After seven seasons of playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart made the leap to movies in the TNG films before jumping to a second successful franchise with his role as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men universe. He's been seen very little on television since that time, but he's returning in a big way with the original Starz series Blunt Talk.
Creator Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death) and executive producer Seth MacFarlane (Ted 2) bring us Walter Blunt (Stewart), a British newscaster who ends up in Los Angeles to host the titular talk show. A brief teaser was enough to pique our interest in watching Stewart play a drug-addled media hound - and now we have a full trailer, which you can watch above.
The clear draw of Blunt Talk is in watching Stewart completely cut loose as the philandering, boozing, coke-snorting megalomaniac Walter Blunt. His onscreen persona has been a paragon of decency for so long that it's easy to forget how good he can be at embracing the weird and raunchy, as evidenced by his long-time role as the voice of Avery Bullock on MacFarlane's American Dad (or his voice role as the narrator for the Ted movies).
In this trailer, we're given a glimpse of some of the insanity Walter Blunt wades into as he sets out to conquer L.A.. Some of the memorable moments include Blunt's flogging at the hands of his alcoholic manservant Harry (Adrian Scarborough); fending off a gaggle of police officers; sword fighting; taking serious offense at the dismissal of the Falklands conflict; and collapsing in front of his crew.
With all of the series' first ten episodes penned by the sharply satirical Jonathan Ames (and under the guidance of Seth MacFarlane's acute R-rated sensibilities), Patrick Stewart's up-for-anything turn in Blunt Talk could propel the show into the first ranks of original cable comedy.
Starz had a low-key fan favorite with the short-lived L.A.-set Party Down - and while original period dramas Black Sails and Outlander and going strong, Blunt Talk looks like a refreshing return to ribald comic form for the network. We don't yet have a solid premiere date, but stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
Blunt Talk will premiere on Starz in the summer of 2015.