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Captain Jack to Return: Torchwood Spies New Home at Starz

Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood is set to return to the airwaves next summer, but likely not to where you might expect it.

Starz has today announced that it has come on board as the US home for a new season of Torchwood, with ten episodes slated to launch on Starz and BBC One in Summer 2011. Move comes after FOX passed on a US version of Torchwood, which, like this new season, will be produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.

John Barrowman and Eve Myles are expected to reprise their roles as Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper respectively, while new characters--as yet uncast--will be added to the Torchwood team. Creator Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner will return as executive producers for Torchwood.

But there will be some changes to the series: "The new series will allow Davies and his writing team to tell a more explosive and global story, one that takes advantage of the unlimited narrative opportunities of a premium television service like Starz," according to the press release. Which, to me anyway, means a more global-scope and likely less Cardiff-based plots.

“We’re committed to programming exceptional television that is entertaining, imaginative and provides a premium TV experience, and by any measure the new concept for Torchwood fits that mandate,” said Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement. "I’ve been part of successful partnerships with Jane Tranter and the BBC previously, and I’m very much looking forward to working with them again."

"Torchwood has attracted remarkable attention and loyalty in both the UK and U.S., and in this new partnership with Starz, the next chapter will not only reward our current fans, but also introduce new viewers to the most impressive installment yet,” said Jane Tranter, EVP, BBC Worldwide Productions. "Chris Albrecht and his team are committed to delivering quality premium programming to their subscribers, also a core attribute of the BBC, and we are excited to be working with them as the Torchwood adventure continues."

The full press release from Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions can be found below.

STARZ FIRED UP FOR A NEW SERIES OF
THE BBC’S HIT FRANCHISE ‘TORCHWOOD’
New Installment From BBC Worldwide Productions to Add
To Starz’ Premium Programming Lineup in Summer of 2011
Key Cast - John Barrowman (Capt. Jack), Eve Myles (Gwen) –
To Return for the Next Installment, Along With New Faces

Los Angeles, CA – June 7, 2010 – Starz Entertainment has acquired U.S. television rights to the next installment of the BBC’s audience sensation “Torchwood,” developed and produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Starz will debut the 10-episode series exclusively in the U.S., and BBC One will debut it in the U.K., both in summer, 2011. This is a co-production between Starz, BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Worldwide, and BBC Worldwide will distribute the show outside the U.S. The deal was jointly announced today by Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht and BBC Worldwide Productions EVP Jane Tranter.

The stars of the previous versions of “Torchwood,” notably John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness) and Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), will return for the new version. Additional key cast, reflecting the more international scope of the series, will be announced soon.

“Torchwood” is a drama that puts extraterrestrial threats into a very real world, and asks how humanity deals with the danger - while fighting mankind’s darkest instincts. The series’ previous three seasons aired on BBC America in the U.S. and garnered record-breaking ratings for the network. Created by visionary writer/producer Russell T Davies, “Torchwood” has to date been located primarily in Cardiff, Wales. The new series will allow Davies and his writing team to tell a more explosive and global story, one that takes advantage of the unlimited narrative opportunities of a premium television service like Starz.

Davies and BBC Worldwide Productions’ SVP Scripted Julie Gardner return as executive producers, with Davies also serving as show-runner for the new “Torchwood.”

“We’re committed to programming exceptional television that is entertaining, imaginative and provides a premium TV experience, and by any measure the new concept for ‘Torchwood’ fits that mandate,” Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht said. “I’ve been part of successful partnerships with Jane Tranter and the BBC previously, and I’m very much looking forward to working with them again.”

“‘Torchwood’ has attracted remarkable attention and loyalty in both the UK and U.S., and in this new partnership with Starz, the next chapter will not only reward our current fans, but also introduce new viewers to the most impressive installment yet,” said Jane Tranter, EVP, BBC Worldwide Productions. “Chris Albrecht and his team are committed to delivering quality premium programming to their subscribers, also a core attribute of the BBC, and we are excited to be working with them as the ‘Torchwood’ adventure continues.”

“Russell, Jane and Julie came to us with a compelling vision for the evolution of the ‘Torchwood’ saga that really takes the story into whole new areas,” added Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz Media – the production and development division of Starz. “The compelling story and characters this trio created provide a strong template for driving this narrative in exciting ways.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning said: "We have a long history of working with many U.S. networks, but it is incredibly exciting to be working with Starz for the first time, as well as to be reunited with the best of British in Russell, Jane and Julie. ‘Torchwood’ will burst back onto the screen with a shocking and moving story with global stakes and locations that will make it feel bigger and bolder than ever."

“Torchwood” is the latest piece of notable programming from Starz. It follows on the heels of the recently concluded first season of the epic “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” this summer’s highly anticipated event series “The Pillars of the Earth,” based on author Ken Follett’s international bestseller, and the recently announced series “Camelot,” which Starz is co-producing with GK-TV and will air early in 2011.

“Torchwood” originally debuted in the UK on BBC One in 2006. All five episodes of “Torchwood: Children of Earth” reached the Top 10 list in TV Episodes across the entire iTunes TV Store, with episode 1 of the series reaching the top spot the week of launch in August, 2009.

About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship Starz® and Encore® brands with approximately 17.1 million and 31.1 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Encore HD, Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, MoviePlex On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, Encore HD On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and Starz Play. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Starz (NASDAQ: LSTZA), a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.

About BBC Worldwide Productions
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and wholly owned subsidiary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). In the U.S., BBC Worldwide Productions, one of BBC Worldwide’s seven core businesses, is based in Los Angeles and New York. It is responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars and develops scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks.

Comments

Heatherette said…
Whatever channel it's on, I'm just happy that there will be more Torchwood. I was beginning to think that we'd seen the last of Captain Jack!
crabbyanne said…
Yay! Can't wait to see what they do with it now. The last season (Children of Earth) was profoundly different from the first two.
Annie said…
Great news. I hated watching this on BBCA with all of the cuts. Hopefully Starz will just air the whole thing. Makes more sense to have it on premium cable anyway with content and no ads.
Anonymous said…
Good post.,I am really intrigued on this new version of “Torchwood,”,I want to watch it..!!
media productions

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