12:01pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Starz Developing Jazz Drama From Tony Winner George C. Wolfe
Starz is ready to spin some jazz.
The premium cable network is developing Storyville, a jazz drama from film and theater writer-director George C. Wolfe, Starz announced Monday.
Storyville is based on an original idea by Wolfe, who won three Tony Awards for 1992's Broadway musical Jelly’s Last Jam‚ which centered on jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton whose career began in the so-called Storyville district.
Wolfe will pen the script and direct, with Colin Callender's Playground Entertainment on board to produce. Playground's vp development and production Scott Huff will oversee the drama.
The deal reunites Starz CEO Chris Albrecht with Callender — they previously collaborated during their tenure at HBO.
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"We’re glad to be working in partnership again with Colin Callender and Playground Entertainment on this series and with one of Broadway's most respected producers and directors, George C. Wolfe, for the first time. His love and expertise in this particular world will allow us to take viewers back to turn-of-the-century New Orleans during the birth of jazz in the midst of profound corruption,” said Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik.
Wolfe's theater credits include directing Nora Ephron’s Tony-nominated Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, and winning a Tony for his work on Angels in America, which was adapted at HBO. Wolfe is repped by CAA.
Musicals continue to be a high priority for both broadcast and cable networks. HBO is developing a 1970s rock-and-roll drama from Martin Scorsese and Rolling Stones' frontman Mick Jagger; NBC is prepping its Peter Pan live musical; ABC will launch fairy tale musical Galavant in January; Fox has hip-hop drama Empire on tap for midseason, as well as the sixth and final run of Glee.
Should Storyville move forward, it would join a roster of original scripted fare at Starz including Black Sails, DaVinci's Demons, Power, Outlander, Flesh and Bone, Survivor's Remorse, The Missing as well as upcoming Blunt Talk, The Girlfriend Experience and The One Percent.