Boss (TV series)

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Boss
Boss Intertitle.png
Genre Political drama/thriller
Psychological thriller
Created by Farhad Safinia
Starring
Theme music composer traditional, arranged by Robert Plant and Buddy Miller
Opening theme Robert Plant - "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down"
Ending theme "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down" (instrumental)
Composer(s) Brian Reitzell[1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 18 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Location(s) Chicago, IL
Camera setup Single
Running time 54-60 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channel Starz
Picture format NTSC (480i)
HDTV 1080i
Original run October 21, 2011 (2011-10-21) – October 19, 2012 (2012-10-19)
External links
Website

Boss is an American political drama television serial created by Farhad Safinia. The series stars Kelsey Grammer as Tom Kane, the mayor of Chicago, who has recently been diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies, a degenerative neurological disorder.

The series was broadcast in the United States on the premium television service Starz, and is produced by Category 5 Entertainment, Grammnet Productions and Lionsgate Television. On September 27, 2011, before the series premiered, Starz announced that Boss had been renewed for a second season of ten episodes.[2] The first season premiered on October 21, 2011,[3] and the second season premiered on August 17, 2012.[4]

On November 20, 2012, it was announced that Starz had cancelled the show.[5] A film was being discussed to finish the show's storylines,[6] however those plans were cancelled after series creator Farhad Safinia declined to move forward with the project.[7]

Overview[edit]

The series follows Tom Kane, the Mayor of Chicago, who has recently been diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies, a degenerative neurological disorder. Determined to remain in charge, Kane conceals the disease from everyone around him except his own physician, Dr. Ella Harris. Those around Kane are too busy with their own lives to notice anything unusual. Kane's marriage to his wife Meredith is nothing more than one of convenience. Kane's closest advisors, Kitty O'Neill and Ezra Stone, begin to suspect something is wrong with the Mayor but respect him too much to ask any questions, while State Treasurer Ben Zajac is too busy cultivating his political ambitions to become the next Governor of Illinois to notice anything out of the ordinary.

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Kelsey Grammer as Tom Kane, the Mayor of Chicago
  • Connie Nielsen as Meredith Kane, Tom's wife
  • Hannah Ware as Emma Kane, Tom Kane's estranged daughter
  • Jeff Hephner as Ben Zajac, Illinois State Treasurer and candidate for Governor
  • Kathleen Robertson as Kitty O'Neill, Tom Kane's personal aide
  • Troy Garity as Sam Miller (Recurring Season 1; Main cast Season 2), a political journalist working for The Sentinel
  • Jonathan Groff as Ian Todd (Season 2), a political upstart trying to get Kane's ear.
  • Rotimi as Darius (Recurring Season 1; Main cast Season 2), a drug dealer with whom Emma is romantically involved
  • Tip "T.I." Harris as Trey (Season 2), a former gang member with designs on a career in Chicago’s City Hall
  • Sanaa Lathan as Mona Fredricks (Season 2), Tom Kane's new chief of staff.

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Martin Donovan as Ezra Stone (Main cast season 1; Recurring season 2), Tom Kane's senior political advisor
  • Francis Guinan as McCall "Mac" Cullen (Season 1-2), Governor of Illinois, who is running for re-election
  • Amy Morton as Catherine Walsh (Season 2), the Republican candidate for governor
  • Nicole Forester as Maggie Zajac (Season 1-2), Ben Zajac's wife
  • Karen Aldridge as Dr. Ella Harris (Season 1-2), Tom Kane's neurologist
  • James Vincent Meredith as Alderman Ross (Season 1-2), an Alderman serving on the Chicago City Council, from the South Side
  • Anthony Mockus Sr. as Mayor Rutledge (Season 1-2), Tom Kane's predecessor and Meredith's father, is in a catatonic state
  • Gil Bellows as Vacarro (Season 2), casino investor and Meredith`s lover
  • Doug James as the Grey Haired Man[8] (Season 1-2), Tom Kane's enforcer
  • Jennifer Mudge as Debra Whitehead (Season 1), care-taker/nurse to Tom Kane's father-in-law
  • Ricardo Gutierrez as Alderman Mata (Season 1), an Alderman serving on the Chicago City Council, representing the 30th ward
  • Joe Minoso as Moco Ruiz (Season 1), the head of a construction company working on the O'Hare expansion
  • Steve Lenz as Phone Monkey (Season 1-2) an aide to Tom Kane
  • Mary Hollis Inboden as Jackie Shope (Season 1-2), A journalist at The Sentinel working under Sam Miller

Development and production[edit]

