Chris Albrecht has just made his first TCA appearance as the big boss of Starz.
After two weeks on the job, 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 – the kind of things that helped put HBO on the map.
Albrecht joked that in the early days of HBO’s efforts at original programming he used to tell his boss Michael Fuchs that “there’s never a specific and exact science to measuring success in the pay TV business. We’ll just say they’re successful and keep ordering them. Who’s going to know?”
But now that the pay TV biz is such a fertile landscape for original fare, Albrecht said he’s not going to have to “convince” creative talent to work at Starz. 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 next week, the sophomore year of “Party Down” and new dark comedy “Gravity,” from Eric Schaeffer, about a group of suicide-attempt survivors.
“Party Down” and “Gravity” will bow on April 23 in the 10-11 pm slot.