Starz is getting into the original TV movie business, which has been dominated by HBO in the premium cable space. The network has partnered with frequent collaborator the BBC on the British broadcaster’s production of The Dresser starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen. A TV adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, the project stars Hopkins as an ailing actor and McKellen as his devoted backstage hand and dresser. It is set against the backdrop of World War II and inspired by Harwood’s experiences as a dresser for the distinguished British actor/manager Sir Donald Wolfit. Colin Callender of Playground Entertainment executive produces.
In other Starz news today at TCA, the network will launch its first comedy block in 2015 with Survivor’s Remorse and Blunt Talk, the upcoming series from Seth MacFarlane and Jonathan Ames starring Patrick Stewart, which has a two-season order.
Ash vs. Evil Dead, the Evil Dead sequel series starring Bruce Campbell, will film in New Zealand and premiere at the end of third or fourth quarter of 2015. Overall, Starz will carry some 70 episodes of original series for 2015.