Starz to Co-Produce Writer/Director Stephen Poliakoff’s “Close to the Enemy” Original Miniseries

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Starz today announced it has secured, via a deal with international
distributor all3media International, the exclusive U.S. premium rights
to, and will co-produce the six-episode original miniseries “Close to
the Enemy,” written and directed by the multi-award winning Stephen
Poliakoff (STARZ Original miniseries Dancing on the Edge, Glorious
39, The Lost Prince)
with Helen Flint (Longford, The Take,
Galavant
), Hilary Bevan Jones (Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, The Escape
Artist
) and Colin Callender (Wolf Hall) serving as Executive
Producers. “Close To the Enemy” is a Little Island production
produced in association with Endor Productions and Playground
Entertainment and distributed by all3media International. “Close to the
Enemy” is expected to premiere on BBC Two in the UK and STARZ in the
U.S. in 2016.

“We are excited to team up with Little Island, Endor Productions,
Playground Entertainment, all3media International and Stephen Poliakoff
again as he brings this post-World War II thriller to life in a way our
viewers will find extremely compelling,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing
Director of Starz.

Stephen Driscoll, SVP Sales, all3media International commented, “We are
delighted to announce another significant collaboration with Starz who
will release ‘Close to the Enemy’ to their U.S. subscribers in 2016.
Stephen Poliakoff and this wonderful cast of actors are creating a
thrilling mini-series that will enthrall audiences on both sides of the
Atlantic. We look forward to announcing further international deals in
the very near future.”

Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, also added, “It is
wonderful to welcome Starz and Playground on board. The combination of
such talented producers with first-rate track records will ensure
audiences from around the globe can enjoy Poliakoff’s truly original and
compelling new drama series.”

Jim Sturgess (One Day) heads an all-star cast including Freddie
Highmore (Bates Motel), Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders),
Phoebe Fox (Woman in Black 2), August Diehl (Inglourious
Basterds
), Robert Glenister (Hustle), Alfie Allen (Game of
Thrones
), Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall), with Lindsay Duncan (Birdman),
Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), and Alfred Molina (Love
is Strange)
.

Set in a bomb-damaged London hotel during the aftermath of World War II,
“Close to the Enemy” is a thriller that follows British intelligence
officer Captain Callum Ferguson (Sturgess), whose last task for the Army
is to ensure that a captured German scientist, Dieter (Diehl), hands
over secret cutting-edge military technology crucial to national
security. Callum employs unorthodox methods in his attempt to convince
Dieter to work for the British, developing a friendship with him, which
is soon threatened as the German’s involvement in the Nazi war machine
may be more than it initially seems.

In the tradition of Stephen Poliakoff’s other work, Callum encounters a
number of other characters whose stories all intertwine. These
characters include Victor (Highmore), Callum’s younger brother,
struggling to deal with psychological trauma caused by his experiences
on the frontlines; Harold (Molina), a Foreign Office official who
reveals some startling truths about the outbreak of the war; Rachel
(Riley), an enchanting Anglophile American engaged to his best friend;
Eva (Bassett), a confident American jazz singer who breathes life into
the old hotel with her music; and Kathy (Fox), a tough, young woman
working for the War Crimes Unit, fighting to bring war criminals who
escaped prosecution to justice. All of these characters are trying to
rebuild and move forward with their lives in the aftermath of a war that
scarred them all so deeply.

Starz acquired U.S. network pay TV and SVOD rights from all3media
international who will distribute the series worldwide.

About Starz

Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and
entertainment company with operating units that provide premium
subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels
(Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and
animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.

Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video
programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE®
pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies
to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators,
satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of
June 30, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 56.8 million
subscribers, including 23.5 million at STARZ, and 33.3 million at
ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the
U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz
Networks’ third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than
1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On
Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE
PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and
acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on
DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution’s
home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units
distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as
entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation
produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks,
distributors and audiences worldwide.

About Playground

Playground was founded in 2012 by Callender, and is committed to
producing high quality drama for the screen and the stage bringing
together the finest US and UK talent from the worlds of theatre, film,
and television. Callender won his first Emmy for the television
adaptation of the RSC’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
and, as president of HBO Films, was responsible for an unprecedented
award-winning slate of movies and mini-series. Playground recently
received 8 Emmy nominations for its coproduction with Company Pictures,
the six-part miniseries adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall starring
Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy and Jonathan Pryce for BBC and
Masterpiece. It also partnered with Charlie Pattinson’s New Pictures on
The Missing the eight part thriller for the BBC and Starz. Playground
recently wrapped production on the television adaptation of Ronald
Harwood’s The Dresser starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen and
directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC and Starz.

About all3media International

all3media International distributes popular, award-winning TV programmes
to over 1,000 broadcasters and media platforms around the world.

The company has been celebrated for producing, marketing and
distributing quality, ground-breaking and pioneering shows to global
audiences – consistently topping the Broadcast and Televisual annual
Indies Surveys and we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise
in recognition of our growth – twice.

Our catalogue contains over 7,000 hours of content across all genres,
with a focus on drama, comedy, factual, entertainment and formats. As
well as Britain’s top-selling series Midsomer Murders, our lead
dramas include The Missing, Indian Summers, Foyle’s War,
Skins, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Hinterland.
Factual, entertainment and format bestsellers include Gogglebox, Undercover
Boss
, The Gadget Show, The Cube, The Only Way is
Essex
and The Million Second Quiz.

As part of the UK’s leading multi-label studio we partner with UK and
international producers – including our own studios – in developing,
financing and delivering content and formats.

Contacts

Starz
Theano Apostolou, 424-204-4052
theano@starz.com
or
Michelle
Portillo, 720-852-4063
michelle.portillo@starz.com