The Starz Original series Blunt Talk began production this week in Los Angeles on the 10-episode first season of the half-hour scripted comedy series from Media Rights Capital (MRC) and executive produced by Seth MacFarlane, Jonathan Ames, Tristram Shapeero and Stephanie Davis. Set in Los Angeles, the story follows Walter Blunt, a British import intent on conquering the world of American cable news and the fallout from his well-intentioned, but mostly misguided decision-making, both on and off the air. The series will premiere on Starz in the summer of 2015.
Through the platform of his nightly interview show, Blunt is on a mission to impart his wisdom and guidance on how Americans should live, think and behave. Besieged by network bosses, a dysfunctional news staff, numerous ex-wives and children of all ages, Blunt's only support is the alcoholic manservant he transplanted from the U.K. to join him in Los Angeles.
The cast is led by Patrick Stewart (X-Men franchise, Ted) in the role of Walter Blunt, Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) as Rosalie, Blunt's tough and motherly producer-manager and Adrian Scarborough (The King's Speech) as Harry, Blunt's manservant. Dolly Wells (Doll & Em) who was cast as Celia, Blunt's head producer and writer, with Timm Sharp (Enlightened) who was cast as Jim, Blunt's head writer round out the cast. Actor and comedian Richard Lewis (Curb Your Enthusiasm) will recur as Dr. Weiss, Blunt's appointed therapist. The series is greenlit for a two-season, 20-episode commitment. Here's what creator and executive producer Jonathan Ames had to say about the first day of production in a statement.
"It was a great first day on the set of Blunt Talk - Patrick Stewart was noble, loony, and heroic. And that was before the first shot. Later, in character as Walter Blunt, he was all those things and more."
MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door Productions, Inc. serve as executive producer. Ames, who originated the idea for the series, will also serve as executive producer, writer and showrunner. Tristram Shapeero ("Community") and Stephanie Davis ("Bored to Death") will also serve as executive producers with Shapeero also serving as director. Stewart will also serve as producer on the series.
MRC, the studio behind MacFarlane's directorial debut Ted, which is the highest grossing original comedy of all time worldwide, the highly anticipated sequel, Ted 2, and the award-winning series "House of Cards," is best known as one of the most artist friendly independent studios. Starz has released the first two photos from the series, featuring Patrick Stewart and Adrian Scarborough. Stay tuned for the first footage from Blunt Talk as production continues.