If you haven’t been all that impressed with the trailers for Outlander, STARZ’s latest attempt at scoring a Game of Thrones for their very own, here’s a clip that might change your mind. Instead of focusing on the time travel, it focuses on the time travelee.
Apparently, the television deities wish to reward me for subscribing to STARZ. I broke down because Outlander was coming. I’ll stay because now they’re going to have American Gods, directed by Bryan Fuller.
Yes, you read that right. After being rescued from HBO’s development hell from Freemantle, the network they ended up on was STARZ. With Bryan Fuller. As in, Pushing Daisys‘ Bryan Fuller. The man who is currently responsible for Hannibal being a watchable show. He will be co-showrunning, along with Michael Green (the man responsible for Heroes. Take that as you will.)
I know, the rest of the internet fainted too. From the press release:
Bryan Fuller: “Neil Gaiman has created the holiest of holy toy boxes with ‘American Gods’ and filled it with all manner of magical thing, born of new gods and old. Michael Green and I are thrilled to crack this toy box wide open and unleash the fantastical titans of heaven and earth and Neil’s vividly prolific imagination.”
Gaiman will be executive producing. His statement below.
One of the most exciting things about Game of Thrones runaway success is it opens the door to other niche fantasy getting picked up for TV series with the hope of riding the coattails. STARZ (who already tried to hit it big with Spartacus and The Bellagios is out of the gate first with Outlander.
STARZ has yet to manage to bring in the viewers to anywhere near the level of HBO. This might be the thing that does it. Or then again, we might just wait for HBO to bring us Oryx and Crake if we’re jonesing for scifi/fantasy style love stories.
We should have seen this coming. Premium channels who do series are now looking at high end fantasy to adapt. Starz is even hedging its bets, not just content to adapt Diana Gabaldon‘s complex Outlander series for TV, but having it adapted by none other that Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore.
I personally love the way they synopsis the book down to a sentence:
Described as spanning the genres of romance, science-fiction, history, and adventure in one tale, Outlander follows a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously transported back in time to 1743 where she is forced to marry a romantic young Scottish warrior.
Well, yes, but…no.
Not only do we have Disney dragging out the Carribean franchise for an extra dead horse flogging in hopes more money will fall out, but now STARZ is attempting to bring pirates to the small screen. According to Blastr:
Neil Marshall, who directed the awesome “Blackwater” episode of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, is lined up to direct Black Sails at the pay cable network, which scored a recent genre hit with Spartacus.
Currently in preproduction, the series is set 20 years before Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, and will follow famed pirated Captain Flint during his daring adventures.
Unsurprisingly, STARZ is not so thrilled about Torchwood’s failure to attract new subscribers.
Before stepping before reporters at TV critics tour, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told EW he doesn’t envision the cult favorite as an annual event. The show’s 10-episode order was a large and unusual commitment for Torchwood partner BBC, he pointed out, and he hinged the pickup more on whether creator Russell T Davies comes up with a great new idea that can work for both partners. “Torchwood is not one of the show we went into thinking about a yearly return,” Albrecht said moments later to critics. “It’s about Russell T Davies … he has a lot of things on his plate. If Torchwood is at the top of his list, that will effect the future of Torchwood.”
I’m not really sure what STARZ thought they were doing here. Getting a cult show and hoping it forces people to buy your mostly redundant over-priced set of channels is an outdated model that hasn’t been in place since Sex and the City and The Sopranos went off the air. HBO can take chances with shows like Game of Thrones because they established themselves back when that model worked.
If anything, STARZ should have used this to promote the STARZ -Streaming feature on Netflix, which is the real future of these subscriber channels. (They also should have made all the episodes on-demand instead of just the first one, so that people could be lured in anytime during the ten week run.)
As much as I enjoy Torchwood, I think I’ll be ok with this being its final bow. Otherwise it really does risk going from Dr Who Does X-Files to Dr Who Does 24.