EXCLUSIVE: One of the top entertainers of the 20th century, Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actor Frank Sinatra, is the subject of a high-profile drama series, written, directed and executive produced by Oscar winner Bill Condon, I have learned. The series, which will have access to Sinatra’s music catalogue, is executive produced by Sinatra’s daughter, Tina Sinatra, and comes from Lionsgate Television and Universal Music Group. It has been taken to the premium marketplace, garnering strong interest and multiple bids.
I hear that Condon is set to write and direct the pilot and serve as showrunner on the series, which he is executive producing alongside his producing partner Greg Yolen. Also executive producing are Tina Sinatra and Bob Finkelstein via Frank Sinatra Enterprises; Michele Anthony, Bruce Resnikoff and David Blackman via Polygram; and Jack Morrissey.
The project, described as the definitive bio-series on the iconic singer, actor, producer and quintessential celebrity of 20th Century America, will feature Sinatra’s music and performances. It is produced by Lionsgate Television and Polygram Entertainment, UMG’s film and television production and development division, through the companies’ first-look TV deal focused on developing original scripted and unscripted TV projects drawn from UMG’s labels, artists and music.
That includes the Frank Sinatra catalogue, which UMG owns and/or distributes the vast majority of.
Sinatra’s life has it all: humble beginnings as the child of Italian immigrants in New Jersey, a remarkable music and acting career that had its ups and downs, a famous group of friends — the Rat Pack — which he was the leader of, an eventful — and sometimes turbulent — love life marked by a string of relationships with Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner, Mia Farrow, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Angie Dickinson, as well as alleged Mafia ties investigated by the FBI.
The “New York, New York” crooner was previously the subject of the 1992 miniseries Sinatra, in which he was played by Philip Casnoff, with Marcia Gay Harden as Gardner, Gina Gershon as Nancy Barbato Sinatra and Olympia Dukakis as Dolly Sinatra. There also had been a long-gestating feature biopic in the works with Martin Scorsese at the helm, which ultimately didn’t take off after objections from the Sinatra family.
Condon, an Oscar winner for writing Gods and Monsters, has written three musical features, Chicago, which earned him an Oscar nomination, Dreamgirls, which he also directed, and global phenom The Greatest Showman.
Fittingly, it was recently announced that Condon will be directing a film adaptation of the musical Guys and Dolls, which was previously made into a 1955 movie starring Sinatra and Marlon Brando. He is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Alexander, Lawrence, Frumes & Labowitz.
This marks the second major original series collaboration between Lionsgate TV and Polygram following NBC’s praised Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which just wrapped its run with a holiday movie on Roku.
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