TCA: Starz's Albrecht: ‘Women Are Underserved in Premium Space'

Net Targeting Female-Fronted Projects Like Upcoming ‘White Queen,' ‘Outlander'

Los Angeles -- Starz's upcoming drama The White Queen is a period drama like much of the network's other series, but CEO Chris Albrecht said the fact that it centered on a female character was a big reason for picking it up.

"The take on telling the story through the eyes of women, I think, made it unique, which was something that we felt made it more right for Starz," he said during comments at the TCA press tour on Friday. "The quality was there, and it also moved me and us further down a path that I have been thinking of, which is that women are underserved in the premium space."

Albrecht has seen the success of premium television for women since he led HBO when it was airing the seminal series Sex and the City. In addition to White Queen, Starz has the upcoming Outlander, which follows the story of a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 and forced to marry a young Scottish warrior.

"While, certainly, we want shows that have broad appeal, I do think that we are now more sensitive to saying there may be an opportunity here for us, and White Queen fit into that," he said.

Other highlights from Albrecht's comments include:

• On the future of Magic City: He said there are surprises in store for the last three episodes of its second season, but wouldn't say whether the period drama would be renewed. "We're fans of the show. As I've said before, our policy process is one or two seasons of a show to really get behind something if we like the work. We're now evaluating all the options."

• On a possible Boss movie: "That's not going to happen. We tried to make that happen and [creator] Farhad [Safinia] just didn't see it in his head. So if he wasn't going to be able to come up with a way to do that, then there was certainly no way to proceed without him."

• On the death of Sopranos star James Gandolfini: "[He] was part of years and an experience and a project that changed my life and that changed everybody's lives that were intimately involved with it. I remember the first time I saw him and I'll never forget it. He was extraordinarily talented, and I have said this before, but in my opinion, nobody has ever been better in anything than James in The Sopranos. He will be missed and he was a very nice man."