Deadline told you about the Kelsey Grammer Starz series Boss last fall, and now the network has confirmed everything, with Gus Van Sant set to make his TV directing debut. Not included in the release is that Troy Garity will join the series for a key story arc as a newspaper reporter. Here’s the release:
Beverly Hills, Calif. – April 20, 2011 – Production begins April 27 in Chicago on “Boss,” an original dramatic series from STARZ and Lionsgate Television, starring TV icon Kelsey Grammer and with its first episode directed by acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant in his TV helming debut. Over its eight-episode season, the show centers on the Machiavellian machinations of a fictional Chicago mayor with a dark secret and is set to premiere exclusively on STARZ in October 2011.
Joining Grammer, who will be making his first dramatic TV series debut as Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, in the main cast on “Boss” are Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Devil’s Advocate) as his wife Meredith, a formidable Chicago power in her own right; Jeff Hephner (“The O.C.,” “Hellcats,” “Easy Money”) as ambitious young politician Alex Zajac; Hannah Ware (Cop Out) as the Kanes’ estranged daughter Emma; and Kathleen Robertson (“Girls Club,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Hollywoodland) as Mayor Kane’s supremely organized aide Kitty O’Neil.
“Boss” was created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto), who is also an executive producer on the series, along with Grammer, Van Sant, Brian Sher, Stella Stolper, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene. Lionsgate Television is producing “Boss” in association with Grammer’s Gramnet Productions and Sher and Stolper’s Category 5 Entertainment.
“What drew us to ‘Boss’ is its almost classical dramatic story, full of complex, complicated characters and a story that will be fun to follow,” Starz Media Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik said. “Kelsey Grammer as Kane is the perfect match of actor and role, and having a great storyteller like Gus Van Sant at the helm means this series will be unique as well as entertaining.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Starz and to collaborate with incredible talents like Kelsey Grammer, Gus Van Sant, Farhad Safinia and the gifted producers that surround them: Brian Sher, Stella Stolper, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene,” said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group,
Grammer, who earned a Tony Awards nomination in 2010 for his starring role in the Broadway production of “La Cage Aux Folles,” is a multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe® Awards winner for his portrayal of Frasier Crane in the long-running TV series “Cheers” and “Frasier.” His dramatic feature film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and 15 Minutes. Grammer’s production company, Grammnet Productions, will be the studio on “Boss,” in association with Lionsgate Television.
Van Sant’s credits include Milk, Good Will Hunting (both of which earned him Oscar® nominations for Best Director), Finding Forrester and To Die For. He also played himself in an episode of the television series “Entourage.” He is currently slated to direct the first episode of “Boss,” and possibly others during the first season as well.