22 January 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Chris Albrecht worked the crowd with confidence at Starz’s first-ever investor day presentation in November. The CEO summoned his roots as a standup comic with a breezy anecdote about his previous job at HBO, recounting how Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks gave him and his then-boss Jeff Bewkes the hard sell on greenlighting the megabucks WWII miniseries “Band of Brothers.” As Albrecht and Bewkes drove to Spielberg’s house for the pitch, the two vowed they would agree to produce it for $90 million — not a penny more.

After an hour of Spielberg and Hanks regaling the execs with inspirational tales of the men of Easy Company, they cut to the chase. The whole thing, Spielberg promised, could be done for $110 million. Albrecht and Bewkes looked at each other. Bewkes gave a shrug that said, ‘What the hell — go for it.’”

Albrecht waited a beat before telling the crowd of analysts, »

- Cynthia Littleton

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