Boss was developed by Farhad Safinia in late 2009, with creative input from Kelsey Grammer and his production company Grammnet Productions.[9] In November 2010, the script was shopped around to various cable networks and following a heated and contentious bidding war, Starz placed an eight episode order for the series, based solely on the strength of the script.[9] This was in keeping with Starz business model of not ordering pilots but rather green lighting projects straight-to-series.[9] Safinia wrote the pilot, Gus Van Sant was attached to the project as director, with Grammer, Safinia, Van Sant, Richard Levine, Lyn Greene, Brian Sher and Stella Bulochnikov-Stopler serving as executive producers.[9][10]

Casting announcements began in November 2010, with Grammer first to be cast. He portrays Tom Kane, "the Mayor of Chicago who is diagnosed with a degenerative mental condition that only he and his doctor know about."[9] Next to join the series was Connie Nielsen as Meredith Kane, Tom's wife, "Meredith and Kane have a bad marriage and barely speak when they aren't in public."[11] Jeff Hephner was next to be cast as Ben Zajac, "the state's treasurer, an impeccably handsome and ambitious Chicago native who is clearly about to become a major player on the Chicago political scene."[12] Hannah Ware and Kathleen Robertson were the last actors to join the main cast, with Ware playing Emma Kane, Tom Kane's estranged daughter, and Robertson playing Kitty O'Neil, Kane's personal aide.[13]

Starz later announced that Martin Donovan, Francis Guinan, Rotimi, Karen Aldridge, Troy Garity, Ricardo Gutierrez, James Vincent Meredith and Joe Minoso had joined the series as recurring guest stars.[14] Martin Donovan was cast as Ezra Stone, "A savvy Yale graduate, and senior advisor to Kane, Stone knows the Mayor better than anyone. Whether it’s pushing Kane’s agenda, or assisting with personal matters, Ezra always delivers."[14] Francis Guinan was cast as Governor McCall Cullen, "The governor of Illinois, Cullen hates playing along with the Mayor’s apparent unwavering support for his re-election bid. And his ugly temper is getting even worse."[14] Rotimi Akinosho was cast as Darius, "a muscular drug dealer who’s covered in tattoos, but he’s smart, well spoken, and cares for his sick uncle."[14] Karen Aldrige was cast as Dr Ella Harris, Mayor Kane's neurologist and the only other person who knows about his current medical condition.[14] Garity was cast as Sam Miller, "a politically savvy journalist for The Sentinel, with a nose for a real story."[14] Ricardo Gutierrez was cast as Alderman Mata, "Political boss of the 30th ward, Mata is a thug in a suit who believes the ends justify the means, however vicious."[14] James Vincent Meredith was cast as Alderman Ross, "Kane’s biggest rival",[14] and Joe Minoso was cast as Moco Ruiz, "A construction worker, Ruiz is one of Mata’s guys."[14]

Filming of the series took place between April 27, 2011, and July 27, 2011, on location in Chicago, Illinois.[13][15]

At the 2011 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Starz announced that Boss would premiere on October 21, 2011.[3] The second season premiered on August 17, 2012.[16] The series is produced by Category 5 Entertainment, Grammnet Productions and Lionsgate Television.

List of episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 8 October 21, 2011 (2011-10-21) December 9, 2011 (2011-12-09) July 24, 2012 (2012-07-24)[17] June 17, 2013 (2013-06-17)[18] January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22)[19]
2 10 August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17) October 19, 2012 (2012-10-19) April 9, 2013 (2013-04-09)[20] June 30, 2014 (2014-06-30)[21] July 16, 2014 (2014-07-16)[22]

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Listen" Gus Van Sant Farhad Safinia October 21, 2011 (2011-10-21) 0.66[23]
2 2 "Reflex" Jim McKay Farhad Safinia October 28, 2011 (2011-10-28) 0.39[24]
3 3 "Swallow" Mario Van Peebles Lyn Green & Richard Levine November 4, 2011 (2011-11-04) 0.27[25]
4 4 "Slip" Jim McKay Bradford Winters November 11, 2011 (2011-11-11) N/A
5 5 "Remembered" Jean de Segonzac Angelina Burnett November 18, 2011 (2011-11-18) N/A
6 6 "Spit" Mario Van Peebles Lyn Green & Richard Levine November 25, 2011 (2011-11-25) N/A
7 7 "Stasis" Jean de Segonzac Bradford Winters December 2, 2011 (2011-12-02) N/A
8 8 "Choose" Mario Van Peebles Farhad Safinia December 9, 2011 (2011-12-09) 0.51[26]

