Spartacus is reason enough alone for me to subscribe to Starz, but my support for the pay-cable channel also comes from enjoying watching it develop its identity, experimenting with programming that other networks might pass over. If there’s a pattern developing among the best of what Starz has offered over the last few years, it’s that the network is willing to take chances, and that fun is a common theme for their series.

Party Down was fun, as is Spartacus, though both shows are entertaining for different reasons. Torchwood, which is airing its fourth season on the pay-cable network can also be described as fun, combining humor with an intriguing, dark, twisted sci-fi scenario involving a world without death. In addition to adding to the unique appeal of Starz, Torchwood: Miracle Day is also a fine example of how well a U.K.-based show can mesh with American television without being done-over, and a great demonstration of what BBC and Starz can do when they put their heads together. The tone and pace of the series has shifted somewhat from where they were before the jump to Starz for its fourth season, but so far, the show has maintained the best of what it was while improving on itself in all the right ways.

The BBC/Starz combination is working for Torchwood. Perhaps it’ll work just as well or better for other shows. We’re going to find out. It was announced today that Starz Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Productions have locked arms for an innovative multi-year agreement to develop, produce and distribute TV shows together. The announcement didn’t include specifics on the kind of shows that will be produced, but Starz subscribers in the US and Canada will find them on the pay-cable channel, while BBC Worldwide will distribute them abroad.

Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions commented on the deal, stating, “Working with Starz on Torchwood: Miracle Day has been a collaborative and invigorating journey. We’re very much looking forward to bringing Starz’ subscribers more of the programming they’re coming to expect - intelligent, groundbreaking, and honest storytelling, which is synonymous with our BBC roots and values.”

I like her optimism and as a Starz subscriber, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more specifics on the projects they’ll be working on together. I think it’s fair to say that Starz and BBC’s union has benefited Torchwood. The partnership for future shows likely means good things for viewers on both sides of the pond.

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