Starz's 'Crash' getting retooled

Drama series renewed with new team, cast

Starz is staying on "Crash" course. The premium cable network has renewed its first original drama series for a second season with a 13-episode order.

For its sophomore effort, the Lionsgate TV-produced "Crash" will take on a new direction with a new creative team led by Ira Steven Behr ("The 4400"), who has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner. He is being joined by James DeMonaco and Todd Harthan (both of Spike TV's "The Kill Point"), who have been named exec producer and supervising producer, respectively.

Series creator/exec producer Glen Mazzara, who served as showrunner for the first season, will stay on as a consulting producer.

"The show was off to a very good start," Starz exec vp programming Stephan Shelanski said. "We wanted to adjust the course, moving away from some of the police story arcs and focus more on other aspects of Los Angeles."

About half of the story lines in the first season will continue into Season 2. Roughly half of the cast, including star Dennis Hopper, will stay on.

The first season of "Crash," which concluded last month, established Starz as a place for original programming, Shelanski said.

Following the season finale, the network and studio took several weeks to analyze the freshman season of the series based on the Oscar-winning feature.

"We wanted to explore different stories and a different way of storytelling, but the larger canvas of storytelling in Los Angeles and the general premise of people whose lives are intersecting will remain the same," Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs said.

Behr and James DeMonaco will exec produce the second season with Paul Haggis and Bob Yari. Bobby Moresco, Don Cheadle, Tom Nunan, Mark R. Harris, Jorg Westerkamp and Thomas Becker are co-exec producing.

Endeavor-repped Behr and UTA-repped DeMonaco and Harthan will convene Monday to begin mapping out the second season, slated to begin production in mid-May.

Haggis, who co-wrote, directed and produced the 2004 feature, had been very involved in the vetting process and met with the potential showrunners.

"I enjoyed my interaction with the creative team last season, and I am really excited about Ira's ideas for reimagining the series in its second season," Haggis said.