Epix has put four scripted projects into development including a pair of comedies with one starring A Fish Called Wanda star Kevin Kline.
Kline is to star in American Classic, which would mark the actor’s second TV project if it goes to series. He recently signed up to star alongside Cate Blanchett in Alfonso Cuarón’s Disclaimer for Apple.
In the half-hour American Classic, Kline plays Broadway star and notorious narcissist Richard Bean, who suffers a spectacular public meltdown and returns to his tiny hometown and the family-run theater where he first became aware of his own brilliance.
When he arrives, he is shocked to discover that his father, the former artistic director, has slipped into a puppet-filled dementia, and that the once-respected theater run by his brother, played by And Just Like That’s… Jon Tenney, and his wife, who is now the town’s mayor, has become, by necessity, a low-rent dinner theater serving roast beef and murder mysteries. He decides to save the town, the theater and the world by presenting a great American classic on the dinner theater stage, directed by and starring, of course, himself.
The series comes from Anonymous Content’s AC Studios and Epix Studios with Kline, Tenney, Michael Hoffman, Bob Martin, Leslie Urdang, Anthony Bregman and Miriam Mintz attached as executive producers.
Elsewhere, Chris Brancato, creator of Epix’s Godfather of Harlem, is developing Hotel Cocaine.
It is the story of Roman Compte, Cuban exile, CIA operative and general manager of the Hotel Mutiny, the glamorous epicenter of the late ’70s and early ’80s Miami cocaine scene. The Hotel Mutiny was Casablanca on cocaine, a glitzy nightclub, restaurant and hotel frequented by Florida businessmen and politicians, international narcos, CIA and FBI agents, models, sports stars, and musicians — particularly the up-and-coming Latin acts who came from South America with their instruments and four kilos of cocaine in their suitcases. Compte was at the center, doing his best to keep it all going and fulfill his own American Dream.
Brancato, who also worked on Narcos, will write and exec produce. Epix Studios is producing.
Also on the drama side is Black Harvest, set in Paris in 1952. A popular and provocative Black American author and his equally talented but as-yet-unpublished girlfriend arrive with plans to attend the Pan African conference and to get a break from American racism, only to find themselves in the middle of a series of abductions and murders of Black men. What at first appear to be casualties of the drug-drenched underground jazz scene end up being a part of something much larger with potentially global consequences in this stylish noir.
Epix Studios is developing, with Carl Franklin and Ben Donald attached as executive producers.
Also on the half-hour side is Tails of a London Dog-Walker, a comedy drama based on Kate MacDougall’s memoir London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency. It follows Kate, dog-walker extraordinaire, through her magical world of perfect (and not so perfect) pooches and disastrous dates, all the while discovering who she really is.
Ella Greenhill, Emma Frost, Matthew Graham and Anne Thomopoulos will serve as executive producers, with MacDougall as associate producer. Frost and Graham’s UK.-based independent production company Watford & Essex, a joint venture with Legendary Entertainment, will produce in association with Epix Studios.
The development lineup comes as Epix is getting ready to launch two new scripted series: Billy the Kid and From. Billy the Kid launches on April 24 and sci-fi/horror series From comes February 20.
They join the likes of Ed Burns’ Bridge and Tunnel, which has been renewed for a second season; War of the Worlds; SAS: Rogue Heroes; and Britannia.
Godfather of Harlem was also renewed for a third season earlier this month.
Also on the dance card for the Michael Wright-run network are potential second seasons of Chapelwaite, based on a Stephen King short story, and Roman Empire drama Domina, as well as a possible third season of CIA series Condor. This trio has not been officially renewed but remain in contention.
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