LOS ANGELES — With two heavyweight shows leaving, Starz is preparing for its next life.
That will include a “Power” spin-off with Mary J. Blige’s music, plus a “Dangerous Liaisons” prequel and more. That comes just as Starz loses its giants:
— “Power” (shown here) starting Aug. 25. It will have 10 episodes, take a break, then start the last five in January. “Everyone is going to have a big opinion after those last five episodes,” said co-creator Courtney Kemp. “A BIG opinion.” There will also be a talk show, “Power Confidential,” after each hour.
— “Outlander,” starting its last, 12-episode season in January.
“Power” has been ignored by the Emmys – its voters “are not necessarily the coolest people,” said co-creator Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – but has drawn strong ratings and won three straight Image Awards as best drama series.
“There is nothing bigger on premium television” insisted Jeffrey Hirsch, the Starz COO.
Losing that and “Outlander” is big … especially with Starz cancelling “Counterpart” and “Now Apocalypse” and delaying “American Gods” after a change in showrunner.
Now the network has announced that:
— It will have a “Dangerous Liaisons” prequel. It meets Merteuil and Valmont as passionate young lovers in the slums of 18th-century Paris.
— “The Girlfriend Experience” will be back for a third season. This one will focus on a neuroscientist who explores the world of “transactional relationships.”
— Steven Soderbergh, the “Girlfriend Experience” producer, is also producing a non-fiction show “Leavenworth,” following the military justice system.
— There will be spin-offs, which Kemp calls “an expansion of some of the characters in the ‘Power’ universe.” It will feature Blige, who said she’s been a “Power” fan; “it’s how I grew up.”