Season 2 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
9 1 "Louder Than Words" Jim McKay Dee Johnson August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17) 0.32[27]
10 2 "Through and Through" Jean de Segonzac Bradford Winters August 24, 2012 (2012-08-24) 0.23[28]
11 3 "Ablution" Lesli Linka Glatter Angelina Burnett August 31, 2012 (2012-08-31) 0.37[29]
12 4 "Redemption" Phil Abraham Julie Hébert September 7, 2012 (2012-09-07) 0.39[30]
13 5 "Mania" Jean de Segonzac Kevin J. Hynes September 14, 2012 (2012-09-14) 0.38[31]
14 6 "Backflash" Mario Van Peebles Bradford Winters September 21, 2012 (2012-09-21) 0.41[32]
15 7 "The Conversation" Nelson McCormick Angelina Burnett September 28, 2012 (2012-09-28) 0.31[33]
16 8 "Consequence" Jean de Segonzac Paul Keables October 5, 2012 (2012-10-05) 0.44[34]
17 9 "Clinch" Mario Van Peebles Julie Hébert October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12) 0.34[35]
18 10 "True Enough" Jean de Segonzac Dee Johnson October 19, 2012 (2012-10-19) 0.44[36]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The series received two nominations for the 69th Golden Globe Awards for Best Drama Series and Kelsey Grammer received a nomination for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama.[37] Kelsey Grammer won his category, while the show lost out to Homeland.

Ratings[edit]

The show garnered a total of 1.7 million viewers across multiple airings in its opening weekend. By comparison, other Starz TV series such as Spartacus: Gods of the Arena delivered 2.8 million viewers in its first weekend, Torchwood: Miracle Day produced 2 million viewers, and Camelot had 1.6 million viewers for the Friday airings alone.[38] However, just two weeks later, the ratings had fallen to around a quarter of a million. The third episode, "Swallow", aired on November 4, 2011 averaged only 268,000 viewers — down 31% from the week before on October 28 ("Reflex"), which had just 391,000 viewers.[25]

In an attempt to garner more television viewers, Starz shifted the season two premiere date from October 21, 2012 to August 17, 2012. This placed the season two premiere in a more advantageous state; between the finales of most summer shows on cable and the traditional launch of the fall television season, where an October launch would have been buried with many other programs.[16] Starz also put the season two premiere full episode online for free on August 20, 2012 for a limited time.[39]

The season two premiere had 317,000 viewers, which was less than half of the 659,000 viewers who watched the series premiere. With encores that same night, the ratings rose to 509,000 viewers. Over the weekend, the season premiere pulled in 915,000 viewers, just under the 1.1 million average in the first season.[40]

The show's low ratings are cited as the main reason for its cancellation.[41]

International broadcasts[edit]

Country Network(s) Series premiere Timeslot
 Canada Bravo[42][43] October 9, 2013[43] Wednesday 22.00
 United Kingdom More4[44] March 21, 2013[45] Thursday 23.00
 Italy Rai Tre[46] October 4, 2012 Thursday 21.05
 Norway VOX[47] September 16, 2012 Sunday 22.10
 Australia SoHo[48] July 4, 2012 Wednesday 21.30
 Sweden SVT2[49] November 16, 2012 Friday 22.15
 Spain Canal+ 1[50] December 8, 2012 Saturday 21.30
 India Star World January 30, 2013 Saturday 09.30
 Indonesia HBO January 2, 2013 Monday 22.00
 Ireland TG4 January 2, 2013 Monday 23.00
 Germany FOX[51] March 18, 2013 Monday 20.15

