It was Starz’s turn at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday as CEO Jeffrey Hirsch discussed the “John Wick” spin-off series “The Continental,” a “Weeds” reboot, “Power” spin-offs and the future of “Outlander”.
Starz’s domestic streaming business has grown 70% from the prior year, ending its last quarter with 5.6 million subscribers and positioning itself as a ‘cherry on top’ service, one not trying to be an ‘everything for everyone’ service like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. Instead, they’re focused squarely on appealing to women and African American viewers.
Hirsch says “The Continental” project is “moving along” and he recently had a season pitch meeting with the series team, but the trick is “getting it to the right place so it doesn’t interfere with the motion picture side of the house”. With “John Wick: Chapter 4” scheduled for release mid-2021, Hirsch says the show will likely come “some time after”.
He confirms he and the network have been in touch with “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan about a reboot, but that show would cover a very different world of cannabis, after all we’re in a time when it is now legal in many areas of the United States.
Hirsch briefly responded to questions about Orlando Jones’ talked about “American Gods” exit. Hirsch says the producing team “decided to be in an area where Mr. Nancy didn’t play a prominent role.”
He confirms a prequel, a sequel and a spin-off to “Power” are all being developed and from what’s come along so far “they’re as good as if not better than the original show.” The sequel, “Ghost,” seems to be the most far forward with Method Man set to join Mary J. Blige in the series which will launch later this year.
Starz is also in talks for the second season of its gritty crime drama “Dublin Murders” as the co-production with the BBC could look into other murder cases. Hirsch says the show’s audience grew from the beginning to the end of the first season, a good indicator of success.
One show that won’t be going away is “Outlander”. The fifth season launches February 16th, the sixth has been commissioned and Starz is now talking to the producers about more and says: “as long as the fans continue to crave the story, we’ll continue to have Outlander on the air.”
Hirsch adds that there’s a lot of opportunity for “Outlander” story extensions, spin-offs or sequels and they’ll continue to look at that but there’s nothing in the development process as of yet. In the meantime, check out a featurette for the new season which premieres February 16th.