Starz Renews 'Girlfriend Experience,' Orders 'Dangerous Liaisons' & 'Leavenworth'

Meaghan Darwish
Starz

The Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer 2019 Press Tour is well underway in Los Angeles and on Friday, July 26, Starz presented what viewers can expect in the future on the premium channel.

A renewal and season pick-ups were among the exciting announcements made by Starz at this season's tour. Steven Soderbergh's limited series The Girlfriend Experience was renewed for a third season, while new series Dangerous Liaisons from Playground and Flame Ventures in association with Liongate Television was picked up to series along with Soderbergh's executive produced unscripted series Leavenworth.

Starz's COO Jeffrey Hirsch was on hand to make the announcements which included an October 20, 2019 premiere date for Leavenworth.

The Girlfriend Experience's third season will be set against the backdrop of the London "tech scene" in which a young neuroscientist will explore The Girlfriend Experience's "transactional world." But this will come at a price as the woman finds herself deep inside the Uncanny Valley through the relationships she forms.

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Soderbergh returns with Philip Fleishman as executive producers with Jeff Cuban. The season will be written and directed by Anja Marquardt who also serves as co-executive producer on the 10-episode scripted anthology series. Each season prior explored different stories featuring stars Riley Keough, Anna Friel, Louisa Krause, and Carmen Ejogo, and the series was inspired by Soderbergh's 2009 film.

Meanwhile, Dangerous Liaisons, inspired by the novel of the same name, tells the origin story of the early years of iconic characters Merteuil and Valmont who meet and become lovers in the slums of 18th century Paris. Showrunner and executive producer Harriet Warner also serves as the writer behind this reimagining.

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Ted Bundy will serve as the first subject in the series exploring the inner workings of America's most infamous serial killers.

This adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons is for a 21st century audience as Merteuil's perspective serves as the audience's view of the story. Starz indicates that Merteuil's line from the novel states what fans can expect: "Born to avenge my sex and conquer yours, I have succeeded in inventing strategies for doing so that before me had never been conceived."

Described as thrilling, sexy and provocative, this story of betrayal and seduction follows the dangerous liaisons taking place in King Louis VXI's court. The series is executive produced by Playground's Colin Callender, Tony Krantz, Bethan Jones, Scott Huff and Christopher Hampton. Coline Abert, James Dormer and Rita Kalnejais will write for the series.

(Credit: Courtesy of Starz)

As for Leavenworth, the unscripted docuseries from executive producers Paul Pawlowski, David Check, and Soderbergh, it follows a true-crime story currently playing out in the military justice system. Viewers are introduced to Clint Lorance, who is currently at Leavenworth prison serving a 19-year sentence for murder. During his deployment in Afghanistan during the summer of 2012, the former lieutenant ordered three local men to be shot with two of them dying in the gunfire.

The action outraged Lorance's platoon and the soldier's attempt to overturn his conviction will serve as the basis for Leavenworth's plot. The series will leave you asking if Lorance or war is to blame in this case. In charge of production on the series are Senior Vice President, Head of Unscripted Programming, Alice Dickens-Koblin and Senior Vice President, Original Programming Susan Lewis.

Stay tuned for more news out of TCA on TV Insider.