With directors headed to the freedom of cable TV programming in droves these days — Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes, Michael Mann, Bill Condon and Kathryn Bigelow just to name a few — it’s no surprise that auteur Gus Van Sant is now making the jump.
The Starz network is getting ready to welcome Van Sant into the fold as he will executive produce and direct the eight-episode series “Boss.” With a nod to “King Lear,” the program will star Kelsey Grammer “as the Mayor of Chicago who is diagnosed with a degenerative mental condition that only he and his doctor know about.” The project has a script by Farhad Safinia (“Apocalypto“) and should be an intriguing take on the usual dramas that take place in the halls of political power.
We can’t say we’re too surprised to see Van Sant take this one. He’s always deftly juggled mainstream work and indie fare (after all, dude has got to eat) and we’re definitely curious to see how much of imprint he will put on the series. As for Grammer, perhaps best known to audiences as the longstanding, titular “Frasier,” he’s actually quite an accomplished stage actor and his move to television drama is an easy transition. While there’s no word yet on when this will air (perhaps it will be ready for the fall 2011 slate?) your next fix of Van Sant isn’t too far off as he has the oddball ghostly teen romance, “Restless,” set to hit theaters on January 28, 2011.