Starz Orders 'Dangerous Liaisons' Series, Renews 'The Girlfriend Experience'

The Girlfriend Experience Still 1 - Starz Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Starz

Starz is headed to 18th century France for its latest series, giving a series order to a new adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons.

The premium cable outlet has also picked up a third season of the Steven Soderbergh-produced The Girlfriend Experience, more than 18 months after its last episode aired, and greenlit a Soderbergh-produced docuseries, Leavenworth.

Dangerous Liaisons is a "reimagining" of the 18th century novel set in pre-Revolution France from Harriet Warner (Call the Midwife, TNT's upcoming Tell Me Your Secrets). It will feature the origins of lead characters Merteuil and Valmont, who meet and become young lovers in the slums of Paris. The story will be told from the perspective of Merteuil (played by Glenn Close in the 1988 film) and informed by her line in the novel, "Born to avenge my sex and conquer yours, I have succeeded in inventing strategies for doing so that before me had never been conceived."

The series comes from Playground and Flame Ventures in association with Starz parent Lionsgate. Warner will serve as showrunner and executive produce with Colin Callender, Tony Krantz, Bethan Jones, Scott Huff and Christopher Hampton. Coline Abert, James Dormer and Rita Kalnejais will also write for the series.

Season three of The Girlfriend Experience will be written and directed by Anja Marquardt (She's Lost Control), with Soderbergh and Charles Fleishman returning as executive producers along with Jeff Cuban. Marquardt is a co-exec producer of the show from Transactional Pictures of NY LP Production in association with Populist Pictures and Magnolia Pictures.

The anthology will set its third season amid the London tech scene, where a young female neuroscientist starts to explore the world of The Girlfriend Experience, only to find herself deep in the uncanny valley of the relationships she creates. Casting has yet to be announced.

Leavenworth, set to premiere Oct. 20, follows a story playing out in the military justice system. The series will center on Clint Lorance, who's serving a 19-year sentence for murder in the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., stemming from an incident while Lorance was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.

Then a lieutenant, Lorance ordered soldiers under his command to fire on three men on a motorcycle who ignored commands to stop. He was later convicted of two counts of murder; the show will follow him and his lawyers as they try to have the conviction overturned, as well as take a larger look at the military justice system.

Soderbergh executive produces Leavenworth with Paul Pawlowski and David Check.

Also at TCA, Starz said the final season of flagship series Power will be split into two parts: The first 10 will air staring Aug. 25, and the final five will debut in January 2020. The series is also getting an aftershow, Power Confidential, that will debut following the season premiere.

The three shows will join a Starz lineup that includes Power, Vida, Sweetbitter, Outlander, American Gods, The Rook and Now Apocalypse as well as upcoming series Hightown, P-Valley, John Wick spinoff The Continental and The Dublin Murders.