'Empire' Writers Land Supernatural Hip-Hop Drama at HBO

Carlito Rodriguez and Leah Benavides Rodriguez
Courtesy of HBO

Carlito Rodriguez and Leah Benavides Rodriguez

HBO has landed a drama project from a pair of former Empire writers that combines hip-hop and the supernatural.

The premium cable outlet is developing Thirst, from writers and showrunners Leah Benavides Rodriguez and Carlito Rodriguez. The drama also counts among its executive producers Malcolm Spellman and Nichelle Tramble Spellman, who previously worked on HBO's scrapped Confederate alongside Game of Thrones' David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

The show comes from MACRO Television Studios and is based on an original concept by former VH1 creative director Kevin Jordan, who has a first-look deal with the indie studio.

Thirst tells the story of a brilliant but cocky Atlanta rapper who thinks he's found his way to stardom when he links up with hip-hop's hottest group but has no idea that they're hiding a terrifying secret: They are a family of vampires with roots going back centuries. Blending a vibrant journey through the world of music with a sweeping, new vampire mythology, the show explores the price of fame and legacy in America and asks the eternal question: Who would you become if you could live forever?

"Music has been integral to both our lives, and Thirst is the perfect opportunity to blend genres, while exploring the intersection of fame, culture and what it means to be American," said Benavides Rodriguez and Rodriguez. "We're excited to bring it to life with MACRO Television Studios and the rest of our dope team, and thrilled it has found its home at HBO."

Benavides Rodriguez and Rodriguez will executive produce with Ben Watkins for Blue Monday Productions; Spellman and Tramble Spellman for The 51; Jordan, and Charles D. King and Marta Fernandez for MACRO. Greta Fuentes of MACRO will oversee the project with Fernandez.

Benavides Rodriguez is repped by Industry Entertainment and Del Shaw. Rodriguez is repped by Intellectual Property Group and Del Shaw. Jordan is with CAA.