LOS ANGELES — Starz has given the greenlight to Steven Soderbergh’s 13-part anthology series inspired by the 2009 film of the selfsame title, “The Girlfriend Experience.”
The original feature, directed by Soderbergh and written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, starred famed former porn star Sasha Grey in one of her first non-XXX roles. Grey portrayed Chelsea, a high-class Manhattan call girl who unsuccessfully attempted to juggle clients, boyfriend and her personal passions.
Keeping with its processor’s premise, "The Girlfriend Experience" will explore the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex. These purveyors — or GFEs (Girlfriend Experience) — share intimacies more common to romantic partners or husbands and wives, becoming quasi-lovers and confidants who are richly paid for their time.
Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman will serve as executive producers on the scripted series, along with independent filmmakers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz, who will also write and direct.
CEO of Starz Chris Albrecht said, "We are all such fans of the movie that the idea of exploring this world through many different characters, voices and points of view was especially intriguing. Steven and Philip's approach to the format is unique and not something seen on the entertainment landscape today. Working with Steven is always a thrill, and we are excited to break the mold with this project yet again."
"We're in an exciting period of auteur-driven television right now," Soderbergh said. "When Philip floated the idea of a ‘Girlfriend Experience’-inspired television show, I thought: 'let's make it a different woman in a different city, let's pair two independent writer/directors, one male and one female, and let them do the whole thing.' I've known Lodge for 20 years and I became a fan of Amy's when I saw her first feature last summer. We went to Chris Albrecht because he and I have been trying to find something to do together since we did ‘K Street’ 11 years ago. He responded without hesitation to both the idea of the show and the approach."