‘Dangerous Liaisons,’ ‘Becoming Elizabeth’ & ‘Step Up’ Pulled From Starz As Streaming Removals Become More Widespread



The glut of shows being pulled from streaming services continues. 

Starz has pulled a trio of titles – Dangerous Liaisons, Becoming Elizabeth and Step Up from its streaming service. All three titles have been canceled but it’s another example of a company taking finished shows off their own service. 

It comes after HBO Max pulled series such as Westworld, The Nevers, Raised By Wolves, The Time Traveler’s Wife as well as a slew of reality shows including FBoy Island and a raft of animated titles from its service last year. 

Over the weekend, HBO Max also pulled a number of episodes of the original Looney Tunes, including seasons 16 to 31, as well as three seasons of The Flintstones. These shows were removed after their licenses expired.

The strategy at Warner Bros. Discovery was in part formed by tax write offs that it could gain after the merger, as well as interest in selling poorly performing titles to advertiser-supported services. 

However, it’s not clear why Starz is removing its shows. The company declined to comment on specifics. 

It could be as part of owner Lionsgate’s plans to spin off its studio from Starz, which it expects to do in the next few months, completing the separation of its businesses by the end of the second quarter of 2023, or it could similarly be looking to sell these shows elsewhere to FAST channels and ad-supported streamers.

Of the trio, Becoming Elizabeth was the first to be canceled in November due to low ratings. The series, created by Anya Reiss, followed the early life of Queen Elizabeth I of England (portrayed by Alicia von Rittberg), an orphaned teenager who becomes embroiled in the politics of the English court on her journey to secure the crown. Romola Garai, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen and Bella Ramsey also starred.

The series was produced by All3Media-backed UK producer The Forge with exec producers including Reiss, George Ormond and George Faber.

Dangerous Liaisons was the second period drama series not moving forward at Starz, it was announced a month later. The cancelation was a reversal of an earlier Season 2 renewal that was greenlit before the show’s premiere. The period drama tells the origin story of how the Marquise de Merteuil (Alice Englert) and Vicomte de Valmont (Nicholas Denton) met on the eve of the revolution in Paris.

It comes from Lionsgate TV, Playground Entertainment, and Flame Ventures with creator Harriet Warner exec producing alongside Colin Callender, Tony Krantz, Bethan Jones, Scott Huff, and Christopher Hampton.

Step Up was canceled in December, as revealed by Deadline. The network picked up the title from YouTube Red after it was canceled after two seasons. Based on the Step Up film franchise, the series followed the students and faculty of High Water, Atlanta’s most cutthroat performing arts school. Naya Rivera starred in the show’s first two seasons in the role of Collette Jones; Christina Milian was recast in the role following Rivera’s death in 2020.

It was produced by Lionsgate TV with creator Holly Sorensen exec producing alongside Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Erik Feig, Bill Brown and Dawn Wilkinson.