This is an eye-catching team-up — teen heartthrob Zayn Malik, former member of the hugely popular boy band One Direction, has partnered with venerable TV producer Dick Wolf for Boys, a drama series that has been set up at NBC. It hails from Universal TV, studio-based Wolf Entertainment as well as Len Blavatnik’s Unigram and First Access Entertainment.
Written by Sherri Cooper Landsman and Jennifer Levin, Boys does mirror some of Malik’s real-life experiences. It follows the formation of a hugely successful boy band and captures all the excitement, competition and fun, but also provides an inside look into the pressure that follows.
“It’s exciting to be diving into this project with such passionate and prolific producers,” said Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “Zayn certainly brings an authentic point of view to this world where kids are catapulted into fame at a dizzying speed. On top of our excitement around the creative ideas being discussed, we have a lot of respect for the musical and digital ambitions behind the project.”
The project was brought to NBC by Noelle Wolf with Unigram’s Amanda Ghost and Gregor Cameron, who co-founded the company with Blavatnik, as well as Sarah Stennett of First Access Entertainment attached. Stennett will serve as executive music producer and, in partnership with NBCUniversal, will manage all music rights created in the series.
“We were intrigued by the synergistic potential that Zayn brings to the project,” said Wolf, who is married to Dick Wolf. “Boys will be a show that’s totally integrated on broadcast and digital platforms. Casting and original music will be major components, giving the show promotional potential on multiple levels.”
Boys is executive produced by Dick and Noelle Wolf, Zayn Malik, Amanda Ghost, Peter Jankowski, Sherri Cooper Landsman and Jennifer Levin. Gregor Cameron will co-executive produce.
Malik rose to fame on the British X-Factor where he auditioned as a solo artist. Following his elimination, Malik was brought back to form boy band One Direction, the most successful act to come out of The X-Factor. After leaving the band last year, Malik made a smooth transition to a solo artist with his album Mind of Mine, becoming the first male U.K. solo artist to debut at #1 on album charts in the U.S. and U.K.
“Dick Wolf is a legend,” Malik said, “and the opportunity to work with him and NBC to create a compelling drama series is awesome.”
Two-time Emmy winner Wolf currently produces five drama series for NBC and Uni TV, Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med and the new Chicago Justice.
Unigram is a film, TV and multimedia production company focused on developing film, TV and alternative media properties featuring music as a central character.
First Access Entertainment, a joint venture between Sarah Stennett and Access Industries, focuses on talent development and representation, brand development and representation, recording artists and songwriters.