Starz acquires Tandem miniseries Pillars of the Earth

US cable network Starz has acquired the rights to Tandem Communications’ miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, marking the first major programming move by new boss Chris Albrecht.

The Liberty Media-owned pay TV broadcaster has picked up the US rights to the 8-hour series, which is based on the Ken Follett bestselling novel. The series, which has a budget of US$40 million is produced by German producer Tandem Communications, which is also handling international distribution, US producer Muse Entertainment and Scott Free, the production company set up by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.

Pillars of the Earth, which was shot in Hungary and Austria, stars Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland and is a story set in 12th Century England against a backdrop of war, religious strife and political struggles.

“I’m a believer in the power of event television so The Pillars of the Earth is precisely the kind of programming I want to showcase on Starz,” said Starz president and chief executive Chris Albrecht. It is the first major programming struck by former HBO boss Albrecht, who joined Starz at the end of last year.

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