Streaming services with plus signs that are plus-2: In January 2023, Epix will adopt the MGM+ moniker, the business announced on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Starz revealed it would rename its STARZPLAY streaming service to Lionsgate+. Even though it was a coincidence, good sorrow.
Although Lionsgate has previously announced that it intends to sell or spin off Starz, the company also filed the following statement with the SEC today: "Despite the uncertain market climate, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. continues on a path to separating our Starz and studio businesses. As the negotiations move forward, we have put more emphasis on the potential for spinning off our studio business, which has a number of tactical and financial advantages. In that sense, we are still engaged in fruitful discussions with potential financial and strategic partners on both sides of our business.
In other words, it could still sell or spin off Starz, or it could do the opposite and spin off the Lionsgate studio. Decisions, decisions that call for purchasers, purchasers. According to past business direction, we were supposed to have one of those for Starz by this point.
In the US and Canada, Starz will continue to be Starz—at least for the time being. On September 29, Lionsgate+ will replace STARZPLAY.
In a statement released to the media on Wednesday, Jeffrey Hirsch, president and CEO of Starz, said, "We recognised the potential of the global OTT market early, and over the last few years, we have built an incredible global streaming service, which has become a destination for audiences seeking premium, provocative programming."
Operating globally under the Lionsgate+ banner "brings a distinct and differentiated identity in an increasingly congested foreign marketplace and builds on the brand equity in the Lionsgate name that our in-depth research has demonstrated to be strong around the world," he added. The Lionsgate brand will remain important to the ongoing success of our global platform even when Starz and the Lionsgate studio operations are split up.
Unquestionably a bold font for MGM+ and an intriguing plus sign for Lionsgate+.
According to Michael Wright, CEO of MGM+, "MGM is one of the most renowned and cherished companies from the golden era of entertainment." The promise made by this rebranding to both current and potential viewers is that MGM+ will be the home of cinematic programming and sophisticated storytelling that will entertain, amaze, surprise, and transport viewers in a way that honours and celebrates the legacy of the legendary MGM brand. MGM is movie buffs' go-to television.
By the way, IndieWire has been informed that the Epix 2, Epix Hits, and Epix Drive-In channels will now be known as MGM+ Hits, MGM+ Marquee, and MGM+ Drive-In, respectively.
When Lionsgate acquired Starz in 2017, it surrendered its 31.2 percent ownership to MGM and Viacom, who had previously co-owned Epix with Lionsgate (together with MGM and Viacom). Epix is currently only a division of MGM, which is now one of Amazon's assets.
The James Bond and "Rocky" franchises' archived movies will be available on MGM+, along with other titles like "House of Gucci," "Licorice Pizza," "Silence of the Lambs," "Bull Durham," "Platoon," "Robocop," "Mississippi Burning," "The Magnificent Seven," "Barbershop," "The Pink Panther," "In the Heat of the Night," "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
On January 15, the same day "Godfather of Harlem" Season 3 debuts, the Epix channel and app will formally become MGM+. The second season of the Forest Whitaker television series was Epix's most watched ever. Other Epix shows that will continue to air on MGM+ include "Belgravia," "FROM," "Billy the Kid," and "Rogue Heroes."
In addition, four new original series, including a "Belgravia" sequel series, were revealed by Epix/MGM+ this morning. Details on those are provided below; all praise and descriptions are those of Epix. A pair of scripted dramas are presented first, one of which was created by Chris Brancato, co-creator of "Narcos" and "Godfather of Harlem":
Coke in hotels
Roman Compte, a Cuban exile, CIA agent, and general manager of Miami's opulent Mutiny Hotel—the heart of the cocaine trade in the city in the late 1970s and early 1980s—is the subject of this narrative. The executive producer and showrunner for this eight-episode criminal thriller from EPIX Studios will be Chris Brancato. Along with Brancato, Guillermo Navarro ("Pan's Labyrinth") will executive produce the series and direct the pilot.
Belgravia: The Following Chapter
The 2020 limited series, which was written by Julian Fellowes ("Downton Abbey") and was based on his novel of the same name, will begin up in 1865, 25 years after the events depicted in the novel. It will recount the love tale of Frederick Trenchard, who has grown up to be the third Lord Glanville, and Clara Dunn, a newcomer to London society, and was created and written by Helen Edmundson ("Dalgliesh," "Mary Magdalene") Frederick has had a difficult life and is quite insecure, which complicates his love and marriage to Clara. Frederick is unaware that his birth was the result of an affair between his mother Susan and the scoundrel John Bellasis. With Fellowes serving as executive producer, the award-winning creative team from Carnival, led by Gareth Neame, will once again collaborate on the series. For Carnival, Neame, Nigel Marchant, and Joanna Strevens serve as executive producers.
Untitled Amityville Murders Documentaries will be shown on the network in addition to the Emmy-nominated "Laurel Canyon," "Helter Skelter," "My Life as a Rolling Stone," "NFL Icons," "Blumhouse's Compendium of Horrors," and "Murf the Surf."
The Amityville murders, the most famous haunted house story in the world, is the subject of this four-part documentary series. The project, from B17 Entertainment, is the first elevated look at every aspect of this wildly layered tale about the heinous murder of a family of six that became overshadowed by paranormal controversy. Lesley Chilcott ("Helter Skelter: An American Myth," "An Inconvenient Truth") serves as executive producer. In addition to Chilcott, other executive producers include Blaine Duncan, Brooklyn Hudson, Amanda Raymond, Rhett Bachner, and Brien Meagher. Director and executive producer Jack Riccobono ("The Seventh Fire") is in charge of the project.
Soundtrack from San Francisco (Working title)
"San Francisco Sounds," a two-part documentary series that chronicles the history of the San Francisco music scene from 1965 to 1975, is produced by the same group that was responsible for the three-time Emmy-nominated documentary "Laurel Canyon." Darryl Frank ("Laurel Canyon," "The Americans," "Good Night Oppy"), Justin Falvey ("Laurel Canyon," "The Americans," "Good Night Oppy"), Stacey Offman ("The Line," "Kingdom of Silence"), Richard Perello ("How To Change Your Mind," "Totally Under Control"), and Alison Ellwood ("Laurel Canyon," "Hope") are among the actors who have appeared in the films "Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A& Producers for the show are Tess Ranahan and Erin Edeiken. Along with Anoosh Tertzakian, Ellwood is also slated to direct. In collaboration with Amblin Television and The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Jigsaw Productions is producing.