It’s a good time to be Starz right now. The premium cable network’s new scripted offerings have been met with considerable success, particularly recent arrival Outlander, which received 3.7 million views when combining Starz’s free sampling campaign of the pilot with actual premiere numbers. No longer can Starz simply be considered a lesser HBO; from Black Sails to Power to Outlander, the network is taking steps to cement its status as a home to top-tier programming. Now, Starz has handed a straight-to-series order to another project bound to boost its rep – The One Percent, from Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu.
The premium cable network has picked up 10 episodes of the drama, which is toplined by Ed Helms, Hilary Swank and Ed Harris. Set in the world of organic farming, One Percent focuses on Alfred Murphy (Helms), a member of a dysfunctional family struggling to keep their farm from financial ruin, until a bizarre twist of fate changes their lives forever. Swank is set to portray Alfred’s wife, Laura Murphy, while Harris will play family patriarch Nathaniel Cobb.
Iñárritu created the drama and will direct the first two episodes of the first season, on which Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Nicolas Giacobone and Armando Bo are also credited as co-creators. The same team worked on Birdman, considered to be one of this fall’s major Oscar contenders.
One Percent is just one of many intriguing scripted entries Starz has coming down the pipeline. October will bring Survivor’s Remorse, a half-hour comedy about life as a pro basketball player, which Lebron James exec-produced. Limited series The Missing, about parents reeling from the disappearance of their child, premieres this November. Sometime in 2015, we’ll see Seth MacFarlane-created Blunt Talk, starring Patrick Stewart as a talk show host who moves across the pond from the U.K. to America in order to host a new series. Flesh and Bone, a drama set in the intense world of high-stakes ballet, is also landing in 2015.
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