Patrick Stewart is looking to the likes of Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow and Piers Morgan to give America his blunt take on the news.
Stewart’s Starz show “Blunt Talk,” executive produced by Seth MacFarlane, premiered Monday at the DGA Theater Complex in Hollywood. Stewart plays British journalist Walter Blunt, who tries to fix America’s problems using his news show in Los Angeles. However, Blunt has problems of his own, from heavy alcohol and drug abuse to his porn-producer next-door neighbor, played by Brett Gelman.
Stewart said he’s visited with Maddow and Morgan to get insight on leading a newsroom.
“I had breakfast with Piers,” Stewart said. “I was really interested in what it felt like being an English journalist coming to work on an American TV show. He talked a lot about that and gave me a lot of other advice too. And I’m pretty certain we will be inviting Piers to be on the show.”
“I watched a lot of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ as a kid, and I had the same thought that I’m sure everyone here had,” MacFarlane said before the screening. “Why is this great comedian being wasted on drama? I wanted to put right what I saw as a great wrong.”
“Blunt Talk” was written by Jonathan Ames (“Bored to Death”). He said Morgan’s persona struck him as the perfect idea for an initial pitch.
“The night before my phone call with Seth MacFarlane I happened to be channel surfing and I saw Piers Morgan on CNN and I kind of thought, ‘Patrick Stewart would look amazing in such a chair, in front of such a background, like something out of George Orwell,'” Ames said.
Others in attendance included Timm Sharp, Jacki Weaver and Adrian Scarborough, who plays Stewart’s caring, bumbling manservant and right-hand man.
“It’s been pretty cool, I must say,” Scarborough said on working with Stewart. “He’s such a consummate professional. You find yourself upping your own game when you’re standing next to him.”
After the premiere, Stewart and MacFarlane joined the rest of the cast at an after-party at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Other cast members in attendance included Trace Lysette, Karan Soni, Mary Holland and Richard Lewis. Ed Helms also showed up at the premiere.
The 10-episode season of “Blunt Talk” premieres at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Aug. 22 on Starz.
(Pictured: Starz’s Chris Albrecht, Patrick Stewart, Seth Macfarlane and Jonathan Ames at the “Blunt Talk” premiere)