Fox is developing music series, Cotton Club, based in Harlem’s hottest club in the Roaring ‘20s!

Co-Executive Producer of the network’s hit music drama Empire, Ayanna Floyd will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Also on the executive producing team will be, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron (both of NBC’s live musical franchise), Broadway director Kenny Leon, and music executive LA Reid. Sony Pictures TV is producing.

Directed by Leon and written by Floyd, the series will follow the interconnected lives of the Black entertainers who performed there and the White gangsters who ran it. LA Reid will bring his music expertise, serving as executive music supervisor.

Ayanna Floyd has impressive producing credits under her belt, including Private Practice, Hannibal, Empire, and Falling Skies. The concept seems intriguing and we look forward to the series coming to fruition!

No timeline has been announced; the script is currently being developed.

The Cotton Club was also the subject (and title) of a 1984 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Richard Gere. The 2013 Broadway musical revue After Midnight celebrated Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. The rotating roster of headliners included Fantasia Barrino, Toni Braxton, Vanessa Williams, and Patti LaBelle.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch… but don’t (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice… with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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