'Black Sails' On Starz: Michael Bay-Produced 'Treasure Island' Prequel Gets 8 Episode Order

Starz and Michael Bay are setting sail on the high seas. The premium cable network has ordered an eight-episode season of "Black Sails," a pirate drama set to focus on "Treasure Island's" Captain Flint.

The project, written and created by "Jericho" showrunner Jon Steinberg, will be set 20 years before Robert Louis Stevenson's iconic tale. Its protagonist, Captain Flint, who was known as "the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day," takes on a slick new recruit to his crew who goes by the name of John Silver, according to a press release. "Black Sails" will be set on New Providence Island, a "criminal haven" inhabited by a motley crew of "pirates, prostitues, thieves and fortune seekers."

"I'm excited to branch out into television, especially doing a long-form series for Starz, a network known for supporting cutting edge programming," Michael Bay, the producer of cinematic hits such as "Transformers" and "Armageddon," said of his transition to TV in a statement.

For Starz, "Black Sails" is another step in expanding its original programming slate in an attempt to compete with HBO and Showtime. The glitzy Miami gangster drama "Magic City" made its debut in April, and the action-packed gladiator tale "Spartacus" has also gained a loyal and dedicated following. "Boss," a political drama starring Kelsey Grammer, premiered in 2011 and earned Grammer a Golden Globe win for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series-Drama.