Your Sunday nights are about to become even more competitive as Starz CEO Chris Albrecht has announced that the network’s entire Saturday night lineup of original programming will be moved to Sunday nights, to compete with HBO and Showtime.
So that means, when “Power” returns for season 3 this summer, it will air on Sunday nights, not Saturdays as has been the case for the last 2 seasons. It has also been Starz’s highest-rated original series since its premiere, and with that kind of momentum behind it, and a much-anticipated third season in front of it, one can understand Albrecht’s confidence in the move.
There’s also the LeBron James produced scripted dramedy series “Survivor’s Remorse,” which will also be moved to Sunday nights, from Saturdays, when it returns this summer as well.
It’s worth noting that Albrecht was once HBO’s chairman and CEO.
“We see opportunity,” Albrecht says in a press statement. “Saturdays have worked so well that we feel our shows are going to be able to stand up on the most watched night of the week.”
Emmy award (and overall TV award season) consideration could also be a motivation for the move; if you think about it, historically, the heavy-hitters tend to air on Sunday nights, from “Game of Thrones,” to “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Good Wife,” “Homeland,” “Penny Dreadful,” and the list goes on…
I should mention that Starz’s Saturday night lineup doesn’t return until July 17, and when that happens, “Game of Thrones'” current season will be over; as will Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful.” So “Power” and “Survivor’s Remorse” won’t compete with them. However, Starz does have other Saturday night franchises that air during other seasons of the year, like “Outlander” (currently in its second season, which debuted last month), as well as “Ash vs Evil Dead,” which was a fall series, and upcoming, there’s the much-anticipated adaptation of “American God’s” which is currently filming with Ricky Whittle in the lead, and others.
So no more Saturday night originals from Starz; Sundays are where each of the above shows (and those not listed) will air from now on, whenever they return or premiere for the first time. So, at some point, they will go head-to-head with the bigger boys; but even the basic network TV channels (like CBS, NBC, ABC, etc) are in the Sunday night game, as is Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network, as it sets up to launch its own set of new original scripted series, including Ava DuVernay’s “Queen Sugar,” which might debut later this year, or spring of next year at the latest (although we don’t yet know what day and time it will be slotted).
“Sundays are a prestige night and we feel our shows are definitely going to be very competitive, not just in viewership but in the attention-getting business on Sundays… So it made sense to move,” Albrecht added.
So, again, your Sunday nights just got a little more crowded. My guess is that DVRs will be working overtime.
“Power” starts its third season on Sunday, July 17 at 9PM ET/PT. The Season Three premiere episode, “Call Me James” will air with a triple play beginning at 9PM in its move to Sunday nights. The upcoming season of “Power” will include ten hour-long episodes.
“Survivor’s Remorse” will premiere its third season on Sunday, July 24 at 10PM ET/PT with the first two episodes of the season airing back-to-back with “The Night of the Crash” followed by “The Ritual.” The upcoming season of “Survivor’s Remorse” will include ten half-hour episodes.
New trailers for both new seasons are embedded below: