A scripted limited series on Lena Horne is now in the works at Showtime. Horne’s granddaughter, prolific television writer Jenny Lumet is set to pen the script and executive produce. The series is tentatively titled Blackbird: Lena Horne and America.
The series will cover Horne’s life “from dancing at the Cotton Club at age 16, through World War II and stardom of the MGM years, McCarthyism, the civil rights movement and her triumphant return to Broadway.” It will also chronicle her relationships with “Paul Robeson, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Joe Louis, Billie Holiday, Hattie McDaniel, Ava Gardner and Orson Welles,” as well as showcase “how she navigated stardom during Jim Crow as a direct descendant of enslaved persons and their enslavers.”
“Bringing my grandmother’s story to the screen required a multi-generational effort,” said Lumet. “Grandma passed her stories to my mother, who now passes them to me, so I may pass them to the children of our family. Lena’s story is so intimate and at the same time, it’s the story of America — America at its most honest, most musical, most tragic and most joyous. It’s crucial now. Especially now. She was the love of my life.”
This is another collaboration between Lumet and Alex Kurtzman, who will co-write the first episodes with her. CBS Television Studios is the studio.
Photo: Getty Images