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Hookers and blow lead off Patrick Stewart’s new series Blunt Talk

If you’ve gotten used to the resigned, dignified role model that Patrick Stewart usually plays on screen (Capt. Picard, Charles Xavier), get ready for a serious change-up. Stewart is in rare form in the newly-released trailer for Blunt Talk, the upcoming Starz comedy from Seth MacFarlane and Jonathan Ames.

The new trailer for the show features Stewart as Walter Blunt, a broken British TV news anchor who shows he is aptly named in the first few seconds on screen. Apart from being a blow-hard egotist, Stewart displays all shades of debauchery as Blunt, from snorting coke off a picture frame, to getting busted with (presumably) a hooker, showing a hilarious look at a news anchor on the edge.

The trailer also goes a bit meta, as the show appears to take a swipe at Bill O’Reilly. At one point an employee is seen reading Blunt a line in which he’s being implicitly accused of making false claims about being wounded in the Falklands. As Deadline reports, last month there was some controversy regarding O’Reilly’s coverage of protests in Buenos Aires following the Falklands War back when he was at CBS. Many questioned O’Reilly’s accounts of what he called a “war zone.”

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Stewart’s involvement in the new project alone is enough to gain plenty of attention. Watching his portrayal of a troubled, blundering TV personality is such a departure from the roles that made the Shakespearean-trained actor famous, it makes this coming series all the more intriguing.

However, while this may be a new look for Stewart in a lead role, the actor has never been timid about going blue for the sake of a laugh. Many may not realize Stewart already has a working relationship with the funnyman MacFarlane as the voice of C.I.A. Deputy Director Avery Bullock in MacFarlane’s animated series American Dad!, and there’s no shortage of lewd comedy at play there.

Not surprisingly given the heavyweights behind the project, Starz has already committed to two seasons of the show, which will be executive produced by MacFarlane and consist of half hour-long episodes. It is scheduled to launch some time this summer. This will be the second recent half hour comedy for the cable network – the first was Survivor’s Remorse, produced by NBA star LeBron James, and starring Mike Epps.

And for those who fell in love with the short-lived cult-classic from Starz, Party Down, fingers are already being crossed for more comedic gold.