Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Developing Cotton Club Musical TV Series with Kenny Leon at the Helm

Film & TV News   Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Developing Cotton Club Musical TV Series with Kenny Leon at the Helm The music series will highlight the 1920s Harlem hotspot, which was also the subject of the Broadway revue After Midnight.
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Director/Produce Kenny Leon Chris Haston/NBC

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—the Broadway producers behind NBC's The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live!, The Wiz Live!, and Hairspray Live!—are currently developing a new series for Fox about Harlem's Cotton Club, one of the hottest nightspots of the roaring ’20s, according to Variety.

Tony winner Kenny Leon, who directed the aforementioned Hairspray Live, will direct the music series, which will be penned by showrunner Ayanna Floyd (Empire, Private Practice). Leon and Floyd will also serve as executive producers with Zadan and Meron. The executive music supervisor is LA Reid (American Idol).

The series, from Sony Pictures Television and Storyline Entertainment, will focus on the “club and the interconnected lives of the black entertainers who performed there and the white gangsters who ran it,” according to the industry website. Co-executive producers include Mark Nicholson, John Rice, and Joe Batteer.

No timeline has been announced; the script is currently being developed.

The Cotton Club was also the subject (and title) of a 1984 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Richard Gere. The 2013 Broadway musical revue After Midnight celebrated Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. The rotating roster of headliners included Fantasia Barrino, Toni Braxton, Vanessa Williams, and Patti LaBelle.

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