Starz Boss On Lionsgate Merger, Push For Diversity & ‘Outlander’s Future – TCA

Chris Albrecht

At Starz’s TCA presentation, CEO Chris Albrecht touted the network’s pending merger with Lionsgate that would create a “one-of-a-kind media company in today’s media landscape” that would be a “talent magnet.”

Following the Lionsgate acquisition, “Starz will remain on-strategy. We will be operating pretty autonomously, while providing — no pun intended  — a lion share of the profits,” Albrecht said. “Talent is a valuable currency: and with the combined company, “we will be able to attract more of that valuable currency and monetize it.”

Power Season 3 Starz

Starz has found success with scripted series targeting African American audiences, Power and Survivor’s Remorse. That was not a fluke but part of a strategy by Starz to target segments of the audiences that “aren’t being served in the premium space.”

“The Starz strategy is working, there are people who are willing to subscribe to Starz,” Albrecht said.

Today, Starz announced the development of a new series featuring African American characters, Pussy Valley, from playwright Katori Hall. “The success with African American audiences has been so rewarding, it just makes sense to try and continue to serve that audience,” Albrecht said.

Also high on the list of goals is finding programming for Hispanic audiences. The network has in the works Havana Quartet, starring Antonio Banderas, two projects with Televisa, Teresa and Maleficio, and an adaptation of Alisa Valdes’ novel Dirty Girls Social Club.

Starz also is after female viewers with series like Outlander and Dirty Girls Social Club. “Women have been an underserved audience in premium television, that’s why I think a new Sex and the City would be a big hit,” Albrecht said.

As for Outlander, already renewed through Book 4, Albrecht said he would start looking into ordering more seasons as he gets to the fifth book in the series. “Outlander will be around for awhile,” he said.



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