Encore is moving into the original programming business come August. Encore Originals will kick off Aug. 1 with Moby Dick, an on-screen adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic novel. The three hour miniseries stars William Hurt as Captain Ahab and Ethan Hawke as his first mate Starbuck, and also boasts Gillian Anderson and Donald Sutherland in supporting roles.
Come fall, Encore will follow up with The Take, a four-part miniseries based on Martina Cole’s best-selling crime novel. The Take already aired in the UK in 2009, and features Inception‘s Tom Hardy and Brian Cox (X2: X-Men United).
A feature-length documentary about comedy legend Jerry Lewis, Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, is also scheduled to air next fall, and will showcase the career of the 85-year-old actor/comedian/humanitarian.
The net’s exec VP of programming Stephan Shelanski promises more to come in the future. “Encore Originals will complement the quality movie programming found on Encore, and build upon the consistently strong viewership with the introduction of quality original programming,” he said in a statement. “We are committed to continue Encore Originals in future years with a diverse array of programming additions that will complement the premium programming mix.”