Fox is developing a Cotton Club event series, the network announced today.
For the uninitiated, The Cotton Club was a Harlem-based night club that thrived from the 1920s to the 1930s, operating most notably during America’s Prohibition Era. The club was a whites-only establishment even though it featured many of the most popular black entertainers of the era, like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, the Dandridge Sisters, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and many others. In its heyday, you’d also find featured guests like Paul Robeson, Al Jolson, Mae West, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Langston Hughes, Judy Garland, among others.
The Fox event series will be titled “Cotton Club,” and is described as a “sexy, soapy music series” centered around the club and the “interconnected lives of the black entertainers who performed there, and the white gangsters who ran it.”
The project hails from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with Kenny Leon directing and also executive producing, and LA Reid serving as executive music supervisor.
Ayanna Floyd will writer and acts as showrunner for the series.
Sony Pictures Television and Storyline Entertainment backing the project, which is in early development at the script phase.