It’s been more than a year since the first season of Starz’s The Chair ended, but a second season of the DGA-award-winning and TCA-award winning series is at least further along than it was one year ago. But there is some behind-the-scenes progress on season two.
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht addressed this at the network’s Television Critics Association session. Asked by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Rob Owen about its future, Albrecht said:
“We’re working on it. … We’ve talked with Chris Moore. … He knows we’re ready. There’s a different concept this time. There’s been some activity around it. Chris is a movie producer and makes a lot more money producing movies than he makes producing The Chair.”
So what is this new concept? It’s actually not a huge change, at least according to details Rob Owen reported later from an interview with Carmi Zlotnik, Starz’s managing director. Zlotnik said that instead of first-time, unknown directors, the show may instead turn to well-known yet presumably still first-time directors: “Maybe an actor or somebody in a related field.”
But he also put it back on Chris Moore, just as Albrecht did one year ago: “Right now it’s all about the script and what we’re gonna do and that’s all in Chris Moore’s lap and we’re waiting to hear what he proposes.”
(For more about season two and whether or not it will also be filmed in Pittsburgh, read Rob’s story.)
I think turning to A-list or even B-list talent is a smart move, and has the potential to attract a larger audience. Of course, that also may make the documentary part a tougher sell, with a high-profile celebrity less likely to want to sign on to be followed through the dramatic process of directing their first film.
With the competition element and the right director/stars, I could see it drawing more attention than earlier seasons—after all, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck draw people (viewers and the media) to Project Greenlight. It’s the kind of show that I’d love for a broadcast network to try: the competition plus celebrity makes it network-friendly, while the documentary brings highly engaging character and narrative that is just as engaging as scripted series. If something like that succeeded, it might encourage networks to try more story- and character-driven reality series.
Of course, I’m just dreaming. Whatever happens, I just look forward to another edition of The Chair. Until then, there’s always re-watching season one.