Starz has put in development Storyville, a drama series set in New Orleans during the turn of the 20th century where prostitution Starz logowas decriminalized and an exceedingly vibrant, hedonistic, celebratory subculture emerged and fueled the birth of jazz. The project is based on an original idea by film and theater writer/director George C. Wolfe (Nights in Rodanthe, Lackawanna Blues) who will write and direct. Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment is producing the series, with the company’s VP Scott Huff overseeing.

storyvillenolaWolfe knows the setting of Storyline well — he won three Tony Awards for the 1992 Broadway musical Jelly’s Last Jam about Jelly Roll Morton whose career began in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans from 1897 to 1917 which became a refuge for musicians of different races who were looking to experiment with new styles.

Storyville marks the latest collaboration between Starz and Callender, who has a deal with the premium cable network. He has produced Starz miniseries The White Queen, series Magic City and limited series The Missing.

“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,” said Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik. “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.”

Wolfe previously worked with Callender on the Broadway production of Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, which Wolfe directed and Callender produced. Wolfe is repped by CAA.