Starz CEO Albrecht: ‘I’m Actually Doing This Wrong’ #TCA14

Exec says he’s looking to challenge trend of white audiences not watching shows that ‘don’t have a lot of white faces’
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Complete Coverage: TCA Summer 2014

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Starz CEO Chris Albrecht is rethinking the way the network makes commitments to shows in terms of season orders and marketing.

Addressing press during the cabler’s executive session of the TCA Summer Press Tour, Albrecht described sitting on a panel recently with FX Networks’ John Landgraf and Showtime’s Devid Nevins and listening to them describe their business models.

“I’m actually doing this wrong,” Albrecht said he thought. “Maybe if we like a show in the first season, we should pick it up for two more seasons.”

Albrecht acknowledged that his network has been criticized for renewing series, such as Black Sails, early, but said he wants to give the projects time to grow.

“If I can look at things and go ‘I think they’re really good, they’re accomplishing what we set out to do’—and that goes for the marketing, the PR, the shows themselves, the investor relations stuff,” then the shows deserve a big commitment from the network, Albrecht said.

Albrecht also discussed targeting “underserved audiences” such as women and African Americans with series such as The White Queen and Power.

“When I look at Power, I say, ‘Okay, those faces aren’t on TV,’” Albrecht said. “The sort of not so surprising secret is that, historically in television we know that white people don’t watch shows that don’t have a lot of characters, that don’t have a lot of white faces in them. And that’s going to take some time. But it’s a really good show. I don’t know if you follow it, but it’s a really good show and it deserves to be picked up.”

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