Hoping to pull itself out of the premium cable ghetto and become more than just a repository for movies that HBO long ago exhausted, Encore is looking to follow its sister channel Starz into the realm of original programming and pluck all the sweet, sweet prestige that grows like wildflowers there. In addition to this fall’s documentary Method To The Madness Of Jerry Lewis, the network will also air a three-hour miniseries adaptation of Moby Dick starring William Hurt as Captain Ahab, Gillian Anderson as his wife, and Ethan Hawke as Starbuck. Following Moby Dick is another, more recent literary adaptation of Martina Cole’s crime thriller novel The Take, starring everyone’s current favorite ruffian, Tom Hardy.
Of course, both aren’t exactly original per se: Moby Dick was commissioned by Germany’s Tele Munchen in 2009, the same year that The Take aired on ITV—which seems to fall in line with Encore’s hesitant assertions to The Hollywood Reporter that it plans to play it “a little more safe” than Starz’s expensive historical epics. But Encore nevertheless believes that these humble beginnings will soon help it become another home for original programming in the world of cable. But don’t worry, we’re pretty sure this means you can still catch reruns of Old Dogs. Seriously, that movie airs like five times a week.