Ridley will serve as executive producer, writer, and director on the show, which was first announced in July. He joins previously announced executive producers Alicia Keys, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Marc Platt, R.J. Cutler, and Adam Siegel. Fox 21 Television Studios will produce.
“Having worked with John Ridley many times over the years, I know firsthand how talented and fearless he is both as a writer and director,” said Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime. “Combining his dramatic depth with the musical brilliance of Pasek and Paul and Alicia Keys promises a wildly original and entertaining series for Showtime.”
The project centers on an emotionally complex family story that spans generations and threatens the fabric of the community in present day Milwaukee.
A Milwaukee native, Ridley won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.” He was also the creator, showrunner and director of the critically-acclaimed anthology series “American Crime” at ABC. Ridley is currently under an overall deal at ABC Studios and also launched No Studios, a space for the arts in Milwaukee, in fall 2018.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work not only again with Gary and Showtime, but to also collaborate with the phenomenal talents of Alicia Keys, the team of Pasek and Paul, Marc Platt, and R.J. and Adam as well,” said Ridley. “I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to set the series in Milwaukee, and examine the challenges and triumphs of my hometown; a city to which I remain deeply connected.”
Pasek and Paul, the songwriting team behind “La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” will contribute music to the series. Platt’s credits includes “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” “The Band’s Visit” and “La La Land.” Cutler previously worked an executive producer on “Nashville” and Siegel produced “Grease: Live!”