. Fleet Street in the '70s was a hotbed of scoops, shagging, flairs and devastating world that was also unbelievably exciting. Danny Brocklehurst has brought Fleet Street to life in a way that I believe will grip audiences."
"When Piers told me about his unbelievable experiences in the competitive world of newspapers on Fleet Street and about the characters that influenced him, I couldn't imagine a better or more compelling series. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, love, and scoops -'Fleet Street' will have them all. We couldn't be happier to be in business with STARZ, Virgin Produced, Lionsgate and Danny," said Octagon Entertainment's Managing Director John Ferriter.
"STARZ is looking forward to working with Lionsgate again on a project we have a tremendous amount of faith in," said Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht. "Fleet Street in the 70's was the Madison Avenue of the media world. The wild times and fantastical characters of Piers' past make for compelling storytelling that the STARZ audience craves."
"We've been eager to work with STARZ again on a series we all feel passionate about," said Kevin Beggs, President, Lionsgate Television Group, "and 'Fleet Street' is that project. We're excited to be working with this entire team led by Piers, who knows this fascinating world better than anyone."
"London in the 1970's was a pivotal time in the evolution of modern journalism. Piers lived it, and created, with Danny, and our team a very special series that is sure to captivate. Chris and Kevin have believed in this show from the moment we said: Fleet Street. We couldn't be happier to have partnered up," said Virgin Produced Chief Executive Officer Jason Felts.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 28 shows on 20 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, the new comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Virgin Produced
Virgin Produced serves as the film and television development, packaging and production arm of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. Led by co-founders CEO Jason Felts and Chief Creative Officer Justin Berfield, Virgin Produced is breaking the corrosive models of Old Hollywood by providing a collaborative environment that embraces talent so they can best create and inspire. Putting quality and innovation first, with an equal focus on television and film, Virgin Produced has produced feature films Limitless and Immortals. In April 2012, Virgin Produced launched its own television network, the Virgin Produced Channel, which programs high quality lifestyle, music, travel, technology and comedy content to Virgin operating companies in the transportation, mobile, broadband, radio, health club, hotel and retail industries estimated to reach 60+ million loyal Virgin brand fans globally on a daily basis. On March 1st, the Virgin Produced/ Mandeville film, 21 & Over, was released by Relativity Media.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of December 31, 2012, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 56 million subscribers, including 21 million at STARZ, and 35 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R), along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX(R), air over 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.