There should be an entertainment recipe book called Just Add Patrick Stewart, which lists a bunch of different kinds of entertainment and adds Sir Patrick Stewart to them. (Don’t steal my idea!) 20 years after Captain Jean-Luc Picard was beamed off the air, Stewart is returning to American television and teaming up with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Bored to Death creator/author Jonathan Ames for the comedy series Blunt Talk, which has already been secured by Starz in a straight-to-series order. And not just one season, either.
Starz ordered 20 episodes, which will be aired as two 10-episode seasons starting in 2015. As produced by Media Rights Capital, who also put out MacFarlane’s Ted and the upcoming A Million Ways to Die in the West, Blunt Talk will be written by Ames, who created the concept and serves as showrunner and shares executive producer duties with MacFarlane. Stewart, beyond being the titular character Walter Blunt, will produce.
Who is Walter Blunt? He’s a British news anchor who moves to the United States with a firm plan on taking over American cable news, offering this country’s citizens guidance on how to live, think and behave. But in order to do that, he has to balance the day to day stresses of network heads, a mishandled staff, ex-wives, offspring of all ages, and a dependence on the bottle. As you can imagine, his decision-making skills aren’t always the most conducive to his own happiness, and the only person he can turn to is his alcoholic manservant he brought from England to L.A.
I think it sounds like a fantastic idea for a series, and Patrick Stewart is so dreadfully underutilized when it comes to live-action comedy. Luckily, he is tethered to MacFarlane through several projects, most notably American Dad, in which he voices Stan Smith’s boss. Stewart amusingly referred to the esoterically lewd character in the official press release.
”My career took an abrupt and radical left turn when Seth McFarlane created CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock on American Dad. This new character, Walter Blunt, is not at all like Avery, thank God, because this is live action and I am a Knight of the Realm. Blunt is, however, much smarter than Avery and has his own TV show, which has to be better than being Deputy Director of the CIA.”
Check out one of Avery’s more recent disturbing confessions in the video below.
It doesn’t quite seem like Walter is going to be heads and shoulders above Avery in terms of being an upstanding citizen. Though Bored to Death had its share of adult situations, it wasn’t what one would call raunchy; but Seth MacFarlane doesn’t do PG-13 material, and Starz was the home of Party Down, one of the funniest and consistently dark comedies on TV. So Blunt Talk will no doubt fall somewhere in the middle of those two comedic ideologies.
Stewart, who stars in the Tribeca-screened comedic drama Match, will be making things move with his mind next month in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, reprising the role of Professor Charles Xavier. Here’s hoping Blunt Talk is as powerfully magnetic as Professor X’s arch enemy.