Starz has slated an October premiere for the Kelsey Grammer drama “Boss,” which marks the most high-profile original series venture since Chris Albrecht took the reins of Liberty Media’s pay cabler nearly 18 months ago.

Gus Van Sant is set to make his smallscreen helming debut on the first episode of the Lionsgate TV skein, which begins production in Chicago next week. Grammer plays Tom Kane, the fictional mayor of Chi who is consumed with Machievellian machinations, inside and outside of City Hall. Cast includes Connie Nielsen, Jeff Hephner, Hannah Ware and Kathleen Robertson.

Starz gave the show an eight-episode order last fall on the strength of a spec script from Farhad Safinia (“Apocalypto”). Safinia, Grammer, Van Sant, Brian Sher, Stella Stolper, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene are exec producers.