KELSEY GRAMMER'S THE "BOSS"
IN NEW DRAMA FROM STARZ AND LIONSGATE
Casting Complete on Series Set in Chicago Mayor's Office,
Beginning Production April 27 for Fall 2011 Debut on Starz
Program Marks Filmmaker Gus Van Sant's TV Directing Debut
Beverly Hills, Calif. - April 20, 2011 - Production begins April 27 in Chicago on "Boss," an original dramatic series from STARZ and Lionsgate Television, starring TV icon Kelsey Grammer and with its first episode directed by acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant in his TV helming debut. Over its eight-episode season, the show centers on the Machiavellian machinations of a fictional Chicago mayor with a dark secret and is set to premiere exclusively on STARZ in October 2011.
Joining Grammer, who will be making his first dramatic TV series debut as Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, in the main cast on "Boss" are Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Devil's Advocate) as his wife Meredith, a formidable Chicago power in her own right; Jeff Hephner ("The O.C.," "Hellcats," "Easy Money") as ambitious young politician Alex Zajac; Hannah Ware (Cop Out) as the Kanes' estranged daughter Emma; and Kathleen Robertson ("Girls Club," "Beverly Hills, 90210," Hollywoodland) as Mayor Kane's supremely organized aide Kitty O'Neil.
"Boss" was created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto), who is also an executive producer on the series, along with Grammer, Van Sant, Brian Sher, Stella Stolper, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene. Lionsgate Television is producing "Boss" in association with Grammer's Gramnet Productions and Sher and Stolper's Category 5 Entertainment.
"What drew us to 'Boss' is its almost classical dramatic story, full of complex, complicated characters and a story that will be fun to follow," Starz Media Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik said. "Kelsey Grammer as Kane is the perfect match of actor and role, and having a great storyteller like Gus Van Sant at the helm means this series will be unique as well as entertaining."
"We are thrilled to partner with Starz and to collaborate with incredible talents like Kelsey Grammer, Gus Van Sant, Farhad Safinia and the gifted producers that surround them: Brian Sher, Stella Stolper, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene," said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group, Grammer, who earned a Tony Awards nomination in 2010 for his starring role in the Broadway production of "La Cage Aux Folles," is a multiple Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R) Awards winner for his portrayal of Frasier Crane in the long-running TV series "Cheers" and "Frasier." His dramatic feature film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and 15 Minutes. Grammer's production company, Grammnet Productions, will be the studio on "Boss," in association with Lionsgate Television.
Van Sant's credits include Milk, Good Will Hunting (both of which earned him Oscar(R) nominations for Best Director), Finding Forrester and To Die For. He also played himself in an episode of the television series "Entourage." He is currently slated to direct the first episode of "Boss," and possibly others during the first season as well.
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(R) and ENCORE(R) brands with approximately 18.2 million and 32.8 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. 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 the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men," "Weeds," and "Nurse Jackie" along with recent series such as "Blue Mountain State" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne," its spinoff "Meet The Browns," "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?." Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such hits as The Expendables, which was No. 1 at the North American box office for two weeks, The Last Exorcism, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?, Kick Ass and the critically-acclaimed Precious, which won two Academy Awards(R). The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.