Starz Renews 'Black Sails,' Developing 'Havana' Drama Starring Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas, Black Sails Split - H 2015
AP Images/Starz Entertainment

Antonio Banderas, Black Sails Split - H 2015

Starz used its platform Friday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour to announce an expansion to its scripted slate.

The premium cable network has renewed Michael Bay drama Black Sails for a fourth season and has put into development Havana Quartet, starring and exec produced by Antonio Banderas.

Black Sails will resume production in South Africa in the fall ahead of its 10-episode third season debut in 2016. The pickup continues Starz's history of renewing the pirate drama starring Toby Stephens well ahead of its debut. With the additional order, Black Sails will remain on the network through at least 2017. (Season three will also feature the debut of Ray Stevenson (Rome) as the iconic pirate Blackbeard.

The first two seasons averaged 4.5 million total viewers, when factoring in multiplatform viewing and delayed DVR returns. The drama, created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine is distributed in more than 175 countries and territories worldwide.

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The Banderas drama, meanwhile, is based on Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura's four-book detective series consisting of Havana Blue, Havana Gold, Havana Red and Havana Black. The Starz show, which is in the development stage, follows hard-drinking, romantic Cuban police detective Mario Conde (Banderas), who longs to be a writer but settled for a job as a detective.

The drama hails from Entertainment One and will be penned by Cuban writer Eduardo Machado (Starz's Magic City, HBO's Hung), who will executive produce alongside Banderas, Nadcon Film's Peter Nadermann, Sienna Films' Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny. eOne will produce the hourlong drama and distribute the series worldwide.

"Starz continues to see great opportunity in continued programming diversification with many communities and genres," Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. "Partnering with eOne to develop the drama series Havana Quartet with international star Antonio Banderas will allow us to give viewers a premium show that highlights the decaying beauty of Cuba during its 'Special Period' — a time and place which tourists rarely got to experience." 

Havana Quartet, should it move forward and earn a spot on Starz's schedule, would mark the series regular debut for Banderas (Evita, The Mask of Zorro, Puss in Boots). Starz will retain network pay TV and SVOD rights; eOne exec vp global productions Carrie Stein will oversee alongside director of development Becca Tesarfreund.

Banderas is repped by Paradigm and Media Art Management; Machado is with CAA, Andrea Simon Entertainment and Morris Yorn.

For Starz, Havana Quartet — should it move to series — would be part of a scripted lineup that also includes the final season of DaVinci's Demons, Outlander, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Power, Survivor's Remorse, Blunt Talk, The Girlfriend Experience, The Missing, The One Percent and the upcoming Neil Gaiman/Bryan Fuller drama American Gods.