Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Starz Orders Two Seasons of Jonathan Ames' First Show Since 'Bored to Death,' Co-Produced by Seth MacFarlane

Photo of Ben Travers By Ben Travers | Indiewire April 29, 2014 at 2:57PM

The premium cable network has ordered their first comedy series since "Party Down" went off the air in 2010.
2
Bored To Death

Starz is getting back into the comedy world in a big way. Not only did they order their first comedy series since the cult smash "Party Down," but they committed to two seasons of it. "Blunt Talk" is a half-hour scripted series created by Jonathan Ames and co-produced by Ames and Seth MacFarlane. Starz announced its 20 episode, straight-to-series order today.

The series stars Patrick Stewart, who will also serve as a producer, as Walter Blunt, a British news anchor who moves overseas to try to conquer the world of American cable news. Though well-intentioned, Blunt's decision-making is less than stellar, as evidenced by his numerous ex-wives, illegitimate children, and an alcoholic manservant he brought with him to Los Angeles.

"I'm beyond thrilled to be working with Jonathan Ames and Sir Patrick Stewart," said Seth Macfarlane. "Jonathan's creative talent is formidable, and his writing style is wholly original, hilarious, and provocative. And of course, Patrick Stewart is one of the greatest actors alive today. His skill and versatility are unmatched, and he will excel as the star of his own show. Thank you Starz for allowing us to bring Walter Blunt to life!"

While the premise sounds like a program designed for CBS or FOX with a multi-camera setup and a laugh track, "Blunt Talk" has one big ace in its creative engine: Ames. Serving as creator, writer, showrunner, and executive producer, Ames last and only other TV show was the short-lived but brilliant "Bored to Death." Ames doesn't have any writing credits since the show ended in 2011, implying he's been cooking this project up for a while. Stewart's attachment also points to higher pedigree. The man made famous for his portrayals of Captain Picard and Professor Xavier has done voice work on MacFarlane's two animated Fox shows, "American Dad" and "Family Guy." 

"My career took an abrupt and radical left turn when Seth McFarlane created CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock on 'American Dad,'" Stewart said. "This new character, Walter Blunt, is not at all like Avery, thank God, because this is live action and I am a Knight of the Realm. Blunt is, however, much smarter than Avery and has his own TV show, which has to be better than being Deputy Director of the CIA."

Starz obviously has faith in the three-man team. A two-season order is quite the gesture, even to woo top talent like MacFarlane, and they haven't dabbled in comedy since "Party Down." Can the company behind one cult favorite and the man behind another generate a surefire hit for a network in need of one? MacFarlane must think so. Here's hoping this is closer to "COSMOS" quality than "Family Guy."

This article is related to: Jonathan Ames, Seth MacFarlane, Seth MacFarlane, Starz, Television, Television






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More