BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Starz Entertainment has ordered a 10-episode second season of the much-anticipated original drama series, "Boss," prior to the series premiere on October 21 at 10PM ET/PT on STARZ. Produced by Lionsgate Television and created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto), the drama stars Emmy and Golden Globe-winner and television icon Kelsey Grammer headlining his first dramatic series. The premiere episode also marks the television directorial debut of acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant. Over the course of its eight-episode first season, "Boss" follows Chicago Mayor Tom Kane (Grammer), who holds sway over just about everything in his city. When faced with a terrible secret that threatens to topple his power, his true character is revealed: it's not power that drives Tom Kane, but his fear of losing it.
Production on the second season of "Boss" is expected to begin early 2012.
"The first time we read Farhad's script, we knew we had to make 'Boss,'" said Starz President and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Albrecht. "With each episode, the story grew richer, and the cast continued to turn in breakthrough performances. Led by Kelsey and Farhad, this creative team is giving us dramatic storytelling at its very best. For our viewers, we felt it important to start working on the next season as soon as possible."
"This early vote of confidence from our partners at Starz is extremely gratifying and reflects the tremendous work of all those involved with 'Boss' on both sides of the camera," said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group. "Kelsey's dramatic turn in this series is a powerful and radical departure from his previous television roles and we can't wait for viewers to be drawn into his fascinating world."
Creator, writer and executive producer Farhad Safinia says, "A huge thank you to our partners for their support. This is unprecedented and exciting, and I am looking forward to another season."
According to star and executive producer, Kelsey Grammer, "It's nice to get this vote of confidence. Good thinking, I love this show."
"Kelsey Grammer is riveting," says Jonathan Storm of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and RedEye Chicago's Curt Wagner comments that, "Grammer delivers a bravura performance." "Boss" gets an "A-" from the Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert, noting "the script is tight and ambitious."
Joining Grammer in the main cast this season are Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Devil's Advocate) as his wife Meredith, a formidable Chicago power in her own right; Jeff Hephner ("The O.C.," "Hellcats," "Easy Money") as ambitious young politician Alex Zajac; Hannah Ware (Cop Out) as the Kanes' estranged daughter Emma; Kathleen Robertson ("Girls Club," "Beverly Hills, 90210," Hollywoodland) as Mayor Kane's supremely organized aide Kitty O'Neil; Martin Donovan ("Weeds," Unthinkable) as Kane's savvy senior advisor who helps the Mayor achieve his agenda; and Troy Garity (Sunshine, Bandits) as enterprising journalist Sam Miller, who is zeroing in on Kane.
"Boss" was created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto), who is also an executive producer on the series, along with Grammer, Van Sant, Brian Sher, Stella Bulochnikov, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene. Lionsgate Television is producing "Boss" in association with Grammer's Grammnet NH Productions, Roya Productions and Old Friends Productions.
Grammer, who earned a Tony Award nomination in 2010 for his starring role in the Broadway production of "La Cage Aux Folles," is a multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award winner for his portrayal of Frasier Crane in the long-running TV series "Cheers" and "Frasier." His dramatic feature film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and 15 Minutes.
Van Sant's credits include Milk, Good Will Hunting (both of which earned him Oscar® nominations for Best Director), Finding Forrester and To Die For. He also played himself in an episode of the television series "Entourage."
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men," "Weeds," and "Nurse Jackie" along with the popular comedy "Blue Mountain State" and the upcoming "Boss," as well as the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne," its spinoff "Meet The Browns," "The Wendy Williams Show," "Are We There Yet?" and the upcoming "Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse." Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such hits as The Expendables, Lincoln Lawyer, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, The Last Exorcism, Kick Ass and the critically-acclaimed Precious, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
SOURCE Starz Entertainment