Starz Entertainment will push
its Encore premium channel into original
scripted-series waters next month with a retelling
of Moby Dick.
The 33 million-subscriber premium service,
which currently airs classic
blockbuster film titles,
will premiere a three-hour
version of Moby Dick on
Aug. 1 and 2, according to
network officials. The onscreen
adaption of Herman
Melville’s novel will star William Hurt,
Ethan Hawke and Gillian Anderson.
Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president
of programming for Starz Entertainment, told
Multichannel News the audience’s familiarity
with Moby Dick, along with the stars in the
cast, made the project a perfect catalyst for its
original programming initiative.
A second Encore project, The
Take — a miniseries starring
Tom Hardy and based on Martina
Cole’s best-selling crime
thriller — will premiere later in
the fall, Encore said.
The network will also air a documentary,
Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, about
the 85-year-old comedian/actor.
“We think this is one of the major components
to continue to grow Encore,” Shelanski
said. “Just doing movies alone can be difficult. Movies are becoming so prevalent in so
many spaces that we wanted to add another
element to the Encore lineup, as well as bring
some more attention to Encore.”
Also on Aug. 1, Encore is adding a Spanishlanguage
channel to its seven-channel multiplex;
rebranding WAM! and the Mystery
channel as Encore Family and Encore Suspense,
respectively; and launching HD versions
of Encore Action and Encore Drama.