Fox is looking to stay in the music drama business.
Variety has learned that the broadcaster is developing a one-hour drama series set in the world of country music. The untitled project has received a script commitment with a penalty attached. Inspired by the Romanoff dynasty, the series is described as a multi-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music. The Romans divide their time between Austin, where their home is, and Nashville, where the business is. They’re passionate and fiercely talented, but while their name is synonymous with heartfelt honesty, the very foundation of this family’s success is a lie. When dangerous truths bubble to the surface, the Romans’ reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy leading to more lies, betrayal and murder.
News of the development comes as Fox prepares to say goodbye to hip hop music drama “Empire,” which is set to end after its recently-launched sixth season. That show proved to be a major hit for Fox early in its run, with the first season growing in viewership with each episode through the season finale.
The country music project hails from writer and executive producer Melissa London Hilfers, who is currently also the writer behind the remake of the film “Jagged Edge” at Sony with Halle Berry attached to star. She is also the writer behind the Amazon film “Unfit” with Dakota Johnson set to star. She is repped by Alan Gasmer & Friends and Stone Genow.
Gail Berman of SideCar will also executive produce along with Jason Owen. SideCar will produce along with Fox Entertainment.
Fox announced a new deal with Berman back in February just ahead of the 21st Century Fox-Disney merger. Under the new deal, Berman and SideCar are to identify and incubate programming both for the network and third-party platforms. SideCar will be responsible for developing scripted and unscripted programming to complement development at Fox. Fox will retain ownership of all series that originate under the SideCar banner.
Owen is the president and CEO of Sandbox Entertainment, representing country music stars such as Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Dan+Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Midland, and the John R. Cash Revocable Trust among others. In 2019, Sandbox artists received nine total Grammy nominations and five wins, including album of the year for Musgraves. Owen previously executive produced the syndicated daytime show “Pickler & Ben,” the Showtime tour documentary “Tim & Faith: Soul2Soul, “Kimberly’s Simply Southern” for the Food Channel, and the ABC concert special “Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas.”