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Starz prepares to go Airborne

US premium cable net Starz is developing a new coming-of-age drama set during the Vietnam War with Newsroom staff writer Gideon Yago and producer Rob Tapert.

Airborne will follow a young helicopter crew trying to survive the early chaos of the Vietnamese conflict, which officially occurred between 1959 and 1975. Tapert (Spartacus) is executive producing, with Newsroom staff writer Yago penning the series.

Starz will produce it in-house as its latest original drama, and also retain all international multiplatform rights.

“Even though we are using Vietnam and the early days of air cavalry as a backdrop, our hope is to bring the audience timeless stories about what makes a hero and how a group of young people fight to retain their humanity in the midst of a surreal and terrible conflict,” said Yago.

For Starz, it’s a second major new drama announcement at MIPTV this week. In her keynote, BSkyB MD of content Sophie Turner Laing revealed the UK pay TV platform was working with Starz on Fortitude, a 13-parter about a close knit Arctic community that unravels after the murder of a scientist.

Cabler Starz has plans to boost its original series output to around 50 hours a year. It currently produces around 36.