Mary J. Blige To Produce ‘8 Count’ Fox Music Drama Inspired By Choreographer Laurieann Gibson From Jackal Group

Courtesy of Fox

Fox has given a script commitment with significant penalty to 8 Count, a drama inspired by the life of famed choreographer and creative director Laurieann Gibson, from multi-Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige, writer Erika L. Johnson and Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group.

Written by Johnson, 8 Count is a music-fueled drama that follows a young choreographer who, in order to redeem her damaged reputation in the cutthroat music/dance world, must invest in an up-and-coming singer, who also has one last shot at stardom.

Johnson will executive produce with The Jackal Group’s Gail Berman and Joe Earley, Gibson, and Blige, who will also serve as a Music Advisor to the project.

This is Fox’s third high-profile dance drama buy this season. The network also gave a script commitment plus penalty to hip-hop drama Take It From The Top (working title) inspired by choreographer Fatima Robinson’s life, from producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and to Shine, an hourlong dance drama from producer Marc Platt and Step Up creator Duane Adler.

Fox has two music-driven drama series on the air, Empire and Star.

Gibson has choreographed music videos and live performances for Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, among many others. Her on-screen credits include Making the Band, So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Moms and Starmaker. She is repped by APA.

Johnson’s credits include Shades of Blue and Queen Sugar. She’s repped by APA, Echo Lake Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobson Teller.


Blige has eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, a 2012 Golden Globe nomination, and worldwide sales of more than 50 million albums. She is also co-starring in the upcoming Netflix feature film Mudbound. Blige is repped by APA and Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks.

8 Count joins several other sales by The Jackal Group this seasin. At Fox, the company has drama Surrender, written by Richard Wenk; single-camera comedy Spacebound written by Emerald Fennel, and improvisational comedy The Great Unknown, written by Adam Barr. Also on The Jackal Group’s slate are anthology series Shock Theatre, directed by Greg Nicotero and written by Matt Lambert at AMC; and multi-camera hybrid comedy Man of the House, created and written by Frank Pines, set up at ABC.

On the feature side, The Jackal Group is developing Live Fast Die Hot, with author Jenny Mollen at Warner Bros.; I Almost Forgot About You, a feature adaptation of Terry McMillan’s novel of the same name; The Addams Family, MGM’s animated feature based on the macabre clan, directed by Conrad Vernon; and The Untitled Elvis Presley Biopic, written by Jeremy Doner, at Warner Bros.

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