Following in the footsteps of Grease: Live and the recent remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fox has announced a new musical series about the famous night club COTTON CLUB that operated in the ’20s and ’30s in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. The series is in early development with Sony Pictures Television and Storyline Entertainment.
Opening first in 1923, the club was an establishment only for white patrons although it featured several famous black entertainers, including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. The series will explore this dichotomy and how it unfolded until the club closed in 1935, before briefly re-opening from 1936 to 1940 in a new location.
Ayanna Floyd will serve as writer and showrunner, as well as an executive producer alongside Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Mark Nicholson, John Rice, and Joe Batteer. Two other exec producers on the series will be Kenny Leon and L.A. Reid, who will also be the director and executive music supervisor, respectively.
Zadan and Meron also produced NBC’s live musical adaptations of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray, and the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie.
In 1984, Francis Ford Coppola released a film about the establishment called The Cotton Club starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane.
Floyd serves as an executive producer on Empire and previously on Private Practice and Hannibal. She is represented by ICM and Rain Management.
Zadan, Meron, Leon, and Reid are repped by CAA.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor