Starz Announces 50 Cent Deal Extension, Lack of Emmy Love and More Outlander

Jim Halterman
Omar Hardwick and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson
Starz

During Monday's Starz panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, CEO Chris Albrecht announced the extension of Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson's overall deal through September 2018.

Besides the drama series, Power, currently airing its third season on the pay cabler, superhero-themed series, Tomorrow, Today will serve as the first project in development from Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television, Inc.

“I am looking forward to continuing my relationship with my Starz family," Curtis said in a Starz press release. "We have had great success together on Power and I am excited to get going on all of our upcoming projects together.  I knew Starz would be the perfect home for Tomorrow, Today. This project is very personal to me…creating it, writing it, finding the best team for it and I will continue to be involved every step of the way."

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Also announced, Starz is developing a half-hour series based on Dirty Girls Social Club, the best-selling novel by Alisa Valdea with showrunner duties going to Ligiah Villalobos (Under the Same Moon, Firelight, Go Diego, Go!). Anne Thomopoulos (The Collection, Rome, Borgia, Versailles) and veteran network executive Lucia Cottone will also serve as executive producers.

Albrecht also shared news of the development of scripted one-hour series Pussy Valley, which focuses on the lives of pole dancers working in the Dirty Delta of Mississippi. Creator and writer Katori Hall will executive produce with Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin (New Girl, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Heat); Jenno Topping (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Spy, Charlie’s Angels); and Dante Di Loreto (Glee, American Horror Story, The Normal Heart). Khaliah Neal (3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, Hard World for Small Things, Famous Farrah) will serve as consulting producer.

Of the title perhaps being too risque, Albrecht said during his opening remarks, "It happens to be the title of the source material, which certainly has been printed out there. I don't know that we'll run into trouble but that remains to be seen."

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A U.S. version of the highly-rated Mexican telenovela Teresa is also in development along with Lionsgate and Televisa USA. Award-winning writer/producer Carlos Portugal (East Los High, Pop Star, Meet the Browns”) will serve as series creator and showrunner. The series will follow an undocumented young Latina in her ruthless pursuit of money and power in Los Angeles.

Asked about the lack of Emmy recognition for acclaimed and popular shows like Outlander, Survivor's Remorse and The Girlfriend Experience, Albrecht said, "I don't think we'll ever break through with those people on those shows." The lack of nominations, though, hasn't hurt his own love for his shows. "We couldn't be more proud of the work that is being done by the people on these shows. It is award-worthy, whether it's an Emmy Award or not is not the point."

Of the success that Starz has had with African-American-themed series like Power and Survivor's Remorse, Albrecht said new projects like Pussy Valley are a logical next step. "The success with African-Americans on these two shows has been so rewarding both creatively, personally and from a business point of view that it just makes sense to continue to try to serve that audience because as great shows as Power and Survivor's Remorse are, they're just the beginning of what we can do."

Finally, addressing the recent two-season renewal of Outlander and asked about the future of the drama beyond that given the nine books in Diana Gabaldon's series, he made no formal announcement but said, "Outlander's going to be around for awhile. We couldn't be more proud of the show."