Starz Partners with Antonio Banderas, Renews ‘Black Sails’, Enters the Binge Game

Joe Alblas/Starz
Black Sails, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens)

Starz is headed to Havana with Antonio Banderas.

The pay cable network is developing Havana Quartet, based on the detective novels Havana Blue, Havana Gold, Havana Red and Havana Black. Banderas will play Cuban police detective Mario Conde, a “hard-drinking, romantic” man who really wants to be a writer.

Havana Quartet is one of several announcements Starz is making today at its portion of the Television Critics Association press tour. The network has also officially ordered a fourth season of the pirate drama Black Sails. (A 10-episode season returns in 2016.)

Additionally, Starz is the latest network to join TV’s binge trend. In the vein of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, the channel will upload the entire first season of new ballet drama Flesh and Bone, as well as the final season of historical fantasy Da Vinci’s Demons, for viewers to watch all at once on Starz Play and Starz On Demand.

All 10 episodes of the third and final season of Da Vinci’s Demons will be uploaded on October 24—the same day the show returns on Starz. Then, all eight episodes of Flesh and Bone will be available on November 8, when the premiere episode also runs on the channel.

“Both series are engaging and well-suited for a binge viewing experiment,” said David Baldwin, Starz’s executive vice president of program planning. “In the busy fall television season, we thought this was a terrific benefit for Starz subscribers who want to enjoy the complete series on their own time and schedule, with the first two seasons of Da Vinci’s Demons already available on Starz Play and Starz On Demand.”

As for Havana Quartet, Cuban writer Eduardo Machado (Magic City) will write the pilot and executive produce. Banderas is also an executive producer, among others. The show comes from studio Entertainment One (eOne) TV.

“Starz continues to see great opportunity in continued programming diversification with many communities and genres,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “Partnering with eOne to develop the drama series Havana Quartet with international star Antonio Banderas will allow us to give viewers a premium show that highlights the decaying beauty of Cuba during its ‘Special Period’—a time and place which tourists rarely got to experience.”

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