With its most popular show Power ending Sunday, Starz announced three additional series set in the Power universe.
The move comes as the channel reported a drop in subscribers and faces a challenge in getting viewers to sign up under a new business arrangement with Comcast.
Starz had previously announced Power Book II: Ghost, a series that will pick up where the original show left off.
All four series in the Power Universe, from Courtney Kemp and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, will be produced by Lionsgate Television.
The new Power series will be available exclusively across Starz’ global footprint on its international platform StarzPlay, giving subscribers worldwide access to episodes day and date with the U.S. for the first time.
Starz parent Lionsgate reported its earnings earlier this week and said that its domestic subscribers were down 1.6 million from a year ago and down 1.2 million from the previous quarter. Global Starz subscribers went up 8% from a year ago.
Analysts have been focused on what the new Comcast deal will mean for Starz, in terms of how many subscribers the network will retain and how much revenue it will generate. Some subscribers who had been getting Starz will have to order it a la carte and others will pay less.
“We think the Power finale in February could be a negative churn event for Starz,” said analyst Staven Cahall at Wells Fargo in a research note Thursday. “The previous Comcast deal also expires and while Lionsgate may capture a decent chunk of revenue over time, the next couple of quarters are likely to look choppy for performance at Media Networks.”
Starz thinks adding more Power will give it a boost.
“In television history, only a select few shows have inspired four consecutive series extensions, launched into active production and development at the same time,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, CEO of Starz, in a statement. “These new and exciting chapters will continue the journey of some of Power's most controversial characters while featuring a growing ensemble of complex, distinct characters along with the high-octane drama that set Power in a class of its own.”
Power Book II: Ghost stars Mary J. Blige, Method Man and several members of the original series’ cast.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan is a prequel taking viewers to the 90s with the Kanan Stark character.
Power Book IV: Influence follow Rashad Tate, played by Larenz Tate, in his pursuit of political power.
Power Book V: Force shows Tommy Egan, played by Joseph Sikora after he leaves New York.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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