"True Blood" Writer-Producer At the Helm of New TV Musical Drama "Virtuoso" | Playbill

News "True Blood" Writer-Producer At the Helm of New TV Musical Drama "Virtuoso" The new musical drama "Virtuoso," which is being produced by Elton John, David Furnish, Alan Ball and Peter Macdissi, has received a pilot pickup, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Alan Ball will write, executive produce and direct the drama, which is set in 18th-century Vienna and follows talented young students attending the Academy of Musical Excellence.

The cast includes Macdissi ("True Blood," "Six Feet Under"), Iva Babic ("One Shot," "Metastases"), Francois Civil ("Rosemary's Baby," "Frank"), Lindsay Farris ("The Code,""Parer's War"), Nico Mirallegro ("The Village," "My Mad Fat Diary") and Alex Lawther ("The Imitation Game," "Benjamin Britten: Peace and Conflict").

John is a Tony Award winner for Billy Elliot, for which he wrote the score. He also wrote the music for The Lion King, Aida and Lestat and served as a producer for Next Fall.

Furnish directed the BAFTA-nominated documentary "Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras." He formed the film production company Rocket Pictures, producing the independent films "Women Talking Dirty" and "It's a Boy/Girl Thing" and the music television series "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…" In 2011, Rocket Pictures released its first major animated feature "Gnomeo & Juliet." Furnish served as a producer for Next Fall and Billy Elliott.

Academy Award winner Ball executive produced "Banshee," "True Blood," "Six Feet Under" and "Cybill," among others. The pilot story, which was created by Ball, Macdissi and Steve Hamilton-Shaw, was written by Ball. It will be filmed in the spring in Budapest.

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