Monday, October 13, 2008

Up Next for NM-shot TV: Crash

The continuing roll-out of NM-shot product continues this Friday with the TV version of the Oscar-winning "Crash" this coming Friday on the Starz cable network. (The first two episodes are supposedly available 'free' -- more info on that below.) The Denver Post has the story:

For Starz, a "Crash" into the competitive TV-series world
Joanne OstrowThe Denver Post

"Crash," the new Starz original drama series adapted from the 2006 Oscar-winning movie, opens with Dennis Hopper riding in a limo, smoking a cigar and delivering a quasi-poetic monologue to his penis.

Portraying a psychopath (what else?), he addresses his offscreen phallus and
details its physical attributes.

The soliloquy is meant to startle.

"We argued about it," recalled Glen Mazzara, writer/executive producer. "We moved the scene to the middle of the hour. Then we put it back." Then they cut it by
three minutes.

Starz executives eventually agreed it was a tone-setting scene, telegraphing that this is an R-rated series that could only be found on cable.

"Crash" premieres Friday at 8 p.m. on Starz. The pilot is available free of charge on the Starz website and on demand.

Like the film, "Crash," the series is about human connectivity, told through a web of characters in contemporary Los Angeles.

"Language and violence are inherent in the story," according to Stephen Shelanski, executive vice president of programming for Starz Entertainment.

In addition to dark humor, the scene serves to showcase a movie star. Initially Don Cheadle was slated to re-create his film role in a three-episode arc, but his schedule didn't fit the production timetable. Cheadle remains on the team of executive producers taking the project from film to TV, along with director/co-writer Paul Haggis and co-writer Bobby Moresco. Hopper is the marquee name, playing a self-destructive music producer.

The series, the first for Starz, was carefully selected to take the cable film channel into the suddenly competitive world of cable originals.

The cost of the series, co- produced with Lionsgate, is on par with other high-end cable titles like "Mad Men" and "The Tudors" (reportedly $2.3 million per episode). The rollout entails a $10 million advertising and marketing campaign in print, billboards, online and on the network.

HBO's recent misfires ("John from Cincinnati," "Tell Me You Love Me") and the Emmy-worthy successes on basic cable networks AMC ("Mad Men," "Breaking Bad") and FX ("Damages") have pointed the way to what Englewood-based Starz hopes is the next chapter in the company history.

Working in an elite field, HBO was able to attract superb writing talent like Alan Ball, David Chase and David Milch to premium cable. FX and AMC joined in, believing they could emulate that success on basic cable, and ended up with mantles full of Emmy Awards proving them right...

Joanne Ostrow: 303-954-1830 or

The show is sort-of available free for a limited time -- if you're a verizon customer and download the software and, maybe, pay a fee.

From the STARZ website:

In the season premiere, Axel investigates the murder of a Korean man. Officers Kenny and Bebe have a run-in with a mysterious woman. Ben (Dennis Hopper) hires a new limo driver - a wannabe music producer from South Central with big ambitions. And despite Peter’s protests, Christine insists that her father move

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