Starz Drops Plans for Drama Series 'Fortitude' (Exclusive)

Production changes have forced the premium cable network to pull out of the planned co-production with Sky Atlantic.

Starz has abandoned for crime drama Fortitude.

The crime drama will no longer be broadcast on the premium cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The cabler signed on to co-produce the Sky Atlantic drama from Low Winter Sun's Simon Donald in April with a plan to air the 13-episode series in 2014.

STORY: Starz, Sky Atlantic to Co-Produce 'Fortitude' Drama Series

"Due to changes in the Sky Atlantic production of Fortitude, Starz will not be licensing the series in the U.S.," Starz said in a statement to THR. "The series will now be a fully funded Sky project for Sky Atlantic. Starz will fast-track several projects that have been in development for its 2014 programing slate. Starz and Sky continue to discuss other projects, and very much look forward to collaborating again in the future."

Starz planned to air the drama, which centers on how a violent murder of a British research scientist affects a close-knit community, in fourth-quarter 2014. The drama was the first co-production pact with the U.K.'s Sky Atlantic and was scheduled to begin production this year.

Starz instead will expedite production several of its scripted dramas currently in development, which include ballet drama Flesh and Bone, from Breaking Bad's Moira Walley-Beckett and Lawrence Bender; LeBron James-Tom Werner comedy entry Survivor's Remorse; and Owen Wilson-produced FBI drama WonderWorld, among others. Starz hopes to have 75 hours of original programming on its network in the coming years. In 2014, the cabler will debut Michael Bay's pirate drama Black Sails and 50 Cent-produced entry Power, as well as its series adaptation of Outlander and the second season of DaVinci's Demons.

For Sky Atlantic, meanwhile, Fortitude is among a slate of original scripted fare that includes Hit & Miss and Fleming, among others, as the company looks to up original British content by 50 percent.

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