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Starz orders 'Project Greenlight' follow-up 'The Chair' -- EXCLUSIVE

Chris Moore, the executive producer of Oscar-winner Good Will Hunting and HBO’s Project Greenlight, is back with a new filmmaking competition series with a twist. The Chair, which Starz has ordered as its first original unscripted series for 10 episodes to air in fall 2014, follows two directors as they take their first feature film to the big screen. The catch: Each director is provided with the exact same screenplay to transform into his or her own distinct movie. READ FULL STORY

Starz greenlights half-hour comedy from LeBron James

And it’s a slam dunk for executive producer LeBron James.

Starz has officially picked up Survivor’s Remorse, a half-hour comedy from James, Tom Werner, Mike O’Malley, Maverick Carter, and Paul Wachter. Written by O’Malley, Survivor’s Remorse will explore what happens when an athlete leaves the world of professional basketball behind.

“Ever since I got cut from the freshman hoop team at Bishop Guertin High School in 1980, I’ve wanted to write about my love and hatred of basketball,” O’Malley said in a press release. “Starz has given us great freedom to explore an authentic world inspired by Maverick and LeBron. Tom’s legendary TV career and his experiences as a professional sports owner combined with Paul’s wealth of business and entertainment industry relationships have given this team a truly strong foundation to build a successful series.”

The series will focus in on Cam Calloway, a young 20-something who’s thrown into the basketball world with a multimillion-dollar contract. From “opportunistic family members” to the ups and downs of stardom, Cam and his cousin Reggie will have to face everything that comes along with being a well-known professional athlete.

Survivor’s Remorse is set to debut its six-episode first season in the fall.

LeBron James joins forces with Starz for new sitcom

LeBron James is joining forces with Starz and the man behind classic shows like The Cosby Show to create a sitcom that will touch on something he knows a lot about – Survivor’s Remorse.

The Miami Heat star will be the executive producer of the half-hour show. It will focus on two people who make it big after getting out of Philadelphia’s inner city and will chronicle the characters as they try to adjust to that fame along with feelings of guilt for having made it while peers are still struggling.

James is working on the project with his business partner and longtime friend Maverick Carter, along with Tom Werner, the force behind shows such as The Cosby Show and Roseanne. Actor Mike O’Malley will also be an executive producer.

Starz exec on 'Boss' movie, ordering more 'Black Sails,' and 'Magic City' renewal

Sorry Boss fans, that movie isn’t happening.

Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht addressed the demise of the idea today during a quick Q&A at the Television Critics Association press tour, taking place through Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.  “We tried to make that happen but Farhad [Sarfina, the show's creator] didn’t see it in his head. So he wasn’t going to be able to come up with a way to do that and there was no way we were going to proceed without him.”

Meanwhile, there’s much happier news for Black Sails, which got a second season pick up before the first season even premieres. Albrecht explained the early vote of confidence, saying, “We love this show, so it was definitely the strength of what we saw, our realization that time is a real resource when it comes to making these shows, and I think the Comic-Con reaction certainly reenforced what we knew ourselves.”  The first season of the Michael Bay-produced series premieres in January.

50 Cent teams up with Starz for 'Power'-ful new drama

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is going back to the streets: Starz announced that it has greenlit Power, an hour-long drama executive produced by the rapper and actor. The series follows James “Ghost” St. Patrick, an ambitious New York club owner who leads a double life as a drug kingpin. Courtney Kemp Agboh, previously a writer-producer on The Good Wife, joins as showrunner.

Starz renews 'Da Vinci's Demons' for second season

More than 2.1 million viewers tuned-in to the series premiere of Da Vinci’s Demons last weekend, making it the highest-rated premiere ever for a Starz original series, and prompting the network to greenlight a second season of the drama before its second episode even makes it to the air.

Starz announced today that season two of Da Vinci’s Demons will begin production in Wales in next month, with an anticipated on-air return expected in 2014.

Tom Riley stars as the world-famous artist during his turbulent youth in Renaissance-era Florence. The show, which premiered with a strong lead-in from the series finale of Spartacus: War of the Damned and earned largely mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, was created by David Goyer, co-writer of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and screenwriter of this summer’s Man of Steel.

Read more:
‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ star Tom Riley talks proper Renaissance heavage
‘Spartacus’ series finale gains victorious ratings
First look: ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ official poster — EXCLUSIVE

'Spartacus: War of the Damned' premiere: Will Gannicus be the next gladiator leader? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

The final season of Spartacus — slugged with the subtitle War of the Damned — doesn’t premiere until this Friday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. on Starz, but EW has a sneak peek of the first episode for you.

In the clip, we find Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and Gannicus (Dustin Clare) having a meeting of the minds, but what’s really going down is that Spartacus is trying to convince Gannicus to take a leadership role in the gladiators’ fight against the ruling Romans. “A greater number, still, would follow you in battle,” Spartacus tells Gannicus, who seems extremely apprehensive at the proposition. Spartacus ends the clip by assuring Gannicus he isn’t leading the fight for vanity or deification: “Victory against the Romans is my only concern.” Click through to watch.


Starz buys pirate series from 'Transformers' helmer

Starz has ordered eight episodes of Black Sails, a pirate adventure series from Michael Bay (Transformers).

The first season will focus on Captain Flint and his men and will take place 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure novel, Treasure Island. The drama is expected to bow in 2014. Here’s a description from the pay net: “Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day — a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality.”

“Starz is excited to be working with a visionary like Michael,’” said Starz chief Chris Albrecht in a statement. “Along with the high-octane action that is a hallmark of a Michael Bay production, it has the elements that Starz originals are striving to bring to the premium landscape … epic, larger than life, cinematic storytelling. The series is also a property we believe will appeal to the global content marketplace with broadcasters around the world.”

The series is created by showrunner and executive producer Jon Steinberg (Jericho, Human Target) and co-executive producer Robert Levine (Touch). Production is set to shoot at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.

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