Starz Greenlights Drama ‘Sweetbitter’

Starz has ordered straight to series six half-hour episodes of scripted drama Sweetbitter, based on the novel by Stephanie Danler. Sweetbitter centers on 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated restaurant. Introduced to the world of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars and fine dining, she learns to navigate her new life.

Previously announced as a development project for Starz in July, Danler has written the script for the first episode. Stu Zicherman (The Americans, The Affair) will executive produce alongside Danler.

Plan B Entertainment will produce.

“Stephanie’s smart, sensory and genuine storytelling is set in the world of high-end dining, fueled by too much debauchery, drugs and French wine,” said Chris Albrecht, Starz president and CEO. “Stephanie, Stu and Plan B have found an exciting way to translate the celebration of senses depicted in the book to the screen, and along the way, will post a love letter to New York City.”

Starz retains all global distribution and home entertainment rights to the series.

“This has already been a thrilling ride, and I can't wait for everyone to see how we expanded the world and characters beyond the book,” said Danler. “I've been working with the most brilliant and generous people, and am extremely grateful. It's an honor to show up to work every day.”

Ken Segna, senior VP of original programming, Patrick McDonald, VP of original programming, and Samantha Offsay, senior coordinator of original programming, are the Starz executives in charge of Sweetbitter.

Starz is part of Lionsgate.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.