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Patrick Stewart will play a boozy news anchor in new Starz comedy

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Starz has signed on to air a new series that stars Patrick Stewart as an alcohol-loving, "mad-genius" news anchor. Titled Blunt Talk, the show will be produced by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and written by Jonathan Ames (creator of HBO series Bored to Death). Stewart will portray Walter Blunt, a British newscaster with his sights set on conquering the US cable news industry. "In the character of Walter Blunt, Seth, Jonathan and Patrick have found the alchemy that makes a borderline alcoholic, mad-genius-Brit the man you want fighting in America’s corner," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. It's basically Anchorman but with Captain Jean-Luc Picard in place of Ron Burgundy.

"Seth and Jonathan have struck the right balance between biting wit and outright absurdity in building this world, and we cannot wait for Patrick to breathe life into Walter." That will happen sometime in 2015, and Starz has already committed to giving Blunt Talk two seasons for a total of 20 episodes. Produced by Media Rights Capital — which also oversees House of Cards — the show was reportedly shopped around to other potential partners like Netflix and Showtime. But it's a decent pickup for Starz, which has at times struggled to keep up with the acclaimed programming on rival networks. There have been some standouts though, including Party Down, which was a critical darling but a ratings disaster before its cancellation in 2010. As for Blunt Talk, sadly there's no word yet on a potential Ian McKellen cameo.