Mottola puts rap tale on TV

Co. options Brown book 'Queens' for tube

Former Sony Music Entertainment chairman-CEO Tommy Mottola wants to bring the story of rap’s rise to the small screen.

The Mottola Co. has optioned “Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler,” the new book by New York Magazine contributing writer Ethan Brown. Mottola plans to use the prose to drive a TV series, which he’ll exec produce with partner Jeb Brien.

CAA, which reps their company, will package the series.

They’ll soon hire a showrunner to work with the author, who used police wiretaps and interviews with drug kingpins and hip-hop insiders to tell how the streets and housing projects of southeast Queens became a force in rap music during the 1980s and ’90s.

“Having lived the ins and outs of all the characters as much or more than just about anybody in the entire business, the book resonated for me in a big way,” Mottola told Daily Variety. “We were very fortunate in that Ethan saw eye-to-eye with us on exactly how to take this from the printed page to the screen.”

Formed to make movies and series, the Mottola Co. gets started with a February launch of “The Shop,” a MTV reality series set in a Queens barbershop frequented by the hip-hop set.

Company also is working with Buena Vista on “Vera Wang and the Entertainment Space,” starring the designer in a format Mottola described as “a talkshow on the go.” A pilot has been shot, with Wang featured doing interviews on a set and with cameras following her as she does her entrepreneurial thing.

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