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brian Reitzell to Score Starz’s ‘Boss’". Film Music Reporter. July 10, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 27, 2011). "Starz Renews New Series ‘Boss’ For Second Season Before Premiere". Deadline. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (July 29, 2011). "TCA: Kelsey Grammer On His Dramatic Transformation In Starz's 'Boss'". Deadline. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (Apr 11, 2012). "Starz Sets Return Date for Kelsey Grammer Starrer 'Boss'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 20, 2012). ""Boss" Cancelled by Starz After Two Seasons". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 20, 2012). ""Boss" Won't Return To Starz For Season 3, May Wrap Story With Two-Hour Movie". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Starz CEO Says The Boss Movie Is Dead". Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ ""Boss" (2011) - Full cast and crew". Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Andreeva, Nellie (November 18, 2010). "Starz To Greenlight Drama Series Starring Kelsey Grammer & Helmed By Gus Van Sant". Deadline. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 4, 2011). "'Nip/Tuck' Duo Join Starz's 'Boss' As EPs". Deadline. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 22, 2011). "Connie Nielsen To Star In Starz's Drama Series 'Boss'". Deadline. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 28, 2011). "Jeff Hephner To Co-Star On Starz's 'Boss'". Deadline. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (April 20, 2011). "Kelsey Grammer's The "Boss" in New Drama from Starz and Lionsgate". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Starz - Press Release: 'Boss' Cast & Characters". Starz. July 29, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ Metz, Nina (July 1, 2011). "Kelsey Grammer, the Boss of Chicago". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Starz Gives ‘Boss’ Season 2 Premiere Date". Apr 20, 2012. 
  17. ^ Lambert, David (April 30, 2012). "Boss - 'Season 1' of the Starz Show Starring Kelsey Grammer Announced for DVD, Blu". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Boss - Season 1 [DVD]". Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Boss: Season 1 (DVD)". Ezy DVD. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  20. ^ Lambert, David (January 16, 2013). "Boss - Pricing, Packaging and Bonus Material for 'Season 2' DVDs, Blu-rays". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Boss: Season 2 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Boss: Season 2 (DVD)". Ezy DVD. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  23. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 24, 2011). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'Smackdown!' Ties 'SpongeBob;' Plus 'Sanctuary,' 'Boss,' 'House Of Payne' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  24. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 31, 2011). "Friday Cable Ratings: Discovery's 'Gold Rush' Tops Cable + 'Friday Night Smackdown,' 'Sanctuary,' 'Boss' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  25. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (November 7, 2011). "'Boss' ratings: Gee, maybe that renewal wasn't such a good idea". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  26. ^ Seidman, Robert (December 12, 2011). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'Gold Rush' Wins Again + 'Smackdown,' 'Sanctuary,' 'For Better or Worse' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  27. ^ Bibel, Sara (August 20, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'Gold Rush: The Jungle' Wins Night, 'WWE Smackdown', 'For Better or Worse', 'Beyond Scared Straight', 'House of Payne, 'Lost Girl' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  28. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (August 27, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'Bering Sea Gold: Under The Ice' & 'Yukon Men' Win Night, + 'WWE Friday Night SmackDown', 'For Better or Worse' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  29. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 4, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: College Football Wins Night, 'WWE Smackdown', 'Robot Chicken', 'For Better or Worse','American Hoggers','Lost Girl ' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  30. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 10, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: WWE on Top + 'Bering Sea Gold: Under The Ice', 'Daily Show', 'American Pickers', 'Hardcore History', 'Yukon Men' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  31. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 17, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'WWE Smackdown' Wins Night, 'Yukon Men', 'Bering Sea Gold', 'Ultimate Fighter', 'Lost Girl', 'Gravity Falls' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  32. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 24, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'Friday Night Smackdown' Wins Night, + College Football, 'For Better or Worse', 'Haven', 'American Pickers' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  33. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 1, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: 'WWE Smackdown' Wins Night, 'For Better or Worse,', 'Diners Drive Ins & Dives', College Football, 'Yukon Men', 'House Hunters' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  34. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 9, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: MLB Wins Night + 'Friday Night SmackDown', 'Ultimate Fighter', College Football, 'UFC Fight night' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  35. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 15, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: Baseball Wins Night, 'Girl vs. Monster', 'WWE Smackdown', 'Yukon Men', 'Dog With a Blog', 'American Restoration' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  36. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 22, 2012). "Friday Cable Ratings: WWE Friday Night SmackDown Wins Night + 'Yukon Men', 'Gold Rush', 'Secret Princes', 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  37. ^ In Full: Golden Globes Awards 2012 - TV Nominees, December 15, 2011.
  38. ^ "Kelsey Grammer's 'Boss' gets decent start in ratings". 
  39. ^ http://www.starz.com/originals/Boss/Videos#/episode-201
  40. ^ O'Connell, Michael (August 20, 2012). "'Boss' Returns Shy of Freshman Premiere Ratings, Still Bests 'Magic City'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  41. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 20, 2012). "Starz Cancels Kelsey Grammer's 'Boss' After Two Seasons". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  42. ^ http://www.bravo.ca/Shows/Boss
  43. ^ a b Bird, Christopher (October 7, 2013). "'Televisualist: Subtropical Zombies' - Wednesday". Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  44. ^ Munn, Patrick (October 25, 2012). "Channel 4 Acquires UK Rights To ‘Boss’ & ‘The Mindy Project’". TVWise. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  45. ^ Munn, Patrick (March 6, 2013). "More4 Sets UK Premiere Date for 'Boss'". TVWise. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Boss, su Raitre Kelsey Grammer nel suo primo ruolo drammatico". October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Høstens serier på TVNorge, FEM, MAX og VOX". June 6, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Kelsey Grammer Stars In Boss. Australian Premiere July 4 On W". Foxtel. May 21, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  49. ^ "Kelsey Grammers grymme Boss till SVT". December 15, 2011. 
  50. ^ "Noticias: Todo 'Boss', desde el 8 de diciembre en CANAL+". November 21, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Boss-Homepage bei FOX Deutschland mit Ausstrahlungsterminen". Fox Germany. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

External links[edit]