ROME — Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset is making its first foray in the international TV drama arena with “Lucky Luciano,” a 12-hour English-language miniseries on the life of notorious mobster Charles “Lucky” Luciano, being co-produced in tandem with vet French producer Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment, a film and TV mini-studio with offices in Paris and L.A.
“Lucky Luciano” will be penned by L.A-based writer-producer Alessandro Camon, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Oren Moverman’s Iraq War movie “The Messenger” and, more recently, Walter Hill’s Sylvester Stallone-starrer “Bullet to the Head.”
The made-for-primetime skein marks the first production under the Mediaset original programming banner. Mediaset established its inhouse production unit just a few months ago. It joined forces with Federation Entertainment to produce this series. Federation will also handle international sales, which will launch at the upcoming Mip TV market in Cannes.
“Lucky Luciano” will delve into the life of Charles “Lucky” Luciano, considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States. Luciano was the first boss of the modern Genovese crime family, and remained its official head for decades.
Some of this ground is also being covered by AMC’s upcoming special event miniseries “Making of the Mob: New York,” which chronicles the historical roots of the original Five Families that led to the formation of the modern American Mafia.
Producing for the Mediaset series for Federation Entertainment are Pascal Breton and Stephane Sperry, who notably exec produced “Tintin” via his Paris-based Liaison Films & Television and previously served as prexy of Canal Plus’ U.S. arm.
“This is an extraordinary project based on the life of one of the most compelling figures in crime,” enthused Breton in a statement.
“The subject of countless books and films, Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano continues to remain a mystery in many key facets of his life, especially in his relationship with the FBI,” he added. “We intend to explore these mysteries and offer the most definitive work on the life of Luciano that’s ever been produced.”
“We’ve been looking for a long time for the right co-producer who shares our fascination towards the human complexity of such a criminal icon as Lucky Luciano,” said Alessandro Salem, Mediaset content managing director.
Mediaset Group is the top commercial broadcaster in Italy, where it is run by vice chairman Pier Silvio Berlusconi (pictured). Mediaset is also a leading integrated European multimedia company, being the main shareholder in Spanish conglomerate Mediaset Espana. Mediaset in the statement said it is now looking to churn out more high-profile original scripted content in tandem with global partners.