TCA: Starz To Offer Up To 75 Hours Of Original Programming

Complete Coverage: TCA Winter Press Tour 2014

Pasadena – Starz will look to offer 65 to 75 hours of original programming by 2015, putting the pay TV service on the same field as competitors HBO and Showtime, according to Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.

Albrecht, speaking Friday at Starz’ Television Critics Association winter tour session, said the network will feature four scripted series in 2014, beginning with the Jan. 25 debut of drama Black Sails. The network also said it will premiere the sophomore season of Da Vinci’s Demons on March 22 and Outlander in summer 2014.

Albrecht said the network’s original shows represent nearly half of the top 100 most watched titles in Starz’ homes, despite making up only 5% of the network’s overall schedule.

“The Starz brand is one that is evolving, and that’s part of the fun,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht said that the network is considering a sequel to its successful mini-series The White Queen, but it would happen without the BBC, which co-produced the original series with Starz.  He also said the network’s decision to renew Black Sails for a second season prior to the show’s season one premiere was shaped in part by positive audience reaction to the series at last summer’s Comic-Con in San Diego.

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R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.