Former HBO exec, now Starz topper, talks at TCA

Chris Albrecht made his first public appearance as the big boss of Starz on Saturday during the pay cabler’s sesh at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.

After just two weeks on the job as prexy and CEO, Albrecht didn’t have a lot to say about new projects or strategy. But he did make a point of saying the original series are not the only way that Starz can burnish its brand, especially when so many other outlets are fielding original skeins.

It’s a trap to think only of series as the way you define your network,” he said, referencing specials and event movies and minis — the kind of things that helped put HBO on the map.

He said he was “a fan” of the three original skeins Starz has on tap for this year: drama “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” which bows Friday; comedy “Party Down,” in its sophomore season; and new dark comedy “Gravity,” from scribes Eric Schaeffer and Jill Franklyn, about a group of people who attend a support group for survivors of suicide attempts.

Party Down” and “Gravity” will bow April 23 in the 10-11 p.m. slot.

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