Starz has given a straight-to-series order to The One Percent, an hourlong project from filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (Birdman) and MRC, which has Ed Helms set to star and Hilary Swank and Ed Harris poised to co-star. The order is for 10 episodes. MRC developed The One Percent internally and attached Helms, Swank and Harris before recently taking the project out to cable networks, garnering multiple offers. The One Percent deal follows another recent MRC straight-to-series sale to Starz, a two-season pickup for a new live-action comedy from Seth MacFarlane. The One Percent follows a downtrodden farmer (Helms) as he struggles to hold onto his family and his farm, when a bizarre twist of fate becomes a life-changing secret that will either save them or ruin them. Helms will play the lead role of Alfred Murphy, who is struggling professionally and personally to keep the family business afloat. Swank is in final negotiations to play his wife, Laura Murphy. Harris will play the family patriarch, Nathaniel Cobb. He just signed on as one of the leads of HBO’s drama pilot Westworld, which has him in first position. I hear he will appear on The One Percent in a guest starring capacity.
The One Percent was created and written by Gonzalez Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Nicolás Giacobone and Armando Bo. The quartet, who recently collaborated on Birdman, will serve as executive producers. Gonzalez Iñárritu will direct the first two episodes and set the visual style of the show. The series reunites MRC and Gonzalez Iñárritu, who worked together on the Best Picture Oscar-nominated film Babel.