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Lee Daniels Developing Pair of Drama Projects at Fox With Julian Breece, Peter Mattei

Lee Daniels will executive produce two drama projects currently in development at FoxVariety has learned.

The first project, titled “Victory,” is a one-hour drama set in the world of competitive gospel choirs. It tells the story of a prodigal son and a group of forgotten young people who must rise above their personal hardships to save a church and heal a broken community through the power of song. The project has received a put pilot commitment at the network. Julian Breece will write and executive produce, with Daniels also executive producing along with Pam Williams and Kevin Donahue. This marks Breece’s second collaboration with Daniels and Fox, having recently sold the drama project “Mason Dixon.” Breece most recently served as a co-producer on Beau Willimon’s new Hulu series “The First.”

Fox has ordered a script with a penalty attached for the the second project, “East of Hope.” The one-hour drama is described as a multi-racial soap set in an all-American working class town. It centers around two families divided by a past event, and reconnected by blood. Both tie their hopes and dreams to the high school basketball team, which they see as their ticket to a better life. Peter Mattei will write and executive produce, with Daniels, Williams, and Marc Velez also executive producing. Most recently, Mattei created the WGN America drama series “Outsiders.”

Daniels will executive produce both projects under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Daniels is repped by CAA and attorneys Jeanne Newman and Stewart Brookman. Mattei is repped by UTA. Breece is repped by CAA, Kevin Donahue Management, and Lichter Grossman.

Daniels is currently under an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind his hit Fox musical drama “Empire.” Season 4 of that series will debut on Sept. 27. The show has been a ratings juggernaut for Fox, with Season 3 averaging a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers per episode in the Live+Same Day Ratings. Daniels also co-created the Fox musical drama “Star,” which is going into its second season, which also premieres on Sept. 27. “Star” will move to Wednesday nights this fall, airing immediately after “Empire.”

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