×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Starz Orders Drama ‘The Rook’ From Stephenie Meyer and Lionsgate

Starz has given a series order to the drama thriller “The Rook” from “Twilight” saga author Stephenie Meyer, Lionsgate, and Liberty Global.

The series marks Liberty Global’s move into original drama in partnership with Lionsgate. The supernatural spy thriller will be executive produced by Meyer and Stephen Garrett (“The Night Manager”).

Playwrights and screenwriters Sam Holcroft (“Rules for Living”) and Al Muriel (“Precious & Rich”) have adapted the 2012 novel by Daniel O’Malley for TV. Garrett will serve as showrunner under his Character 7 banner. The project was previously set up at Hulu.

Liberty Global, the international cable arm of John Malone’s empire, has been looking to expand its original production activity. It owns a small stake in Lionsgate and its CEO, Mike Fries, sits on the studio’s board of directors. Malone was also the major shareholder in Starz, which Lionsgate acquired last year.

Based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley, “Rook” will follow a young woman who wakes up in a London park suffering amnesia and surrounded by bodies, all wearing latex gloves. As she attempts to uncover her past and her role as head of Britain’s supernatural secret service, she discovers she has peculiar abilities, all while being pursued by paranormal adversaries.

Starz boss Chris Albrecht announced the series Friday at its presentation at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.

“We are thrilled to add the talents of Stephen Garrett and Stephenie Meyer to our creative family and forge our partnership with the Lionsgate Television Group and Liberty Global,” he said. “‘The Rook’ is instantly addictive from the very first scene and introduces what we believe will be one of the most fascinating and thrilling female protagonists on television.”

Liberty Global signaled its intention to move into original drama with four projects coming through All3Media, the U.K. production group it half-owns. “The Rook” is the first and will launch internationally at the same time as in the U.S.

Liberty Global chief programming officer Bruce Mann said “The Rook” was an important step in its scripted strategy.

“We want shows that are distinctive and have a European sensibility,” he told Variety. “It’s a shiny drama from a U.S. studio with a universal story, based in the U.K. with a strong female lead. We think it will travel really well.”

Liberty Global will carry the show in the countries where it has cable platforms. Lionsgate will distribute the show in the rest of the world. Liberty Global is the largest international cable group, with services including Virgin Media in the U.K., Unitymedia in Germany, and UPC in the Netherlands. These will carry “The Rook” as an on-demand offering.

” ‘The Rook’ is a major premium property driven by an amazing creative team, and it’s not only a terrific addition to the Starz platform but the perfect series to launch a content alliance with our friends at Liberty Global,” said Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs and Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s president of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution.

(Pictured: Stephenie Meyer)

More TV

  • 'SNL' Turns the Impeachment Hearings into

    'Saturday Night Live' Turns the Impeachment Hearings into a Soap Opera (Watch)

    “Saturday Night Live” kicked off its Nov. 16 episode with a take on the biggest news story of the previous week (and foreseeable future): the impeachment hearings. But another big story of the week, especially in Hollywood, was how NBC’s last remaining daytime drama, “Days of our Lives,” had let its actors out of their [...]

  • Andy Cohen attends BravoCon's "Watch What

    'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City' to Debut in 2020

    Bravo announced Saturday during its first annual BravoCon that a tenth “Real Housewives” series, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” will debut in 2020. Bravo host and “Real Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen made the announcement during a panel titled “Ask Andy” at the NYC convention. “We’ve always tried to choose a city that [...]

  • The Simpsons

    Disney Plus Will Make 'The Simpsons' Available in Original Uncropped Format in Early 2020

    Eep! After an outcry from “The Simpsons” aficionados, Disney has decided to offer classic episodes of the iconic animated sitcom on Disney Plus in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio early next year. The streaming service launched Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands with the full batch of “Simpsons” episodes in 16-by-9 HD [...]

  • Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar

    Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar Buzz for 'Waves': 'Kind of Surreal'

    Sterling K. Brown can’t quite comprehend the awards attention he’s receiving for his work in the A24 drama “Waves.” “If the Academy sees fit to put me in a category with people who I absolutely adore, I will pee all over myself, dude” the Emmy winner says on the latest episode of “The Big Ticket.” [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas

    TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas Nominees Announced

    In today’s TV news roundup, Humanitas has released the finalists for the 45th Annual Humanitas Prize, and YouTube announced a new beauty competition series hosted by James Charles.  CASTINGS Jason Kennedy has been named as the host of E!’s new series “In The Room.“ The “E! News” host will bring viewers inside celebrity homes for [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viacom Extends 'The Office,' 'Parks and Recreation' Syndication Deals

    “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” reruns will continue to air on Viacom linear networks for the foreseeable future. The company announced that it has reached a new deal with NBCUniversal to keep “The Office” on Comedy Central through 2021. The series will then air in a non-exclusive window on Viacom Media Networks through 2025. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content