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Starz Ends the Reign of Kelsey Grammer Political Drama 'Boss'

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire November 20, 2012 at 1:11PM

It had a great leading turn from Kelsey Grammer as ruthless (and terminally ill) Mayor Tom Kane. It featured a smart if breathtakingly cynical take on Chicago politics. It was created by Farhad Safinia (writer of "Apocalypto") and had no less than Gus Van Sant as the director of its first episode. But "Boss," Starz's first stab at HBO/AMC-style prestige programming, never quite gelled as must-see TV or attracted a significant audience, and today the network announced that it's calling an end to the show after two seasons.
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Sanaa Lathan and Kelsey Grammer in 'Boss'
Starz Sanaa Lathan and Kelsey Grammer in 'Boss'

It had a great leading turn from Kelsey Grammer as ruthless (and terminally ill) Mayor Tom Kane. It featured a smart if breathtakingly cynical take on Chicago politics. It was created by Farhad Safinia (writer of "Apocalypto") and had no less than Gus Van Sant as the director of its first episode. But "Boss," Starz's first stab at HBO/AMC-style prestige programming, never quite gelled as must-see TV or attracted a significant audience, and today the network announced that it's calling an end to the show after two seasons.

READ MORE: Trailer for Starz's New Series 'Da Vinci‚Äôs Demons,' from 'Batman Begins' Writer David S. Goyer

Variety reports that one of the problems faced by the ratings-challenged Lionsgate-produced drama is that Starz didn't own the global rights and so wasn't making ancillary revenue off of them, unlike the fully owned "Magic City," which hasn't performed much better in ratings but offers other financial opportunities for the network. Starz released the following statement to several outlets:

After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not proceed with "Boss." We remain proud of this award-winning show, its exceptional cast and writers, and are grateful to Kelsey Grammer, Farhad Safinia and our partners at Lionsgate TV.

Grammer, who won a Golden Globe for his role in "Boss," was part of a cast that included Connie Nielsen, Troy Garity, Kathleen Robertson, Sanaa Lathan and rapper T.I. The first season, which aired in 2011, consists of eight episodes, while the second, which ended on October 19th, contains 10. Deadline claims that Lionsgate TV and Starz are in talks to potentially make a two-hour movie to close the series, which seems to be a familiar cable cancellation refrain.

READ MORE: Starz Sets a Premiere Date for the Final Season of 'Spartacus: War of the Damned'

Starz is readying for the premiere of the final season of its sword-and-sandals hit "Spartacus" on January 25th, and recently released a trailer for its new series "Da Vinci's Demons," from "Batman Begins" writer David S. Goyer, slated to premiere in the spring of 2013.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, Starz, Boss, Kelsey Grammer





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